Sunday, December 30, 2007

Blackwater Near You - Part 1

(Headquarters at 64th and York. This is a secure facility, guarded by Homeland Security, and no photographs are allowed.)






CORA, CORA, CORA

The Colorado Open Records Act (CORA) is a rich source for original documents kept by governmental agencies. It’s very easy to use; email or write to the agency and they then have three days to respond and up to 10 days to schedule you for an examination of the records you request. Be sure to ask for a list of the documents they are not going to let you see, with details about what and why.

Show up for the appointment and they will likely sit you down in a room with the documents and a person to watch you. Take your time, go through the documents, and select those you want copied. They make the copies and charge you 25 cents for each page. They bring you the copies, you pay, thank them and leave. (Note: The Mayor’s Office, at which I have a pending CORA, has mentioned charging for “research time”.)

Thus it was that I obtained, in my effort to document exactly what is filling Grasmere Lake in Washington Park and Ferril Lake in City Park and irrigating the fields in those and various other parks, a complete copy of the current Industrial Wastewater Discharge Permit for the Lowry Landfill Superfund Site by the Metro Wastewater Reclamation District. That’s quite a mouthful. Let them explain (from their website at http://www.metrowastewater.com/).


The Metro Wastewater Reclamation District is the wastewater treatment authority for most of metro Denver. It was formed by the Colorado state legislature in 1961 to provide wastewater transmission and treatment services to member municipalities and special connectors in compliance with federal, state, and local laws.

The Metro District serves about 1.5 million people in a 380-square mile service area that includes Denver, Arvada, Aurora, Lakewood, Thornton, Westminster, and more than 45 sanitation and water and sanitation districts.

The Metro District treats about 130 million gallons of wastewater a day and discharges the treated water into the South Platte River where it makes up nearly 90 percent of the River for nine months of the year.

So if you are an industrial entity, and you have some stuff you’d like to flush down the drain into the sewer system, you shouldn’t just flush it in the dark of night. Instead, you should apply for and receive an Industrial Wastewater Discharge Permit (I understand that over 200 such Permits have been issued). The Lowry Landfill Superfund Site (LLSS) is such an entity, and they have a lot of “stuff” they want to flush. Thus, they have obtained the Permit and I have obtained a copy of it.

In this series I intend to analyze this Permit and outline the details of exactly what is going into our lakes and onto our parks. I hope you’ll stick with me as this is a complex story, but your health and welfare may very well hinge on the details. Remember the Dead Ducks.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Zoo - Festival Wrapped Up?

Thanks again to Dave Felice who has written and posted letters to officials in the Zoo - AEG Music Festival standoff at www.savecitypark.org. Here's his latest summary. CONCERT ORGANIZER "MAD" ABOUT ZOO DECISION HANDLING In its edition of December 21, the Rocky Mountain News quotes concert organizer Chuck Morris as saying he's "mad about...the way it was handled," referring to the Denver Zoo decision to withhold support of a music festival Morris proposed to stage in City Park. According to the newspaper story by reporter Daniel Chacon, "(M)usic promoter Chuck Morris, president and CEO of AEG Live Rocky Mountain Division, said he respects (Zoo Director Craig) Piper's decision but wished he (Piper) would have made it known sooner." Chacon's story goes on, quoting Morris: "We (AEG) met with them (Zoo officials) September 12 and never was any major problem . . . about the sound brought up." The leader of the Denver Zoo for nearly four decades, Clayton Freiheit, died on October 28. The Zoo's Board unanimously named Piper to succeed Freiheit on November 29. In public meetings, Morris had stated that he understood the zoo was going through a "difficult time"and Morris indicated he was delaying further meetings with zoo officials. According to the Rocky Mountain News, Zoo representative Ana Bowie said Morris never told Zoo officials "that the decision to stage the two day event at City Park hinged on the Zoo." In neighborhood meetings, Morris said he would not go forward if the Zoo determined there would be risk to the zoo animals. In a statement provided to savecitypark.org, Piper said:"Unfortunately, there is no data to help us determine the potential additional impact to animals of extending the exposure to loud music to two-and-a-half days as proposed." Piper said zoo officials "discussed this with a number of our professional colleagues around the country who host music concert series at their zoos or who have them in adjacent park facilities. We have found a number of venues (which) allow music much louder than Denver and Denver Zoo currently allows, without ill effects, however,none of these concert series subject animals to multiple days of loud music." In each case, they host shorter performances and have decibel limits in place much like our current approach. Piper added, "(T)o our knowledge, there is no similar model where zoo animals have been exposed to extended loud music to help us determine how we could accomplish this safely in Denver." Citing "fundamental responsibility...to protect the animals," Piper concluded, "(the) Denver Zoo is unable to endorse the proposed music festival in City Park. We wish that it could be held at another more appropriate venue that would not risk the lives of the animals." After Piper notified city officials of his decision, Anschutz Entertainment issued a statement saying the organization would be"exploring alternative locations" for the proposed festival. Earlier,in at least one public meeting, Morris said "there was no second choice" to City Park. In its statement, Anschutz Entertainment representatives say they arranged for promoter Howard Pollack to meet with Denver Zoo officials. Pollack has been staging the Music Series at the Oklahoma City Zoo for over 20 years. According to AEG, Pollack and the staff of the Oklahoma City Zoo has not "had a problem with animal safety"during that time. Piper also expressed concern about the financial impact of the proposed festival, saying the Zoo could lose up to $300,000 over a weekend. The Rocky Mountain News reports Morris offered to compensate the zoo,quoting Morris as saying "We were talking about buying out the whole zoo for what they averaged that weekend." District 8 Councilwoman Carla Madison, a member of the Public Amenities Committee, was the only member of the Denver City Council to express support for the festival plan. Madison appeared in a video prepared by AEG before the proposal was presented to the public.There was no immediate comment from Madison following the Zoo's decision. Madison's district includes City Park. Other animal welfare organizations, such as the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and the American Humane Association, have not made any public comment on developments in Denver. The full text of the Rocky Mountain News story is available at RockyMountainNews.com. The statements by AEG and Craig Piper are both available at savecitypark.org.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Zoo Zaps Music Festival

NIMBY


The Ears Have It


Concern for the safety of the Zoo animals has brought sanity to the City Park area in Denver, Colorado.

Anschutz Mile High Music Festival organizers and local politicians have been notified that the Denver City Zoo cannot endorse or support the Music Festival in City Park.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Keeping Up With the Festival Buzz

Carla was right about one thing, the neighbors are buzzing about the proposed Mile High Music Festival at City Park next year. I've heard all kinds of rumors, but nothing to report, yet. So I'll plug the Google Group at http://www.savecitypark.org/. If you sign up, you will automatically be notified of new postings. Plus, you can join in with your thoughts and posts. Pro and con equally welcomed. No cost, no gimmicks. Try it.

What If? Colorado - Part 3

Youtube Vidies Not Cheap! In an earlier post, I expounded on the questionable “What If? Colorado” advertising campaign conducted by Ground Floor Media to promote emergency preparedness awareness. The “What If? Colorado” campaign was funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The overall cost of the campaign was approximately $758,000. Quickly visiting each Youtube episode and noteing the total hits on each, I find a total of 6,525 hits spread across 21 episodes (at this date and time). Whoa Nelly! That comes to a cost of $116.17 per view. So if one person watched all 21 episodes, it cost S2,439.54 to make that person more aware. If, that is, it actually did. No post-tests were announced. My take: you could put together quite an emergency kit for that amount.

So let's all watch Episode 12, which got the least number of hits, and bring that cost down.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

National Nudist Group to Rent City Park in '09

(Warning: Satire ahead)

NANA Coming Soon

Mayor John Hickenlooper, in announcing a new city policy based on the ground-breaking AEG Mile High Music Festival, stated that City Park will be rented, in its entirety, to the National Association of Nudists of America (NANA) for the entire month of July, 2009.

“This respected group has a very gentle footprint, and will not damage the park or its amenities in any way,” said Hickenlooper, flanked by City Councilperson Carla Madison. Madison was instrumental in arranging the first large scale rental of a city park to Anschutz Entertainment Group, even appearing in their promotional film “To the Highest Bidder” which itself garnered numerous awards in the "Wool Over Your Eyes" category.

Promoter and long-time Denver booster Chuck Morris, accompanied by his lovely daughter, Brittany Morris of CRL Associates, was on hand to comment, “We did it first with the extremely successful Mile High Music Festival back in ’08. That Festival branded Denver as a city where you can git ‘er done. Despite the opposition of some who predicted dire consequences, our record of only 4 deaths and 1,266 cases of pollution-related illness out of over 150,000 attendees, still stands today as one of the safest Festivals in the country”.

Bob Dylan, who was often mentioned in the Festival promotion but did not perform at the Anschutz Music Festival was quoted as saying, “I’m Not There”.

Denver Zoo representatives, who were originally somewhat apprehensive of the Anschutz Music Festival because of the extremely loud music, joined in, “Even though many of the animals near the Music Festival border appeared to suffer deafness as a result, this has worked to their benefit, as they are no longer bothered by auditory disturbances. We feel that the NANA Festival, which will include the Zoo as part of the fair grounds, is even more compatible as the animals are already nude and will enjoy the nudity of the visitors.”

Denver Water officials, also on hand at the press conference, stated reassuringly, “Even though we’ve had to raise the levels of Lowry toxins in the effluent mix since last year, participants will have nothing to worry about as long as they do not actually eat the grass or drink the lake water. Merely rolling around nude in the grass or swimming in the lake will not result in increased levels of risk above established tolerance levels.”

Hickenlooper, nationally known as the Businessman Mayor, concluded, “We’ve been able to raise far more money than we’ve paid out in lawsuit settlements with our new “Everything’s For Rent” policy. Nudity in City Park will bring joy to the surrounding community and provide an even greater opportunity for our citizens to engage in entrepreneurial activities. After all,” he quipped, “it’s all about having fun while making money.”

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Anschutz in City Park: This Just In…

My backyard this morning - Peaceful

Thanks to Dave Felice (see YouTube, below), who describes himself as "The Loyal Opposition to the Anschutz Invasion", for these dispatches:
______________________________________________________

If you have time, you may want to attend the meeting the City Council's Public Amenities Committee next Monday afternoon.

This is the first time the proposed Anschutz music festival in City Park will "officially" come before city council members.

The Public Amenities Committee meets at 3:15 p.m., Monday, December 3, in Conference Room 391 of the City and County Building, 1437 Bannock. The meeting is open to the public.

The committee is chaired by Councilwoman Peggy Lehmann. Committee members are Councilwomen Marcia Johnson, Jeanne Robb, and Carla Madison.

For additional information, contact Clerk of City Council at 720-865-9534.

______________________________________________________

From: Brittany Morris
Cc: Chuck Morris
Sent: Thu, 29 Nov 2007 7:34 pm
Subject: City Council Committee Meeting Cancellation re: Mile High Music and Arts Festival at City Park

Good evening, everyone.

We are still fine-tuning the proposed agreement between the City and County of Denver and AEG Live regarding the proposed Mile High Music and Arts Festival at City Park. As a result, we put in a meeting cancellation request to the committee chairperson and she has agreed to cancel next Monday’s 3:15 pm Denver City Council Public Amenities Committee presentation (12.03.2007). We will be back in touch with you once it has been rescheduled.

To City Council Members and Neighborhood Association Presidents: If you wouldn’t mind forwarding this message to interested constituents and community members, we’d greatly appreciate it.

Thanks again and, as always, please feel free to contact us at any time with questions or concerns at this email or 303-592-5458.

Best wishes,

Chuck Morris, President & CEO, AEG Live’s Rocky Mountain Division

Brittany Morris, Vice President, CRL Associates, Inc.
______________________________________________________


From Dave Felice
Saturday, Dec 8, 11:00 am

The Public Amenities Committee meeting has been postponed "indefinitely". Something about CRL having trouble getting the contract ready.

______________________________________________________

Sounds to me like the Anschutz lawyers are working overtime.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Queen Carla

Those of us who sat through years of meetings with Carla Madison when she was pretending to be the President of City Park West Neighborhood Association recognize the autocratic streak making itself apparent in her new role as primo pimp for the Anschutz Entertainment Group. I say pretending because for the last 4 years of her reign at CPWNA most of the rules established in the by-laws were abandoned. No minutes of the meetings were kept. No proper elections were held – Carla was reappointed by proclamation. Money was improperly transferred into Hubby Paul’s accounts. In short, Queen Carla did what she wanted to do on the road to Councilhood. So it is not surprising to see her jump so quickly into bed with the PR firm of CRL, a major Madison contributor and our new “out-sourced” arm of government (which ran the wildly successful Dancing Letters campaign for Hickenlooper.) But I was surprised to see Carla’s smiling face in the promo movie for Chuck and daughter Brittany Morris’s grand Anschutz Experiment. So blatant. So in your face. The question has not yet been put to Council and Carla is in the movie! She just doesn’t get the concept of conflict of interest. “Hey, we can get branded!” she says in the movie, tossing around the jargon of the PR crowd. Their main argument is that we can all make money. Chuck: “You guys can sell parking spaces.” Do you need a license from the City to do that? “Hey, nobody pays attention to those rules.” Well, paying attention to the rules is what it’s all about if we are to have a civil government that benefits us all, and not just the billionaires and their sycophants among us. Carla is proposing to “facilitate” the committee to decide where the Anschutz “community” money goes. Har har. We’ve seen that kind of “facilitation” before. Would this be for some kind of "arts" project?

Hi neighbors! Well, the Mile High Music and Arts Festival is all the buzz as I'm sure you've heard! One of the things that is being talked about is the $1/ticket that AEG Live proposes to donate to a non-profit organization (specific organization to be determined) to solely benefit the neighborhoods surrounding City Park in a gesture to "share the wealth" and because we will be such an integral part of the success of this festival. One point of discussion is how that money is going to be distributed amongst the groups or how we think it might best be spent and what mechanism should be used. The thing that has been agreed upon by those of us who have been engaged in these conversations is that we need to pull a group together of two representatives from each group so that we can have a good conversation or two about how this all should be done. I agreed to facilitate this and I think that we should hold our first meeting after the first of the year and after the legislation goes through council that decides whether this Festival can happen or not. I'm giving us all plenty of time to arrange this, I'm thinking Jan 10, the second Thursday, around 6, probably at my office. I do not think this date conflicts with any regularly scheduled neighborhood meetings. Do some talking and see which two representatives from each group would like to participate. I know you are already being asked to send representatives to the Parks and Rec meetings about the parameters of charging for events in the Parks, and to participate on the AEG Live hosted Mile High Music and Festival Community Advisory Committee. The need for this group could be fairly long term though the representatives can certainly change. Please let me know if his night works for a couple of representatives from each of your groups. Thank you! Carla Madison
Queen Carla never knew how to properly run a neighborhood association. How could she be expected to run a Council district?
Madison made no comments at the CPWNA meeting on Nov. 27,
but she had plenty of body language to spread around.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

I Love Rock and Roll, But Not in the Effluent

I've walked to City Park hundreds of times over the years, seen it degenerate slowly, seen it get improved and then fixed up. Had many good picnics there, but no more. For the first 20 years or so of my City Park experience, no sales were permitted in the park, and even our own People's Fair was kept out. Think about that: our Fair was kept out of our park. Then the Black Arts Festival was allowed in (stay on the asphalt), and shortly thereafter the City Park West Arts and Music Festival, but it was eventually pushed to the Esplanade in front of East High to bake. Then the kids weren't allowed to play soccer during the most recent drought, because it was ruining the grass. But then, we the people, voted to borrow money to fix it up. Ferril Lake was drained, bottom repaired, new light display, walls, actual sidewalks, wow! And a huge weird underground flood catchment was built for floods I had never seen to flush into the Lake. And then, big mistake. A system of purple pipes was installed at a cost of $180,000,000 to disperse the sewage effluent plus industrial toxic waste of the Major Polluters at Lowry through a 17 mile pipe and on to a third level of treatment; holding ponds (our lakes) and dispersal on the grass (our park fields) for the next 50 years. I know, it seems too sick to be true. But once you've read the documents, there is no other conclusion, regardless of what Denver Water puts up on its site. So, now, into our City Park, where even the hardy mallards die, and the squirrels had bubonic plague this summer, Phillip Anschutz, the richest guy in these parts by far, worth a conservative $10,000,000,000, wants to bring a crowd of 50,000 per day for three days to party down? at a cost of "upwards" of $75 per person per day? Imagine 50,000 beer-sotted rockers, getting down with the loud sound. And then, oh lordy, when the party breaks up at 10:00 pm are the rent-a-cops going to protect your yard? Do you think this stoked crowd is going to get back on their buses in an orderly fashion? Colfax and surrounds, get ready to part-tay! Have I lost my mind? Did we fix this park up so it could be rented to the rich guy to make even more money? He made his first money in oil and real estate, then railroads, founded Qwest, now theaters, films, and ........wait.............rock concerts? This conservative Republican religious rich guy wants to hold rock concerts in the fragile ecosphere of City Park, our beautiful open-air atrium next to the zoo? Where the kids weren't allowed to play soccer? _____________________________________________ I know the zoo folks are aware of the hyper-hearing that many animals have, even outside the range of our hearing. Certainly they wouldn't just let AEG set up giant speakers on the zoo border, would they? Without running tests? PETA? When Mayor John Hickenlooper said he was a businessman, I didn't imagine that he would be in the business of renting out City Park to Anschutz to use as a giant beer-stand. A giant beer-stand in a polluted park. Sad. _____________________________________________ We already have music in our lovely chemical-laden park, at just about the level we like. Now, maybe we could expand that to a weekly music festival, including rock. Of course we'd have to stop the effluent spraying, and we would have to keep it small, so as not to chrush those "standing silently" in the ecosystem, and those locked up in near-by zoo cages. Go to the forum at http://www.savecitypark.org/ if you have something to say or learn on this issue. Most always the pessimist, this time I'm optimistic. I think the train with 50,000 fun-loving partyers can be stopped. The Anschutz Group will figure out that the sewage effluent risk is too large. Forget about the diluted blackwater, the e. coli alone will make the lawyers blanch. They will write off the $2 million spent so far and fold their tent. We will avoid branding. Otherwise, stand back, it's the Anschutz Invasion of the Affluent into the Effluent. For your viewing enjoyment;
AEG Proposal - Part 1 (9:04) AEG Proposal - Part 2 (2:01) Dave Felice - Wrong Venue (5:32) Sorry Dave, its been going on for years.

Correction

I’ve been using the term “greywater” to describe the sewage effluent plus Lowry concoction coming down the purple pipes to our fields and lakes. This is not correct. Greywater is the name for domestic used water. The correct name for water with toxic chemicals in it is blackwater. Diluting blackwater with sewage effluent does not make it graywater. It’s still blackwater. “Dilution is not the solution to pollution.” From Wikipedia (new rule – always check Wikipedia first) Greywater, sometimes spelled graywater, grey water or gray water and also known as sullage, is non-industrial wastewater generated from domestic processes such as washing dishes, laundry and bathing. Greywater comprises 50-80% of residential wastewater. Greywater is distinct from blackwater in the amount and composition of its chemical and biological contaminants (from feces or toxic chemicals). Greywater gets its name from its cloudy appearance and from its status as being neither fresh (white water from groundwater or potable water), nor heavily polluted (blackwater).

Monday, December 3, 2007

Branded and Put on the Map

Chuck Morris, resident of Park Hill and long-time Denver music promoter, has been visiting many of the neighborhood community associations and groups to promote a three-day Anschutz Entertainment Group Live music festival in City Park. While Chuck and his daughter Brittany, Vice-President of CRL, put on a professional presentation, some were skeptical that City Park was the appropriate venue for 50,000 people per day to spend three days rocking and rolling. Amazingly (to me) Councilperson Madison was already on board and in the promo movie, even though the proposal has yet to be presented to Council. Oh wait, CRL people donated at least $3000 to Madison's campaign. I was naive enough to think that she was going to find out what her constituents thought before she decided. Silly me. Given the toxic mix of sewage effluent (see Effing Effluent) that is being sprayed on the grass and used to fill up the lakes (see Tertiary Treatment ) it may not be a good idea. Some parents who know about the sewage effluent are not even letting their kids play soccer on the fields.

Sci-Fi Theater

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Who Is Phillip Anschutz Anyway? Part 1


From Wikipedia:

Anschutz, a Republican donor and avid supporter of George W. Bush's administration, has been an active patron of a number of religious and conservative causes:

Helped fund Amendment 2, a ballot initiative designed to overturn a Colorado state law giving equal rights to homosexuals.[6]

Helped fund the Discovery Institute, a think tank based in Seattle, Washington that promotes intelligent design and critiques some theories of evolution. [6]

Supported the Media Research Council, a group responsible for nearly all indecency complaints to the FCC in 2003.[6]

Be careful who you party with.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

What is in the Effing Effluent?



We've been blogging about squirrels with bubonic plague, ducks dying of botulism, lake bottoms being replaced, and the Effing Effluent (tm) a.k.a. recycled water, sewage effluent or greywater, i.e. the stuff which is being sprayed on the fields and filling up the lakes. But what is actually in it?

I was finally able to obtain a copy of the original (thanks to the indefatigable Adrienne Anderson,) Industrial Wastewater Discharge Permit No. 1-118 granted by the Metro Wastewater Reclamation District to the City and County of Denver and Waste Management, Inc. to "discharge treated groundwater and incidental operational wastestreams through the outfall(s) identified herein to the sanitary sewer system, in accordance with the effluent limitations, monitoring requirement and other conditions set forth herein." In other words, what they can flush into the sewer system, and thence on to the "recycling" plant.

Notes:

1. Aurora is included in this system, and I am leaving it out to simplify the overview.

2. All of this is from the original agreement. I have not yet been able to obtain a copy of the current agreement, but I understand that the limitations have been increased.

3.The list below is just the ingredients that are monitored and regulated. There may be other contaminants.

4. Below the list are copies of the actual document, where the detail-oriented can find the actual numerical limits.



Non-Radioactive Pollutants

1,1-Dichloroethane
1,1-Dicholoroehylene
1,1 1-Trichloroethane
1,1,2-Trichloroethane
1,1,2,2-Tetrachloroethane
1,2-Dichloroethane
1,2-Dichloroethene (trans)
1,2-Dichloropropane
1,2,4-Trichlorobenzene
1,4-Dioxane
2,3,7,8-TCD (and congeners)
2,4-D
4,4-DDT
Acetone
Acetophenone
Acrylonitrile
Additive Limit
Arsenic (total)
Benzene
Beryilium
BETX
Bis(2-Ethylhexy)Phthalate
Cadmium
Carbon Disulfide
Carbon Tetrachloride
Chlorobenzene
Chloroform
Chromium (total)
Copper (total)
Cyanide (total)
Ethylbenzene
Ethylene Glycol
Heptachlor
Lead
Manganese
Mercury
Methylene Chloride
Molybdenum
Naphthalene
Nickel
PCBs
Pentachlorophenol
Phenol
Selenium
Silver
Styrene
Tetrachloroethylene
Toluene
Trichloroethylene
Vinyl Acetate
Vinyl Chloride
Xylenes
Zinc

Radionuclides
Americium-241
Beta/Photon emitters
Cesium-134
Gross Alpha
Lead-210
Plutonium-238+239+240
Potassium-40
Radium-226+228
Strontium 90
Thorium-228
Thorium-230+232
Tritium
Uranium-234
Uranium-235
Uranium-238


(click to save or enlarge)









Friday, November 30, 2007

Missing Link


Here’s the “Trail of the Purple Pipes” map taken from the Denver Water website. It shows how sewage effluent is dispersed from the recycling treatment plant to various parks, schools and lakes through the $180,000,000 system. There is only one problem. They left out the 17-mile pipe that comes from the Lowry Landfill Superfund Site (so I added it). This missing link brings water so toxic that it could not be successfully treated on site at Lowry. By secret agreement, and for 50 years, it is being flushed to Metro Wastewater sewage plant, where, by the way, it is not actually treated but merely mixed with the actual sewage effluent. And then piped to a Denver Water facility (the Denver Water Recycling Treatment plant), where it is flocculated.

Now that’s just crazy. But to add insult to injury, this is the water (sewage effluent) that is allowed to have measurable amounts of e. coli in it. This is insane.

Get this water out of our lakes and fields, and especially, get it out of the Bruce Randolph School yard. We adults can avoid the toxic parks and lakes, but the kids are forced to go to school.

This is actually a criminal enterprise designed to disperse this collection of untreatable toxic waste, produced by the biggest polluters in the state of Colorado, onto our parks and lakes. WTF!

Coming soon: So what's actually in this effing effluent?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Anschutz and Denver’s Grand Experiment

(Warning: satire ahead)

Hickenlooper and Madison Cooperate to Arrange Large-Scale Experiment in City Park

Sewage effluent from Metro Wastewater, euphemistically called “effluent”, is being used to irrigate the lawns and fill the lake at City Park. This we know. What we don’t know, because no environmental impact study was ever conducted, is the effect this treated sewage water plus Lowry toxin is having on the creatures that inhabit the park, in particular whether or not exposure to the effluent can impair the immune system and provoke illness or death by "natural" causes.

In an effort to determine the effects of using this pollutant-laden water, squirrels were first enlisted. Many contracted bubonic plague and died after exposure. Although unsolicited, an adventurous monkey at the near-by zoo volunteered and gave his life for this phase of the experiment.

Next, ducks were pressed into service. A total of over 1000 of the wild quackers made the brave sacrifice to prove the effluent safe throughout the wastewater system, but perished from avian botulism in the process, after their immune systems were undoubtedly compromised.

Now, in a final effort to determine once and for all if this greywater concept is safe, humans will be enlisted for a three-day experiment in the park next summer. Phil Anschutz (billionaire) , long-known for his interest in science, John Hickenlooper (Denver mayor), an avid science-fiction reader, and Carla Madison (City Council), not so much into science but always willing to go along for the ride, have devised an extremely clever experiment to get to the bottom of this mystery.

During a three day period in July 2008, up to 100,000 brave humans will be enlisted to test whether or not the e. coli and chemical substances permitted in the sewage effluent irrigation and lake water by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, are sufficient to make them sick. After donating upwards of $75 each to help defray the cost of this massive undertaking, the human subjects will enter the experimental zone, fenced off and well guarded by over 300 off-duty police.

To make their experimental time more endurable, food and adult beverages will be provided, at prices unfortunately inflated by the risk factor involved. To help pass the hours necessary for proper exposure, music will be provided at many stages by civic-minded musicians, who will, themselves, risk exposure.

Experimental subjects will be encouraged to roll on the grass, eat food without washing their hands, and smoke a calming medication designed to make them lay back. According to Chuck Morris, Chief Coordinator of Experimental Design, this “laying back” is an essential part of the experiment, without which maximum exposure could not be attained.



Some subjects will be exposed to the sewage effluent in another manner. Fifty foot-high blasts from the water fountain, located in the center of the lake, will provide an aerosol spray of mist to bring individuals more directly into contact with the effluent.

Experimental zone boundaries will extend to the fence of the nearby Denver Zoo. Some animals will undoubtedly enjoy the tunes and dance to the music. Some, not so much.

Neighbors of the park, with some trepidation, have agreed to leave the experimental subjects alone, as they course to and from the experimental zone. “They told us some of the subjects may act like zombies, but we won’t mess with them unless they try to mess with us.” said one man, who stood in his yard with arms crossed in defiance, and asked not to be identified.

After the three-day exposure period, subjects will be required to report back to AEG Live, the optimistically named medical sponsor. Any illness or death attributable to the experiment must be promptly reported, and those affected (or their families) will receive large (unspecified) bonus payments, according to Morris.

Anschutz pointed out that this is the first experiment of its kind anywhere in the United States. Quoting the President of the United States, Anschutz summed it all up: “This will finally answer the question, “Is our families safe?”

Notes:
1.) It should be noted that although many subjects will and have been harmed in the conduct of this experiment, advancements in medical science and sewage effluent use will be well worth the price.
2.) Thanks to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment for providing the details of this rigorous experiment in Regulation 84, available online at www.cdphe.state.co.us/regulations/wqccregs/100284wqccreclaimedwater2007.pdf
3.) If you have read this far and do not realize this post is satirical, you should definitely not volunteer for the experiment, as you are already probably brain-damaged, and your participation could drastically skew the results.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Water Quality Issues

We'd all like to think that our water supply is free from deadly substances, but apparently not. Check out the following clips. I'm not going to go into all of the complicated history and details, as Anderson has already done that over at Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Crime in Your Denver Neighborhood










Now, finally, you can access up-to-date crime reports in your neighborhood from your computer.


Go here and enter your choices. Depending on the distance (50 to 5000 ft) you'll get a map like one of those above detailing the occurrence of crimes in the last 6 months. Thanks to the Department of Safety for letting us join the 21st century.


Some years back we had a "crime wave" in my neighborhood. My building was broken into 12 times in a few months by the same person (same m.o.). Others in the neighborhood reported similar crimes, but we had no way to get this kind of overview. Each break-in was reported, and each time a different detective would show up and take my story. There was no coordination, and no attempt was made to actually find the burglar. I learned then that these cases were called "stampers", i.e. stamped and put in a file. The fingerprints taken each time were not checked against any database, and were to be used only if a suspect was apprehended.


I was warned by one detective not to try to interfere with the buglar. If I hurt him, I would be sued by his family and they would "end up with my building". If he was a gang member, they would target me. The detective shrugged when I asked him what I was supposed to do.


Fed up, I waited up one night for this crack-head and finally, and regrettably, disregarding the advice I had been given, I took a shot at him as he was breaking into my basement. I missed.


The police responded very quickly to a "shots fired" report and took my gun away from me. The bullet had gone through the window and out into the neighborhood. (BTW, firing a .357 Magnum three feet from a concrete wall in the basement is not a good idea - I am partially deaf in my right ear as a result.)


I had to report to the Police Headquarters downtown the next day, and there I learned that I was now the suspect, ( in the illegal discharge of a weapon) not the burglar, and I also learned the details of the make-my-day law. Three criteria must be met: 1.) It must be a break in - if the burglar comes in through an open or unlocked door or window, it doesn't qualify, 2.) It must be your home, not your office or car, and 3.) (the easy part) You must fear for your life.


After a two-hour wait and a 15-minute interview, I was deemed to have qualified, and my gun (sans bullets) was returned.


This episode put me through some real head trips, and I was actually glad that I had not killed the man over a $100 microwave (although he had cost me over $12,000 in stolen items and damage by that time).


I was, however, pleased when I learned that a neighbor at 13th and Ogden had shot and killed him about two weeks later under very similar circumstances (one shot to the heart from a semi-automatic 9mm). As far as I know, the police were never able to identify the thief, because in his apartment he had nothing but stolen I.D.


This one thief had been responsible for hundreds of burglaries in my neighborhood, all within walking distance of his apartment, as he had no car. I tried to tell the detectives this, since he always took two trash bags to carry the loot. But no one was even trying to solve the crimes as far as I could tell. After his death, the "crime-wave" was over, and life went back to normal.


Hopefully this mapping system has allowed the detectives to more quickly apprehend the criminals. It has been in operation for a number of years, and they have now made it available to us.


Be alert - the world needs more lerts.


Sunday, November 11, 2007

More Bond Talk (Elevated from the Comments)

It's not every day that I get a comment from an esteemed blogger such as Andrew Oh'Willeke at Wash Park Prophet, plus a mention by another of my favorites, George in Denver. So I'll take this opportunity to elevate the discussion from the comments to the posts.

First let me thank Andrew Oh’Willeke for the comment in the post below. It is always reassuring to know that at least we bloggers are giving thoughtful consideration to each other’s posts.

But Andrew, I must take exception to your rejection of the premise that municipal bonds might be affected by the global credit freeze up. Complaints about the ordinate on the graph strike me as complaining about the alignment of the infamous deck chairs on the Titanic. As you know, changes in the dollar index are normally quite small, as vast amounts of currency are involved, thus the increments on the ordinate are small. The graph I included is just as it comes from the NYBOT site. Perhaps a more recent condensed version would convince you that the dollar is in serious decline.



As to your not being worried about the possible ramifications of this decline on the insurers of these muni bonds, I must confess I know only what I read. The day following my post the U.K. Telegraph published another article speaking specifically to your point about the possibility of AAA ratings (like Denver's current ratings) being affected. I quote:


The potential damage from any downgrade could stretch far beyond the companies themselves by lowering the credit ratings of the AAA bonds that they insure. This could force pension funds, mutual funds, and institutions to liquidate holdings on a vast scale, causing the credit crisis to spread into areas that have remained unscathed until now.
......


Matt Fabian, managing director of Municipal Market Advisors, said any downgrades would be a "crushing blow" to the municipal bond market. "I have never seen a crisis of confidence in insurers like this before," he said.

And from the broader world of financial commentary:

America is finished, washed up, kaput. Foreign investors and central banks around the world have lost confidence in US markets and are headed for the exits. The dollar is sinking, the country is insolvent, and its leaders are barking mad. That’s bad for business. Investors are voting with their feet. They’ve had enough. Capital is flowing to China and the Far East in a torrent.It’s "sayonara" Manhattan and “Hello” Tiananmen Square.


As to the "assurance of repayment being high because of the way property taxes are structured", would that be because the interest gets paid first? Even if the tax revenues fall because of foreclosure and default? Will Ritter's property tax freeze protect us or kill us?

Foreclosures in Denver per 1000 homes:

2nd quarter - 2006 - 5.92
3rd quarter - 2006 - 11.11
1st quarter - 2007 - 21.28


And another worrisome thought, what if there is a 40% cost overrun on these projects as there was on the previous bond projects?

I really don't think these bonds won't be sold, but at what price? I've seen the prime rate at 18% and house prices fall by 50%, right here in good old Denver (during the '80s recession). The current triple whammy of elevated real estate appraisals, property tax freeze, increasing foreclosure and default, and inflation (real) running at 12% (oh wait, that's a quadruple whammy), will have me squealing like a stuck pig on a fixed income.

Ah, time will tell. But right now I've got to get back to more pressing concerns. The leaves in my back yard are nearly a foot deep, and it's a beautiful day in Denver.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Bonds May be Issued, But Will They be Bought?

Looks like between 40 and 50 thousand (out of 210,000) voters decided to go for broke and rehab Denver all at once. As I said previously, we might as well borrow as much as we can now, because the US dollar is falling so fast, the dollars we pay back will be all shriveled and shrunken.

In case you hadn't noticed, our dollar has fallen 34% since Bush got in, 7% in the last month, and now, at about 8:00 pm this very evening (11/6/07), it appears to have fallen off a cliff.





And then there is this from the U.K. Telegraph:

Bond insurers set off fresh wave of credit panic
By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, International Business Editor
Last Updated: 12:43am GMT 07/11/2007

Fitch Ratings has threatened to downgrade a clutch of top US bond insurers in a move that could set off a fresh credit crisis and cause contagion across America's $2,400bn (£1,150bn) municipal bond market.

You see what I mean..."2.4 TRILLION municipal bond market" of cities borrowings. That's going to include us.

The total amount of our current Bond Boondoggle (tm) was decreased before it went before us on the ballot because of fears that a larger amount would not be able to get the highest bond rating. Now a ripple of lowered bond ratings could strike fear into the hearts of the funds that buy these bonds. A lower rating for Denver's bonds could mean a higher interest payment, so that the $1.1 Billion going to interest could be what....$1.6 Billion? Oh boy, here come da judge! The price is going up before we can even get this paper out the door!

Spread that cost of borrowing over the projects we actually plan to build/repair, and you've got yourself some pretty expensive projects, as old Joe Anderson so aptly pointed out. I can't help but wonder if those less than 25% of us who voted in favor would have done so if they had fully understood that each $100,000 project, using the current cost of borrowing figures, will cost $300,000, each $1,000,000 will cost $3,000,000, and so on.

Like many of the sub-prime buyers, we don't want to think about that part. We'll just keep making those payment, as long as we can, while the stuff we built and fixed up will be depreciating and running down.




Ooops, we should have thought of that.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Wes McKinley for Colorado House District 64

Representative Wes McKinley really doesn't need any "reincarnation" yet, but his friend, Billy Whitfield, Cowboy Poet and Musician, gives him a lesson anyway.

video

Saturday, November 3, 2007

From Pollution Crimes to Planetary Control


Regular readers know that Adrienne Anderson has been a strong voice in Denver and Boulder in uncovering the facts behind recent pollution related events in our parks, lakes and buttes. This lecture is free and open to the public. It's worth a trip to Boulder, and it could very well open your eyes. I'll be there videotaping.

Hot Topics Lecture Series
University of Colorado at Boulder
Humanities Building, Room 250
Tuesday, November 6th, 2007
6:30 – 8:00 p.m.

Sponsored by the Student Environmental Action Coalition

This is the lecture CU’s administration and some of its major polluting corporate donors don’t want you to hear. For speaking environmental truths to power, Adrienne Anderson, former 11-year CU Boulder faculty member, was ousted. Investigating faculty committees, the Colorado AAUP, and CU’s 2005 Tri-Executives have all called for her reinstatement. To date, CU’s administration has refused to reinstate her.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

What Are We? Idiots?

If I have to see those red letters prancing around again, I'm going to hurl. I note that the music in this derivative (rip-off) spot below is from Sick Puppies - how fitting.






Westword said it best:



Hickenlooper, I'm speaking directly to you now: What the fuck is up with the letters? No, I get it — each letter represents one of the nine parts of 1A-I that will go to maintenance and infrastructure projects at areas ranging from Health and Human Services to Cultural Attractions, but did you really think your boyish charm was enough to distract us from the fact that you think shoving a shitty Reading Rainbow episode down our throats will entice us to vote? Hick, we've come to expect better from you. You were the man who brought us the ads with you jumping out of a plane that got FasTracks through, and pumping coins into meters downtown that got you elected mayor, and that awesome one where you ate the Life cereal and your brother was all, "Hey, Mikey, he likes it!"

Those were great spots, but a bunch of letters prancing behind you? Do you have enough letters to spell, "Shit," Your Honor? Because that's what this campaign is.


Without organized opposition (who is going to spend millions to stop spending millions?), I resorted to this.






I saw one sign in Park Hill with "No" spray-painted on it.

And this from http://www.better-denver.com/




When a major bond issue last went before the voters, they were promised a $98 million dollar price tag.

Instead, they got $142.39 million price tag, according to figures from the Denver Post.

So how can we believe Denver city officials this time? They missed by 44% percent. Were they lying out of a venal convenience to sell their boondoggles to the voters, or simply incompetent? Remember these facts when the City of Denver spews forth this time.


And from Jessica Peck Corry:




Every day, the government poses grave threats to our economic liberty — massive tax increases sold in flashy publicly-funded advertising packages that would make most private firms envious. In the aftermath of passing 13 tax-and-fee increases over the last four years, Denver voters are now being asked to foot the bill for nine more at a total cost of more than $550 million. (Ed. Note: Make that $1.5 Billion repayment cost)

I'm forced to ask myself: What will stop my neighbors, friends, and fellow coffee shop dwellers from rubber-stamping higher taxes once again when the truth is outmanned and out-funded?

Our lives are filled with constant propaganda preaching the virtues of socialism. Mayors — past and present — eagerly lend their names to such causes. Former Mayor Wellington Webb now drives by his name atop the Wellington E. Webb Municipal Building, a massive monument to contemporary growth in government and home to at least 40 different government agencies. His predecessor, Federico Peña, passes his name on Peña Boulevard every time he drives to the city's airport, a project fraught with concerns about cost overruns.

Government monopolies are not to be outdone. Denver Water advertises across city billboards and in front yards across the city in its "Use only what you need" campaign. And to reward us for our conservation efforts, the city recently raised rates. In advertisements hanging from lamp posts around the city, a campaign promoting Denver Public Schools uses photos of children to promote its agenda. And finally, Xcel Energy sponsors more sporting events than the Monfort brothers.

So who can blame Denver's current mayor, John Hickenlooper, for wanting to get in on a piece of the action? Surely, he's got a building, a street, or maybe even a concert hall destined to carry his name one day.

No stranger to Denver's airwaves, Hickenlooper has become a fixture on evening TV commercials — pleading for more of our money this November as part of his nine-part "A through I" tax-and-bond package.

To achieve a "Better Denver", he points us to his campaign website, brought to us courtesy of a million-dollar budget complete with flashy commercials and full-color brochures. Not surprisingly, this is a campaign that has been funded almost exclusively by the same businesses and public cultural attractions that stand to benefit if taxpayers say yes.

Leading the way has been the city's science museum — shelling out more than $300,000 in cash and in-kind contributions. If Denver voters support measures 1G and 1H, the museum, together with the city's botanic gardens and concert hall, stands to gain more than $130 million in additional funding. Not surprisingly, Hickenlooper's ads never mention the total price tag.

The city will tell you it doesn't have enough money, but while Denver's population has risen less than 2 percent in the last four years, total city spending has skyrocketed by 13 percent. Even without Hickenlooper's tax increases, next year will mark a major milestone for Denver — the city's first billion-dollar budget.

And last, I resort to a replay from two real citizens:







Sunday, October 28, 2007

Come On Down to the Billion Dollar Bash.

“Well, I looked at my watch
I looked at my wrist
Punched myself in the face
With my fist
I took my potatoes
Down to be mashed
Then I made it over
To that million dollar bash
Ooh, baby, ooh-ee
Ooh, baby, ooh-ee
It's that million dollar bash”.

Bob Dylan "Million Dollar Bash"

Every time I can remember, in the past 30 some years, the Voters of Denver have chosen, after being ceaselessly battered with millions of dollars worth of TV ads, print ads, and at least 11 expensive mailers to me and my "household", to further burden ourselves with taxes, or give refunds away, for the enrichment of the banks and developers and, almost incidentally, to build us some cool stuff. These people have to earn a living too, but over ONE BILLION to the bankers and investors? On a half BILLION project. Yikes! Two for them and one for (some of) us. I feel like I'm taking my potatoes down to be mashed.

And wait! Just as a full-blown recession is blowing our way?

We like to think we’re different here in DEN, but this is going to be global, and there ain’t no easy way to avoid it. Already small pockets of homes here and there are going belly up in the loan scandal , strip malls are half filled with dollar or charity stores, giant banking cartels are trying to paper over the hemorrhaging paper, eggs are up 44% and milk 22%, and oh, by the way, remember what I said about heating costs? Expect a 33% increase there. And watch gasoline, harhar? Where's my electric scooter?

Am I punching myself in the face with my fist yet?

To say nothing of the dollar falling like a stone whilst being pumped and humped like a blow-up doll at the rate of 20% per year. Ouch it, hurts when you do that! And that's gentle compared to how other countries are pounding their doll(ar)s.

Imagine some of these Denver bond funded projects running wild. With a falling dollar, copper and commodities rising with Chinese price pressure, and the resulting cost of construction spiraling, will additional bonds be called for? or is that already built in?

And all with a falling and failing, over-assessed and foreclosed-upon, tax base. Cities, counties and countries can and do go bankrupt. The US did it in 1971 and we can do it again.

It may be the anticipated and planned way out for the manipulators.

Unfortunately, at our expense. There, that's a good punch.

P.S. What ever supplies you lay in now, you'll be saving money as the prices go up. And who knows, you may actually need the stuff you bought when the food and gasoline riots break out. You know, all kinda "Colorado What-If?"

Hey, I'm just sayin'.....

Bob Dylan - A Hard Rain

Friday, October 26, 2007

Not to Worry - We're Bigger Than Fish



From the Fort Morgan Times:

"The South Platte River is 90 percent wastewater below the city of Denver 90 percent of the year, according to Colorado University Integrative Physiology Professor David Norris.

-----
And although wastewater treatment plants don’t dump toxic water back into rivers and streams, the effluent contains chemicals that may have temporary or permanent effects on living organisms, including humans.

Norris said humans have created about 80,000 to 100,000 chemicals that never existed before on the earth. And although many have not been extensively studied, scientists have found that estrogenic chemicals added to the environment can lead to drastic abnormalities, including sex change.

Norris said estrogenic chemicals come from pesticides, fertilizers, livestock drugs, plastics, latex paints, detergents and cosmetics, among many others. Many of these chemicals end up in wastewater treatment plants, which pump the water back into rivers and streams.

“Basically, we find ourselves living in a sea of chemicals,” he said.

---------

Norris said that although he conducted the experiments with fish, all vertebrates have the same fundamental systems and hormones.

“Anything I say for fish is true for humans, and just about anything I say for humans is also true for fish,” he said.

Norris said that although the chemicals in effluent can have the same effects on people and fish, humans are at less risk because they are bigger than the fish and are not constantly immersed in chemical-tainted water."

Are you getting comfortable with the words "sewage effluent'? It's what is going into Grasmere - Washington Park and Ferril - City Park Lakes, to say nothing of watering our parks and fields.

But most of it goes back into the Platte. Read first person account here.

Justice Served

I went to Courtroom 10 in the City and County of Denver Building this morning to speak on behalf of a friend who had been arrested for “intent to distribute” marijuana. I was prepared to explain, but got no chance to speak, that I had met this young man when he and I were both trying to help a mutual friend, a Vietnam veteran, whose life, having been ruined by his military service, was rapidly disintegrating into mental and physical ruin. We had both showed up to clean the vet’s apartment. We hauled out months of trash, and did the best we could to clean up. I was impressed with this young man’s compassion for our mutual friend. Over the next year we often cooperated to help our friend. In time, we became friends. We met socially a few times and I was introduced to his wife, a beautiful person in her own right. They seemed to be a happy couple, with plans to improve their house in Park Hill and start a new business. This young man became a true friend when he came to see me after my own son died from pneumonia in 2005. I was truly impressed with his compassion and understanding during my time of grief. A rare trait, I thought, in a person in his thirties. Months later his wife called me to inquire about office space for her new business, leaving a message on my answering machine. The next day she was dead. I learned the details later. She had said she was not feeling well and had gone to bed. Checking on her later, my friend discovered that she was not breathing. In a panic, he put her in his car and drove to the hospital. At the hospital, he was told that she was dead and that nothing could be done. In total despair, he returned to his house. Within an hour the police showed up and began to search the house as a crime scene. This is standard procedure in an “unattended” death, i.e., not in a hospital. During the search, the police discovered quantities of marijuana and other “controlled” substances in his refrigerator. Thus, hours after the death of his wife, he was arrested and taken to jail. Later he was charged with 11 drug felonies. His wife was found to have died from natural causes. His house and cash were seized. He got a good attorney. He became very depressed and had himself committed. He received medication (drugs, including some of the same type for which he had been arrested) and counseling and was released. His house was sold and the police department got most of the money, but, through the efforts of his attorney, they left him enough to pay off the mortgage and rent an apartment. This morning he stood with his attorney to receive his sentence. The judge mentioned the severity of the case, and the range of possible sentence – from 4 to 16 years. He will have a review after 180 days in jail at which time the final sentence will be determined. Living through the last 50 years of failed drug prohibition as I have, thinking of the billions spent on the ridiculous notion that humans, after thousands of years of trying, can be prevented from getting high, watching as our civil rights have slowly been eroded under the pretext of this drug prohibition, and now rapidly erased with new laws to prohibit even thinking about “home grown terrorism”, and now further witnessing our war criminal President preparing to kill hundreds of thousands more in Iran with the power of his “Unitary Presidency”, I can only mouth the words, God Help Us All.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

CPWNA Rebirth

Our City Park West Neighborhood Association (CPWNA) met last night to continue consideration of its future. A good showing of over 20 people turned out to eat a hearty meal and hear guest speakers Watson, Rasheed and O'Connor (video to follow) give their advice on the basics of neighborhood organizing. Their combined wisdom was impressive. In contrast to the years of autocratic rule by now-Councilperson Madison, who finally, and belatedly, resigned as CPWNA president, new temporary chairperson Denise Meny has created an atmosphere where residents can speak freely and help determine their own destiny. The honest exchange of ideas and thoughts is a pleasant change from the past.

Overlay Railroad Derailed

The ability of a small group of people to impose their will on an entire neighborhood and have a zoning change implemented by the City of Denver has finally been curtailed. The zoning overlay in City Park West, proudly proclaimed by now Councilwoman Madison as her greatest accomplishment, would no longer be possible under the new ordinance (525) enacted by City Council on Oct. 22, 2007. In the case of our neighborhood, as I repeatedly stated back when Madison was running for office, approximately 130 out of 635 property owners (20%) voted to impose a zoning overlay called OD9 on 30 blocks in our neighborhood. Under the new ordinance 525, it will now take 51%. Thanks to Councilman Brown for getting this done. Perhaps in the future someone can challenge the OD9 in our neighborhood and get it overturned, since it was inherently unfair. Those applications still in the pipeline (Cole neighborhood?) will be considered under the old rules, but let’s hope that the minority will not be allowed to run the Overlay Railroad again. (Note: I was not able to view Council proceedings from Monday, but will when the video record is made available.)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Ducks Redux

First, let me give credit where credit is due: George in Denver has done a fantastic job of shedding more light on the story of the “Killing Fields” in Denver’s parks. His analysis and compassion are greatly appreciated. Secondly, let me again give credit to Adrienne Anderson. This woman has an intensity and singleness of purpose that will not be denied. Despite what she’s been through, she will just not give up. I went with her to the Webb Building to conduct the research of the records she cites below. This short video documents that excursion.

What follows are Adrienne’s comments (Oct 18) to George’s post. I’ve lifted them in their entirety in the hopes of creating additional exposure for her new findings. Once again, this is not her speculation. This is what her research revealed, in black and white, from the City’s own records. “Records obtained under the Colorado Open Records Act in September reveal that: 1) the city’s own personnel in 2004-2005 attributed the decline in water quality in City Park’s Ferril Lake to the 2004 switch to sewage effluent water (so-called “recycled water”). 2) Ferril Lake, according to the city’s own tests, did not meet state standards for lake water, and had elevated levels of several dissolved metals. 3) at the height of the duck deaths around Labor Day in 2007, the city, despite recommendations from its own staff, decided not to collect a water sample from the lake. 4) duck deaths at City Park’s Ferril lake were occurring “daily” during a period in 2005, prompting complaints that City Councilwoman Marcia Johnson advanced to the city’s Environmental Health division for response. At the time, the sole source of water to the lake was “recycled water” and this was in the same period, records show, that the lake did not meet water quality standards, as a result, the city staffers suggested, of the switch to the sewage effluent water. 5) e-mails among city officials revealed that they had extensive discussions about what to do about Claudia Cragg, an international investigative journalist who was pursuing the story for KGNU radio. The content of these e-mails, 100% of it, was blacked out. So much for the public’s “right to know.” 6) The City and County of Denver had a conflict of interest over this, as the owner of the Lowry Landfill Superfund Site, where they are the EPA-designated top liable party, along with the company Denver hired to manage it, the nefarious Waste Management, Inc. of reported mafia fame. 7) It wasn’t alleged by the public interest group conducting an independent investigation of the duck deaths that it was the radiation in the water that killed the ducks. There are hundreds of toxic and radioactive compounds at Lowry Landfill that are being released to the Metro sewage system that would not be treatable by the processes in place. The release of radioactive substances, including water miscible ones, is just the most outrageous aspect of the deal, that even plutonium is considered an “acceptable” element for release under the permit issued, and now going down in our town. Pick your poison(s). The city doesn’t bother to test for the full range of compounds in the effluent going to Metro Wastewater, or in the lakes now receiving the non-potable sewage effluent water. Neither does Denver Water. And if they do, they refused to release it pursuant to a Colorado Open Records Act request. Denver Water also attempted to refuse release of records awhile back claiming “Homeland Security” exemptions. Doesn’t that make you feel safer? 8) No test results have been released to date, now over 8 months later, of the duck carcasses reportedly collected for testing by the Division of Wildlife and US Fish and Wildlife Service when nearly 1,000 ducks drowned after floating into Metro Wastewater’s ponds, reported by wildlife rehabbers to be coated with a sticky slick substance “contaminants on their feathers” which caused the stripping of natural oils of the ducks feathers which allow them to float. Radiation in the water wouldn’t do that, but certain Lowry Landfill semi-volatile toxic substances would. Repeated calls to the agency get no response on the point and they all contradict one another about why no test results have been produced over the deaths of nearly 1,000 ducks at Metro Wastewater’s sewage ponds last winter. 9) Mass bird die-offs at numerous sites around the world have been attributed to botulism-related sewage waste-contaminated water. If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck…” Adrienne Anderson a2020@earthlink.net www.rmpjc.org/deadducks And lastly, now with the Sloans Lake fishkill of just three days ago, with its water coming directly from Coors, one of the biggest polluters of record, new evidence begins to surface that Denver’s parks and lakes are, indeed, becoming Denver’s “Killing Fields”. Are you starting to get it? The City of Denver is colluding with our largest polluters to get the toxic runoff off of their property and on to ours. The final stage in this process is the “tertiary treatment” facility – our lakes and parks, by contract, for the next fifty freaking years!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Take Pride with John McBride

I called John McBride this morning to ask if I could put the test footage we shot back in September up on this blog. The idea then was that we would videotape John's presentation to help him polish the message. It turned out that not much polishing was needed. The footage you see here was the first take. No rehearsal, no notes, no speech-writers. Just straight ahead, from the heart, McBride.

video

And while I had him on the phone, I asked about that "shoplifting" story making the rounds. A tube of Ben-Gay in his hand, it turns out, forgotten in his rush to get back to work.

If you want change in the public schools and believe that the people should have a say, vote for this guy. He's one of us.

For more info, go here.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Come On People...Smile on Your Brother

From the hard working Cone Zone Lady, Denise Meny:

Hello City Park Westers - PLEASE COME. Bring a dish if you like. Food will also be provided. Talk to and meet your neighbors.
City Park West Neighborhood Association Tuesday, October 23 at 6:30pm
Kaiser Franklin St. Building (Corner of 21st and Franklin)
Hyer Room (in the basement)
Agenda: - 6:30 to 6:50 Food, Socializing
- 6:50 to 7:15 Welcome and Update on Steering Committee Activities and Direction
- 7:15 to 7:20 Explanation of the Strategic Planning Process and Introduction of Guests
- 7:20 to 8:00 Great Neighborhoods in Denver Forum. Hear from 3 successful neighborhood association leaders about What their organizations have accomplished and How they did it.
- 8:00 to 8:20 Q and A, Discussion
- 9:00 Nighty Night
Let's THINK BIG as we plan for the future of the CPWNA!!
ALL ARE INVITED.
Please come; meet your neighbors and have your say. Food will be provided. If you'd like to bring a dish, please do.
Questions? Call 303-894-8838 or e-mail dmeny@qwest.net.

Friday, October 5, 2007

I've Been Busy...


Relaxing at the above undisclosed location. I'll be back next week.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Facts About Insane Pot Policy

From NORML.ORG: Marijuana Arrests For Year 2006 – 829,625 Tops Record High...Nearly 15 Percent Increase Over 2005 September 24, 2007 - Washington, DC, USA Washington, DC: Police arrested a record 829,625 persons for marijuana violations in 2006, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation's annual Uniform Crime Report, released today. This is the largest total number of annual arrests for pot ever recorded by the FBI. Marijuana arrests now comprise nearly 44 percent of all drug arrests in the United States. "These numbers belie the myth that police do not target and arrest minor marijuana offenders," said NORML Executive Director Allen St. Pierre, who noted that at current rates, a marijuana smoker is arrested every 38 seconds in America. "This effort is a tremendous waste of criminal justice resources that diverts law enforcement personnel away from focusing on serious and violent crime, including the war on terrorism." Of those charged with marijuana violations, approximately 89 percent some 738,915 Americans were charged with possession only. The remaining 90,710 individuals were charged with "sale/manufacture," a category that includes all cultivation offenses even those where the marijuana was being grown for personal or medical use. In past years, roughly 30 percent of those arrested were age 19 or younger. "Present policies have done little if anything to decrease marijuana's availability or dissuade youth from trying it," St. Pierre said, noting young people in the U.S. now frequently report that they have easier access to pot than alcohol or tobacco. “Two other major points standout from today’s record marijuana arrests: Overall, there has been a dramatic 188 percent increase in marijuana arrests in the last 15 years -- yet the public's access to pot remains largely unfettered and the self-reported use of cannabis remains largely unchanged. Second, America’s Midwest is decidedly the hotbed for marijuana-related arrests with 57 percent of all marijuana-related arrests. The region of America with the least amount of marijuana-related arrests is the West with 30 percent. This latter result is arguably a testament to the passage of various state and local decriminalization efforts over the past several years.” The total number of marijuana arrests in the U.S. for 2006 far exceeded the total number of arrests in the U.S. for all violent crimes combined, including murder, manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault. Annual marijuana arrests have nearly tripled since the early 1990s. "Arresting hundreds of thousands of Americans who smoke marijuana responsibly needlessly destroys the lives of otherwise law abiding citizens," St. Pierre said, adding that over 8 million Americans have been arrested on marijuana charges in the past ten years. During this same time, arrests for cocaine and heroin have declined sharply, implying that increased enforcement of marijuana laws is being achieved at the expense of enforcing laws against the possession and trafficking of more dangerous drugs. St. Pierre concluded: "Enforcing marijuana prohibition costs taxpayers between $10 billion and $12 billion annually and has led to the arrest of nearly 20 million Americans. Nevertheless, some 94 million Americans acknowledge having used marijuana during their lives. It makes no sense to continue to treat nearly half of all Americans as criminals for their use of a substance that poses no greater - and arguably far fewer - health risks than alcohol or tobacco. A better and more sensible solution would be to tax and regulate cannabis in a manner similar to alcohol and tobacco."

Saturday, September 22, 2007

From the Unsinkables, Inc.

"As you may be aware, the Police are asking for help. The body of a three year old girl needs to be found. If you live, work or are in the Capitol Hill area (6th Ave to 20th Ave and Downing to Speer), please check your dumpster, alley, trash containers and back yards. Apparently, she is in a black or white trash bag. This is a horrible thing to ask (and I pray you don't find her body - and I pray you do), but lets check before the trash trucks do their Monday morning pick up. This little girls' body needs to be found. If you find anything, call 911 or 720-913-2000. If you find her, try not to disturb any evidence. Thanks everyone for your help!!"
Read Rocky Mountain News article here.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Tertiary Treatment System for Lowry Polluters

Grasmere Lake at Washington Park, Denver, Colorado 9-19-07
Adrienne Anderson, Denver resident and published expert on Lowry Landfill pollution, explains how our new so-called “greywater” recycling system, brought to us via Metro Wastewater and the Denver Water Board (duck die-off 1/07), on to several of our Denver park greens and golf-courses, into Washington Park Lake (fish kill 7/06), and finally into City Park Lake (duck die-off 9-07), is in actuality a sewage effluent treatment system which also has the purpose of dispersing liability of polluters at the infamous Lowry Landfill Superfund Site southeast of Denver (where for the next 50 years toxic chemicals, metals and even radioactive wastes including plutonium are being released at “permitted” levels) to the public. Anderson is a walking encyclopedia of information on the subject, having spent 11 years as a University of Colorado teacher in Environmental Studies (dismissed because her ever-popular classes were suddenly cancelled), a short and explosive 2-year stint as a Metro Wastewater board member (appointed by former Denver mayor Wellington Webb to represent the sewage workers' health and safety concerns), years as the plaintiff in a whistleblower lawsuit in which she was awarded nearly $500,000 for damages done to her by Metro Wastewater officials in on the deal to flush Lowry Landfill into the public and at our expense, and subsequent years of frustration as the award was reversed by the then incoming Bush appointed agency officials and the dastardly deed was done anyway – in our backyard - the only one of its kind in the nation. This brief synopsis does not do justice to the facts, as convoluted, conniving, and corporate as they can be. Anderson is currently researching and writing for www.rmpjc.org, and still trying to get the word out. More to follow.