Monday, February 28, 2011

City helps make hiring easier for Denver businesses

(Press release)
Wage subsidies, youth interns available through Denver Workforce Center programs

DENVER, CO ­— Thursday, Feb. 24, 2011 — When it comes to staff recruitment, making the right hiring decision can be challenging at best. And in today’s economy, effective hiring is all the more difficult given the financial strains faced by many businesses.

To make staff recruitment easier, the Denver Office of Economic Development (OED) is offering two programs that connect Denver businesses with trained, pre-screened workers. OED is seeking businesses to participate in its Wage Subsidy and Bridges to Work Youth Internship programs.

Wage Subsidy Program
The Wage Subsidy program offers subsidies to qualified businesses to hire new employees. Funded by the federal Workforce Investment Act, the program offers a minimum of 50 percent of an employee’s wages to be subsidized for a period of up to six months. Subsidies for individual positions cannot exceed $8,000.

“The Denver Workforce Centers are dedicated to serving as an extension of the HR staffing function for businesses across several industries,” said Stephanie Klein, chair of the Denver Workforce Investment Board, which provides program oversight and policy guidance for Denver’s workforce investment programs. “Wage subsidies are one of the many ways we’re making staff hiring, retention and training easier for Denver businesses, while growing our city’s workforce.”

Tours by Phil Goodstein

Call Phil Goodstein (303)333-1095 to enroll.

Sunday, March 20: Bicycling Tour of Berkeley
Meet in front of Skinner Middle. School, along the north side of West 41st Avenue, between Julian and King streets. (King street is one block east of Lowell Boulevard.) The cost is $10 per person. This area will be featured in Goodstein's forthcoming book, North Denver Story: Denver's Most Intriguing Neighborhood. A copy of this schedule and information about books by Phil. Goodstein is on the Web site of www.LeonardLeonard.com/neighborhoods. Information on his books is at capitolhillbooks.com.

Saturday, March 26: Park Club Place, 11 AM-1 PM
Meet at Leonard Leonard & Associates, a real estate office at 420 Downing Street. This tour is $10 per person.

Saturday, April 2: West Highlands, 11 AM-1 PM
Meet in front of Edison School on the west side of Quitman Street between West 33rd and West 35th avenues. (Quitman is the "Q" street in the alphabet west of Federal Boulevard. It is about ten blocks east of Sheridan Boulevard.) This tour is $10 per person.

Sunday, April 3: Ghosts of Cheesman Park, 11 AM-1 PM
Meet at the gazebo along the 12th Avenue loop of the park near Gilpin Street. (This is a quaint wooden structure just south of the RTD bus stop. Park just east of the bus stop. This tour is $10.

Saturday, April 9: Washington Park, 11 AM-1 PM
Meet at the statue of Wynken, Blynken, and Nod at the southwest corner of Exposition Avenue and Franklin Street.(Exposition is four blocks south of Alameda Avenue. Franklin is eight blocks west of University Boulevard.) The cost is $10.

Saturday, April 16: Park Hill, 11 AM-1 PM
Meet at the gazebo of Ferguson Park, the southeast comer of 23rd Avenue and Dexter Street-locals call it Turtle Park. (Dexter is seven blocks east of Colorado Boulevard.) This tour is $10 per person.

Saturday,- April 23: Highlands/North Denver, 11 AM-1 PM
Meet in front of the old Granada Theater, 2917-25 West 25th A venue. It is just west of Eliot Street on the north side of the road. (Eliot is one block east of Federal Boulevard.) This cost is $10 ..

Saturday, April 30: Ghost Walk, 7-9 PM
Meet in front of the statue of the Indian on the east side of the Capitol on Grant Street between 14th and Colfax avenues. It will be repeated on May 21, June 18, July 30, September 10, October 21,22, and 28. This tour is $15.

Sunday, May 1: West Colfax/East of Sloans Lake, 11 AM-1 PM
Meet on the west steps of Lake Middle School at West 19th Avenue and Meade Street. (Take Lowell Boulevard north of Colfax to where it dead ends at 18th Avenue. Meade Street is one block directly to the west.) This tour is $10.

Saturday, May 7: Ghosts of Cheesman Park, 11 AM-1 PM
Meet at the gazebo along the 12th Avenue loop of the park near Gilpin Street. (This is a quaint wooden structure just south of the RTD bus stop. Park just east of the bus stop. This tour is $10. It will be repeated on September 18 and October 15.

Sunday, May 15: West Sloans Lake, 11 AM-1 PM
Meet at the torpedo near the northeast corner of West 17th Avenue and Sheridan Boulevard. A parking lot enters the park at West 17th Avenue and Yates Street, two blocks east of Sheridan Boulevard. The cost is $10.

Sunday, May 22: Harvard Gulch, 11 AM-1 PM
Meet at the benches in the park at the southeast corner of South Logan Street and Iliff A venue. (Logan is four blocks east of Broadway; Iliff is two blocks south of Evans Avenue.) This tour is $10.

Sunday, May 29: Bicycling Tour of West Colfax, 11 AM-1 PM
Meet in front of Lake Middle School at 19th Avenue and Meade Street. This tour is $10.

Wednesday, June 1: Quality Hill, 6:30-8:30 PM
Meet at the Zang Mansion, 709 Clarkson Street. (Clarkson is eight blocks east of Broadway.) This tour is $10.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Tall Man Sings

People - Power: Denver Solidarity Rally at the Capitol


Today's (Saturday) rally was about twice as big as Tuesday's. Zoe Williams put together an impressive group of Wisconsin/labor supporters. More video coming up...

Is Your Bank in Danger of Failure?

From here:


            Bank of Choice         Greeley           CO
            Advantage Bank       Loveland        CO
            Signature Bank         Windsor          CO
            Rocky Mountain Bank and Trust Florence     Florence         CO
            Community Banks of Colorado       Greenwood Village   CO
            Colorado Capital Bank        Castle Rock   CO
            Champion Bank        Parker            CO
            The Pueblo Bank and Trust Company        Pueblo            CO
            Pikes Peak National Bank   Colorado Springs     CO
            Park State Bank and Trust      Woodland Park         CO
            Premier Bank            Denver            CO
            Farmers Bank           Ault      CO
            Grand Mountain Bank           Granby            CO

Friday, February 25, 2011

Robots for Romer

Last night I got another robocall from the Romer machine (minus 1 for Romer). This one was different in that it wasn't just a pre-recorded call with a human voice, it was actually a  computer-generated voice asking me to "take a survey". The "survey" asked if I intended to vote for Romer or another candidate. When I pressed 3 for another candidate, it gave me 4 choices, and I chose Linkhart. It then asked if I would consider Romer as my second choice. I chose no. It thanked me. Yuck, a new low in robocalling. I guess Jennifer (a real person) at Romer headquarters was not able to actually remove my name from their list to stop the robots.

Although Denver's mayoral race has not yet official started, apparently bankster Romer has so much money to spend that he just can't wait to get started. But Chris, don't forget that the early front-runner in Denver's mayoral race often loses. You don't want to look too eager now, do you? Gives people too much time to run the Google on you ...

From here:

The circumstantial history surrounding Chris Romer is not a pretty one. The fact that he led most, if not all, of JP Morgan's public financial transactions in Colorado is disturbing when coupled with the outcomes of some of those transactions. The fact that he may have had a hand in crafting legislation that helped our now U.S. Senator Michael Bennet hide the costs of DPS' transactions is more than disturbing. The fact that he was willing to bully officials responsible for our state's retirement fund, all of which is funded by taxpayers' money, is outrageous.
Most troubling is, however, Romer surely understood the ramifications of the 8.5% deduction. If Romer was involved in crafting SB 09-282, he should have known the deduction's effects on the DPS' retirement system. As a Colorado State Senator, doesn't Romer have a responsibility to protect assets built up by, ultimately, taxpayer contributions? After all, the taxpayers actually fund DPS' existence, and that existence funds the pension via employee and employer contributions. Romer's apparent disregard for this taxpayer-supported asset seems to be the height of disregard for his responsibilities as a public official.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Grew-some


Clip from Channel 8 coverage of Denver's City Council Legislative meeting.

Please don't ask me to explain the current situation regarding medical marijuana in the City of Denver. I understand the State of Colorado is considering another bill, HB 1043, to "clarify" certain issues. Denver's City Council, with the exception of Councilmen Linkhart and Brown, seem mute, but will vote yes on just about anything. Even attorney Broadwell seems perplexed.

This is not what "business-friendly" looks like.

"We are One" Solidarity Rally - Denver 2-22-2011



The Colorado labor unions rally on the West Capitol Steps in solidarity with the Wisconsin movement to stop union busting. Counter-rally Tea Party members (yellow flags) rally below on Lincoln St. Police encourage two of them to go back down the steps to their group, but they insist on coming back to argue with willing union members. A good time was had by all on a bright and sunny Colorado day.

Editorial - Tom Anthony from Elyria

For background see Tom's article "Stomped" here.

During the heyday of independent thinking which spawned the American Revolution and subsequent New Nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal, the Founding Fathers came up with “certain inalienable rights” among which were “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.” One can imagine the arguments, both practical and philosophical, in defense of “life” being an inalienable right. After all, to whom would you sell newspapers expressing such a concept if nobody survived the pogram? The right to Liberty is a more avante garde assertion; on the other hand it’s hard to keep more than half the population locked up at any given time since technically, if they do have the right to life, you have to feed them and pay Xcel, not to mention buy the occasional roll of toilet paper, so let’s admit a certain social cost if we keep Life and don’t excise Liberty. And perhaps that’s why it made the final cut.

The Pursuit of Happiness though, has got to be as “out there” as you can get. I mean, look around you and count the smiles. Let’s face it, if you’re more than five years old you probably can’t manage much more than a smirk. Trying to make the argument that anyone had the right to pursue happiness, especially in 1776 while winding down the Georgian era and hoeing corn on the outskirts of a town of Puritans dressed in homespun; ok, we’ll have to come to grips with the fact NOBODY proof-read the final draft. Which is probably why, after the uprising and ultimate dominion over the field of battle, the delegates to the Constitutional Convention left it out.

Nonetheless, when we grow up here in America we do have a fundamental belief that we have a right to pursue happiness, and the history books conveniently let us indulge it. Unfortunately, the government doesn’t. Take life here in Elyria, as an example. Here we are, scratching our heads about all the yard dirt that got moved to ASARCO (except ours) sort of happily eating dinners that smell like Purina (ok, our dogs are happy) ignoring the constant roar of traffic and trains, stoically accepting the lack of virtually any retail and service businesses or environmental advocacy, but sort of happily taking the kids to the Johnson Recreation Center and Elyria Park and meeting the neighbors when: VOILA, the City Councilwoman pulls a vanishing act on the Johnson Rec Center between October of 2009 and March of 2010, calling it a “repurposing.” And now El Centro Su Teatro, which has used the Elyria School to springboard to the Big Show on Santa Fe, suddenly has a plan for “affordable housing and offices” mainly paid for with our tax money, no notification, not so much as napkin sketch to show what to expect. Frankly, most of us would be happy to get our school back. What business does the City have paying to install "affordable housing" units full of families looking for a recreation center the City just closed?

But there is no guarantee of happiness in this world, much less this country, although the Clarence Darrows among us could possibly dredge up an affirmative defense of the right to “pursue” it. And here in Elyria, such pursuit is much like chasing a lawn sprite at Riverside Cemetery: way too little green grass and too many places to hide. Which is why the seasoned veterans of Elyria tend to wear a look of haunted indifference: Happiness, when she does show herself, is glimpsed from the corners of the eyes, fleetingly.

Tom Anthony

Chris Romer's Call for Transparency - Is he kidding?

Bankster Romer
Mayoral candidate (with the most money) Chris Romer is now calling for more transparency in City government. What I'd like to see is more transparency from the candidate himself. Former bankster (with JP Morgan) Romer was involved in a New Mexico deal that resulted in Richardson's withdrawal from consideration as Commerce Secretary in the Obama cabinet, and Romer was also involved in the Bennet-DPS-bankster deal that resulted in a $750 million debt coming due in March for DPS. Total cost to date for DPS is said to be $151 million with an estimated upcoming price tag of $81 million just to roll the debt over. How much did you make on those two deals, Chris?

From here.
And don't get me started with the mess that Romer made of the State marijuana laws before he skipped away to run for Mayor.

Bennet was elected despite his involvement in the DPS fiscal mess - let's not make the same mistake twice. In my opinion, Doug Linkhart is the only honest one among the pack leaders. He's experienced, dedicated, and believes marijuana should be legalized. What more could you ask?


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Military Flyovers, Spirituality and Democracy in Action

A Voice For Silence
by Matthew Crowley

A courageous act took place the other day in the basement of the State Capitol building in Denver. Four of our elected representatives to the Colorado house of representatives and fifteen or twenty of our fellow citizens stood up for our rights to use and enjoy our property unmolested by unwanted intrusion. Rep. Wes McKinley (district 64) sponsored House Bill 1066 which would have made a statement that we as U.S. citizens would not stand for the federal government and or the military from “taking” our rights to enjoy our private property and our way of life without due process.

It was the House Judiciary Committee who took testimony from those in favor and those opposed to HB1066 and from the bills sponsor Wes McKinley. The bill would have specified that aircraft flying below 500’ and disturbing the “quiet enjoyment” of ones private property could represent a “taking” and that this could not happen without due process. At the end of the day HB1066 was voted into the oblivion of “PI” (Postponed Indefinitely) by a 7 to 3 vote. Representatives Wes McKinley, Ed Vigil (district 62) Pete Lee (district 18) and Cristina Duran (district 5) and the citizens who came to testify in support of this bill, all had the courage to take a stand. Visit your capitol, enter these hearing rooms, agree or disagree with what is going on there, but don't think there is not a chance to be heard.

Listening to the people for whom he represents, Rep. Wes McKinley made a bold statement in the form of HB1066 that we as Coloradans, would not stand for such a disruption to our land and way of life. Never mind whether the state or federal government has jurisdiction over the air above our heads, this would have made a clear statement about Coloradans values.

Toward the end of 2010 Canon Air Force Base in Northern New Mexico announced their intention to establish a Low Altitude Tactical Navigation Area over nearly ½ of the state of New Mexico and 2/3 of Colorado. There is a NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) underway and an overwhelming majority of people commented in the negative to the military’s intentions to fly massive 4 engine turbo prop C130’s as low as 200’ above the ground, mostly at night. I have heard it said that the various branches of the military already have access to 50% of the skies over America to practice for war. They do not need to expand that area to include even more wilderness areas, public lands, and places that are already economically fragile and sacred to those who live and visit them.

Rather than condemn the Representatives who would not take this stand with us, I prefer to think that they heard me when I testified that this was not a stand against our military. That I could not imagine a group of people (our veterans and men and women in uniform) who were more deserving of places such as Crestone and the public lands that surrounds it. Places that Newsweek called “one of the ten quietest places on earth”. Places that have the lowest measured ambient sound levels of any park in the lower 48 states. I prefer to think that all of the people present in that hearing room might have learned that the spiritual groups who have a presence in this tiny quiet town of Crestone have an international constituency of probably more than a million people and that we will stand up for our rights and our values. I believe I was heard yesterday and that my words represent the values of a vast majority and that words have power.

Standing up for our property rights, our values, our lifestyles is not a vote against the military. These are the things that our military is supposed to defend not take away. They work for us, the lawmakers, the generals, the pilots, all of them. Let them know that, remind them of what it is we ask them to defend. And if they will not listen, let them know we will use every means at our disposal, from voting elected officials out of office, making new laws and if necessary using our judicial system to demand due process and when merited compensation for damages.

Of the tens of thousands of people who visit Crestone for spiritual, religious and contemplative retreat, many of them are members of the armed forces and many more are veterans. Ironically, the Baca Grande subdivision was originally planned as a military retirement community and many property owners are indeed current and former members of the armed services. The same is true of the hundreds of thousands of people who visit the Great Sand Dunes National Park and other public lands of the San Luis Valley.

Take a few minutes and send a letter or e-mail the representatives who had the courage to take a stand for us. E-mail those who did not and tell them you would support them if they did (Google Colorado Judiciary Committee). E-mail our State Senators Bennett and Udall and tell them you will not stand for the military taking away your right to enjoy your property in peace and quiet. Our Senators did weigh in with a letter to the General Wurster during the NEPA scoping process, but they need to know you have their support to take an even stronger stand. Send a message to Lieutenant General Donald Wurster care of 27SOWpublicaffairs@cannon.af.mil . Let him know if the military proceeds with their plan, you will document any and all disruption to your right to enjoy your private property unmolested. That our communities, organizations and places of worship and places of business will document any loss of revenue or disruption to their right to worship and do business and that we will hold the military monetarily accountable under existing federal laws.

Although I testified the other day on behalf of 23 religious and spiritual organizations, the values of quiet, beauty and the right to use and enjoy our property without unwanted intrusion are universal. These are not exclusive to religious and spiritual practitioners and retreatants, they apply equally to farmers and ranchers; republicans and democrats, hikers, hunters, sportsman and all people who have an appreciation for nature. The San Luis Valley with its more than 1 million acres of public lands is just not my backyard, it’s America’s backyard.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Animal Control is Out of Control - the continuing story

Wed, Feb 16, 2011 at 10:30 AM
To:“wes.mckinley.house@state.co.us”
Re: HB 11-1063


Wes:
I am writing to fully support this bill. I am unable to attend the listening meeting today however I would like to share my very recent story.

On Jan 27, 2011, I was convicted of Animal Cruelty and I am on one year’s unsupervised probation during which time I may not have care or custody of a horse. All of this is due to an over-zealous - angry - vindictive animal control officer. Here’s the story.
I am a long time volunteer (since 1992) with the Westernaires. I am a well respected instructor and horse trainer. In August of 2008, I was allowed to bring home a retiring 27 yr old red dun quarter horse named Waylen. He joined my other horses at the stable. He was suffering from heaves and needed to retire from the hard work at Westernaires. He was underweight due to the energy he put into coughing. I have many people who saw Waylen when I brought him to the stable who can attest to his bad shape. I weaned him off medication, cleared up his cough, and started getting him to gain weight. He was happy and bright eyed. He bonded very strongly with my daughter’s mustang mare. 


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Leave Law Enforcement to the Professionals

Rep. Wes McKinley's animal control bill (HB11-1063) committee hearing is scheduled for 1:30 pm tomorrow. He expects a large turn-out in opposition due to the organized efforts of the "animal lovers", who, in my estimation, are missing the point.

The crux of the matter seems to be the use, by the Colorado Department of Agriculture, which oversees Animal Control, of volunteers from third-party non-profit organizations as Animal Control officers. These well-intentioned folks are tuned into pet abuse (dogs and cats) but most have no experience in livestock maintenance (horses, cattle, sheep, etc.), especially with regard to "open range" ranching as properly practiced at many Colorado ranches. The rampant "human abuse" by out-of-control "officers" is well-documented.

Last year McKinley proposed a bill which would have required that the animal control officers be required to have more training. The response was that they couldn't afford better training, but the bill was defeated anyway. This year McKinley, and many horse and cattle owners, want the practice of using these deputies curtailed.

If the Police Department had a shortage of officers, would it be reasonable for them to deputized volunteers from the churches to perform the official duties? Would you want a religious zealot arresting you? The zealotry of the humane organizations is obvious, and they should not be empowered by the Department of Agriculture to perform the duties of properly trained officers.

Because many of the "investigations" are initiated by anonymous phone calls, the entire system is subject to abuse. In addition, even if the animal owner is found innocent, they end up with punitive judgments against them for the cost of impounding the animals. It's guilty until proven innocent, and that's not the way it's supposed to work.

Camera at the Colorado Capitol

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Pinon Canyon Update


(Revised 2/20/2011)


Fort Carson (FC) Garrison Commander Col McLaughlin scheduled and attended public testimony meetings for the newest Environmental Assessment (EA) about expanded live fire training at Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site (PCMS) in Las Animas County.

Lon Robertson, President of Pinon Canyon Expansion Opposition Coalition (PCEOC), spoke about removing the waiver the DOD gave in 2007 to let FC expand PCMS. To learn more go to www.pinoncanyon.com.

The Army and Ranchers have both been civil in their dialogue, representing their positions with respect for one another, in contrast to many politicians and media pundits across the country. Democracy still thrives at the grassroots. Make your voice heard with letters, phone calls and emails to your representatives.

Video and text by Juliette Mondot of Cymbiot.com

Hey, it's Saturday!

Anglos V. Latinos

Editorial by Tom Anthony

I grew up as a Catholic here in the Denver Area and my childhood world was divided in terms of Catholic v. Public. I didn't really understand the differences, which were many, between me and the "public school" kids who were my teammates in Little League. However, I did know they existed. And, I knew I was somehow better than they, although I was on second string most of the time and warming the bench a lot.

As to racial differences, I had the perhaps enviable experience of growing up in a whitebread suburb of Denver in which Italians formed the largest racial minority compared to what are known as "Anglos" today. I will have to say "Anglos" comprise Germans, Slavs, Scandinavians, Russians, Poles, Brits, Irish and others, maybe even Italians, and therefore is an omnibus word that's about as accurate as calling a trout a bass. However, distinguishing genetic races in a world of mixed marriages is a bit challenging regardless. For instance, while our current President is a mulatto, he is commonly called the first "black" president, which goes to show you that on this subject you will find little but confusion.

My stunted racial sensitivity had me believing that my neighbors of Mexican or Spanish descent were Hispanic. However, I've been corrected on this, which leads me to my subject of "Anglos v. Latinos." Who are the Anglos, and who are the Latinos, and is there really a conflict here ("v.") As to the Anglos, see above. Latinos, as I've been instructed by the knowledgeable politically correct of my acquaintenceship, comprise those peoples of "Latin America." That includes anyone from Mexico to Argentina and back, whether speaking Spanish or Portuguese, or Oto, and of that heritage. Consequently, people of Spanish descent who settled in property now owned by the United States who became American citizens under the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo would properly be of "Latin American" heritage and thence not Hispanic at all, since that land was originally part of Mexico. Unless, of course, as a Mondragon or other Spanish descendent living in the French-owned Louisiana Territory your forebears never did live in Mexico; in which case you can be a true Hispanic (whew!)

But whence the derivision of Latin America itself? That came from the Papal Bull of 1493 and the Treaty of Tordesillas, precipitated by Columbus's successful voyage to the New World financed by Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand of Spain. Specifically to reward the loyalty of the Catholic nations of Spain and Portugal with a writ of expansion from God on High it states: "'Among other works well pleasing to the Divine Majesty and cherished of our heart, this assuredly ranks highest, that in our times especially the Catholic faith and the Christian religion be exalted and be everywhere increased and spread, that the health of souls be cared for and that barbarous nations be overthrown and brought to the faith itself. ...we (the Papacy) command you (Spain) ... to instruct the aforesaid inhabitants and residents and dwellers therein in the Catholic faith, and train them in good morals.' This papal command marked the beginning of colonization and Catholic Missions in the New World. An important if initially unintended effect of the combination of this papal bull and the Treaty of Tordesillas was that nearly all the Pacific Ocean and the west coast of North America were given to Spain. Consistent with these ancient claims, Spain made claims to British Columbia and Alaska as late as 1819 because they bordered the Pacific Ocean. The Adams-Onís Treaty resolved this by settling the border between Spain and the United States, limiting Spain's northward expansion to the 42nd parallel, south of Oregon." (quoted from Wikipedia.)

Thus, the Pope bequeathed all of South America and much of North America to Spain and Portugal, leaving out the Protestant upstarts from England, Germany, and Sweden. Which is why Portuguese is spoken in Brazil and Spanish in Bolivia.

Fast forwarding to the present day message of Latino v. Anglo then: are the Catholics and Protestants (Publics) still at it? I'll have to say I discarded my Catholicism to some extent decades ago, without having embraced being a "Public." However, we can now translate the above conflict in the simple terms of "our broken immigration laws" (quote from a Resolution adopted in 2010 by the Denver City Council.)

Now, immigration laws were originally introduced in the 19th Century for political reasons, and have since been refined for economic and environmental reasons (read: wage and population stabilization.) While "living wages" have always been a mantra of the Democratic Party and its Labor Union roots, unlimited immigration is tantamount to wholesale strike-breaking, essentially undercutting the American worker (the American middle class) by undermining the standardized wage base with millions of people who will work for far less while living in deplorable conditions (read "Swansea/Elyria/Globeville.")

As far as population stabilization, "Zero Population Growth" came into strong vogue at the tail end of the Baby Boomer generation, which began to realize that 3% annual growth (a doubling rate of 24 years) was going to change things drastically before they were "over the hill" at the age of 30. Consequently, the Environmental Movement--another bastion of the Democratic Party-- adopted population stabilization as a top priority goal; again, a goal at odds with unrestricted immigration.

And thus the current confusion in the Democratic Party about "fixing the broken immigration laws." Are the laws protecting the American Worker and Middle Class America and defending a fundamental environmental requirement truly "broken?" Or, is the Papal Bull of 1493 continuing to pressure the "barbarous nations" to be overthrown by those deployed by the Pope-- Latinos? I think it's a fundamental question and as such, deserving of further discussion.


Thomas R. Anthony

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Press Release

Bennet's Bad DPS Deal

From DenverDirect video
Remember when now-Senator Michael Bennet was Superintendent of Denver Public Schools? Remember the bank "deal" he created for DPS? If not, you'd better refresh your memory if you want to understand what is happening now. (Thank you to Christopher Scott and the Huffington Post for staying on top of this.)

To date, the 2008 PCOPs have cost Denver taxpayers at least $115 million in interest and fees. DPS entered into the debt in 2008 to finance the District's unfunded liability associated with its pension using a tool called Pension Certificates of Participation, or PCOPs. PCOPs are used to allow government entities to issue debt without voter approval. Under the PCOPs agreement, DPS sold 14 schools, including East High School, to a leasing corporation and then agreed to lease back those schools to pay the debt over the course of 30 years.
DPS now faces having to pay back the $750 million debt on April 24th. To avoid this, DPS must restructure the 2008 transaction or find a new financier to hold the debt should the 2008 PCOPs fail at auction. According to Fiscal Strategies Group's David Paul's own analysis contained in his firm's proposal ...(entire article here).
Did you remember that East High, and 13 other schools got sold, and leased back? Somehow that part escaped me. Oh boy, chickens coming home to roost big time. Michael... Michael...where are you?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Rocky Flats Nuclear Guardianship

A Local Hazard Forever



On the Spot: Local Landscapes and Global Crises



What is Nuclear Guardianship?

Army Blitzing

From Pinon Canyon Expansion Opposition Coalition

We haven't asked in a while but this week WE NEED YOU!

If you could possibly sacrifice a few hours this week to be at some or all of these meetings it will speak volumes to our elected officials.

PLEASE ALSO CALL YOUR FRIENDS, FAMILY, NEIGHBORS - ASK THEM TO DO THE SAME.......... ANY HELP YOU CAN PROVIDE BY BEING THERE IS VITAL TO OUR BEING HEARD.


The Army seems to be blitzing us this next week, in an effort to

1. gain documentable public/political support they can use against us and

2. sidestep laws and Federal Court orders


Your presence is needed at multiple meetings:

First, Tuesday night, the 15th of February. The Trinidad City Council will be meeting at 7pm in Trinidad City Hall.
Purpose: Discussion and action relative to enacting a resolution in place of the Army requested 'Covenant'. We are told the Army will have a presence there as well and we need to show support of the City Council for standing their ground by our being there.


Second, Wednesday night, the 16th of February in La Junta, 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm at the Student Center at Otero Jr College. The Army will be holding public comment meetings on the Environmental Assessment they are issuing - designed to replace/avoid the court vacated Environmental Impact Statement. We need as many people as possible to attend and show our elected officials how decidedly opposed we are on expanding PCMS.


Third, Thursday night, the 17th of February in Trinidad, 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm at the Sullivan Center at Trinidad State Jr College. The Army will be holding public comment meetings on the Environmental Assessment they are issuing - designed to replace/avoid the court vacated Environmental Impact Statement. We need as many people as possible to attend and show our elected officials how decidedly opposed we are of expanding PCMS.


Be sure to start calling your representatives and letting them know 'enough is enough'. Stop this expansion nonsense now!

Need legislator contact information? Goto the PCEOC website legislator page.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Slippery Slope of Reality - a podcast

My good friend from undergraduate days at the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. David Van Nuys, is still pounding away (show #257) at ShrinkRapRadio, where he invited me to pontificate with him in this most recent episode. We had a good time doing this, and you may too. Be sure to check out his other recent interviews with current authors and psychologists while you are there. He is building a body of work unparalleled, to my knowledge, in the world of psychology. For the serious-minded, you can even download free transcripts of many episodes. 

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Are We Still at War? Oh Yeah, I Almost Forgot

A Saturday morning musical interlude:

Screamers at 200 Feet

C-130 Hercules

Colorado Rep. Wes McKinley is carrying a bill to curtail the Air Force's proposed flyover exercises in southern Colorado (see here). Are there any San Luis Valley residents who could make it to Denver for a committee hearing on HB 1066 on Feb. 17th at 1:30 in committee room 107 at the State capitol? The bill approaches the issue as a governmental "taking" that would require due process before it could be implemented. Go here to read the bill.

McKinley told me that he has people from the eastern plains lined up to testify but nobody from the SLV. Your help in getting some folks to Denver on that day could make a difference. It's a lot to ask, but when those low-flying prop-engine screamers are flying 200 feet above your peaceful valley, it will be too late. Be advised that there are two sides to this issue, and some who are against the flights have been called unpatriotic for being "unwilling to sacrifice during time of war".

Colorado to gut County Budgets

from The Trinidad Times:

Among the items that the proposal mentions for potential cuts is closing all the state’s welcome centers, which would save $600,000 but could negatively impact tourism. Also potentially on the chopping block is severance tax money designated to the state’s Department of Human Services for low-income energy assistance, a total of $3.25 million. Shutting down the court security grant program would save $500,000. Transferring severance tax money away from the water conservation boards for water projects would save the state $46 million. Transferring severance tax funds away from mining and reclamation projects would save the state $2 million. Reducing funding for the Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission would save the state $6.4 million. Several years ago the state was part of a settlement with tobacco companies, and the money won in the lawsuit was designated for local health departments. Now the state wants to recapture all of that money, Cordova said. Transferring money from the old age pension program would save the state $1.8 million. Delayed payments for Medicare and only allowing payment for generic prescription drugs would save the state even more money.

Friday, February 11, 2011

A PLATFORM FOR DENVER’S URBAN PARKS

INTRODUCTION

The following document, Platform for Denver's Urban Parks, was created and supported by the Inter-Neighborhood Cooperation (INC) Parks and Recreation Committee and approved by the Delegation of Inter-Neighborhood Cooperation, January 8, 2011.
The purpose of the platform is to provide a proactive and positive framework in which citizens of the City of Denver may discuss public policy pertaining to the size, function, location and purposes of urban parks with the City's Department of Parks and Recreation, elected officials and other residents.
Over the past several years, INC has taken positions in reference to the following Denver Department of Parks and Recreation proposals: Admission Based Events, U.S. Open Air Cinema, Park Zoning, Dog Park Master Plans and Advertising in the Parks. Opposition to aspects of these proposals and presentation of constructive alternatives reflect INC’s concerns over the commercialization of urban parks, the limitation on the use of urban parks by the public, and a perceived erosion of support for the principle that urban parks should provide opportunities for equal access by all citizens to the experience of nature.
This platform is an extension of prior positions taken by INC. It is an effort to move the public policy discussions toward broad solutions to conflicts that have emerged over the use of urban parks.
The platform is based on four broad assumptions:
1. There is a need to preserve open green space and citizen’s opportunities to experience nature through free and open access to parks;
2. There is a need to implement a community-based process for the development of park policy;
3. There is a need to significantly increase the amount of parkland within the City; and
4. There is a need to have sustained and dedicated revenue sources for parks.

In this way, park policy will be anchored in Denver's historic commitment to providing access to open green space for its citizens and oriented toward the future development of urban parks in the 21st century.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Women's Sexual Assault Prevention Training

From email:

Hello Everyone,

The Prevention Education Department at the Rape Assistance and Awareness Program is holding a 6-hour Self-protection and Empowerment Training (SET) class for women on Saturday, February 26th from 9am - 4pm in the Tivoli at Auraria Campus. There are still spaces available!

Please see the attached form for registration and/or visit www.raap.org. If you have any questions or would like more information about our public and private classes, please contact me at the e-mail address or phone number listed below.

Come gain empowerment through action!

Kim


Kim Flory
Prevention Education Coordinator
Rape Assistance and Awareness Program
P.O. Box 18951
Denver, CO 80218
Phone: 303-329-9922 ext.317
Fax: 303-329-9964
kflory@raap.org

Why Doesn't Colorado Have Its Own Public Bank ... Like North Dakota?

Of all the States suffering now under the collapse of debt, North Dakota stands out, with a $1 billion surplus. Why is that? My research leads me to believe that it is because they own their own State bank.

Other states, noticing this, are starting to introduce the concept of State owned public banks in their legislatures. The State of Washington has legislation now pending to create their own bank. The legislation is similar to that now being studied or proposed in other states including IllinoisVirginiaHawaiiMassachusetts, Maryland, Florida, Michigan, Oregon, and California. How come Colorado is not on this list?

Ellen Brown, author of "Web of Debt" has been a major force in the movement toward publicly owned banks. Here's one of her articles.

Consider the following local example. The people of Denver recently approved the issuance of $550 million in bonds for the Better Denver campaign. When this is finally paid off, it will have cost us over $1 billion. Who gets the difference ($450 million +) in fees and interest? Private banks and their stockholders. Had this been financed by our own publicly owned bank, that difference could go to financing the needs of Coloradans.

To be continued....

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Chicken Law Roundup

Update at Washington Park Profile


From Chicken Laws

Arvada, CO. No person or household shall own or have custody of more than two female chickens or turkeys.

Aurora, CO. No chickens allowed.

Colorado Springs, CO. A property may have a maximum of 10 fowl (chickens, ducks, etc.) requiring at least four square feet of coop area and adequate outdoor space. No roosters permitted within the city limits.

Denver, CO. Chicken permit must be purchased from the city for $50 - you must show that the enclosure will be clean pest free. $50 is the application fee. There is an additional $100 license fee, followed by an annual fee of $70 to own chickens. You also have to put two signs in your front yard for one month allowing neighbors to object




Northglenn, CO. Not allowed unless property is zoned for agriculture.

Silt, CO. Unlawful to keep any poultry in town.

Thornton, CO. Not zoned for fowl. Other sources say Thornton allows 2 ducks, but not chickens.

Westminster, CO. Not allowed unless property is zoned for agriculture.

Denver - detailed explanation:

I decided to research this and found out that this is only a small part of the story. In fact, the procedure for getting legal permission to own a chicken in Denver is so cumbersome, time consuming and expensive that few people would subject themselves to it. Indeed, according to an official at Animal Control I spoke to they have only had a "handful" of applicants.

The procedure goes like this. First, an application is submitted to Animal Control which includes information such as the location where the chickens will be kept, the size of their pen, where their waste material will be disposed. The applicant must even state which vaccinations the chickens have had, whether spayed or neutered and the name of the chicken's veterinarian. (Are there any chicken vets in Denver? Would anyone actually take a sick chicken to a veterinarian hospital or do vets do housecalls for sick chickens?) This application costs $50.

Animal control then does an inspection of the site, but it is unclear what standards must exist for a permit to be issued. I imagine that a Denver animal control officer who deals with dogs and cats has little or no experience in assessing chicken coops.

If approved, the applicant must then go to Zoning. Zoning will require the applicant to contact the neighborhood organization and the councilmember, and also to post two notices at two different times in front of the property giving anyone the opportunity to object. If no objections, after 30 days a one-year permit can be granted for a $100 fee.

Both permits must be renewed annually for total fees of $70.

I believe this law was enacted some years ago when Denver wanted to escape its agriculture surroundings and become an urban area. Probably there was a desire to outlaw chickens, etc. but someone decided rather than to outlaw them it was better to make the application procedure so complicated and expensive that most people wouldn't bother. Then, it was never revisited.

However, I think the time is ripe for these rules to be changed. Just last year the Denver City Council voted to amend the zoning rules to allow backyard beekeeping. And what with the new awareness of sustainability perhaps the chickens' time in the sun has arrived.

My wife and I are committed urban farmers and we live and work in the City. Anyone wishing to join us in an effort to change these laws is welcome to contact me. Please use the email forwarding function on this website or, contact me at my business, www.earthdogdenver.com

James

Friday, February 4, 2011

Memo to Politicians: My Telephone is Not Part of Your Machine

I'm getting really tired of the constant onslaught of robocalls from you. I don't want to receive ANY recorded calls from whoever it is you've hired to have a machine call me. I don't care if you are having a meet and greet, a fund-raiser, or a forum. If I do care, I'll be sure to go to your website and find out all about it on my own. I'm never, ever, going to respond to a robocall in a positive way. I had hoped being on a "do not call" list would keep me from getting your calls, but I understand that you are exempted from these rules.

Yesterday I received 4 robocalls. The most obnoxious was from Rachael Romer, Chris Romer's daughter, telling me about a meet and greet for Chris. That brings me to another point. I especially don't want to hear from, or about your kids. The fact that you have kids is, I'm sure, very important to you. But it doesn't inspire me in any way to want to vote for or support you. I'm not impressed that your daughter supports you.
 
So I called Romer headquarters and asked to be taken off your list, and was pleasantly surprised that Jennifer said she would do so. I also found a national political do-not-call service here. Will it work? Time will tell. In the mean time, I'm keeping a list, and every call is a minus one point. Race to the bottom of my list, politicos!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Rocky Flats Nuclear Guardianship

A brief clip of Part 1 in the series.

The Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center, in conjunction with the Environmental Studies Department of Naropa University, is presenting an amazing series of events on the subject of Rocky Flats. If you've ever wanted to learn more about this former Atomic Weapons Plant, just 16 miles north of Denver, now is the time.

Tonight's presentation (see Feb. 3, below) is especially important, as Kathleen Sullivan, PhD, presents the concept of Nuclear Guardianship. DenverDirect has agreed to produce video of the entire 15-part series, but there's nothing like being there in person. Go here for more information.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Closing of an Illusion

(Editorial by Phil Goodstein - February Naysayer. The Naysayers next meet on Saturday, February 5, Enzo's Pizza, 3424 Colfax, at 5:30 pm.)


In the 1980s, according to Mayor Federico Pena and Chamber of Commerce chief Dick Fleming, nothing in Denver was any good. The community, they continually argued, had to sell its heart and soul so it could become a “great city.” This required it to look like someplace else. In particular, they blasted local retail. They dismissed such historic stores as the Denver Dry and May D&F (that started in Leadville) as crude vestiges of the city’s cow-town character. Under lobbying from Fleming, the city and state made sure the owner of the May Company faced no anti-trust challenges when it took over and destroyed the Denver Dry in 1987.

The new Cherry Creek Shopping Center was the ultimate product of the Pena-Fleming outlook. From its beginning, the mall has been an amazingly generic place. All of its anchors and most of its other shops have been part of out-of-state chains. Only the highly insecure have thought it special since they could purchase something from an outlet of Saks Fifth Avenue or Neiman Marcus. As much as anything, the mall was a success precisely because city hall and corporate policies had virtually destroyed downtown retail.

For years, the booster establishment has endlessly heralded Cherry Creek as among the most successful shopping centers in the country, plugging it as a foremost tourist attraction. Meanwhile, the more landowners and promoters have tinkered with Cherry Creck North, the more troubled that shopping section has become. It is the area the other side or First Avenue that already emerged in the 1960s and 1970s, mostly filled with distinctive, locally owned boutiques and specially shops. Far more than the mall, it had a distinctive character.

Cherry Creek North badly suffered from the hideous design and planning associated with the opening of the mall. In particular, rather than emerging as a grand shopping boulevard lined with shops, the city transformed First Avenue into a speedway. Those north of First Avenue found crossing streets most dangerous due to a lack of stop signs-it took more than five years for the city to realize that four-way stops were necessary at every intersection in Cherry Creek North.

Nonetheless, the shopping district flourished. It especially stood out with Tattered Cover, a place that was the anchor of Cherry Creek North. Meanwhile, developers targeted older buildings in Cherry Creek North, tearing down and rebuilding significant sections of the enclave. Their efforts failed to address parking problems. On the contrary, with the encouragement of city hall, property owners claimed public streets as private rights of way. To finance a parking garage to enhance landlords, the city placed a most confusing set of parking meters in the area.

About this time, faced with the Internet craze with its hatred of printed materials, Tattered Cover’s business started to decline. On the heels of this, its landlord so raised its rent that it was forced to seek new quarters. (Its relocation in the old Bonfils Theatre was more a product of special deals between developer Charles Woolley and John Hickenlooper than business considerations-at one time, the owner of Tattered Cover was a business partner of Hickenlooper in lower downtown real estate dealings. In city hall, Hickenlooper continually acted to assist and enhance Woolley’s less-than-successful Colfax ventures.)