Friday, October 17, 2014

Where is our Festival Park?


REPORT FROM METHADONE ALLEY (16th and Gaylord, Denver)

Wednesday, Oct 15, 2014 was the opening day for the ARTS drug distribution Center at 1620 Gaylord St. in Denver. Thursday morning I noticed that people were occasionally wandering across the alley to sit on my retaining wall.
Jan, the director of the Center, was already outside telling people to not trespass on my property, and we had an opportunity to talk briefly. She mentioned that the Center had hired a security guard to be outside from 5:00 to 7:30am daily, to direct people and traffic. (A suggestion that was made at the community meeting.) Additionally, she said that they have installed a second dispensary window inside (at a cost of $5000) to handle peak traffic.
Aside from the woman who parked on my lot and left a small dog locked inside, who quickly came back and moved her car when I whistled and motioned for her to move it, there were no other incidents to report.
Friday morning (10/17) I was up early enough (6:00am) to see the security guard and the very small trickle of clients.

So far, so good, and thanks to Jan and the rest of the staff for listening and responding to our concerns.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Notes from the New Drug War by Jessica LeRoux - Oct. 15, 2014

Pabon is a lazy political panderer... We dont have a problem of caregivers who are using the registry, abusing the system to create a black market.
We have a black market of people who are just growing as many plants as they like completely outside of both the license & caregiver systems... and licensees who divert large quanitiies from unlicensed grows... and people who move here under the radar just to grow & ship home to an established market in another state... And private people who just sold one bag to a neighbor... and there is confusion at best on the part of law enforcement over who has jurisdiction over the so- called black market, so there has been very very little enforcement of the laws actually on the books... So we have a complex problem that will not disappear by jerking Pabon's Knee, like a jack booted thug, yet again, into the soft belly of sickly patients. Read more.

As a result of committee discussion and deliberation, the Use of Recreational Marijuana Sales Tax Revenues Interim Study Committee recommends the following two bills for consideration in the 2015 legislative session.
Bill A — Marijuana Issues Not Regulated by DOR. This bill makes several changes concerning medical marijuana and caregivers. The bill requires caregivers to register with the Department of Public Health and Environment in addition to the Department of Revenue, as required under current law. Caregivers who fail to register with either agency are prohibited from acting as a caregiver in the future and may be subject to prosecution under existing criminal offenses. The bill also requires the State Board of Medical Examiners to issue guidelines on medical marijuana recommendations by physicians for severe pain and informed consent for patients receiving marijuana from caregivers. The bill requires the Department of Revenue and the Department of Public Health and Environment to share the minimum amount of information necessary to ensure that a medical marijuana patient only has one caregiver and is not using both a caregiver and a medical marijuana center. Any costs under the bill will be paid from the Marijuana Tax Cash Fund.

whoa nelly: they are only targeting the MEDICAL registry for increased enforcement... not focused at all on people who dont participate in any form of licensing/caregiver registry... Fucks sake these people dont understand either the way revenue works or BLACK MARKETS!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


Like the Federal government, we call anything associated with the sale or use of drugs "paraphernalia", including the chairs and desks now being unloaded at the newly relocated Methadone Dispensary run by ARTS. Drugs to be dispensed there include Methadone, Buprenorphine, Naltrexone, Vivitrol, and Antabuse. Read more here.

Monday, October 13, 2014


Opinion by Gerald Trumbule

Full press coverage of a "done deal" like this one is probably a waste of your time and mine. I shot footage of the meeting, and it was interesting to meet more of my neighbors, but as Councilman Albus Brooks said on the way into the meeting "this one is a done deal". Later he mentioned that District 8 houses 80% of the City's social services, and that our housing stock is 30% Section 8. He said he had hopes that other Districts could begin to share the load, but he didn't seem optimistic.

ARTS (Addiction Research and Treatment Services), a University of Colorado funnel for US Government funding to provide methadone to heroin addicts, provided a handout at the meeting:

It's easy to see why the staff didn't think any community outreach was necessary. It's all about what constitutes a "neighborhood". From their point of view, they are moving "less than two blocks" from their old location. From our point of view, they are suddenly materializing in a residential neighborhood that had no idea they even existed in their former location.
Former location of Methadone Dispensary at 18th and Gaylord looking north.

New location of Methadone Dispensary two blocks south at 16th and Gaylord, looking south.

Other points to be considered

1. The property at 1620 Gaylord was on the market for over two years. As I recall, it was listed at $550,000 during that time. I thought it was most likely going to be scraped, with a condo development to take its place. This was actually in progress until the property was declared "historic". I have no idea how that was accomplished, as it was apparently built in 1951 and seems to have no architectural value. I presume there is a transcript of the public hearing that accomplished this bit of magic. This historic designation blocked the condo developer from proceeding and the owner of the ARTS administration building, next door at 1648 Gaylord, Victor Kolouch of Kolouch Properties, LLC, proceeded to buy the building for $650,000.
Historic designation is often considered a burden for a new owner, as there are many rules about what may and may not be done to such a building. I can't recall an instance of a $100,000 increase after such a designation.
2. ARTS representative said they had a new lease on 1620 for 7 years. Since remodeling has already begun, I presume this will go forward. What became clear during the meeting was that the staff has absolutely no idea what goes on at this location when they are not there. For example, they were unaware that since remodeling began, homeless people have been sleeping on the property every night. Even more interesting is the fact that a crew I call the "miners" has been visiting the site every night to go through the roll-off to retrieve metal scrap.

A visit from the "miners" at 1620 Gaylord on Oct. 4.
3. Speaking of unaware, the ARTS staff said they believe that 1648 Gaylord has been broken into 7 times during their term there. This although no drugs were ever housed there.

4. For the immediate neighbors, 1648 Gaylord, the ARTS intake office, has been a constant problem. The problem has not come from their "clients", who are strictly guided by their rules, but from the people who drop the clients off. These folks have been a constant source of aggravation as they, a) park illegally in our parking lots, b) hang out on our property leaving trash behind and, in general, have a real attitude problem. Just two weeks ago I noticed two men hanging out behind 1648 Gaylord throwing rocks down the alley from a neighbor's parking lot. I calmly approached and asked them to stop, whereupon they began to curse and threaten me.
5. The ARTS staff mentioned that the drugs at 1620 Gaylord would be kept in a safe "so big that it has to be put in place with a fork lift". They also indicated that the building would have to be approved by the DEA before occupancy. I hope they check the roof.

I asked if the ARTS staff had planned for security at 1620 Gaylord. They said they planned to install outdoor security cameras, but could not afford an actual outdoor security guard during business hours. Our alley will require a full-time traffic director if the projected 150 clients/day show up to quaff their drugs.

One positive result from the meeting - a potential "Good Neighbor Agreement" such as is often done with bars and restaurants seeking neighborhood approval. We are working on that, and will report any progress here.

The Big Picture

Not mentioned at the meeting, but what struck me as really strange was the HUGE disparity between this government sponsored hard-drug dispensary and the recent acceptance of  privately-owned "medical marijuana" dispensaries. To mention a few - for methadone - no 1000 ft rule, no public hearing required, drug consumption on site (the staff mentioned that they open at 5:30 am so that clients can come in and get their drugs before they go to work.) Yikes, drugged at work.
By the way, methadone maintenance, as it's called can go on for years. If you want to educate yourself from the addicts point of view, go here:
Speaking as an individual addict, as a treatment professional, and as a former Methadone clinic client, Methadone used as a short term detoxification tool, may have some valuable use. There isn't an addict on the face of the planet, however, that would need to use Methadone for over 30 days in order to do that. Methadone Maintenance is a joke. Methadone is a highly addictive drug with debilitating long term health consequences. Ask any addict who has been on a Methadone Maintenance program and they will tell you how most clients in those programs continue to use in spite of the Methadone. Standing in line for your dose is a good place to cop. 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

One Sky One World Kite Fly for Peace in Denver

Thank you Jane

What:    29th One Sky One World Kite Fly for Peace in Denver 
Where:   Sloan's Lake Park and at Corner, 18th Avenue and Meade Street 
When:   Sunday, October 12, 2014, Noon to 4 p.m. 
Why:     World Kite Day” to promote peace and protect the planet  through the symbiotic     relationship between humans and nature.  

For 29th Year, Kites to Fly for Peace for the  
One Sky One Worlds International Kite Fly   

One Sky One World International Kite Fly for Peace was inspired by Jane Parker-Ambrose, a Colorado native and Denver kite-maker who, in 1985, during a trip to the Soviet Union, presented an original "Peace Comet" kite to the Soviet Woman's Peace Committee in Moscow.  This people-to-people gesture has inspired hundreds of thousands of people in more than 40 countries to participate every 2nd Sunday of every October.   
Also known as World Kite Day, people around the world fly kites for peace and the environment.  The 29th Annual OSOW will take place tomorrow, Sunday, October 12 at Sloan's Lake Park at the  corner of 18th Avenue and Meade Street, from Noon to 4 p.m. 
There will be a kite making workshop, instruction on how to fly a kite including proper launching technique and retrieving line without tangling.  Open free kite flying will take place on the east side of  Sloan's Lake Park just across from 18th and Meade Street.   For more information about One Sky One World in Denver and 2013 locations please visit  , email or call 720-490-1991. 

Friday, October 10, 2014

I-70 Reroute Committee Report, October 8, 2014

There were 24 people at the meeting. Several of them were first time attendees. The meeting began with a report on recent events. There was a very well written article on the Dennis Gallagher event in the North Denver Tribune. There were two excellent Letters to the Editor in the Denver Post, one written by Liz. The Post also had a very balanced story on the I-70 issue which quoted Steve extensively. Everyone felt the Town Hall meeting went exceptionally well. Mike K. did a great job as MC, the presenters were very informative and there was a good crowd. Thad, Joe E. and Bob Y. had an excellent meeting with Tricia in Congressperson Diana DeGette’s Office. Joe was eloquent in articulating the position of people in the community and Bob presented many of the deficiencies in the Draft Supplemental EIS. Tricia stated that at the present time Congressperson DeGette is neutral on the issue but is considering all of the information we are sending her.

Back Road Driveabout - Glen Haven, Colorado

Ed: Here at the office we've decided to reinstate our old practice of taking a mid-week day off. Yep, Wednesdays we get out for a drive about. This time we went to Estes Park the back way, through Glen Haven, (aka Devil's Gulch Road) and got to see the progress of the repairs to both road and stream bed since the last flood.

It's so tempting to build on the river.

Hwy 43 still dirt/gravel in places

The stream bed had that newly rearranged look.

Just in time to get to the lake and watch the ladies wading. 

Thursday, October 9, 2014


Posted on October 9, 2014 by Jeannie Kaplan

Jonathon Kozol, my first education hero, was coming to Regis Jesuit University in Denver for a three day event, and I had been asked to be a participant on a panel with him. For a public education wonk like me, it really doesn't get much better than that.  Jonathan Kozol and me!
Capturing the essence of Jonathan Kozol, his beliefs and his continuing fight for educational equity has been more difficult that I would have imagined. The reason is this: the United States is seeing growing educational inequities for children in poverty. This gap is larger than when Mr. Kozol first started exposing it in the mid-1960’s, and today’s policy makers are unwilling to make the changes necessary to reduce it, or as “reformers” like to say, “Eliminate the achievement gap.”