Sunday, March 31, 2013

Leading the way

Keshagesh = Greedy Guts


Buffy Sainte-Marie
No No Keshagesh lyrics

Songwriters: SAINTE MARIE, BUFFY
I never saw so many business suits.
Never knew a dollar sign that looked so cute.
Never knew a junkie with a money Jones:
He's singing, "Who's selling Park Place. Who's buying Boardwalk"?
These old men they make their dirty deals.
Go in the back room and see what they can steal.
Talk about your beautiful and spacious skies.
It's about uranium; it's about the water rights.
Put Mother Nature on a luncheon plate.
They cut her up and call it real estate.
Want all the resources and all of the land.
They make a war over it: Blow things up for it.
The reservation now is poverty row.
There's something cooking and the lights are low.
Somebody's trying to save our mother earth.
I'm gonna help them to save it,
To sing it and bring it

Singing: No no Keshagesh:
You can't do that no more, (no more, no more no more)
No, no, no, no Keshagesh
You can't do that no more, (no more, no more no more)
No, no, no, no Keshagesh
You can't do that no more, (no more, no more no more)
No, no, no, no Keshagesh
You can't do that no more, (no more, no more no more)

Ole Columbus he was looking good,
When he got lost in our neighborhood.
Garden of Eden right before his eyes.
Now it's all spy ware: now it's all income tax.
Ole' brother Midas looking hungry today.
What he can't buy he'll get some other way.
Send in the troopers if the natives resist.
Old, old story boys, that's how you do it boys.
Look at these people; ah they're on a roll.
Gonna have it all, gonna have complete control.
Want all the resources and all of the land.
They'll break the law for it: Blow things up for it.
When all our champions are off in the war,
Their final rip off here and is always on.
Mr. greed I think your time has come.
We're gonna sing it and pray it and live it then say it.

Singing: No no Keshagesh:
You can't do that no more, (no more, no more no more)
No, no, no, no Keshagesh
You can't do that no more, (no more, no more no more)
No, no, no, no Keshagesh
You can't do that no more, (no more, no more no more)
No, no, no, no Keshagesh
You can't do that no more, (no more, no more no more)

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Former Councilwoman Donohue's open letter to current City Council members before Monday's decisive vote on Hentzell Park


March 29, 2012
Dear Councilmenber,
File photo of Donohue testifying before City Council
On Monday you will be making a decision that could forever diminish the honor bestowed on former Councilmember Paul Hentzell.
History is a great teacher.  When I was elected to the Denver City Council in 1975, two members of the Council became both my mentors as well as my closest friends.  One was Council Bill Roberts and the other was Councilman Paul Hentzell.
Two more different politicians could not be found.  One, Paul Hentzell, was a very conservative Republican; and the other, Bill Roberts, was what at that time was called a "liberal" Democrat.  One always voted with Mayor McNichols; and the other almost never voted with McNichols.
During my first seven years as a member of the Denver City Council, I also never voted for the schemes and "special interest" legislation proposed by Mayor Bill McNichols.
Mr. Roberts and Mr. Hentzell told me about their experiences as elected officials.  Both had colorful and at times very distressing stories.  Mr. Roberts spent his time on Council losing every issue that he believed to be right.  He was often bitter about the way that minorities and women were treated throughout Denver's political history, especially during the McNichols years.
Mr. Hentzell consistently voted with the McNichols majority until my fifth year on Council.  He finally decided to change his voting pattern and joined a four-vote minority consisting of Councilmembers Roberts, Carpio, Sandos and Donohue.  Four votes suddenly became five.  King Trimble won a replacement election in Council District 8, and our five-vote minority grew to six.  Then a small miracle happened,  In the last year of the McNichols reign the vote count was six to seven on every crucial issue that McNichols placed before the Council.  Finally, Councilwoman Reynolds joined the "minority" coalition and our group grew to seven--the  magic number!
During the last year of the McNichols era, that seven vote majority (with the help of Councilman Hentzell) changed the course of politics at City Hall.  We had the votes to change the City Charter so that Council had to approve all contracts over $500,000, and there were no more "sole source" bond deals.  Bonds had to be competitively bid.  We also changed the Charter to require "line items" on all city bond projects.  Historically, whenever a bond issue was presented to the public, there were simply six or seven broadly defined categories, like "Parks", "Public Works", 'Health and Hospitals", etc., without specific costs for any project.  The agencies just received a lump sum of millions of dollars to be used however each agency deemed necessary.  This may sound like nightmare, but it was every administrator's dream come true--no "check" or "balance" at City Hall!
Change was desperately needed, and it came about because of an odd coalition of Democrats and one brave Republican--Paul Hentzell.
When Councilman Hentzell died many of the citizens and those of us who had benefited from Paul's wisdom and generosity wanted to honor him.  With the help of his family, Hentzell Park was named  in his honor.  

William E. Roberts Elementary School stands today as testament to his remarkable service to the citizens of Denver.
When each of us leaves public service, in the corner of our brains is a little place where we dream that someone will honor the years we spent serving the public.  Some of you no doubt will be honored in a way that is as meaningful as what was given to Mr. Roberts and Mr. Hentzell.
Could anyone ever imagine that the School Board would suddenly diminish Mr. Roberts' tribute and take away any part of the school named for him?  Councilman Roberts was devoted to children's education, just as Councilman Hentzell was devoted to parks.  The years Mr. Hentzell spent insuring that Babi Yar Park became a reality are to numerous to count.
When we choose to honor someone for public service, it should be lasting and irreversible.  We should only do unto others that which we would wish done unto us.
Councilman Hentzell's honorarium should remain unchanged.
Yours truly,
Cathy Donohue
Retired City Councilmember

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

INC asks for Denver Parks and Rec for clarification

The proposed land swap between the City and County of Denver and Denver Public Schools that has been a point of controversy for months finally heads to Denver's City Council April 1.  INC PARC encourages your attendance at this meeting if at all possible.


On March 19 INC PARC sent out a flier received from Denver Parks and Recreation announcing 4 public meetings concerning "Outdoor fee based events" to be held April 9-20.  At the committee meeting held the same night the "committee agreed that the title was misleading and the actual reason for the meetings , and the input that DPR wished to receive from the public, was not apparent. The presumed topic was what has been called “Commercial Use Policy” heretofore.  DPR will be notified promptly that a new flier with considerably more and clearer information should be sent" (Please see meeting notes from March 19).
On March 26 an email letter was sent to Manager Lauri Dannemiller. At this time no response has been received.

See letter below:

March 26, 2013
To: Lauri Dannemiller
Manager of Parks and Recreation
From: INC Parks and Recreation Committee
We request the announcement for the four public meetings of the Outdoor
Fee-Based Policy be redistributed and better reflect what is being presented at
the meetings and what DPR wants in the way of feedback. Even the picture on the
announcement seems confusing and misleading. At the INC meeting, March 19, the
policy was not available on the Parks website. A draft policy should be
available on line before the public meetings and with sufficient time for people
to read and evaluate the policy to obtain feedback requested by DPR. The
announcement does not direct the public to the policy nor does it have an
address to find the policy on line.
We question the clarity of the policy title. It was referred to as a Commercial
Use Policy during the stakeholders' meetings and when you came to our meeting.
We believe Commercial Use Policy better represents the intent and what is
contained in the policy. With the title of Outdoor Fee-Based Policy one is
lead to believe fees will be discussed and is the focus. Will a fee structure
be discussed at these meetings?
We question what will be done with the feedback received. What flexibility is
there in making changes to the policy before it is adopted?
The Commercial Use Policy for Denver Parks is a major change in how our parks
will be viewed by businesses and users. The impact to park users will be
significant. A clarification as soon as possible of the policy and what will be
done with the feedback is crucial to have a transparent and open public process.
Thank you for your attention to this matter.
Katie Fisher
Maggie Price
Co-Chairs INC Parks and Rec. Committee

 

The Vern Wagner Saga: Sentencing Hearing - March 26, 2013

Vern Wagner leaving the Fairplay courthouse
 after sentencing on March 26, 2013.
Hartsel cattle rancher Vern Wagner appeared before Judge Green in the Fairplay courthouse yesterday to be sentenced in the criminal trial in which he was found guilty of one count (out of four) of misdemeanor animal cruelty on Feb 1, 2013. He was found guilty of cruelty in the death of single cow, #132, of Wagner's over 1200 head, after the harsh Spring of 2011. Cow #132 was found by the Park County Animal Control dead and "dragged behind a rock".
On April 28, 2011 John Salazar, Department of Agriculture Commissioner, wrote to Judge Thom LeDoux of the 11th District that "the Department would be satisfied with one conviction of animal cruelty and restitution appropriately directed to the Park County Sheriff's Office." (Letter at the bottom of the page here.)
Wagner was sentenced to 30 days in jail (suspended) and  80 hours of community service. Restitution to the Park County Sheriff's Office (for the countless hours they must have spent persecuting Wagner over the years) was not even asked for by the prosecution. Judge Green noted that Wagner had no resources left. Having already been stripped of over $1 million worth of cattle and $2 million worth of land, Wagner himself told me "I'm broke".
Wagner also told me the story of cow #132: "While the snow was still deep, Animal Control officers scared her off the road and into a snow bank. I had to haul her out. They told me that the cow looked thin and needed to be fed. She was already finding spring grass, but I made sure she had plenty of hay and protein blocks. Five weeks later, I found her stuck in a pond marsh. Once again I had to haul her out, but she was weak from exposure and died that night with water in her lungs. I didn't get a chance to tell the story because my attorney advised me not to take the stand in my own defense."
Wagner is preparing to appeal the long string of civil cases presided over by a different judge, Judge Groome. Wagner's dealing with Groome go back 10 years, from before Groome was a Judge.
That story has yet to be told, and it answers the big question: Why on earth would Park County and it's sheriff's and animal control officers go after one law-abiding rancher with such a vengeance?
The Saga of Vern Wagner, to be continued...

City Park Super Playground Meeting notes


Earlier this week, representatives of some City Park neighborhoods got together to discuss the planned "super playgtround" at City Park.  Here are notes from that meeting: 

 “Re-Imagine” playground
1. Parks and Rec is asking for input from the neighborhoods AFTER decision is made
a. This is sales job
2. All reps from RNOs should be identified by name and RNO – including INC rep
3. Purpose of a park: quiet repose or “utilized”
From a woman in City Park West to (Assistant Parks Manager) Scott Gilmore:
“Our previous administration appeared to view our parks as venues to be exploited for commercial profit. This was a matter of grave concern to those of us who value parks. I had hoped that things would change with a new administration and new Council representation. Sadly, however, it would seem that the new team places no value on parks: they are simply vacant land to be traded for a new building or from which portions can be ceded for expediency. However, please know that the residents of our neighborhoods value our parks as the precious treasure they are. We know that, once given up to development or some other use, parks can never be recreated. It is my hope that Denver does not lose the great American legacy of Frederick Law Olmsted, Theodore Roosevelt, and our own Robert Speer through thoughtless dispensation of irreplaceable park land for short-term expediency.”
Issues:
1. Safe pedestrian crossings – 17th Street, Colfax, York, and 23rd.
2. Parking
a. Parking at the zoo or Museum is at the opposite end of the park
b. East is filled during the day.
c. Park Planner Britta Herwig told the developer (who asked about it) that he didn’t need to add underground parking and that it was not a problem
d. There is a new 192 unit apartment building being added into South City Park – that will mean there is no longer parking available for most residents
3. Liability issues
a. The City by statue has ZERO liability for anything that happens in the park. (Karen Aviles, City Attorney}
b. That would put sponsors liable to be sued (they should know that)
c. Lessons of USOpen Air – let sponsors know not well received and not wanted
4. Do our own surveys
a. Ask about parking concerns
b. Ask about liability issue
c. Ask about pedestrian crossing
d. Ask about police presence (a number of pedophiles live at the All Inn just a block from the park)
e. Where will Easy High School practice now?
f. It is strictly a business project – not a park enhancement
5. City Park is already a destination park with the museum and the zoo – 5 million people a year.
a. This will make another reason to come and the vast majority drive – it isn’t the near neighbors who walk that are a very big percent of visitors.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Your legislators at work on A64 - listen in now (10:00 am)

A64 joint select committee meeting room 356 Capitol Building, going on now - listen in here. Tune in again tomorrow (Tues.) at 7:30 am.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Inside Deal


From Dave Felice:
If you had any thought the city is altruistically adding five "new" acres of park land in Montbello to partially make up for the loss of Hentzell Park Natural Area, think again and read the attachment.
The proposal involves acquisition of the land by Urban Land Conservancy, which will then transfer the property to the city, which will lease the land to ELK (Environmental Learning for Kids). 
Founders of ELK?  Deputy Parks Manager Scott Gilmore and wife, Stacie.  ELK executive director is Stacie Gilmore.  Member of ELK Advisory Board is Scott Gilmore.
In May 2012 -- months before the November election, but apparently after the deal was made with DPS and the City for the park swap with 1330 Fox -- Gilmore sought an informal opinion.
Gilmore apparently seized the opportunity to be rewarded for good and faithful service to Michael B. Hancock as Council District 11 representative on Parks Advisory Board, even after getting appointed to Parks Department.  But Gilmore also created plausible deniability by stepping aside only slightly after the deal was in place. 
You would probably like for the city to provide property on which you could operate your business.

May 31, 2012

Mr. Scott Gilmore
Deputy Manager of Parks and Planning
201 West Colfax Avenue, Department 601
Denver, CO 80201

RE: Case 12-23 – your request for an advisory opinion

Dear Mr. Gilmore:

On May 24, 2012, after discussing the matter with you, Denver Board of Ethics considered the request for an advisory opinion that Manager of Parks and Recreation Lauri Dannemiller filed on March 15, 2012.

The facts as the Board understands them are as follows. You are the Deputy Manager for Parks and Planning of the Parks and Recreation Department. You and your wife, Stacie Gilmore, founded a non-profit organization called Environmental Learning for Kids (ELK) about 16 years ago. You have never been a paid employee of ELK. Your wife is now the executive director of ELK.

The Parks and Recreation Department is partnering with other communities in the metropolitan area to obtain funds from the federal government from a settlement of litigation concerning environmental contamination at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal, now transformed into a National Wildlife Refuge. One of the four projects in Denver’s proposal is to purchase land in the Montbello neighborhood that would be leased to ELK. Manager Dannemiller says that:

In order to avoid a conflict of interest, before submitting the application (for funding to the federal government) Denver Parks and Recreation put a plan in place which removed Mr. Gilmore from the decision-making process. Mr. Gilmore took no direct official action in the decision to go forward with the application. Mrs. Gilmore met only with Manager Dannemiller and (Director of Planning) Gordon Robertson to provide background on the necessity of the project to the Montbello area…All recommendations for projects from this fund came from Gordon Robertson…directly to Lauri Dannemiller, Manager of Parks and Recreation.. Ultimately, funding will be accepted by the Mayor and City Council for final approval.

Manager Dannemiller asked: “Given these circumstances, does the Ethics Board perceive any conflict of interest in our proposed handling of the application process and future securing of funds from this settlement?”

On another subject, you and/or your wife informed several young people in the ELK program that paid summer internships will be available in the Parks and Recreation Department, with the selection process being managed by Career Service Authority. You say that you recognize that the ELK young people must be given no special preference in selection of the interns and that any non-ELK applicants must be treated fairly and measured by the same criteria.

Conflicts of interest are regulated by Section 2-61 of the Denver Code of Ethics:

Sec. 2-61. Conflict of interest while employed.

The purpose of this section is to avoid influence on the official actions of city officers, employees or officials by their private or family interests,

(a) Except when advised by the city attorney that the rule of necessity applies, an officer, official, or employee shall not take direct official action on a matter before the city if he or she or a member of the immediate family, a business associate or an employer other than the city of the officer, official or employee has any substantial employment, contractual, or financial interest in that matter. A substantial interest shall be deemed to exist if:

(1) He or she or a member of the immediate family, a business associate or an employer other than the city is the other party in the matter;

(2) He, she, a spouse, a domestic partner or minor children solely or aggregated together, a business associate or an employer owns or own one (1) percent or more, or a member of the immediate family other than a spouse, domestic partner or minor children own or owns five (5) percent or more, of another party in the matter;

(3) He or she, a member of the immediate family, a business associate or an employer is an officer in another party in the matter;

(4) He or she, a member of the immediate family, a business associate or an employer is directly involved in obtaining the city's business for another party in the matter;

(5) He or she, a member of the immediate family, a business associate or an employer is directly involved in negotiating the contract or preparing the bid, proposal, response to a request for qualifications, or similar document for another party in the matter, other than in a purely clerical capacity; or

  1. A member of his or her immediate family performs more than a nominal portion of the work in the matter, or supervises or manages more than a nominal portion of the work…

(f) Officers, employees or officials who are prohibited from taking direct official action due to a substantial conflict of interest shall disclose such interest to his or her colleagues on a board or commission or to his or her supervisor or appointing authority, shall not act or vote thereon, shall refrain from attempting to influence the decisions of others in acting or voting on the matter and shall work with his or her supervisor or appointing authority to ensure that the matter is assigned to someone without conflicting interests.

(g) No officer, employee or official may have any other employment or position which is incompatible with his or her duties or that adversely affect the interests of the city. (emphasis added)

“Direct official action” is defined in Section 2-52(b) as:

(1) Negotiating, approving, disapproving, administering, enforcing, or recommending for or against a contract, purchase order, lease, concession, franchise, grant, or other similar instrument in which the city is a party. With regard to "recommending," direct official action occurs only if the person making the recommendation is in the formal line of decision making.

(2) Enforcing laws or regulations or issuing, enforcing, or regulating permits, licenses, benefits or payments;
(3) Selecting or recommending vendors, concessionaires, or other types of entities to do business with the city;

(4) Appointing and terminating employees, temporary workers, and independent contractors.

(5) Doing research for, representing, or scheduling appointments for an officer, official, or employee, provided that these activities are provided in connection with that officer's, official's, or employee's performance of (1) through (4) above. (emphasis added)
The Board of Ethics advises you and Ms. Dannemiller that the Code of Ethics will not be
violated if you did not and will not take any direct official action regarding the ELK
program, if the land is obtained and leased to ELK and that you must not attempt to
influence the decisions of others in the Parks and Recreation Department regarding ELK,
including Mr. Robertson. The Board urges you to be particularly mindful of the need to
separate yourself from any decisions at Parks and Recreation regarding ELK in order to
avoid the appearance of impropriety, particularly since Mr. Robertson directly reports to
you. In addition, in order to avoid the appearance of impropriety, you should remove
yourself from any role in interviewing or selecting young people from ELK for any Parks
and Recreation internships.

The Board thanks you and Ms. Dannemiller for submitting this request for an advisory opinion and you for attending the Board’s meeting on May 24, 2012.

For the Board of Ethics:
Leslie M. Lawson
Chair

Copy: Lauri Dannemiller

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Denver Police Survey


Dear Denver Citizens,
You are probably aware that we have been making a great deal of changes in the Denver Police Department. I can assure you, that although some are questioned, they are all made to create a department focused on preventing crime. This will make Denver an even better place to live than it is now!
One of the important changes we have been working on is transparency. I know that a community cannot fully trust and engage with its police department unless it can have full trust that decisions and actions are made for the right reasons; and that when mistakes are made, we own up to them and tell you.
Trust is achieved through transparency - and for transparency to work, there must be an exchange between the police and the community.
I have released a short survey I am hoping you will complete. The questions are taken from a similar National Survey (used to measure cities against one another). These questions are specifically related to feelings people have about safety in Denver. I view that as a critical responsibility of a police department. We will use these results to better adapt our police response and better understand how people who live and work in Denver feel.
For this to be successful, we need a large sample of people to complete the short 3-minute survey. I am asking that you take the survey and share it with people you know. It will truly help make both the police department and city of Denver better. Take the survey here:https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/7PPL26C (Ed. note: Now closed)
Sincerely,
Robert C White
Chief of Police
Joe A. Montoya
Denver Police Department
Commander District Three
Office: 720-913-1275
Cell: 720-641-0996

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Community Town Hall on The School Finance Act



Tuesday, March 26th 
6:00 - 7:30 pm 
Washington Street Community Center
809 S. Washington St, Denver
Sen. Aguilar welcomes Reilly Pharo with the Colorado Children’s Campaign where she serves as the Vice President of Education Initiatives. The Colorado Children’s Campaign advocates for children at the State Capitol and in communities across Colorado in the areas of K-12 Education, Early Childhood and Child Health.
Colorado’s mechanism for financing its public schools, the School Finance Act, was last overhauled in 1994. Senator Michael Johnston has introduced the first major effort in nearly 20 years to modernize school financing. The goal of the bill will be to make our school financing more equitable and sufficient for every school district in the state.  Please join us and learn about school financing and how this will impact the education for Colorado’s children.
Senator Aguilar hosts regular town hall meetings in her district. As always, the public is encouraged to participate and ask questions of the Senator and panelists and to share input and ideas. All of her town hall meetings are free, non-partisan and open to the public.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Do you live in Stapleton?

If you live in Stapleton, you might want to check this map. You might also want to read the document below to see if you signed it or something like it when you moved in.



Thursday, March 14, 2013

FORCED SEXUAL ASSAULT AT 13TH & EMERSON


From Denver Police District 6


FORCED SEXUAL ASSAULT AT 13TH & EMERSON

Shortly after midnight on Sunday, March 10th a citizen was attacked near East 13th Ave and N. Emerson St. The victim was forced into a nearby alley where the assault took place.  The suspects then ran North toward Colfax Ave.  This type of random, forced sexual assault is relatively uncommon in District 6 and Cmdr. Tony Lopez and DPD are asking for everyone to become familiar with these suspect descriptions and call police at 911 if you recognize them in the area.

The involved parties are described as:

Suspect #1- A medium skin toned Black male in his mid 20’s with a small afro.  He was about 6’1” to 6’2” tall weighing 135 to 140 lbs.  He had a noticeable scar over his left eye, through his eyebrow. He was wearing a red shirt with no collar and writing on the front.  He wore a dark colored hooded sweat jacket, blue or black jeans and black sneakers.  He was also wearing a gold watch with a gold sectioned band on his right arm.

Suspect1

Suspect #2 – A white male in his mid 20’s with brownish blonde hair in a short buzz cut.  He was 6’1” to 6’2” tall with a very muscular build and weighing about 200 lbs.  He was wearing a black shiny windbreaker type jacket, dark jeans and Nike high top tennis shoes.  He had a tattoo on his right forearm that was described as letters in a language other than English, but not Chinese.  The suspect had a silver ring on one of his fingers that looked like a large class ring.  Suspect #2 had a deep voice.

Suspect2

The investigation is ongoing. Detectives are working on all available leads.

We would ask that the public be aware of the descriptions provided and contact DPD if any suspicious persons are seen in the immediate area or if the descriptions provided sound “familiar” or if the persons described may have been recently seen in the area.

The Special Crime Attack Team (SCAT) will be working in the area in hopes of locating/apprehending these individuals.

If you have any information please call DPD at 720-913-7867.   A reward of up to $2,000 is being offered by Crime Stoppers.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Denver Councilwoman Kniech on Hentzell Vote

Complaint filed against Denver School Board






Colorado Latino Forum Denver Metro Chapter
Files Administrative Complaint under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
Against Denver Public Schools Board of Education, Mary Seawell President
Denver - The Colorado Latino Forum (CLF) Denver Metro Chapter, whose mission is to increase the political, social, educational and economic strength of Latinas and Latinos, requests relief for Latino students in Denver Public Schools District 4 (D4) under Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act that bans discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin in programs and activities that receive Federal funds or other forms of Federal financial assistance. 42 U.S.C. § 2000d.
CLF Metro Denver Chapter asserts that there has been an act of discrimination on the basis of race against Latinos as a group, in the activity of selecting a school board member to fill the remaining the D4 position vacated by Nate Easely on January 18, 2013. Under state law the position must be filled within 60 days of Easley’s resignation.  We claim specifically that qualified Latino candidates were excluded by an arbitrary and capricious process within a school district that is comprised of nearly 60% Latino students.

1.    Qualified Latinos have been intentionally and discriminatorily excluded from the finalist pool.
We believe the discrimination occurred with the exclusion of all qualified Latino applicants on Feb 4, 2013 when the finalists were named during a hastily convened school board meeting. None of the nine finalists from a pool of twenty-five included a Latino. One highly qualified but rejected Latina candidate was Dr. Barbara Medina who was the Assistant Commissioner for Innovation and Transformation at the Colorado Department of Education where she directed the Language, Culture and Equity Unit.

Student Walkout Tomorrow


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WHAT: Students standing up for our education
WHEN: March 14th, 2013 from 11am – 2:30pm
WHERE: West Steps of the Colorado State Capitol

On February 23rd, students gathered at the Colorado Student Power Alliance to discuss what is wrong with the current education system and how they could get their voices heard. From there, the students developed an action plan to have their voices heard.

We, the students, are standing up for our education. We no longer want to be part of the cookie-cutter system where everyone is taught the same and forced to take a standardized test that we memorize answers to, making us products of the public education assembly line.

Update on All Things A64 by Jessica LeRoux - March 13, 2013


Hey Now, 
Im just adding some info to the newsletter from Monday... the 1st meeting of the legislative group who will be submitting a bill to the legislature based on the governors A-64 task force is set to meet on Friday the 15th, at 1:30pm at the capitol building.  "Joint Select Committee on the Implementation of the Amendment 64 Task Force Recommendations — will meet on Friday and again the following Friday, March 22. Both meetings will be at 1:30 p.m. in the Old Supreme Court Chambers of the state Capitol."
We need you to share this info, be there, and or write letters to the committee. 
the task force report has been released, and here is a link... http://www.colorado.gov/cs/Satellite/Revenue-Main/XRM/1251633708470
or this is just the final report... 

Thanks for being part of the force for good, not evil. do your part! 

Jessica LeRoux
Twirling Hippy Confections
2145 W Evans Denver CO
303 922 3661 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Big News! $447,000 for Globeville, Elyria and Swansea Projects!


Exciting News!Last Thursday, WildEarth Guardians, being represented by the DU Environmental Law Clinic, and Xcel Energy resolved a lawsuit with a big win for the community. Both parties decided that $447,000 would be entrusted to Groundwork Denver to implement projects in Globeville, Elyria and Swansea neighborhoods. Because of this settlement, the residents will have a new park where they can connect with nature, walk, bike and play. At least 140 homes will be insulated, collectively saving $27,000 per year, and a solar PV system will be installed on a public or community building, saving another $3,400 per year. Each of these projects will benefit the residents while also demonstrating a sustainable future for the neighborhoods. You can read about the case and the settlement in the Denver Post. We expect to start the projects in about three months once all of the settlement paperwork is completed. Thank you to both parties for putting the community first! 

DENVER PUBLIC SCHOOLS Interdepartmental Communication

Board of Education David Suppes, Chief Operating Officer Through: Trena Deane, Executive Director, Facility Management March 11, 2013
Approval of Fox Street/Hampden Heights land exchange
Purpose: approve the exchange and development agreements (“Agreements”) with the City and County of Denver that allows for the exchange of 1330 Fox Street for 11.7 acres of land in Hampden Heights.
Executive Director, Facility Management, requests the Denver Public Schools (“DPS”) Board of Education to
Background\Related Facts:    DPS staff and the Mayor’s Office have come to definitive terms for the land exchange of 1330 Fox Street (“Fox Street”) and 11.7 acres located in the Hampden Heights neighborhood at the corner of Girard Avenue and Havana Street (“Hampden Heights”).
Elementary schools located in southeast Denver have been experiencing severe overcrowding. DPS staff determined that elementary‐aged children would continue to grow over the next several years. Significant short‐term steps were taken to address the shortage of classroom seats in the region: 1) we have added three modular units at Samuels; 2) we redesigned the library at Southmoor to add a classroom; and 3) we moved fifth‐grade classrooms out of Holm and relocated them to a neighboring middle school, shuttling students back and forth hourly for special programming.
Despite these changes, the area is in need of a new elementary or early childhood center to help ease pressure on existing elementary school facilities in the area. Funding for a new elementary school in SE Denver was included in the 2012 General Obligation Bond package approved by Denver voters last November.    DPS staff conducted a search for a site that would allow for a school or ECE center that would help lessen the overcrowding. After an extensive search, DPS located the 11.7 acre site at Hampden Heights.    DPS staff began conversations with the City in an effort to understand if it was possible to purchase the site.

All Things A64 with Jessica LeRoux - March 11, 2013

Hey Now,

Time to get geared up for legislative fight, the task force recommendations are due to be released today, but nothing is up at the DOR website yet this AM... the rec's are not set in law, so now is the time to make sure that the worst of the myopic mistakes are not codified into our laws. WE need letter writers and bodies to fill the capitol benches, which one are you?  Cannabis isnt free yet, do your part please!


TODAY! 3:30 pm Denver City Council meeting on recreational cannabis sign up for public comment 3pm sharp! 
http://www.denvergov.org/Portals/695/documents/Meeting_3_11_13.pdf
Meeting Schedule of the Denver City Council for the weeks of March 11, 2013 and March 18, 2013.
The public may request from the Chair an opportunity to speak on these measures by contacting Legislative Services in advance at 720-337-2000, or by email at dencc@denvergov.org (please put “Public Comment Request” in the subject line).
Monday, March 11:
Please note there is public comment scheduled for Monday, March 11th in
the Special Issues: Amendment 64 Committee, and for Wednesday, March 13th in the Government and Finance
Committee.
3:30 p.m.
Special Issues: Amendment 64. Members: Brown (Chair), Susman (Vice-Chair), Committee of the Whole (all 13 Councilmembers). Staff: Gretchen Williams. 1) Public comment on the implementation of Amendment 64 in Denver. See above for more information. 2) State Task Force recommendations and proposed legislation. 3) Invited Speakers: Dr. Christian Thurstone; Christian Sederberg, Esq.; Diane Carslon-Robinson. 3rd Floor Council Conference Room, Room 391, City & County Building.
*Sign up to speak between 3:00 - 3:15 p.m. in Room 391



MMED Rule Making 2013The process will continue once the Amendment 64 Task Force Report has been released
and we have a better understanding of if or how the MMED may be affected by 
the recommendations and the General Assembly's direction.  
 
Occupational Licensing
Requests for occupational licensing background checks made after
8:00AM, Thursday, March 7, 2013 will not be accommodated,
but we will continue to accommodate walk-in applicants when we are able to do so.   

If you have left a message requesting an appointment prior to 8:00AM, March 7th,
you will be contacted and an appointment scheduled.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

REPORT FROM THE STREETS



Impact of the Unauthorized Camping Ban on Denver’s Homeless Community

Denver, CO - Denver Homeless Out Loud (DHOL) invites the public to the release of a survey on the impact of the City of Denver’s Unauthorized Camping Ban on 500 homeless people living in Denver. The ordinance allows the police to require the homeless to go to a shelter or move along whenever they are caught covering themselves from the cold and elements or face criminal sanctions.

When: April 3 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Where: Cornerstone Residences, 1001 Park Ave. (at Curtis St.), Denver, CO 80218

The survey was drafted and conducted by DHOL, homeless people and experienced researchers who are deeply concerned about the impact of this law enforcement tool on those living in the streets without homes and in shelters. It was painstakingly prepared, and surveyors were carefully trained to be unbiased in conducting the survey. DHOL believes that speaking with the homeless is the only way to understand the impact of the ban.

Over 500 people experiencing homelessness in Denver volunteered their time to complete the survey. The report is produced in collaboration with Professor Tony Robinson and students of the University of Colorado Denver, Department of Political Science. The survey results provide valuable information about the impact of the ordinance and how we can better serve the homeless in Denver. DHOL will make the data publicly available to the homeless, the Mayor’s Commission on the Homeless, and constituencies who work with the homeless. We hope our data helps improve the safety of those who live on the streets, increases services, and improves rapid re-housing options.

For more information on the DHOL survey or the release event please contact info@denverhomelessoutloud.org or visit our website athttp://denverhomelessoutloud.org/

Senior Day at the Capitol


Friday, March 8, 2013

REASONS FOR HENTZELL PARK LAND GIVE-AWAY ARE INVALID



1.  “Denver has an adequate amount of parkland.” 

A judgment of adequacy depends on the standard that is used to measure adequacy.  When evaluated against reasonable standards, Denver does not have an adequate amount of urban parkland.  When the amount of urban parkland in Denver, 6,286 acres, is compared with the amount in a city with a comparable population and level of density such as PortlandOregonDenver lags far behind.  Denver has 10 acres of parkland per 1,000 people compared to Portland’s 25 acres per 1,000 people.   AuroraCO has 30 acres of parkland per 1,000 people. 

2.  “The loss of parkland is a reasonable bargain in light of the designation of other land managed by the Department of Parks and Recreation.(DPR).”  

Giving away parkland is absolutely unprecedented in our system, and it is not an action that likely would be approved by a majority of the voters of the City and County of Denver. 

A review, under an open records request to the DPR, of records pertaining to the land that has been described by the Manager of DPR as new land to be turned into parkland (Heron Pond, Stapleton, and Montbello) in “trade” for the land that is to be lost at Hentzell Park, shows that only 4.4 acres at Heron Pond, land best described as an industrial waste land, will be newly added to the park system, as a result of the Hentzell Park land swap—and that area is already owned by the City.  The other land to which she has publicly referred as mitigation for Hentzell Park is land that has long been in the works for conversion to parkland.