Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Notes from the New Drug War by Jessica LeRoux - Sept 17, 2014

ONE of the things that really has the panties I should be wearing in a bunch from yesterday's demoralizing CBOH/CDPHE hearing is that the transfer of the medical marijuana registry database from CDPHE's 1/2 hearted HIPPA control, to the do-nothing DOR (who openly admit they share their data with law enforcement) was not objected to more vigorously. I did get my discomfort with that fact into my comments, but the caregiver access issue overwhelmed the day.
the DOR only has jurisdiction over business & taxes, not private individuals exercising their constitutional rights...

I had an epiphany last night, Why did the CBOH/ completely ignore the will of a chamber full of protesting parents? Because they are eugenicists. Look at history, CDPHE is steeped in a culture of hating the medical marijuana registry & its patients going back to the previous director... They actually have the audacity to veiw the very citizens they are supposed to serve as genetically flawed, or so stupid we've critically injured ourselves to the point were we arent worth saving, much less passing our genetic material forward... Wolk has a life long indoctrination of viewing a variety of people as lesser and undeserving, currently the company he founded prior to his job at CDPHE (and he's still involved with CHC) Correctional Healthcare Companies is being sued in serveral states and for the 3rd time in denver alone for negilgence toward the Inmates (64% on drug charges, mostly pot) he is Responsible for. Wolk has made a tidy profit off of locking folks away and has a long term co-dependant relationship with private for profit prisons... If we thought the LEO collusion from Burbach & Urbina was bad, CDPHE merely doubled down when those two were forced to resign....

Ideas from Anthony

Any thoughts about the Armour water tower becoming a landmark of Denver history? 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Are People in North Denver's future?‏

by Tom Anthony via email

Although the planning effort for I-70 which commenced in 2001 is in the final comment period for the East Corridor Environmental Impact Statement, questions still abound as to the future of Elyria neighborhood. While the general concept for the I-70 "cut and cover" has long-standing support from the north neighborhoods, the current CDOT preferred option vastly reduces local access to the interstate and removes the York/Josephine/University Blvd. connection to I-70: a connection to Denver's only direct crosstown arterial east of Colorado Blvd. While the location for Denver's North Metro Station at 48th and Brighton Blvd was established in 2009, five years later virtually no Transit Oriented Development zoning exists in Elyria, and no neighborhood plan either. Therefore highway planners presume little or no change, and why should they? Here in 2014 with no neighborhood plan existing, traffic demand estimates are as ephemeral as paved alleys. Consequently, into the final month of I-70 planning and with contemplated access from the interstate to the neighborhoods being halved, one can only imagine that the City of Denver has no intent to see people actually living near the North Metro commuter rail station. This presumption is bolstered by the realization that the City Council recently forked over almost $900,000 in public money to have Parsons Brinkerhoff scribble napkin drawings for up to $1.3 billion in new facilities for the National Western Stock Show.

While our neighborhood's designation as a "food desert" (except for dog food) has been inaccurately attributed to lack of greenhouses, the neighbors themselves have known for years that without more rooftops, translating to a bigger local population, our quest for a grocery store and other retail (not to mention a laundromat) would be in vain. At long last with the anticipated arrival of the RTD North Metro FasTracks station we assumed that enough people to make the station a good regional investment might be forthcoming, especially considering our proximity to the Platte River Greenway and of course, given the poignant features of our historic townships: Riverside Cemetery, ASARCO, Purina, and the Denver Impound.

Mayor Hancock's North Denver Cornerstone Collaborative was intended to economically mesh the various planning efforts to maximize the value of our public investment dollars in North Denver. Instead, the north neighborhoods look on grandiose visions in vain for signs of a new school, a new recreation center, and any grocery store whatsoever amongst schemes for mosquito farms, exhibition halls, parking lots and arenas. After defunding two neighborhood rec centers and converting Elyria School to a regional mental health clinic, perhaps dog agility really is our only hope. At any rate the comment period on the $1.3 billion I-70 rebuild ends in October, and all Elyria knows for sure is that we're supposed to lose half of our interstate access. That's a prime indicator that no more people are wanted in Denver County north of I-70; begging the question, are the Cornerstoners hallucinating, or simply kissing our aspirations (and grocery store) goodbye?
Tom Anthony
5001 National Western Drive
Denver, CO 80216

Monday, September 15, 2014

Mayor Hancock Presents 2015 Budget Proposal

With focus on neighborhoods, spending plan will help Denver become City of Opportunity for all
DENVER – Mayor Michael B. Hancock submitted his 2015 budget proposal to City Council today, a plan that will create opportunity in every neighborhood and allow the city to meet the demands of a booming population, vibrant economy and increased development. 
“We are attracting 10,000 to 15,000 new residents a year, along with thousands of new jobs and hundreds of new businesses,” Mayor Hancock said. “Today, 100,000 more people live in Denver than in 2000, with as many as 100,000 more anticipated over the next decade. This kind of record growth, along with other demands of an expanding economy, has put increasing pressures on city government.
“My 2015 budget proposal directly addresses these new and mounting challenges,” the Mayor said. “It will allow us to grow smart and meet the changing needs of a city that is transforming right before our very eyes, while also ensuring we protect neighborhoods, improve public safety and shape Denver into City of Opportunity for everyone.”
Along with neighborhood and public safety investments, Mayor Hancock’s 2015 budget proposal dedicates additional funding to affordable housing, economic development, children’s services and other key priorities. It also conservatively increases the city’s financial reserves.

via Facebook:

The Denver Democrats have outdone themselves choosing Rep. Angela Williams as their Democrat of the Year. From promoting American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) inspired telecommunications bills in 2014 to killing the foreclosure protection bill put forth by her own party in 2013, Williams has been busy, but not promoting the values Democrats say they honor. In 2013, Williams won the Spirit of Independence Award from the Independent Bankers of Colorado (many members of which are listed in the top 100 most wealthy banks by they Federal Reserve, so don't be fooled by the name) for standing "firmly in the face of opposition from their (her) own political party."
The fact that Williams has worked against members of her own party, specifically in Denver in leading the effort to kill the Mortgage Accountability and Housing Stabilization Act, and is now being named Democrat of the Year by the Denver County Democratic Party shows that group's lack of integrity.
Thankfully, voters have a choice for an Independent this year in House District 7. The Denver County Democrats can puff up Rep. Williams all they like, but she still faces a tight race for her seat in the form of Elet Valentine for State Representative - House District 7.

Thursday, September 11, 2014


by Dave Felice from the Greater Park Hill Community Newsletter - September 2, 2014

Festival Revives Questions About Admission Based Events

File photo
The 10-hour heavy metal music Chive Fest in August has rekindled the controversy over Denver’s policy of allowing private operators to close parts of public parks and charge admission for commercial events.

The situation is particularly irksome for some City Park neighbors because it is the only Denver park classified as a festival site in a primarily residential area.

Looking beyond the specific example of Chive Fest, members of Inter-Neighborhood Cooperation (INC) Parks Committee say holding a raucous concert into City Park emphasizes the need to seriously consider a permanent festival events site with established infrastructure.

Where does the money go?

City Council approved the commercial park events policy in 2010, following more than three years of sometimes-rancorous task force deliberations.

The commercial activities, known as “Admission Based Events” (ABEs) were initially debated by a 24-member task force consisting of city personnel, event promoters, and seven “neighborhood” representatives.

Approval of the policy was based in part on then-Mayor Hickenlooper staffer Chantal Unfug’s projected revenue of $500,000 per year.

“The policy was to be revisited after one year but it remained in place and everyone on the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board seems to have forgotten this pledge,” observes INC President Larry Ambrose.

“Part of the promise to the neighborhoods from the city was that all the money from Admission Based Events would go directly to the park in which the event takes place. We claimed this was a false promise, (because) as based on the City Charter, all earned income must go into the General Fund. No accounting has been provided as to how much money has been generated from Admission Based Events over the past four years, what expenses were associated with them, or how the money has been spent.”

The other “festival” Admission Based Event parks are Civic Center, Confluence, Skyline, Central Park (Stapleton), Parkfield (Montbello area), and Ruby Hill. Washington Park and Cheesman Park were never considered because Council members and nearby residents argued for protection. While there are residences in the vicinity of some of the other festival parks, they do not have the concentrated residential density on three sides as City Park does.

Just prior to policy adoption, former Councilwoman Paula Sandoval asked that Sloan’s Lake Park be removed from the list, and it was. Ruby Hill was a late addition at the request of Councilman Chris Nevitt. He envisioned a performance pavilion in the park and later advocated for the sale of alcoholic beverages. While the impact at Ruby Hill remains to be seen, residents of Stapleton already complain of disruption from special events at Central Park.

The price for living near a park

During the policy debate, former Mayor John Hickenlooper said “Putting up with disruption is the price people have to pay for living near a park.”

However, some Denverites criticize the notion of turning parks into commercial venues at all.

In 2011, the INC Parks Committee spent several months preparing a “Platform for Denver’s Urban Parks.” The document was meant as a guiding principle for the future and to provide information for voters. The platform calls for development of more urban green space, rejects the policy allowing commercial events, and calls for development of a festival facility.

For the most recent City Park festival, neighborhood representatives, including many from Park Hill, successfully demanded stricter plans for parking, traffic, noise, and trash. Even so, there were numerous reports of high noise levels, especially in South City Park Neighborhood. There were also complaints about public urination and vulgar language.

Proximity to zoo animals

In City Park, there is also concern about the impact of amplified sound on captive zoo animals, especially in proximity to the concert area.

In 2007, when Chuck Morris of Anschutz Entertainment suggested a three-day Mile High Music Festival in the western two-thirds of City Park, he said he would not go forward if there were suspected problems with the animals. The zoo director at the time, Craig Piper, followed American Zoological Association guidelines that animals must be protected. Morris ultimately moved the music festival to an athletic field in Commerce City.

This year, the zoo’s public relations director, Tiffany Barnhart, issued a lengthy statement saying the event organizers and the zoo would be sure the animals were protected.

Full disclosure: Readers of this newspaper and most city officials know that I was an early and outspoken opponent of the Admission Based Events policy. For over three years, I was a neighborhood representative on the main task force, and also a member of the fees subcommittee with former Councilwoman Carla Madison and Chuck Morris. I frequently argued against the policy at meetings of the Advisory Board. I continue to hold the position that parks are for people, not profit. And I am a strong proponent of a permanent outdoor festival performance facility.

Dave Felice is an At-Large Member and Parks Chair of the Greater Park Hill Board of Directors.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

City Park group urges new Denver noise ordinance after Chive Fest

By Joe Vaccarelli
YourHub Reporter

The Aug. 16 Chive Fest event that was a hot-button issue among City Park neighbors is still a sore subject for some and has led a neighborhood group to propose that Denver amend its noise ordinance and policies regarding events in parks.

Inter-neighborhood Cooperation, a group comprised of members of Denver's representative neighborhood organizations, has two proposed resolutions that, if passed, will be sent to Denver City Council for consideration.

One of the resolutions urges the city to change the way it monitors its noise ordinance to account for the "C" band of frequencies, which pick up bass sounds. Currently, the city measures only for the "A" band, which measures high frequencies.

"We don't think it does an adequate job of addressing noise pollution," said Inter-neighborhood Cooperation president Larry Ambrose.

The second resolution would ask the city to place a moratorium on all open park festival permitting until the city can screen the events to ensure that events are not inappropriate and in violation of city ordinance. Inter-neighborhood Cooperation members will vote on the resolutions Sept. 13.

Residents pointed out the band Steel Panther, which performed around 7:30 p.m. at Chive Fest, as particularly vulgar. They said foul and offensive language could be heard in the neighborhood.

People who complained were told that the event was permitted and nothing would be done, but a letter from Denver Parks and Recreation executive director Lauri Dannemiller said action should have been taken.

In her letter dated Aug. 27, Dannemiller apologized and said park rangers didn't take action because they had not planned for this problem and that performances could be shut down in the future.

"I can tell you that this type of behavior and language will not be tolerated going forward," Dannemiller wrote. She also wrote a letter to the organizers, informing them that the Steel Panther set violated the city's ordinance prohibiting "action or behavior or the instigation of action or behavior that disturbs the peace of the public in park facilities," and warned organizers for future events.

Other complaints came in about the volume of the concert in other parts of the park and nearby homes. The city ordinance allows for 55 decibels in the neighborhoods, but an exception is made for certain events to allow for 80 decibels.

Bob McDonald, director of public health inspections in Department of Environmental Health, said the the festival was within the appropriate levels, but that his office is currently exploring alternatives to change the city's noise ordinance.

"If we're getting a lot of complaints about events that are in compliance, we should be looking at things," McDonald said.

A change in the ordinance would have to be submitted to City Council for approval. McDonald said his office will seek feedback sometime in the next months and information will soon be available on the Department of Environmental Health website. Currently, the city only measures noise levels that include bass at Red Rocks Amphitheatre. That change took effect Jan. 1 after residents of Morrison complained.

Public roads for private profit? I don’t think so.

by Dennis Gallagher, Denver Auditor

i-70 1A controversial public private partnership (P3) plan by the Colorado Department of Transportation to allow a private company to build toll lanes on U.S. 36 between Denver and Boulder and collect the tolls for fifty years is just the edge of the wedge. The reconstruction of I-70 through central Denver is next.
Unfortunately, the U.S. 36 deal is a fait accompli but it shouldn’t have been.
These so-called P3 plans that allow greater private sector participation in the delivery and financing of transportation projects are not about benefitting the taxpayers and the travelling public – They are about benefitting private companies! The US 36 (* we need to be consistent with either U.S. 36 or US 36) deal calls for the private company to invest a mere $425 million and plow and maintain the highway in return for collecting the tolls for the next fifty years. CDOT justifies this deal by saying that it is the only way to get the work done. Really?
In the late 1940s there was no direct route from Denver to Boulder. To address this issue the Colorado Legislature passed a bill authorizing what was then the Colorado Department of Highways to build a limited access highway and operate it as a toll road to recoup the cost of construction. In 1952, the Denver-Boulder Turnpike opened featuring a toll of twenty five cents. $6.3 million in bonds had been sold to be repaid over thirty years despite a feasibility study that said that the road would not pay for its cost and maintenance over that period of time. The study was wrong.
Toll revenue far exceeded expectations and the predictions of some experts. In 1967, fifteen years ahead of time, the bonds and $2.36 million in interest were paid off and the toll was discontinued. The Boulder Turnpike – US 36 was free and clear.   This was accomplished, not by some private firm, but by the citizens of the state of Colorado.
What is the lesson in that for us today?
What if that twenty-five cent toll had not been discontinued in 1967 but allowed to go on?
Between 1968 and 2013, that twenty-five cent toll (adjusted for inflation) would have generated over a Billion Dollars in revenue: $1,112,059,866 in 2013 dollars to be exact.
The lesson?
If tolling is the only way to build and maintain a highway, the state of Colorado is more than capable, without a for-profit private company, of generating the necessary revenue.
But what about I-70?
CDOT is again trotting out the rationale that the only way to pay for the reconstruction of I-70 between Brighton Boulevard and Colorado Boulevard .is to involve a private company to manage toll lanes. They may say otherwise – that this is about managing traffic not collecting tolls - but the truth is the tolling is to attract private investment.
I don’t believe that toll lanes are necessary. Based on traffic trends over the last five years I don’t believe the additional lanes are unnecessary. If they are,
and CDOT does need additional money – for phase 2 to Tower Road and phase 3 to Pena – the state can again do what it did with the Boulder Turnpike a variation of which it did more recently with I-25 – T-Rex.
With the Boulder Turnpike it issued revenue bonds that would be repaid with toll revenue; with T-Rex, the state issued Transportation Revenue Anticipation Notes (TRANS) – in essence revenue bonds – that were to be repaid with anticipated federal highway dollars.
T-Rex was completed on time and under budget by CDOT itself, there was no public/private partnership financing involved – or necessary.
The state can again issue revenue bonds - TRANS bonds - and this time the revenue stream to repay and service the debt is with toll revenues rather than anticipated Federal Highway dollars.
Why institute a toll, collect the toll and give that money to a private entity?
Like everything else about this reconstruction project, it makes no sense, and cannot be justified.
I am concerned at this abrogation to the private sector of governmental services. Are we to yield all of our responsibilities and privatize all government functions?
It’s time for governmental leaders to stop shirking their duty; it’s time for that leadership to stand up for the people; it is time to stop this lunacy.
Public roads for private profits?
I don’t think so.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Tours and Talks by Phil Goodstein September- October 2014

Saturday, September 13: Ghosts of Cheesman Park, 11:00 am–1:00 pm
Meet at the gazebo near the equivalent of 12th Avenue and Gilpin Street. The cost is $10. A copy of this schedule and information about Goodstein’s books is at

Sunday, September 14: The Jews of Curtis Park, 11:00 am–noon
This is a free lecture at RedLine, the south corner of 24th and Arapahoe streets, to mark Phil Goodstein’s new book, Curtis Park, Five Points, and Beyond: The Heart of Historic East Denver.

Tuesday, September 16: The Taste of Uptown, 5:00 pm–7:30 pm
As part of a tour of houses and restaurants on North Capitol Hill, Phil Goodstein will be talking about his books and selling copies of them, including The Ghosts of Capitol Hill, at the Castle Marne, 1572 Race Street.

Thursday, September 18: Old East Denver, 6:00 pm–7:30 pm
This is a free lecture at the Gardens at St. Elizabeth’s, at the northeast corner of West 32nd Avenue and Eliot Street. (Eliot is one block east of Federal Boulevard. St. Elizabeth’s is the highrise.) East Denver was once the land that is modern downtown. Within a few years, it referred to the sterling Victorian area around the city’s first park, Curtis Park. How the area evolved is the subject of Curtis Park, Five Points, and Beyond. 440 pages. $24.95.

Saturday, September 20: Ghost Walk, 7:00 pm–9:00 pm
Meet at the statute of the Indian on the east lawn of the Capitol along Grant Street between Colfax and 14th avenues. The cost is $20.00.

Saturday, September 27: Mount Olivet Cemetery, 11:00 am–1:00 pm
Meet by the fence across the road from the Madonna Mausoleum. The main entrance to Mount Olivet is west of Youngfield Street on West 44th Avenue. Go up the hill past the administration building to near where there is a big crucifix. On your left is the Madonna Mausoleum. (Coming from the east take exit 266 on Ward Road from I-70 and go west about a half mile to the cemetery. Coming from the west take exit 265 at Youngfield and go north about a mile to West 44th Avenue and turn left. The cemetery is the first exit on the right.) The cost is $10.

Sunday, September 28: Park Hill Promise, 11:00 am–4:00 pm
Phil Goodstein will be hustling his books, especially Park Hill Promise, at the Park Hill Street Fair. This is a free event. The booth should be near 19th Avenue and Forest Street.

Saturday, October 4: Crown Hill Cemetery, 11:00 am–1:00 pm
Gather at the parking lot along the main road of the graveyard, just west of the administration building along West 29th Avenue about two blocks west of Wadsworth Boulevard. The cost is $10.00.

Tuesday, October 7: The Ghosts of Platt Park, 6:00 pm–7:00 pm
This is a free lecture about the spooks and spirits of South Denver at the Decker Library, South Logan Street and Florida Avenue. (Logan Street is four blocks east of Broadway. Florida Avenue is four blocks south of Mississippi Avenue.) It features Phil Goodstein’s book, The Ghosts of University Park, Platt Park, and Beyond.

Sunday, October 12: Ghosts of Cheesman Park, 11:00 am–1:00 pm
Meet at the gazebo near the equivalent of 12th Avenue and Gilpin Street. The cost is $10.00.

Wednesday, October 15: The Haunts of Central Denver, 6:00 pm–7:00 pm
This is a free talk featuring the city’s ghost lore. It is at the Cherry Creek Library, northwest corner of Third Avenue and Milwaukee Street. (Milwaukee is six blocks east of University Boulevard.) It draws on Phil Goodstein’s volume, The Ghosts of Denver: Capitol Hill.

Saturday, October 18: Ghost Walk, 7:00 pm–9:00 pm
Meet at the statute of the Indian on the east lawn of the Capitol along Grant Street between Colfax and 14th avenues. The cost is $20.00.

Friday, October 24: Ghost Walk, 7:00 pm–9:00 pm
Meet at the statute of the Indian on the east lawn of the Capitol along Grant Street between Colfax and 14th avenues. The cost is $20.00.

Saturday, October 25: Ghost Walk, 7:00 pm–9:00 pm
Meet at the statute of the Indian on the east lawn of the Capitol along Grant Street between Colfax and 14th avenues. The cost is $20.00. It will be repeated on October 24, October 25 and October 31.

Friday, October 31: Ghost Walk, 7:00 pm–9:00 pm
Meet at the statute of the Indian on the east lawn of the Capitol along Grant Street between Colfax and 14th avenues. The cost is $20.00.

Wednesday, November 5: Tall Tales of Park Hill, 6:30 pm–7:30 pm
This is a free lecture about the history of Park Hill featuring the usual and bizarre happenings in the neighborhood. It gathers at the Park Hill Library at the northeast corner of Montview Boulevard and Dexter Street.

Saturday, November 8: Curtis Park, Five Points, and Beyond, 3:00 pm–4:00 pm
Curtis Park, Five Points, and Beyond is Phil Goodstein’s latest book. This is a free talk about it at the Broadway Book Mall, the southeast corner of South Broadway and Cedar Avenue. (Cedar is one block north of Alameda Avenue.)

Saturday, November 8: Five Points at Tattered Cover, 7:00 pm
The Colfax Tattered Cover, Colfax and Elizabeth Street (across from East High School, two blocks east of York Street), will host a talk and signing of Curtis Park, Five Points, and Beyond.

Saturday, December 6: More on Curtis Park, 2:00 pm–3:30 pm
Find out more about Phil Goodstein’s books and Curtis Park in another free lecture. It is at the Book Bar, a combination wine bar/bookstore, at West 43rd Avenue and Tennyson Street.

Phil Goodstein (303)333-1095