Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Thursday, September 24, 2009
… the scientists analyzed those variations and how climate, power generation, transportation, waste processing, and other factors contributed to the differences. Denver had the highest overall GHG emissions, with levels two to five times higher than other cities. Its high levels were due partly to its high use of electricity, heating and industrial fuels, and ground transportation, they note. Los Angeles was second on the list, followed by Toronto and Cape Town (tied for third), Bangkok, New York City, London, Prague, Geneva, and Barcelona.Go here for the gory details.
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Monday, September 21, 2009
Living as I do across York from East High, I can often hear the music from events on the esplanade. Loud rock and roll will entice me everytime. Saturday was no exception as the tunes called me out. The Colfax Cruise event and the Colorado Cruise Band provided a great afternoon diversion. These folks are seriously into cars.
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Saturday, September 19, 2009
Being a rabid YouTube poster, I often troll the cloud looking for video of current interest. See what I found for Sen. Michael Bennet. (Double click on the video to go to YouTube for more info.) Bennet supports a public option.(BennetForColorado) Impromptu Town Hall Meeting (carolyncriss) Update: Bennet Meet and GreetOpen Meetings Law (24-6-401+) which covers all the details. This law states that “Social Gatherings and chance meeting are exempt from open meetings regulations if discussion of public business is not the central purpose.” So does a "meet and greet" qualify as a social gathering? I’m not sure, but I think that who gets elected is "public business". From a campaign perspective, I would think that getting the word out would be the primary consideration. Senator Johnston readily agreed that it was okay to videotape in his house, but said that Senator Bennet should give his approval first. Senator Bennet was not yet present, so I asked a very young staff worker who said he would “have to ask his boss.” The meet had been originally scheduled to be from 5:00 - 7:00 pm, but yesterday that was changed to 5:00 - 6:00 pm. At about 5:20 I went to my van and got the camera, so I would be prepared when Senator Bennet showed up. As I approached with camera at the ready, I was met by staffer Adam Dunstone. I explained who I was to Dunstone, a friendly young man, who informed me that that he could speak for Senator Bennet, that I could not videotape because this was a private, not a public event. He was very polite, almost apologetic, said it was nothing personal and hoped I would understand. I asked if he had read the Open Meetings Law, and he said no, he hadn’t. I said that I could understand his reluctance, as I had seen the video (above) of the Impromptu Town Hall. He said that they had been “hijacked” on that one. He walked back with me as I returned the camera to my van and reiterated that he hoped I understood. He said that they had to be wary of “Republican trackers”, but that he wasn’t accusing me of being one. He added that campaign staff would do "internal" videotaping, and later, after I went inside, I did see a person with a small HD camera shooting shaky handheld footage. Senator Bennet, standing on the stair landing in the front room, spoke to the very polite and courteous group of about 50 nice looking, mostly young folk. He discussed various issues, including, of course, health care, and did what I considered a good job of presenting himself and his ideas. No one shouted anything out. (I could have pulled a “hijacking” and recorded the audio on my new pocket-sized Sony Webbie, but decided against it.) I rely on videotape to capture the moment because I am not good at taking notes in real time. I also want to present as unbiased a point of view as possible. I believe that the tape speaks for itself. Those familiar with my videos may also note that I rarely edit a speech internally, and usually try to present the whole speech without cuts (no matter how boring). Senator Bennet would have actually been doing himself a favor had he allowed me to shoot, as it would have been a great counter to the “Impromptu” piece posted above. As I left, I said to Adam, the staffer, “In my experience, people do more harm when they disallow press coverage than they would have done had they allowed it.” Strangely, he agreed. In truth, I do not understand public officials who want to disallow videotaping of their talks. My presentation would have been unbiased coverage for the purpose of allowing those who were not there to see what happened. I considered waiting on the sidewalk to ambush Senator Bennet when he left, maybe shouting out “Why are you afraid of videotape?”, but that’s really not my style. I’m just trying to capture the photons. (In posting this update, a link to this ad, entitled "Beat Senator Bennet" popped up on one of YouTube's entry pages. Check out the clickable links in the ad.)
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Wednesday, September 16, 2009
The Washington Park Profile recently published a fine article (by Ben Gerig) on the toxic pollution at the proposed Lowry Vista site. I sent them (as a comment) the report below that I had previously prepared as a handout. Since it has not yet appeared on their site, I publish it here, as I believe that presenting the facts, obtained from a 1990 Air Force report, will help in understanding that this Lowry Vista site is indeed very polluted, regardless of what IRG and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment now say.
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Saturday, September 12, 2009
Representative Diana DeGette explains the nuts and bolts of the current health care bill in the U.S. House of Representatives, not yet out of committee. During the time I was there, the participants seemed respectful. Maybe the crazies were all downtown at the 912 gathering. Now we take you to the Capitol.
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Friday, September 11, 2009
How badly does a department head have to screw up before being completely dismissed from the musical chairs of upper management in the Hickenlooper administration? Apparently, the death of 4 children in 9 months in the child welfare bureau you are managing is not sufficient. Witness today’s announcement of the appointment of Roxane White as Hickenlooper’s Chief of Staff. Previously:
“Roxane White has been manager of DDHS for five years, but the deaths of three children who had cases with the department brought Human Services under intense scrutiny in recent months.”
Mayor John Hickenlooper said he was sad to see her go and her leaving has nothing to do with the recent problems at DDHS. "There were mistakes, people made mistakes, they're going to correct them," Hickenlooper said. "They are already retraining people, but Roxane White as a leader is as good as you're going to get." Hickenlooper said White had other opportunities and he's just happy that she's staying in Denver to work on family issues. White said Tim Marquez called her to offer the job and it was a job she could not pass up. "It's a once in a lifetime opportunity," she said. "Foundation jobs don't come along that often and start-up foundation jobs really don't come along that often and its a chance to do some really wonderful work in the community."But now, after 18 months, she’ll be leaving that “once in a lifetime opportunity” to become Hick’s Chief of Staff. Today:
White previously was manager of the city's Department of Human Services from 2003 to 2008, where she oversaw 1,200 employees and a $300 million budget. "Roxane is a rare leader who has both the vision and the skills to get things done," Hickenlooper said in a statement Friday. "Her passion to help people at all levels will help us keep building this great city." ... "I am delighted to return to work with Mayor Hickenlooper and the city team," White said. “Kelly Brough, Cole Finegan and Michael Bennet each set a high bar for the chief of staff and it is an honor to follow them. I want to keep their positive momentum going and build on the service city employees are providing to our community." She will take the post at a particularly challenging time, with the city facing severe budget cuts and possible police layoffs as a result of reduced tax and fee revenue.(Strangely, two other videos associated with the same report seem to have disappeared. • Video: Denver Human Services Reneges On Vow To Hire More Workers • Video: Dept. Of Human Services Chief Resigns)
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Monday, September 7, 2009
When I started this blog in 2005 I was interested in the idea that local writers, bloggers, and video makers would start to cover their neighborhoods, and, if there were enough of us, we could cover the city. Independent, multiple viewpoints, beholden to no one. Recently, I began to notice Examiner.com, for which one of Denver's local bloggers has begun writing. I decided to check out the possibility of doing so myself, when I ran into this (from Reuters).
Examiner.com Acquires NowPublic DENVER, Sept. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Examiner.com (www.examiner.com), the insider source for everything local, has acquired Vancouver-based NowPublic (www.nowpublic.com), a pioneer in user-generated content and the largest participatory news network in the world. Examiner.com, whose audience has grown more than 200 percent since the beginning of the year and now has more than 15,000 Examiners (Examiner.com's expert writers) in 109 U.S. cities, is the industry leader in creating local content, and will leverage NowPublic's innovative search and publishing technology to solidify its leadership position in providing local news and information, delivering on the long-held promise of relevant, robust hyperlocal content to both consumers and advertisers. "Every day we hear discussions about whether hyperlocal content will ever be scalable, sustainable or profitable as a business entity," said Rick Blair, CEO of Examiner.com. "Examiner.com is rapidly becoming the solution to the hyperlocal puzzle. In the last year we have created the depth of content consumers and advertisers expect. With the acquisition of NowPublic, we have the technology to further engage our community of over 17 million unique visitors per month and distribute our stories in new and innovative ways." … About Examiner.com Launched in April 2008, Examiner.com serves 109 markets across the country and is the insider source for everything local. Examiner.com's content is contributed by Examiners; passionate, informed, and knowledgeable local influencers. Examiner.com is a division of the Clarity Digital Group, LLC, wholly owned by The Anschutz Company, a Denver-based investment company with a broad array of assets in print and digital media; live sports and entertainment; hospitality; film production and exhibition; wind energy development and transmission; as well as ranching and oil/gas exploration. For more information, visit Examiner.com. About NowPublic NowPublic is a crowd-sourced, participatory news network that mobilizes an army of reporters to cover the events that define our world. In its short history, the company has become the largest news organization of its kind with contributing reporters in more than 6000 cities and 160 countries. The Guardian has named NowPublic.com one of the top five most useful news sites on the Web and TIME Magazine named it one of the Top 50 Websites for 2007. NowPublic Technologies Inc. is a Vancouver-based company. The company owns and operates NowPublic, which showcases its platform for citizen journalism.Anschutz will be the Rupert Murdoch of Web 2.0. So much for independence. P.S. I guess I won't be applying for a spot with the Examiner. With my posts about Anschutz (AEG) taking over City Park and selling beer with Hickenlooper ... probably not. This extremely wealthy right-wing guy is getting control of everything.
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Saturday, September 5, 2009
Reporting from Denver - After decades of pursuing lock-'em-up policies, states are scrambling to reduce their prison populations in the face of tight budgets, making fundamental changes to their criminal justice systems as they try to save money. Some states are revising mandatory-sentencing laws that locked up nonviolent offenders; others are recalculating the way prison time is counted. ... Colorado will accelerate parole for nearly one-sixth of its prison population. ... Corrections has become the second-fastest-growing item in state budgets, second only to Medicaid. And, unlike Medicaid and many other programs, states pay for prisons with almost no help from Washington. In Colorado, 9% of the state budget goes to corrections. More taxpayer dollars go to house its 23,000 prisoners than to educate the 220,000 students at Colorado's public universities, noted Evan Dreyer, a spokesman for Democratic Gov. Bill Ritter Jr. The state has gone through severe cuts already this year -- it lopped 10.5% off of its budget in June. Ritter later cut an additional $320 million and counted on saving $44 million over two years by letting 2,600 ex-cons end their probation early and having the parole board consider earlier parole for 3,500 inmates. A nonpartisan commission recommended the moves in December, and Dreyer noted that inmates eligible for faster parole were already nearing release. "These are people who are getting out of prison anyway within six months," he said. The parole board has started considering whom to let out, but Republicans have attacked the plan as too risky. "It's inevitable these people will commit crimes," said state Senate Minority Leader Josh Penry, who hopes to challenge Ritter in next year's governor's race.Also see "Money running out for new Denver Justice Center". Also see previous posts here and here.
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Tuesday, September 1, 2009
The Family Fun Fishing event at City Park Lake on June 13 was more than a little ironic. I’d say it was downright diabolical. Here we have the spokespeople from the US Fish and Wildlife Service telling the kids about “point source pollution” while standing next to Ferril Lake, the endpoint for the point source of Lowry Landfill Superfund Site (LLSS) pollution. From deep in the pit underneath more than 3 decades of industrial and government dumping, the water is pumped off-site through 16 miles of pipe to the sewer systems of Denver and Aurora. Here in Denver that sewer system is the source for our “recycled water”. The 158 pollutants and 10 radionuclides from LLSS are not removed by our recycling treatment. Instead they go through a system of purple pipes to Ferril Lake and Grasmere Lake. From there they are sprayed onto the grassy fields. There, by permit, they will collect for the next 46 years, as we are just 4 years into an estimated 50-year period to remove the estimated 138,000,000 gallons of toxic mix. Alarmed by the thought that these kids might be eating the fish they caught, I emailed Al Polonsky, of Denver’s Environmental Health, the always-helpful guy who monitors the lakes for the City of Denver. He wrote back:
Based on what we know about the City’s lakes, I don’t think the risks are particularly higher or lower in Ferril Lake than the other Denver Lakes. I believe the emphasis on this event is to encourage the kids and families to participate in outdoor activities. When these events are held in Denver, the Division of Wildlife stocks the lake with catchable sized trout (~10 inches) prior to the day of the event. These fish have not been in the water long and pose an even lower health risk than fish that have been in the lakes for years. Of course, given the recent renovation, there will not be any fish in the lake that could have been in Ferril for more than two years.That didn’t help ease my concern. After the talk, the kids all went to the lake and I gave the spokesman a copy of the Pollutant list. He seemed genuinely surprised and said he would look into it. I never heard from him again.
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