Wednesday, August 27, 2014

A PARK THAT IS A ZOO by PHIL GOODSTEIN - NAYSAYER, SEPTEMBER 2014

Steel Panther, Chive Fest, Denver City Park
Since the 1960s, the Zoo has swallowed massive acreage in City Park as part of never-ending expansion programs. In the process, it has added massive slabs of asphalt for its ever encroaching parking lots. Additionally, it has essentially sealed the facility from the park, eliminating entries between the two.
Despite such devastation, in 2008 the Zoo was the foremost defender of City Park when it vetoed the highly controversial Mile High Music & Arts Fest. This was a proposed private, money-making venture of heavily amplified noise (supposed music). The racket, the Zoo explained, would be extremely painful for the animals.
The Zoo’s action was a stopgap. It has mostly been invisible against continued city policies. Far from treasuring City Park as a gem of open space, peace, dignity, and an escape from urban tensions,the department of parks and recreation has repeatedly sought to remodel the greenery as a commercial venture.
Noise has been a keynote of many City Park events. None have been worse than “ecology” festivals. While sponsors present themselves as most concerned about the earth, they think nothing about generating noise pollution. Nor do they reflect on the ecological costs of the noise-generating sound systems.
The promoters of virtually all outdoor events cannot conceive of them without heavy amplification. Illustrative is Big Wonderful. This is a trendy event on Saturday afternoons at Sustainability Park near 27th and Arapahoe streets. Primarily geared to people in their 20s and 30s, who are overwhelmingly white in an area that was long a bastion of black and Latino Denver, it projects itself as a “sustainable green event.” While stressing how committed it is to recycling, it sees no irony in draining electricity for noise pollution that is supposed to be music.
Most musicians have amazingly little understanding of their instruments and such a poor ability to sing and play that they cannot get on stage without an ear-blasting sound system. The result is anything but the beauty of their instruments and voices. On the contrary, it is a thoroughly debased experience embraced only by those who do not know the difference between noise and music. For that matter, it also assures there will be no interaction between the audience and performers. The latter simply spew out their product to passive consumers. This has been concomitant with ever greater musical illiteracy among performers, including a glaring lack of knowledge of the powerful protest anthems central to drives for labor recognition, civil rights, and the crusade for peace.
Precisely preventing any grasping of such music was at the heart of the Chive Fest in mid-August. It was the city’s great achievement in fencing off parts of City Park for a private promoter, complete with a sound system that could be heard nearly a mile away. The Michael Hancock administration justified it, pointing to the decisions of a hand-picked committee on admission-based events in parks. The body never considered that city parks must be oases against the chaos of everyday living. As such, they are not expected to turn a profit or reflect the crassness of corporate America. Opposed to this perspective, Chive Fest was the epitome of the worst of the music machine with eight bands producing an endless drone over the course of 10 hours.
The noise levels of Chive Fest were especially noticeable because of the sparseness of the crowds. This was obvious in the ready availability of street parking by the park, unlike the shortage of it as is often the case with free Sunday evening jazz concerts at the park pavilion. Particularly visible were the few cars in the overflow lots at East High School. But there is no connection between the public staying away from Chive Fest and city hall policies. By permitting the event, the department of parks and recreation showed it has a thorough contempt for residents who treasure the city parks. For that matter, as Mayor Hancock has made clear, city hall is nothing but an annex of the business community, complete with a willingness to rent out the police department and virtually all of its other services. Most of all, Chive Fest was a lot like the mayor: all flash and noise; zero substance, the ultimate result of a politician subservient to 17th Street while his administration endlessly treats all within listening distance with thorough disrespect.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

"Every move you make..."

Go to Google Location History and see what Google is doing with your cell phone.

My 30-day history - "Don't get around much, anymore."

INC Resolution on Revising Neighborhood Noise Ordinance



• WHEREAS, the City of Denver Noise Ordinance, Section 36 sets the limit for
sound in neighborhoods at 55 dB(A), and
• WHEREAS, Sec. 36-6(b) (17) gives an exemption to festivals and raises the
limit for sound to 80 dB(A), and
• WHEREAS, under the current ordinance definitions, only dB readings at (A)
levels are required which does not measure the different frequencies, and
• WHEREAS, low frequency sound waves dB(C) are long, can actually travel
through buildings and be heard and often can be felt, and
• WHEREAS, the current ordinance was promulgated some years ago before
the advent of the Admission Based Event policy and the significant
increase from a few hundred to more than 800 events a year in Denver,
including in Denver parks, and
• WHEREAS, at the time this ordinance was promulgated 80 dBs(A) was
interpreted to be an acceptable level for sound in residential area when
there were few permitted events in parks, and
• WHEREAS, the 80 dB(A) sound level associated with these frequent events
in parks has become the norm, has disrupted the quality of neighborhood
life on a regular basis and has created an ongoing and intolerable
condition.which the 55 dB level was intended to address, now therefore,
• BE IT RESOLVED, that INC calls upon the City of Denver to begin a
collaborative, thorough, and thoughtful public process in order to revise the
Noise Ordinance so that it is specified how sound pressure is measured,
by whom, and when during an event, and to state the maximum level of
sound pressure is 55 dB(A) & (C) in neighborhoods in order to maintain
and improve the quality of life for Denver's residents.

INC Resolution on Disturbance of the Public Peace in Parks



WHEREAS, Inter Neighborhood Cooperation adopted the Platform
for Denver Urban Parks in 2011, and
• WHEREAS, the Park Platform emphasizes protection of open green
space and community-based park use policies, and
• WHEREAS, Denver Parks and Recreation (DPR) is not to issue a
festival park permit in violation of the Denver City Municipal Code,
Sec. 39-12- Disturbance of the peace; and
• WHEREAS, under Sec. 39-12-Disturbance of the Peace, language
permitted for festival permits which is unseemly, profane, vulgar, or
obscene is not allowed and its usage in open public park space and
would result in a summons, and
• WHEREAS, Denver Parks and Recreation permitting has issued
permits for festival parks, in violation of Sec. 39-12 and the
Department's own published rules and regulations regarding
Disturbance/Noise, and is likely to do so in the future, and
• WHEREAS, A permit in in violation of Sec. 39-12, was recently
issued for the Chive Fest at which unseemly, profane, vulgar,
obscene, language was evident in open public parks space and
heard throughout nearby neighborhoods, now therefore,
• BE IT RESOLVED, that until community based policies and
procedures are in place to screen and to manage permitting of such
events and ensure that they are consistent with standards explicit in
the Denver City Municipal Code Sec. 39-12-Disturbance of the
Peace, INC respectfully requests Denver Parks and Recreation place
an immediate moratorium on all open park festival permitting.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Forget Technology; Denver Turns to Its Employees to Fix Problems

from Dave Felice - see his response at the bottom of the article.

BY:  | February 2014

In Denver city government, this is what an innovator looks like: White-haired, dressed in light blue scrubs and wearing a pair of sneakers, Tara Morse works as an animal care supervisor. Each day, she conducts about a dozen examinations of new dogs and cats that arrive at the Denver Animal Shelter. Not long ago, Morse came up with a simple idea to save her agency about $75,000 a year.
When pets get reclaimed by their owners, they’re usually collected in fewer than 15 days. After that, the owners rarely turn up. Yet city and county policy dictated that the agency hold animals for 30 days before trying to place them in another home. The longer they stayed, the more their health deteriorated. And as their health worsened, their chances of being adopted dropped as well. Morse recommended a new policy of 15 days. The result was just what Morse had predicted: cheaper, more effective care.
Morse was putting to use skills she learned at the Denver Peak Academy, a city-run training program, housed within the mayor’s budget office, that teaches municipal employees analytical methods to improve their daily work.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Denver's Water Saver Cars

from Dave Felice

Denver Water Board Members:
It is extremely disappointing and discouraging to see that Denver Water has purchased vehicles made in a foreign country by a foreign firm as its representative "Water Saver" cars.
As a government entity, Denver Water has an implicit responsibility to promote the domestic economy by purchasing American products and services.
There are many U.S. vehicles in the same size and price range as the KIA Soul (a/k/a "hamster car").  Your "eco-friendly" description of these cars is also questionable.  For example, several vehicles made in the U.S. in the same class have better gas mileage.  Or better, why not purchase a hybrid or electric vehicle?
Thanks for your attention.  I would appreciate the courtesy of a reply.

CHIVE Fest neighbors described the excessive noise

NOTES FROM INC PARC MEETING AUG. 19, 2014 via Dave Felice

"

CHIVE Fest neighbors described the excessive noise which topped the noise meter limits, and was not enforced.  “311” was not operating; police said there was nothing they could do.  The foul language loudly broadcast into the neighborhood was sexist, racist and obscene.  Trash littered the park and neighborhood, where residential lawns were used as bathrooms.  PARC discussed two drafts presented by the neighbors: “Neighborhood Noise Resolution” asking that the City revise the noise ordinance and measurement process, and “Resolution on Disturbance of the Public Peace in Parks” asking that a policy be created regarding festival permits for public parks that honors the intent of the Denver Municipal Code.  PARC voted to present the “Noise Resolution” draft, with some changes to be made by Kathleen Wells, to INC Sept. 14.  She also will work on the second Resolution above.  Events in public parks adjoining neighborhoods must have lower noise level limits, monitored accurately and continually, and police enforcement must be available for all unlawful activity."

Crisis at the Border & Immigration Reform

With Congressman Jared Polis, District Attorney Stan Garnet, Sheriff
Joe Pelle , Sonia Marquez, the Northern Colorado regional director for
CIRC (Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition) and other Democratic State
and Local Elected Officials.

There will be short presentations from our panelists and then open
discussion and dialogue. This is a time to hear from our local
community about their concerns and visions for moving these issues
forward. We will then close the evening with responses from elected
officials as to how they can address these matters in legislation or
reflect them in local administration. Finally we will consider how we,
the Democratic Party, can support them in doing so.

August 27 at 7:00 PM BoCo Dems Headquarters, 5735-A Arapahoe Ave., Boulder 
Co-sponsored by the BoCo Dems Platform Committee and BoCo Dems
Outreach and Inclusion Team.
For more information, email platform@bocodems.org

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Another excellent ad by the Romanoff team

Editor: Another excellent ad by the Romanoff team. As a filmmaker, I look at production qualities for original content, movement, effectiveness of message and connectedness. Andrew's got the goods.

AFTERMATH TO CHIVE FEST by Linda Drake

Is there an aftermath to Chive Fest?

There is more information out there, and much of it I got from attending the INC PARC meeting Tuesday night (INC is a consortium of all the City’s Representative Neighborhood Orgs; PARC is their Parks & Rec Committee): 
  1. Decibel Measurements during Chive FestSeveral citizens from PARC and local RNOs measured decibel levels in different parts of City Park and in the neighborhoods, along both A and C frequencies, which provide different readings. The City, when it measures, uses A frequencies - unless it’s measuring at Red Rocks, and it uses the C frequency there because the people in Morrison complained. The C frequency includes the bass, and the A does not.
 Festivals in the City were historically capped at 55dB, until 1999 when an exception was made for one festival to go to 80dB, which then set a precedent; successive festivals have increasingly requested and been granted variances until 80dB is the current accepted level by Parks & Rec. All Phases, Chive Fest producers, told us on the July 30th community meeting that they would voluntarily keep the noise at 55dB at Park boundaries.

The decibel readers came up with varied results, some volunteers reading that the concert exceeded 80dB on both  A & C frequencies on the South City Park boundary; another reader believed that they stayed at or under  80dB on the A frequency, but consistently exceeded that on the C-band reading, up to 90dB.   A resident of South City Park said that she measured 86dB in her back yard, and that when Steel Panther came on at 7:15, “four blocks of SCP could hear every filthy word, and so could all the children in the neighborhood; plus the racist and sexist jokes."

West City Park registered in the high 70s for four blocks after Joshephine, and North City Park registered in the high 60s.

In reaction to my 8/17 article http://denverdirect.blogspot.com/2014/08/chive-fest-show-your-boobies.html, one Park Hill person on Ash described the music as “very, very loud” on Ash Street; on Eudora St, neighbors heard nothing. A South City Park resident wrote,” [My husband] and I were walking to the park earlier in the evening and we could hear the foul language coming from the band. Kids were playing right over on the playground and I remarked that this was the wrong venue for this kind of event.”
B. Public Nuisance

A resident of SCP cited the usual over-parking in South City Park and noted people peeing in and throwing trash on her yard. She tried to file a complaint about that and the noise with 311 on Saturday, but the line was down, and she was directed to call the police instead about disturbances. The District 2 Police reportedly responded, when asked by the resident to enforce City Code against public profanity and disturbance of the peace, “They have a permit.” It sounds like Parks and Rec has the ability to supersede City Laws as far as the police are concerned, alleviating them of any duty to enforce the laws. A PARC Committee member points out that Chive Fest repeatedly violated peoples right to Quiet Enjoyment of their homes, Quiet Enjoyment being a real estate concept and likely the foundation for the laws around peace and order that the City is so resistant to enforce.

Two of the people measuring the dB levels had a gentleman urinate right in front of them on 17th.

One groups pre-planned day was ruined. Having obtained a permit last October from the City to host an event at the Pavilions on the 16th, women from Friendship Baptist Church had their long-awaited event drowned out by inappropriate noise from Chive Fest. Evidently Parks and Rec failed to check out all the permits issued for the day in the Park, and the group ended up angry and disappointed.

C. Intergenerational Schism?
While the actual issue is about City mismanagement and ignoring any neighborhood concerns involving use of Park lands, there was a group of under-40 individuals on Facebook Park Hill Neighborhood groups who defended the benefits of Chive Fest - and would likely fight to the keyboard for their right to party. Here are some of their rationale:

“- People are rude and litter all the time, not just because there's a concert in the park.

- It was great! The performers I cared about seeing (Talib Kweli, Cold War Kids, and Edward Sharpe) were awesome and put on great sets. The beer and bathroom lines were never very long (the food truck lines did get crazy) and the crowd was friendly. It's too bad people are spending so much time being up in arms about a band that's pretty much intended to get people up in arms when there was so much good music to be enjoyed.

-Wow, the hatred for just one band in this lineup abounds. I'm sure they weren't the only band that cussed, and bands have been yelling for girls to show their goods since.. Rock n roll was invented??

-I have a four year old and a seven year old. Do I want them to hear some of the words tossed around on this thread? Nope. However, it was a single day a year. People KNEW the festival was happening. People knew what the festival was about. If you don't want your ears offended then stay home that ONE day.

More importantly, City Park is a public space. People in public spaces use language we all don't agree with. That is life. Pussy Riot was arrested in Russia and it was a huge headline all over the world without the band name being censored.

-…there’s no freedom greater than my freedom from your sense of the acceptable. Where would it end?

-I’m tired of the vocal minority controlling the decision making process that affects myself and others. I'm hoping others feel the same way and get involved as well.

In their world, freedom of speech seems to trump all other rights. And a little racism, sexism, homophobia? Like the City managers, if it’s just a small part of a ten-hour Saturday and only a few children are impacted, it really doesn’t matter, does it? ...South City Park? They either loved the free concert or don’t live there. The larger issue of use of the Park, owned by all the people, for an event that many would eschew, with language that travels well beyond a five-acre venue - not a concern - just people exercising their freedom of speech.

In my increasingly-jaundiced view of life, I would say that Steel Panther is all about making money for themselves, as is The Chive and All Phases. They paid for five acres, and that’s where all their sick sentiments should stay.

D. City Response: Nada to date

We have 13 City Council members. Denver Direct posted the letter that I sent to them:

Councilman Brooks thanked me for my letter, said that he thought Chive Fest during the day went well and that he would check with Parks and Rec. He did not present as horrified in the least about the contents of Steel Panther. I have heard no more from him.

Doug Linkhart, City Manager of Environmental Health, responded, “From this and the other reports I've heard, the noise wasn't bad in quantity, just in quality.” No biggie.

No one else in the City even bothered to respond. If they ignore people pointing out how wrong their policies are, maybe we’ll go away. Just a bunch of NIMBY naysayers.
Well I don’t think that’s what people who care for appropriate Park usage are, but we may be in an extreme minority, living in a City with a ***sucking Council and a ***ing Mayor (free speech, right Guys?) with p***sy-clamoring young people who are taking over the Parks, the world, and the City. But I’m just saying, before I check out of this one, it’s WRONG! It makes for a very ugly, mean City and completely undermines our quality of life.