Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Colorado Sen. Mike Johnston Update

I spend most of my update time talking about my kids, not just because they are funny, but because they are omnipresent.

But this one is about my parents.

My parents have been married for 41 years; they are both fervent Catholics but were not originally married in the Catholic Church because my dad was married once before. Since I was in high school, they have been talking about getting married in the Catholic Church and renewing their vows. But along the way they were too busy worrying about everyone else, raising us, supporting a community, building a business. There was never time.

Seven years ago, my dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. This past November, his care became serious enough that we had to move him to a memory care facility, and last month he was hospitalized with pneumonia and we were worried.

Finding of No Significant Impact

24-AH 64 "Apache" helicopters
The Department of Defense (DOD) and Department of the Army (DOA) announced two public meetings next week to discuss their plans to issue yet another Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the 238,000 acre Piñon Canyon Maneuver Site (PCMS) in southeastern Colorado. 

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Proposed Changes to Rules and Regulations Regarding Marijuana

Civic Center Park 4/20/2014

City & County of Denver
Department of Parks and Recreation
Notice of Public Hearing regarding
Proposed Changes to Rules and Regulations
Notice is hereby given that effective June 12, 2014 the Parks and Recreation Rules and Regulations amendments will be amended to address the following issues: 
8A.0    Marijuana. (39-10)  The prohibition of the consumption, use, display, transfer, distribution, sale, or growth of marijuana, as specified herein, is important to the safe and harmonious public use of Park Facilities.
            8A.1:    Violation: The consumption, use, display, transfer, distribution, sale, or growth of marijuana in a Park Facility is prohibited.
The Administrative Citation Rules and Regulations for the Denver Department of Parks and Regulations, as adopted May 11, 2012, are hereby amended with respect to Attachment B (Penalty Fines) to add the following fine for violation of Section 39-10(c), D.R.M.C., regarding marijuana, which fine is in accordance with Section 39-10(d), D.R.M.C.:
Section 39-10(c)                     Marijuana                                $150.00
The existing provisions in Attachment B pertaining to a second offense within one year and a third offense within one year shall be applicable to violations involving marijuana.
A copy of the Rules and Regulations, as amended, is on file with the Manager of Parks and Recreation and is available for public inspection on the websitewww.denvergov.org/parksandrecreation. A public hearing will take place June 12 at 5:30 p.m. in the Wellington Webb Municipal Building located at 201 W Colfax Ave., 4th floor, room 4.F.6.
By:  /S/  LAURI DANNEMILLER
Manager, Parks and Recreation

a

Monday, April 28, 2014

LAST MINUTE NOTICE

She's 81-years-old Black and afraid. The neighbors have received hateful flyers against Blacks and Jews. She is willing to stand with the community. Are we willing to stand with her and the neighbors? We will gather at 2700 Lafayette at 4:30 pm and canvas the community at 5:00 pm. Stand Against Hate! Period! Share.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Saturday, 1:pm, April 26th at the Denver Capitol Building - NoKXL

From: rtraversoestes@gmail.com on behalf of Roberta Traverso Mooney (Roberta.T.Mooney@gmail.com)
Sent:Fri 4/25/14 2:35 PM
To:350denverannouncement@lists.riseup.net
REMINDER:
Mark your calendars: tomorrow is the #NoKXL #RejectAndProtect action in Denver! 
On April 26th, thousands of people around the country will stand with the Cowboy Indian Alliance currently in DC to send a message that we must reject the Keystone XL pipeline!

UPDATE FROM FRIENDS OF DENVER PARKS - APRIL 25, 2014

Newsletter from Renee Lewis - President
Friends of Denver Parks

Just wanted to take a moment to let folks know about a new Facebook page

Denver Alliance for Public Education

Who loves the Lorax?  Join us at Forest Freak

As you probably have noticed that the only way to get real news these days is through our community newspapers and neighbors. We are going back to the era of "Fence Talk" to find out what's really happening in the neighborhood. I think at this time in our history that it is important to form up groups such as the Denver Alliance for Public Education, so that everyone can get information beyond the polished campaigns designed to sell ideas that are for profit-making and not the welfare of school children.

The Hampden Heights North Park fiasco is a good example. The safety of this site for a school is absolutely unacceptable. Neighbors from the very beginning expressed concerns about the safety for the children in this plan. Now it appears that the Culture of Deceit continues as we have learned the contract for Rocky Mountain Prep School has likely been decided behind Tom Boasberg's closed doors without fair process. Are we surprised? Clearly this idea was designed for profit and not for the children. Seems there's a lot of that going around these days.

CAN TPP BE DEFEATED?

This week we seemed to score a few in the win column - all things considered. We started off with the New York Times Editorial Board finally taking a position on TPP that reflected some critical analysis, and the L.A. Times running a TPP Op-Ed penned by Congress Members Louise SlaughterGeorge Miller and Rosa DeLauro - giving these vocal opponents of Fast Track and TPP nearly as much space as Secretary of State John Kerry had for his "TPP love letter" several weeks back.   

Then we heard that 
President Obama this week failed to smooth out the TPP rough spots with Japan so he could return from his four-nation Asia trip with his hoped for TPP "agreement in principle." (Because the information source requires a paid subscription, the link above is to my post on the Global TPP Team Facebook page. Thanks to CTC's Arthur Stamoulis for sharing the original article.) 
  

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Anthony responds to LiveWell re: I-70 relocation

Rachel,

While you have taken it upon LiveWell to remove I-70 from its current location and put it in a new one, a wonderfully admirable task known as NIMBYism, which you will find, if there ever is a new EIS opened for that concept, won't be universally welcomed in Adams County; oddly enough nobody from your group seems to realize that moving a school is less expensive than moving an interstate highway.

You've also conveniently ignored the additional 6-8 years of planning which would be involved, thus putting the 650 children in Swansea Elementary in limbo underneath the viaduct to no good purpose, because a boulevard at grade next to the school will be a much worse disaster than the below grade, covered highway. But, you're the expert in our neighborhood, since only 4% of us have a college degree (just read the Piton Foundation report.)

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

STUDENT DEBT PROTEST - FRIDAY AT THE CAPITOL

 Students and Labor Allies to Protest
Department of Education
 on Anniversary of $1 Trillion of Student Debt

Denver, Colorado – April 25, 2014

Two years ago this month, American student educational debt passed the $1 trillion mark ― a level that is unmatched in any other country around the globe.

Therefore, on Friday, April 25, 2014, the Colorado Student Power Alliance (COSPA) and supporting organizations ― including Colorado Jobs With Justice ― will protest this unjust situation. Demonstrators will gather at 9 a.m. at the Denver Capitol building at 200 E. Colfax and then march to the U.S. Department of Education building at 1244 N. Speer Boulevard.

Students and their supporting demonstrators will demand that Arne Duncan, the head of the U.S. Department of Education, make four key changes to the current system of higher education that continues to drown students in crippling debt and long-term economic hardship:

1.   A mandatory increase in Pell Grants, which serve low-income students.
2.   Full disclosure of banking products used by colleges and universities;
3.   That all students be informed about federal repayment loan opportunities, including the Income-Based Repayment and Pay-As-You-Earn programs, which provide low-cost alternatives for repaying debt.
4.   That the regional Department of Education refuse to resign contracts with Sallie Mae, one of the largest lenders in the nation that profits from student debt. 

Finally, students will share their stories about how educational debt has negatively impacted their lives and, in many cases, their families’ lives.


The Colorado Student Power Alliance wants to make the American public aware of the troubling nature of student debt in the U.S., its damaging effects, and workable ways we can reduce it in order to protect future generations from repayment default and economic hardship.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Tom Boasberg and a Culture of Deceit

To say there is a Culture of Deceit in our school system is a lesson that Friends of Denver Parks learned very early on when we encountered the back room dealings of Superintendent Tom Boasberg and Mayor Michael Hancock. Then we learned that those who didn't go along with the plan promptly lost their positions. To say there is a Culture of Deceit is an understatement.

I was so saddened to see voters agree to support Tom Boasberg this last election and provide him with more "bobble heads" ie yes men when we had regular folks running for school board seats who live in the community, and were clearly ready to question the status quo. I guess they didn't have shiny shoes and a slick story, so they didn't win. I hope that everyone will think clearer next election and gets some real scrappers to fight this craziness.

In case, you thought it was just me that noticed, take a look at the feature WestWord
article this week. It is as grim as it gets as our experienced teachers are being layed off in droves to fit the new models of low-wage pay for teachers. This is our community and the action of Tom Boasberg is going to hurt us all.
Just this Friday, Friends of Denver Parks sent out an article we found from the Colorado Chalk Beat.

"A perception at Hampden Heights lingers that Rocky Mountain Prep, a high-structure charter school, is a shoo-in for the campus.
The charter’s own actions may have exacerbated those feelings. The school recently posted a job listing for a “Founding School Leader: Hampden Heights Campus.” They have since changed it to the more generic “Founding School Leader: Second Campus."

Colorado Chalk Beat, April 18, 2018

INADEQUATE TRANSPARENCY

The blue t-shirts of Rocky Mountain Prep dominate the Hampden Heights community meeting.
Accusations of inadequate transparency have tarnished Denver Public Schools’ efforts to select a school operator for a controversial new southeast campus.
The planned elementary school at Hampden Heights, where construction started in January, has for months been at the center of public disputes between neighbors and DPS, including a lawsuit over land acquisition scheduled to be argued in Denver District Court in May. Three applicants — charter school Rocky Mountain Prep, an expeditionary learning school, and a traditional neighborhood school — are vying to occupy the new campus.  The Denver school board will pick the winner in June.
But some area residents accuse the district of having settled on the Rocky Mountain Prep charter, before the community has a chance to provide input and an official process can take place. It’s an accusation school district officials have been quick to counter, saying DPS systems for selecting new schools have been overhauled to remove any possibility of favoritism.

Improving transparency

But charges of sham transparency have proved difficult for the district to counter. Most recently, the district has faced controversy over a new high school in Stapleton. And recent years have seen conflict over new schools at the North and West High School campuses and in the Far Northeast. Debates across the city have been punctuated by accusations against the district of insufficient communication and favoritism for charter networks.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

CLIMATE PROTECTION RELATED EVENTS

Gasland II – Free Screening at the Central Library in Denver
What: DPL and FWW Denver are sponsoring a free screening of Josh Fox' Gasland II. This documentary explores how fracking is polluting our air and water, exacerbating climate change and corrupting our democracy.
When: Monday, April 21st, 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Where:
 Denver Public Library – Central Branch (13th Ave and Broadway) in the B2 Conf. Center

More Info:
 http://denverlibrary.org/event/film-gasland-part-ii-2013


THURSDAY 4/24
Water & Energy in Colorado & the West
What: Attorney Ronald L. Lehr will talk about “The Clean Energy Vision”, a coalition effort which makes the case for better power generation and transmission choices using clean and smart generation technologies and strategies throughout the West. Sponsored by CRES – Colorado Renewable Energy Society
When: Thursday, April 24, 6:30pm – 9:00pm
Where:
 Jefferson Unitarian Church, 14350 W. 32nd Ave, Golden

More Info:
 http://www.meetup.com/CRES-Jeffco-Renewable-Energy-Energy-Efficiency-Meetup/events/177761232/

FRIDAY 4/25
EarthLinks' Earth Day Concert - Fundraiser
What: Earth Day Concert
When: Friday, April 25, 5pm - 8pm
Where:
 Earthlinks – 2746 W. 13th Ave.

More Info:
 http://www.earthlinks-colorado.org/earthlinks-earth-day-concert/

SATURDAY 4/26
No KXL Pipeline March & Rally
What: A march and rally against construction of the KXL Tar Sands Pipeline sponsored by the Denver branch of the International Socialist Organization (ISO)
When: Saturday, April 26, 2014, 1pm - 4pm
Where:
 1:00 rally at the State Capitol, 1:30 march, and 2:30 finish at Lincoln Park

More Info:
 denversocialists.org/resistkxl 

350 DENVER - RADAR SCREEN
Global Climate Convergence – Denver
Earth Day to May Day 2014 - Activities and Actions 2014
https://www.facebook.com/events/471643619633533/

May 2014 – Colorado Anti-Fracking Grassroots Organizing – In May many grassroots anti-fracking organizing efforts will kick into full gear. This includes FWW's (Food and Water Watch) “Local Control over Fracking” ballot petition as well as the “Loveland Fracking Moratorium Initiative” June 24th Loveland ballot vote. It will be all hands on deck in our fight against the fossil fuel industry. Stay tuned. More info to come at the end of this month.
En Solidaridad, 
Evi (350 Denver Volunteer)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

NOT 1 MORE ACRE! (Pinon Canyon Update)

from Not 1 More Acre!

It's been three months since our seven-year-old funding ban prohibiting spending on any aspect of expansion -- the largest planned military expansion in US history -- at the Pentagon's Piñon Canyon Maneuver Site in southern Colorado was thrown under the bus by United States Senator Mark Udall and Congressman Cory Gardner.
Together those politicians opened the money spigot wide, and immediately a new flood of tax dollars are pouring in to realize the Pentagon's vision of turning this vast region into the world's epicenter for developing full-scale electronic warfare.
In the 1980s, the Pentagon located its Piñon Canyon Maneuver Site (PCMS) on 250,000 acres of fragile shortgrass prairie at the headwinds of the Dust Bowl for political advantage not military necessity. In 1999, the Pentagon secretly began planning massive expansion of land and air for enhanced military operations at PCMS that, despite denials by politicians, continues to this day.
The defense industry's ongoing expanded and intensified use of PCMS with its insatiable greed for land, money and power threaten thousands of generational family ranchers and communities that have fed America and protected the nation's unique and last remaining native shortgrass prairie for well over a century.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Friday, April 11, 2014

FANNIE MAE PULLS THE PLUG ON CASTLE LAW GROUP, ARONOWITZ & MECKLENBERG

via email
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: J. Moody 303 618-2122
Goldman Gantenbein Law Firm

The Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA), more commonly known as FANNIE MAE announced today they will no longer be using well-known Denver foreclosure law firms; Castle Law Group and Aronowitz & Mecklenburg.

Fannie Mae had suddenly terminated its relationship and has ceased doing business with both Castle and Aronowitz. Fannie Mae is known for having strict guidelines and low tolerance for violations of any kind.

Fannie Mae has already turned referrals of new foreclosure cases, and transferred existing cases to other law firms.

There has not been any formal comments from the Government-Sponsored Enterprise (GSE) who oversee Fannie Mae although it has been commonly reported the two law firms have been under the Colorado Attorney General’s (AG) investigation for allegedly overcharging fees in serving foreclosure notices to homeowners.

The Denver Post wrote recently, the AG’s office claimed one of the law firms “misrepresented its costs and charged more than twice what it paid for posting services”.

The investigation of these billing discrepancies from Castle Law Group and Aronowitz & Mecklenburg led to the finding of several county Public Trustees in Colorado overcharging their foreclosure costs. Those costs were then passed on to the banks and then to homeowners. There were also claims of collusion and price fixing among foreclosure law firms in the state as well.

The Attorney General’s investigations helped push Colorado state legislature to create new bills to help homeowners in foreclosure.

Real Estate and Foreclosure Defense Attorney Keith Gantenbein helped draft Representative Beth McCann’s bills, HB 14-1130 called “Foreclosure Cure Remit Unpaid Fees to Borrower Act” and HB 14-1295 requiring a single point of contact for a borrower when negotiating a loan modification and prohibits Dual Tracking. Gantenbein also testified for both bills.

Denver Dems (District 8) Spaghetti Dinner


WHAT TO DO THIS FRIDAY AFTERNOON

1. Watch the video and read along with the lyrics. Turn it up, even if you are at work.

2. Absorb the message
3. Take the afternoon off and go outside.
4. Steer clear of wah-wah.

George Harrison – Wah-Wah Lyrics
Wah-wah
You've given me a wah-wah
And Im thinking of you
And all the things that we used to do
Wah-wah, wah-wah

Wah-wah
You made me such a big star
Being there at the right time
Cheaper than a dime
Wah-wah, you've given me your wah-wah, wah-wah

Oh, you don't see me crying
Oh, you don't hear me sighing

Wah-wah
I don't need no wah-wah
And I know how sweet life can be
If I keep myself free from the wah-wah
I don't need no wah-wah

Oh, you don't see me crying
Hey baby, you don't hear me sighing
Oh, no no-no no

Wah-wah
Now I don't need no wah-wahs
And I know how sweet life can be
If I keep myself free - of wah-wah
I don't need no wah-wah

Wah-wah (repeat and fade)
Songwriters: PAGE, JAMES PATRICK / PLANT, ROBERT
Wah-Wah lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Climate Change and I-70

from Denver City Councilwoman Debbie Ortega's April newsletter.

Millennials want a sustainable environment and they are willing to create new paradigm shift in how they live to achieve it. In fact, recent research shows a decline in these young professionals obtaining a drivers license or owning a car; they utilize public transportation and new transportation services that are accessed through on-line applications. They don't own a home and gravitate to creative industries. They get it! I have begun to see people from my generation also using some of these new transportation options. "If the pattern persists - and many sociologists believe it will - it will have beneficial implications for carbon emissions and the environment, since transportation is the second largest source of America's emissions, just behind power plants," according to a New York Times analysis. Science has confirmed that climate change is largely a result of human behavior as reiterated in this recent article.

Climate change is one of the many reasons we need to scrutinize the number of lanes proposed for the I-70 East highway project. The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) will issue the Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (SDEIS) for replacing the I-70 East corridor in July. A 45-day comment period and very likely, a public hearing will follow. After the comment period CDOT will complete the EIS and submit it to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The FHWA will issue a Record of Decision approving or rejecting the project. I strongly encourage the residents along the I-70 corridor, especially those in neighborhoods that are most directly affected, to thoroughly review the details of the EIS and submit their input!

The EIS provides an opportunity to re-evaluate transportation assumptions. CDOT Director Don Hunt and his team have worked hard over the past ten years to develop a plan for I-70 that meets the need to move cars and trucks. Through their efforts a proposal to widen the highway, remove the current viaduct, move the highway below ground and cover a portion of the roadway has been developed. The "Partially Lowered Covered" (PCL) concept will increase the footprint of this transportation corridor from 117 feet to 250 feet. Is this wise?

Do we need to encroach this far into existing neighborhoods? The cover or lid may reduce health impacts to the residents caused by moving the highway closer to homes and schools. But the evidence is strong that the further a highway is from homes and schools, the better. I question the proposed width of this corridor in an urban area. When you include lanes, managed (toll) lanes, shoulder lanes and ramps the highway will be 16 lanes wide. In addition, CDOT plans to build two, two-lane services roads. One on each side of the highway. The overall width of the project will be the equivalent of 20 lanes!

The FasTrack East line will open in 2016. The line will efficiently move people along the "Corridor of Opportunity" from downtown to DIA. If ridership is as successful as on existing corridors, there will be less demand for highway lanes.

Do we need four "toll/managed lanes" down the center of I-70 from Brighton Blvd to Tower Road? How will traffic from the "toll/managed" lanes merge into other lanes once it gets to Brighton Blvd? Recent articles raise questions about the use of these lanes. Some communities are finding motorists unwilling to pay for access. The lanes are not as heavily utilized and therefore have not been generating the projected revenues. We know that the devil is always in the details, which we won't see until July 2014.

I understand this reconstruction has to meet transportation needs for the next 50 plus years, but let's not just settle for the mentality that if we build it, they will come! We should all be good stewards of the environment and our neighborhoods. We need to work collectively to leave future generation's a sustainable environment. We need to build a roadway of the future that minimizes negative impacts on neighborhoods and the environment. Let's leave the old thinking that requires we build the roadway to the maximum width behind. Let's use our knowledge and vision to challenge old assumptions and avoid contributing to the environmental and social degradation of these neighborhoods and our city.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

SUNDAY PARKING IN CITY PARK

from Ean Tofoya via FB:
Letter from Parks & Recreation re: Sunday Parking in City Park
Dear Neighbors of City Park –
We would like your input/feedback on a potential operations change we are considering for City Park.
For the past several years, a majority of the park entrances and roads have been closed on Sundays. This dates back to a request that was made by the Denver Police Department years ago when gang issues and violence plagued the area.
Over the years, the social issues in the neighborhood have improved, but the road/gate closures have remained in place. We’ve received some feedback from area residents that this operation procedure has led to increased parking issues in the surrounding neighborhoods on Sundays throughout the year.
We have discussed this with the Denver Police Department and they have given Parks and Recreation their support of re-opening those gates and roads that are temporarily closed on Sundays. In cooperation with DPD, we will monitor the operations change and if there are issues that arise that are a concern to either DPD or Parks we leave open the option to return to how the park has been managed during previous years. By making this change, we estimate it will add 365 parking spaces within City Park on those particular Sundays. I have attached a map of the west side of the park to help understand where the additional parking on Sundays would happen.
This proposed plan to open the gates and roads in the park on Sunday does not include any of the permanently closed roads. We are only proposing to open the roads that are closed on Sundays, but are normally open every other day of the week.
We will still limit access to the area around the Pavilion on Jazz in the Park days, but this opening of the roads (primarily on the west side of the park) on Sunday’s will significantly increase the parking capacity in the park on those days.
Before we move forward with this change, we would like to hear your feedback. Do you support this change or do you have concerns? Please have your constituents email me directly over the next 10-14 days. I will follow-up with you again after that time to let you know what we heard from the collective neighborhoods. In addition, if you would like me to attend one of your upcoming meetings in the next month or so to discuss this change, please email me directly and I will be happy to make time or find another DPR staff member to attend in my place.
Thanks for all your support of City Park,
Scott Gilmore | Deputy Director of Parks and Planning
Parks and Recreation
City and County of Denver
720.913.0665 Phone | 720.837.0489 Cell
scott.gilmore@denvergov.org

COMMUNITY GRANTS AVAILABLE

Community grants to Re-imagine Denver’s Public Spaces A benefit for RNOs. Applications for proposals start April 14 and are open until May 30 at this link on the INC website.

The pilot P.S. You Are Here matching-grant was designed to inspire innovative ideas by community members who themselves would be impacted by the projects. We encourage place-based, grassroots involvement from residents, artists, neighborhood associations, non- and for-profit organizations and businesses to claim, initiate and drive the creation of temporary, authentic demonstrations and activation of public spaces. These short-term, low-cost and scalable projects are intended to transform underutilized urban spaces, increase collaboration, honor heritage, build civic engagement, beautify neighborhoods, enrich communities and inspire long-term change.

LOCK THE KIDS UP AT NIGHT TO KEEP THEM SAFE

Denver SafeNite Program and Curfew Ordinance
From April 4, 2014 through September 28, 2014, Public Safety Youth Programs diversion officers and Denver police officers will team-up to run the Denver SafeNite Program. The program offers court diversion opportunities for youth 17 years of age and younger while police actively enforce Denver’s Curfew Ordinance.
Denver’s Curfew Ordinance prohibits youth from being in a public place or on public property from 11pm - 5am, Sunday through Thursday and 12am - 5am Friday and Saturday unless:
  • The minor is accompanied by a parent or legal guardian (an adult friend does not qualify as a legal guardian)
  • The minor is accompanied by an adult (18 or older) AND that adult is in possession of written permission from the parent or legal guardian
  • The minor is in a motor vehicle being used in INTERSTATE travel
  • The minor is working, traveling to work, or returning from work WITHOUT any detour stop; or attending an official school, religious or other recreational activity supervised by adults and sponsored by the city, civic organizations, religious organizations or another similar entity.
Although the curfew is enforced year-round, youth that break curfew during the active enforcement period of April through September are transported to the Denver Juvenile Services Center at 303 W. Colfax Ave. 1st Floor, Denver, CO 80204. Their parents are then contacted and a citation is issued.
Youth cited for a first time municipal ordinance violation are given the option of participating in a diversion program as an alternative to entering the court system. If the option is accepted by the youth and his/her parent(s), a customized diversion plan is developed based on an individual assessment. Once the plan is successfully completed, the case is dismissed without a court appearance.
The Denver SafeNite Program was implemented in 1994 and is a joint effort between the Denver Police Department and Denver Public Safety Youth Programs.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Observations on Colfax Rec Center‏

Message to: Jeff Green,
Public Relations Divison,
Denver Parks and Recreation
Jeff.Green@denvergov.org

Thanks for asking for our (online survey) input on the Recreation Center on Colfax.

Would you please share copies of your research to date on demographics of the area where you intend to build the new rec center with City Park Friends and Neighbors (CPFAN)? That will help to illuminate the needs of the citizens and make for good planning.

I would like to suggest that you include services that will allow the many homeless families and children as well as the old and sick who inhabit Colfax Avenue neighborhoods, to take advantage of healthy opportunities at the new rec center. For example, showers and washing machines so they can clean up and not offend other people. Maybe the use of multi purpose rooms as day care center, shelters etc. Secure toilets that are open 24/7 would go a long way to alleviate the problem of poor, homeless people having to relieve themselves in public because there are no public facilities available. Santa Monica, CA managed to design and build secure, attractive toilets in the parks and other public places that went a long way to helping people maintain their human dignity while not offending the housed public. We need to look at the reality of our homeless population. Their numbers are not decreasing.

Just like the increasing numbers of Canadian Geese who, as a result of global warming, crowd our parks and make walking difficult due to the huge piles of goose poop, the number of homeless people is going to increase as a result of an unfair economy and tax structure. The goose poop and homeless problems are not going to go away until something is done about the underlying issues and we all know that it will be a cold day in hell before that happens. There are just too many of them, geese and homeless people, to try to hide the results of our own folly. So, we might as well take our heads out of the sand and deal with it. I am sure your research shows a growing number of homeless people around the rec center location.

By the way, I hope that Parks and Recreation isn't thinking about relocating the dog park that is now located on the land where the rec center is to be built, to historic City Park. A dog park is not an acceptable use of an underfunded, historic park that struggles to just maintain its rotting infrastructure and scale and original, lovely design. It (dog park) didn't work in Cheesman Park and it isn't right for City Park.

As a last thought, please, whatever you do, find an architect to design the rec center who has some sensitivity to its historic location. Something open and welcoming. Do not look to the people who designed the Museum of Nature and Science, who were inspired by the Soviet school of architecture, producing massive, unimaginative buildings that had absolutely no connection to their historic site. (DPR gifting them more precious park land to expand their blight was shocking.) And I would suggest that you also avoid the firm that designed the entry to the Botanic Gardens. The work looks more like the inmate visitor entrance to a federal penitentiary than anything to do with a lovely botanic garden. And run away from whoever designed the "back door" of the Zoo on the park. It has ruined that entire area of City Park. Institutional insensitivity at its worst. Just my opinion. Maybe the folks who designed Coors Field? It is a lovely structure that fits into its historic site.

We are so happy that some other deserving area of the city is going to benefit from all of the hard work you have put into City Loop. Contrary to what Lauri Danemiller might think, we in the neighborhoods adjoining City Park do care about health and fitness but we also realize that we have a responsibility to protect a beautiful, historic asset from the well meaning but misguided ideas of every politician who manages to make his way into office.

We need a thoughtful 100 year plan for City Park to protect it from political pressure and misguided, temporary fixes.

Warmest regards,

Bridget Eileen Walsh
Charter Member,
City Park Friends and Neighbors.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

THAT I-70 CUT AND COVER

from Jude Aiello

Dear City Council members, I urge you to vote against the proclamation Council woman Montero will be presenting at the City Council mtg this Monday, April 7. 
After attending both the hastily arranged stakeholders mtg on Friday, March  24th (it was announced the previous afternoon), and the LUTI mtg on April 1, I was made aware of additional reasons this proclamation should be denied:  One being that it violates the Title VI Environmental justice standards as there was no meaningful outreach to the community, the other that CDOT  had put a deadline of April 1 to get a decision of support from the City in order to reach out to private sector partners (for the toll lanes planned for the I-70 projects).
Obviously CDOT is leading City Council by the nose so that it can get the funding, both private and Federal (i.e. all of us taxpayers), it needs for it's supposed 1.2 billion dollar addition to I-70.  Since the cut and cover will actually triple the width of the highway (by the time all the exits lanes, service roads and extra barriers are in place), my guess is that the price may also triple.  Below are additional reasons this proclamation should be denied:

DENVER CENTRAL RECREATION CENTER - And then there is the question of architecture

Ed: This is the most recent info I could find - dated 6/27/2013
via Dave Felice
by Holly Joyce

A message to Jeff Green, Denver Parks and Recreation's Communication Specialist:

I do not know what you really want to find out by your Online Survey.

But I did take the survey. And as I worked my way from first page to last, I realized that it made me very uncomfortable because it felt like a restaurant menu and I was choosing what I would like to see on my plate or in our future rec center-- choices based on whimsical personal preferences, not on demographics and meticulously gathered facts about the community in which the rec center is to be built. Would you agree that proper planning and development of the site and its programming takes in-depth, scientific research?

Census, City and County data would certainly yield invaluable, timely information concerning ages, ethnicity, and economic factors about the people actually living in the surrounding areas. We are a diverse community, that's for sure, with many populations and our area is growing and changing fast. New apartments and high rise developments are being built up and down Colfax. It is becoming a popular as well as even higher-density neighborhood in which to live, work and play.

So who needs to be served by this centrally-located rec center?

REGARDING LION DEATHS FROM CANCER AT THE DENVER ZOO

From: Gerald Trumbule 8/14/13
To: tbarnhart@denverzoo.org

I read with dismay the Denver Post story regarding the recent cancer deaths of lions at the Denver Zoo. Given your extensive use of "reclaimed" water at the Zoo (as reported on your website), and the many reports of carcinogens in that water (as reported here), I wonder if you have investigated a possible link between this "reclaimed" water and these deaths.
Please consider this a CORA request, and let me know when you have gathered documents for my inspection.
Your prompt attention to this matter is appreciated.

Gerald Trumbule
trumbule@msn.com
*********************************************************************
From: TBarnhart@denverzoo.org
To: trumbule@msn.com
Subject: RE: Regarding the cancer deaths of lions at Denver Zoo
Date: Thu, 15 Aug 2013 22:02:49 +0000

Dear Mr. Trumbule,

The Denver Zoological Foundation (DZF) is a private not-for-profit Colorado corporation that acts solely as an independent outside contractor to the City and County of Denver for the purpose of operating Denver Zoo. As such, in the opinion of our legal council, the DZF is exempt from the provisions of the Colorado Open Records Act and therefore is not legally required to provide access to any records or information.

EQUAL PAY

 9to5 News
National News
 
April 4, 2014
 
What is equal pay worth to you?
Is it worth $10,784 - the amount that women in the U.S. are paid less than men?  Or what about $431,000 -  the amount that the typical woman working full time will lose over the course of her career due to the gender pay gap?
Pay discrimination is a real and persistent problem that continues to shortchange working women and their families across the country. 
When women and their families lose thousands of dollars in critical income each year, they have less money to spend on food, gas, rent and other basic necessities, and our economy suffers as a result.
What if you knew that you could help secure equal pay for women around the country?  Is equal pay worth $20?  
When you become a member of 9to5 at the special rate of $20, you are directly contributing to 9to5's efforts to guarantee equal pay for equal work.   
Your membership will help 9to5's work to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act.  This national legislation will eliminate loopholes that have undermined the effectiveness of the Equal Pay Act of 1963, and will protect workers who share wage information with each other.
April 8th is Equal Pay Day, the day that represents how far into 2014 women must work to earn what men earned in 2013.  Join or renew your membership with 9to5 today and help put an end to gender pay discrimination.
Isn't that worth $20?
 

In Solidarity,
Signature

Linda Meric, National Executive Director

 
Join 9t05
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TRANSPORTATION SUMMIT


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

You Stopped the Loop! Now Join CPFAN‏

Our Voices Stopped the Loop!

We came, we tailgated, we conquered!  Thanks to you, on a cold March morning at the Denver Zoo, Lauri Dannemiller announced that City Loop will not be built in City Park and No City Loop live stream.

Join CPFAN! Sign-up Available Now

Membership sign-up for City Park Friends and Neighbors (CPFAN) is open! CPFAN is the new Registered Neighborhood Organization (RNO) that brings together neighbors surrounding City Park to support and advocate for the park.
New City Council district boundaries will split City Park neighbors across several Council districts in 2015, and CPFAN will be an important way to unify our voices on City Park issues. So please join CPFAN! The website is bare bones, because we’re just getting started. Bring your voice to CPFAN to help define priorities and bring your commitment to work on behalf of City Park!

Dustin Redd Volunteer Day April 12
We don't know what the City has planned, but they have announced a Dustin Redd Volunteer Day on April 12.  Unfortunately, they've also chosen a day when the most politically active will be nominating their parties’ candidates for national and statewide elections.  Guess our elected politicians won’t be joining anyone at City Park.
If you are available on April 12, we encourage you to come to City Park.  We don't know what you'll be doing, since the City hasn’t provided specifics on what they have planned for Dustin Redd, either on the Volunteer Day or beyond. Join CPFAN to get involved in citizen-based initiatives for Dustin Redd.

As always, Thank You for supporting City Park!