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.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Amy Goodman in Denver




Wow! Double Wow!! Amy Goodman rocks!

I went to hear Amy Goodman last night at the Central Presbyterian Church located at 1660 Sherman Street and sponsored by KGNU and KBDI Channel 12. I contemplated taking my camera but figured that KBDI would have that covered. I was surprised not to see any pro video cameras, but only a few individuals running personal tape.

Ms. Goodman is a pro. Her speech was flawlessly and forcefully delivered, covered an enormous number of topics, and (the content) made me want to puke. The current state of our country is perilously close to ruin. Can it be turned around? Amy obviously hopes that independent media can help that to happen. I do too.

I talked to a shirtless guy outside with a big plywood sign – AMY GOODMAN IV PRESIDENT. I thought he would be a kook, but he seemed intelligent and coherent. He just really loves Amy Goodman – his only source of truth these days. I agree.

Watch her on KBDI Channel 12 at 5:30 weekdays. And buy her new book - Static.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Lowry Landfill Runoff Becomes Greywater Effluent Then Piped to City Park Lake?

Referred to in the previous post, this is KGNU radio coverage of the press conference held on Sept 10, 2007 on the shore of Ferril Lake in City Park by the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center. As you listen you can scroll down to the written detail of the story. I am just starting to understand the backstory of collusion in the "old-boys club" of Government regulatory bodies and the large entities they "regulate". Hehe! I should have known.

video

If this sort of thing interests you, you should definitely read the brilliant 3-part series "Dirty Secrets" in Westword from 2001. However, we need an update. Westword? Coyote Gulch? We need some help here.

So where are those results from the January die-off? Ready in a "few weeks?" Inquiring minds want to know.

City Park Ferril Lake, Denver, Colorado

video

(Reprinted entirely from Press Release of 9/12/07 from Adrienne Anderson)

Or is it a government/corporate cover-up?

In the absence of a credible investigation by city, state and federal officials, some with overt conflicts of interest over the matter, the Rocky Mountain Peace & Justice Center, a membership-based non-profit organization with members throughout the Denver/Boulder metropolitan region and beyond, is investigating, and our preliminary findings cause major concerns, not only about the dead ducks and other wildlife, but about whether our tax-payer funded agencies are doing their jobs and conducting a proper investigation to abate the ongoing tragedy and wildlife emergency in Denver.

And a cover-up? YES, as evidence obtained in an RMPJC investigation and a years-long prior investigation by former University of Colorado at Boulder Environmental Studies instructor and whistleblower, Adrienne Anderson have unraveled through voluminous documents reviewed and obtained from official agency files.

In case you missed it, you can listen to the KGNU's Morning Magazine for September 10, 2007 for the report by international journalist Claudia Cragg, reporting about the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center's News Conference at Denver's City Park concerning the continuing crisis of duck deaths in Denver. The report aired is about 10 minutes into the half hour news program.

For the full statements made at the news conference by Adrienne Anderson and LeRoy Moore, Ph.D. of RMPJC, along with Joan Jacobsen, a member and former Co-Chair of the Citizen Advisory Board of the Lockheed Martin/US Air Force Restoration Advisory Board, which oversees the clean-up of the Superfund site cleanup at the Lockheed Martin complex soutwest of Denver (speaking individually) and Ron Forthofer, Ph.D., a retired scientist from the University of Texas School of Public Health, see the RMPJC website on the dead ducks issue.

Cragg's report and RMPJC's preliminary investigation, to date, have documented the failure of agency officials to properly address the wildlife emergency, given what RMPJC and other believe to be the most likely, though hidden source of the problem: the exposure of ducks and other wildlife to sewage water effluent containing toxic and radioactive wastes flushed to Denver's sewage treatment plant, and being re-routed to City Park lakes and other selected public areas in a controversial scheme unprecedented anywhere in the United States.

For further background on the controversial policy of redistributing Superfund-site laced sewage effluent water around to public water ways with only partial treatment, and what RMPJC believes to be the primary cause of the duck death crisis in Denver, read "Dirty Secrets," a three part series written by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Eileen Welsome, and a previous column by Adrienne Anderson, "Ducking the Issue" published in the Colorado Daily.

For still further background on the issue, please watch and listen to the Amy Goodman's "Democracy Now!" program "Recycling Plutonium: How the EPA is Dispersing Toxic and Radioactive Waste From the Lowry Landfill to the Sewage System and Onto Colorado Farmlands and Public Parks" aired and broadcast nationally on May 4th, 2004. (Note, Amy Goodman is coming to speak in Denver this Saturday at the Central Presbyterian Church at 7:30 pm). As also reported by Project Censored in 2000, who named this one of the Top Ten most underrported stories in the entire U.S. for the year 2000, this may also help to explain why the Dean Singleton-owned Denver Post and Scripps-owned Rocky Mountain News (and affiliated media, now also owned or affiliated with the 2006 merged media corporation Prairie Mountain Publishing Company that controls virtually all major print media along the front range) have refused to report about this, and failing to disclose in recent years their own secret role in secret deals - with scores of other polluters in this region - to flush their own toxic printing inks and solvents once dumped for years at the Denver-owned, Waste Management, Inc.-operated Lowry Landfill back into the public domain, in solution with wastes from Rocky Flats, the Rocky Mountain Arsenal, Coors, Shattuck, Martin Marietta (now Lockheed Martin) and nearly 200 other polluters, now being dispersed with only partial treatment by Denver Water to fill City Park lakes and routed to other parks and public areas.

The Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center has asked Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper for a response to our concerns, and has notified all Denver City Councilpersons (with no response, to date) now with our calls for the reversal of the controversial, nationally precedent-setting policy allowing toxic and radioactive Superfund site wastes mixed with sewage effluent water, with partial treatment, to be used for our public park lakes and other uses as "recycled water," given the predicted consequences which RMPJC strongly believes - based on our research - to be causing adverse effects and deaths in wildlife, ranging from mutated fish found downstream below Metro Wastewater, hundreds of dead ducks dying in and around Metro Wastewater's sewage treatment ponds in the winter of 2007 and the current crisis, still continuing, of large numbers of ducks succumbing and drowning in City Park lakes, in the heart of Denver, and near the city's zoo.

For further information about this issue, keep in touch with us at RMPJC. We need your support to get to the bottom of this issue, conducting an independent investigation for protective action, wildlife protection and public health.

For further information, contact: Adrienne Anderson, Coordinator The Nuclear Nexus: Working to End Local Hazards and the Global Threat Rocky Mountain Peace & Justice Center (303)444-6981 (message) Web: http://www.rmpjc.org/ E-mail: aa_rmpjc@earthlink.net

Saturday, September 8, 2007

We can be just like Texas!

(from www.Norml.org) Texas: Cops Say They Will Continue To Jail Minor Pot Possession Offenders Despite New Law Austin, TX: Many Texas law enforcement personnel say that they will continue to arrest and jail minor pot offenders, despite the enactment of a new state law granting police the option of issuing a citation in lieu of making an arrest. "Marijuana is an introduction to more dangerous drugs and we are going to keep fighting drug use of any kind as long as I am in office," Lamar County Sheriff B.J. McCoy told news outlets this week. "They are going to jail no matter how much they’ve got." Numerous district attorneys and police throughout Texas have issued similar statements. By contrast, law enforcement in Travis County and in the city of Austin have said that they will comply with the new law – which is intended to reduce jail overcrowding. Passed by the legislature this summer, House Bill 2391 grants law enforcement the discretion to issue a citation mandating local individuals who commit specific Class A and/or Class B misdemeanor crimes to appear in court. An arrest warrant will be issued for defendants who fail to appear in court by the date specified in the citation. Under Texas law, possession of up to four ounces of marijuana is a misdemeanor offense punishable by up to one-year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000. Individuals who sell less than one-quarter ounce of cannabis are also guilty of a misdemeanor. The possession and/or sale of larger quantities of cannabis are felony offenses. "Law enforcement officers are fond of alleging that they don’t make the laws – they just enforce them," NORML Senior Policy Analyst Paul Armentano said. "However, when it comes to the subject of marijuana, we’ve seen time and time again that police not only make the law and enforce the law, they also ignore the law when it suits them to do so." According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, of the 62,741 persons arrested in 2005 (the last year for which data is available) for marijuana violations, 61,076 of them (97 percent) were for possession offenses. House Bill 2391 was signed into law by Republican Gov. Rick Perry in June. The law took effect on September 1, 2007.

Friday, September 7, 2007

City Park West Neighborhood Association Rises Anew

(From the flyer.) What Matters To YOU???? Do you live or work between Colfax and 23rd Avenues; between York and Downing? Yes?? Then you are within the boundaries of City Park West. City Park West Neighborhood Association is re-forming. If you have concerns, opinions, plans or ideas about what makes a good neighborhood, YOU’RE INVITED!! What: A get-together to discuss the future of City Park West Neighborhood Association When: Wednesday, September 12 at 6:00 pm Where: On the patio at The Cone Zone (22nd and Humboldt). Light snacks and ice cream will be provided but if you can bring a dish to share, please do. ALL ARE WELCOME.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

What If ? Colorado - Part 2

It took a little digging, but I finally found the info - What Did "What If? Colorado" Cost? (See earlier post.)


The “What If? Colorado” campaign is funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The overall cost of the campaign is approximately $758,000.

About “What If? Colorado”
The Office of Emergency Preparedness and Response of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has developed a new statewide eight-month campaign titled “What If? Colorado” to inform citizens, increase the number of Coloradans who receive influenza immunizations and encourage residents to assemble an emergency preparedness kit for their homes.



Is there more to be discovered about "Groundfloor Media", its founder Laura Love, and the 23 beautiful young women on staff? I'm not making any allegations here, just wondering.

And yes, GFM does have an office in Washington, D.C.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Cake Crumbs





Check out those blueberry scones in the foreground - my favorite.

Yes, we're being given crumbs again, but this time in the form of fantastic baked goods at the new shop at 1422 E 22nd Ave, down from the Cone Zone. Sean and Denon Moore opened the Cake Crumbs bakery a few weeks ago, just on week-ends for now. Don't fret, their on-line bakery will make it easy to get those special orders, 24/7.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

What If? Colorado

So I get this email from Carla Madison, our new City Council person in District 8, announcing that there are two days left to create a videotape audition to enter something called "What If? Colorado". Somewhat baffled at first, I read the details:

The Office of Emergency Preparedness and Response of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment are seeking adventurous Denver residents over the age of 18 to audition for the “What If? Colorado” reality competition. This unique reality competition will pit Colorado residents from across the state against each other as they learn how to prepare for and survive a variety of “disaster” challenges – all while uncovering the easy steps Coloradans can take to protect themselves from emergencies out in the “real world.”

So, its a competition for a new "reality show". Okaaaay.... and then what?

From September 1-4, Colorado residents can vote online at WhatIfColorado.com to select semi-finalists; and from Sept. 5-11 Colorado residents can vote online for their favorite finalists. Finalists will be announced on September 12. The house competition will be held at The Gregory in Denver from Thurs., Sept. 20 through Sun., Sept. 23 where the finalists will live together and confront a series of “challenges” designed to test their emergency preparedness skills and their knowledge of a variety of potential disasters that Coloradans could face -- such as a severe blizzard, a public health emergency or an extended power outage.

"held at The Gregory"? Oh, I've been by the place - interested in what a Bed and Breakfast in Curtis Park would look like, right across from the (new) low-income housing on Arapahoe at 25th St. They took two old Victorians and spliced them together. Innovative.



Apparently this boondoggle is being funded with Federal and State money going to PR firm Ground Floor Media. I can only guess at the amount of money being spent here, and only wonder, slack-jawed, at the who, what and how of the details.

I am sure the resulting reality show will be instructive. Instructive in how to waste public (and private?) money. I know I'll be waiting in eager anticipation to see what I should do in the event of a disaster.

(For example, What If? Colorado had a sub-prime mortgage meltdown and thousands of families were tossed into the street as their houses went into foreclosure? What would these kids do? OMG, get out the (Eldorado) bottled water.)