Wednesday, October 31, 2007

What Are We? Idiots?

If I have to see those red letters prancing around again, I'm going to hurl. I note that the music in this derivative (rip-off) spot below is from Sick Puppies - how fitting.

Westword said it best:

Hickenlooper, I'm speaking directly to you now: What the fuck is up with the letters? No, I get it — each letter represents one of the nine parts of 1A-I that will go to maintenance and infrastructure projects at areas ranging from Health and Human Services to Cultural Attractions, but did you really think your boyish charm was enough to distract us from the fact that you think shoving a shitty Reading Rainbow episode down our throats will entice us to vote? Hick, we've come to expect better from you. You were the man who brought us the ads with you jumping out of a plane that got FasTracks through, and pumping coins into meters downtown that got you elected mayor, and that awesome one where you ate the Life cereal and your brother was all, "Hey, Mikey, he likes it!"

Those were great spots, but a bunch of letters prancing behind you? Do you have enough letters to spell, "Shit," Your Honor? Because that's what this campaign is.

Without organized opposition (who is going to spend millions to stop spending millions?), I resorted to this.

I saw one sign in Park Hill with "No" spray-painted on it.

And this from

When a major bond issue last went before the voters, they were promised a $98 million dollar price tag.

Instead, they got $142.39 million price tag, according to figures from the Denver Post.

So how can we believe Denver city officials this time? They missed by 44% percent. Were they lying out of a venal convenience to sell their boondoggles to the voters, or simply incompetent? Remember these facts when the City of Denver spews forth this time.

And from Jessica Peck Corry:

Every day, the government poses grave threats to our economic liberty — massive tax increases sold in flashy publicly-funded advertising packages that would make most private firms envious. In the aftermath of passing 13 tax-and-fee increases over the last four years, Denver voters are now being asked to foot the bill for nine more at a total cost of more than $550 million. (Ed. Note: Make that $1.5 Billion repayment cost)

I'm forced to ask myself: What will stop my neighbors, friends, and fellow coffee shop dwellers from rubber-stamping higher taxes once again when the truth is outmanned and out-funded?

Our lives are filled with constant propaganda preaching the virtues of socialism. Mayors — past and present — eagerly lend their names to such causes. Former Mayor Wellington Webb now drives by his name atop the Wellington E. Webb Municipal Building, a massive monument to contemporary growth in government and home to at least 40 different government agencies. His predecessor, Federico Peña, passes his name on Peña Boulevard every time he drives to the city's airport, a project fraught with concerns about cost overruns.

Government monopolies are not to be outdone. Denver Water advertises across city billboards and in front yards across the city in its "Use only what you need" campaign. And to reward us for our conservation efforts, the city recently raised rates. In advertisements hanging from lamp posts around the city, a campaign promoting Denver Public Schools uses photos of children to promote its agenda. And finally, Xcel Energy sponsors more sporting events than the Monfort brothers.

So who can blame Denver's current mayor, John Hickenlooper, for wanting to get in on a piece of the action? Surely, he's got a building, a street, or maybe even a concert hall destined to carry his name one day.

No stranger to Denver's airwaves, Hickenlooper has become a fixture on evening TV commercials — pleading for more of our money this November as part of his nine-part "A through I" tax-and-bond package.

To achieve a "Better Denver", he points us to his campaign website, brought to us courtesy of a million-dollar budget complete with flashy commercials and full-color brochures. Not surprisingly, this is a campaign that has been funded almost exclusively by the same businesses and public cultural attractions that stand to benefit if taxpayers say yes.

Leading the way has been the city's science museum — shelling out more than $300,000 in cash and in-kind contributions. If Denver voters support measures 1G and 1H, the museum, together with the city's botanic gardens and concert hall, stands to gain more than $130 million in additional funding. Not surprisingly, Hickenlooper's ads never mention the total price tag.

The city will tell you it doesn't have enough money, but while Denver's population has risen less than 2 percent in the last four years, total city spending has skyrocketed by 13 percent. Even without Hickenlooper's tax increases, next year will mark a major milestone for Denver — the city's first billion-dollar budget.

And last, I resort to a replay from two real citizens:

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Come On Down to the Billion Dollar Bash.

“Well, I looked at my watch
I looked at my wrist
Punched myself in the face
With my fist
I took my potatoes
Down to be mashed
Then I made it over
To that million dollar bash
Ooh, baby, ooh-ee
Ooh, baby, ooh-ee
It's that million dollar bash”.

Bob Dylan "Million Dollar Bash"

Every time I can remember, in the past 30 some years, the Voters of Denver have chosen, after being ceaselessly battered with millions of dollars worth of TV ads, print ads, and at least 11 expensive mailers to me and my "household", to further burden ourselves with taxes, or give refunds away, for the enrichment of the banks and developers and, almost incidentally, to build us some cool stuff. These people have to earn a living too, but over ONE BILLION to the bankers and investors? On a half BILLION project. Yikes! Two for them and one for (some of) us. I feel like I'm taking my potatoes down to be mashed.

And wait! Just as a full-blown recession is blowing our way?

We like to think we’re different here in DEN, but this is going to be global, and there ain’t no easy way to avoid it. Already small pockets of homes here and there are going belly up in the loan scandal , strip malls are half filled with dollar or charity stores, giant banking cartels are trying to paper over the hemorrhaging paper, eggs are up 44% and milk 22%, and oh, by the way, remember what I said about heating costs? Expect a 33% increase there. And watch gasoline, harhar? Where's my electric scooter?

Am I punching myself in the face with my fist yet?

To say nothing of the dollar falling like a stone whilst being pumped and humped like a blow-up doll at the rate of 20% per year. Ouch it, hurts when you do that! And that's gentle compared to how other countries are pounding their doll(ar)s.

Imagine some of these Denver bond funded projects running wild. With a falling dollar, copper and commodities rising with Chinese price pressure, and the resulting cost of construction spiraling, will additional bonds be called for? or is that already built in?

And all with a falling and failing, over-assessed and foreclosed-upon, tax base. Cities, counties and countries can and do go bankrupt. The US did it in 1971 and we can do it again.

It may be the anticipated and planned way out for the manipulators.

Unfortunately, at our expense. There, that's a good punch.

P.S. What ever supplies you lay in now, you'll be saving money as the prices go up. And who knows, you may actually need the stuff you bought when the food and gasoline riots break out. You know, all kinda "Colorado What-If?"

Hey, I'm just sayin'.....

Bob Dylan - A Hard Rain

Friday, October 26, 2007

Not to Worry - We're Bigger Than Fish

From the Fort Morgan Times:

"The South Platte River is 90 percent wastewater below the city of Denver 90 percent of the year, according to Colorado University Integrative Physiology Professor David Norris.

And although wastewater treatment plants don’t dump toxic water back into rivers and streams, the effluent contains chemicals that may have temporary or permanent effects on living organisms, including humans.

Norris said humans have created about 80,000 to 100,000 chemicals that never existed before on the earth. And although many have not been extensively studied, scientists have found that estrogenic chemicals added to the environment can lead to drastic abnormalities, including sex change.

Norris said estrogenic chemicals come from pesticides, fertilizers, livestock drugs, plastics, latex paints, detergents and cosmetics, among many others. Many of these chemicals end up in wastewater treatment plants, which pump the water back into rivers and streams.

“Basically, we find ourselves living in a sea of chemicals,” he said.


Norris said that although he conducted the experiments with fish, all vertebrates have the same fundamental systems and hormones.

“Anything I say for fish is true for humans, and just about anything I say for humans is also true for fish,” he said.

Norris said that although the chemicals in effluent can have the same effects on people and fish, humans are at less risk because they are bigger than the fish and are not constantly immersed in chemical-tainted water."

Are you getting comfortable with the words "sewage effluent'? It's what is going into Grasmere - Washington Park and Ferril - City Park Lakes, to say nothing of watering our parks and fields.

But most of it goes back into the Platte. Read first person account here.

Justice Served

I went to Courtroom 10 in the City and County of Denver Building this morning to speak on behalf of a friend who had been arrested for “intent to distribute” marijuana. I was prepared to explain, but got no chance to speak, that I had met this young man when he and I were both trying to help a mutual friend, a Vietnam veteran, whose life, having been ruined by his military service, was rapidly disintegrating into mental and physical ruin. We had both showed up to clean the vet’s apartment. We hauled out months of trash, and did the best we could to clean up. I was impressed with this young man’s compassion for our mutual friend. Over the next year we often cooperated to help our friend. In time, we became friends. We met socially a few times and I was introduced to his wife, a beautiful person in her own right. They seemed to be a happy couple, with plans to improve their house in Park Hill and start a new business. This young man became a true friend when he came to see me after my own son died from pneumonia in 2005. I was truly impressed with his compassion and understanding during my time of grief. A rare trait, I thought, in a person in his thirties. Months later his wife called me to inquire about office space for her new business, leaving a message on my answering machine. The next day she was dead. I learned the details later. She had said she was not feeling well and had gone to bed. Checking on her later, my friend discovered that she was not breathing. In a panic, he put her in his car and drove to the hospital. At the hospital, he was told that she was dead and that nothing could be done. In total despair, he returned to his house. Within an hour the police showed up and began to search the house as a crime scene. This is standard procedure in an “unattended” death, i.e., not in a hospital. During the search, the police discovered quantities of marijuana and other “controlled” substances in his refrigerator. Thus, hours after the death of his wife, he was arrested and taken to jail. Later he was charged with 11 drug felonies. His wife was found to have died from natural causes. His house and cash were seized. He got a good attorney. He became very depressed and had himself committed. He received medication (drugs, including some of the same type for which he had been arrested) and counseling and was released. His house was sold and the police department got most of the money, but, through the efforts of his attorney, they left him enough to pay off the mortgage and rent an apartment. This morning he stood with his attorney to receive his sentence. The judge mentioned the severity of the case, and the range of possible sentence – from 4 to 16 years. He will have a review after 180 days in jail at which time the final sentence will be determined. Living through the last 50 years of failed drug prohibition as I have, thinking of the billions spent on the ridiculous notion that humans, after thousands of years of trying, can be prevented from getting high, watching as our civil rights have slowly been eroded under the pretext of this drug prohibition, and now rapidly erased with new laws to prohibit even thinking about “home grown terrorism”, and now further witnessing our war criminal President preparing to kill hundreds of thousands more in Iran with the power of his “Unitary Presidency”, I can only mouth the words, God Help Us All.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

CPWNA Rebirth

Our City Park West Neighborhood Association (CPWNA) met last night to continue consideration of its future. A good showing of over 20 people turned out to eat a hearty meal and hear guest speakers Watson, Rasheed and O'Connor (video to follow) give their advice on the basics of neighborhood organizing. Their combined wisdom was impressive. In contrast to the years of autocratic rule by now-Councilperson Madison, who finally, and belatedly, resigned as CPWNA president, new temporary chairperson Denise Meny has created an atmosphere where residents can speak freely and help determine their own destiny. The honest exchange of ideas and thoughts is a pleasant change from the past.

Overlay Railroad Derailed

The ability of a small group of people to impose their will on an entire neighborhood and have a zoning change implemented by the City of Denver has finally been curtailed. The zoning overlay in City Park West, proudly proclaimed by now Councilwoman Madison as her greatest accomplishment, would no longer be possible under the new ordinance (525) enacted by City Council on Oct. 22, 2007. In the case of our neighborhood, as I repeatedly stated back when Madison was running for office, approximately 130 out of 635 property owners (20%) voted to impose a zoning overlay called OD9 on 30 blocks in our neighborhood. Under the new ordinance 525, it will now take 51%. Thanks to Councilman Brown for getting this done. Perhaps in the future someone can challenge the OD9 in our neighborhood and get it overturned, since it was inherently unfair. Those applications still in the pipeline (Cole neighborhood?) will be considered under the old rules, but let’s hope that the minority will not be allowed to run the Overlay Railroad again. (Note: I was not able to view Council proceedings from Monday, but will when the video record is made available.)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Ducks Redux

First, let me give credit where credit is due: George in Denver has done a fantastic job of shedding more light on the story of the “Killing Fields” in Denver’s parks. His analysis and compassion are greatly appreciated. Secondly, let me again give credit to Adrienne Anderson. This woman has an intensity and singleness of purpose that will not be denied. Despite what she’s been through, she will just not give up. I went with her to the Webb Building to conduct the research of the records she cites below. This short video documents that excursion.

What follows are Adrienne’s comments (Oct 18) to George’s post. I’ve lifted them in their entirety in the hopes of creating additional exposure for her new findings. Once again, this is not her speculation. This is what her research revealed, in black and white, from the City’s own records. “Records obtained under the Colorado Open Records Act in September reveal that: 1) the city’s own personnel in 2004-2005 attributed the decline in water quality in City Park’s Ferril Lake to the 2004 switch to sewage effluent water (so-called “recycled water”). 2) Ferril Lake, according to the city’s own tests, did not meet state standards for lake water, and had elevated levels of several dissolved metals. 3) at the height of the duck deaths around Labor Day in 2007, the city, despite recommendations from its own staff, decided not to collect a water sample from the lake. 4) duck deaths at City Park’s Ferril lake were occurring “daily” during a period in 2005, prompting complaints that City Councilwoman Marcia Johnson advanced to the city’s Environmental Health division for response. At the time, the sole source of water to the lake was “recycled water” and this was in the same period, records show, that the lake did not meet water quality standards, as a result, the city staffers suggested, of the switch to the sewage effluent water. 5) e-mails among city officials revealed that they had extensive discussions about what to do about Claudia Cragg, an international investigative journalist who was pursuing the story for KGNU radio. The content of these e-mails, 100% of it, was blacked out. So much for the public’s “right to know.” 6) The City and County of Denver had a conflict of interest over this, as the owner of the Lowry Landfill Superfund Site, where they are the EPA-designated top liable party, along with the company Denver hired to manage it, the nefarious Waste Management, Inc. of reported mafia fame. 7) It wasn’t alleged by the public interest group conducting an independent investigation of the duck deaths that it was the radiation in the water that killed the ducks. There are hundreds of toxic and radioactive compounds at Lowry Landfill that are being released to the Metro sewage system that would not be treatable by the processes in place. The release of radioactive substances, including water miscible ones, is just the most outrageous aspect of the deal, that even plutonium is considered an “acceptable” element for release under the permit issued, and now going down in our town. Pick your poison(s). The city doesn’t bother to test for the full range of compounds in the effluent going to Metro Wastewater, or in the lakes now receiving the non-potable sewage effluent water. Neither does Denver Water. And if they do, they refused to release it pursuant to a Colorado Open Records Act request. Denver Water also attempted to refuse release of records awhile back claiming “Homeland Security” exemptions. Doesn’t that make you feel safer? 8) No test results have been released to date, now over 8 months later, of the duck carcasses reportedly collected for testing by the Division of Wildlife and US Fish and Wildlife Service when nearly 1,000 ducks drowned after floating into Metro Wastewater’s ponds, reported by wildlife rehabbers to be coated with a sticky slick substance “contaminants on their feathers” which caused the stripping of natural oils of the ducks feathers which allow them to float. Radiation in the water wouldn’t do that, but certain Lowry Landfill semi-volatile toxic substances would. Repeated calls to the agency get no response on the point and they all contradict one another about why no test results have been produced over the deaths of nearly 1,000 ducks at Metro Wastewater’s sewage ponds last winter. 9) Mass bird die-offs at numerous sites around the world have been attributed to botulism-related sewage waste-contaminated water. If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck…” Adrienne Anderson And lastly, now with the Sloans Lake fishkill of just three days ago, with its water coming directly from Coors, one of the biggest polluters of record, new evidence begins to surface that Denver’s parks and lakes are, indeed, becoming Denver’s “Killing Fields”. Are you starting to get it? The City of Denver is colluding with our largest polluters to get the toxic runoff off of their property and on to ours. The final stage in this process is the “tertiary treatment” facility – our lakes and parks, by contract, for the next fifty freaking years!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Take Pride with John McBride

I called John McBride this morning to ask if I could put the test footage we shot back in September up on this blog. The idea then was that we would videotape John's presentation to help him polish the message. It turned out that not much polishing was needed. The footage you see here was the first take. No rehearsal, no notes, no speech-writers. Just straight ahead, from the heart, McBride.

And while I had him on the phone, I asked about that "shoplifting" story making the rounds. A tube of Ben-Gay in his hand, it turns out, forgotten in his rush to get back to work.

If you want change in the public schools and believe that the people should have a say, vote for this guy. He's one of us.

For more info, go here.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Come On People...Smile on Your Brother

From the hard working Cone Zone Lady, Denise Meny:

Hello City Park Westers - PLEASE COME. Bring a dish if you like. Food will also be provided. Talk to and meet your neighbors.
City Park West Neighborhood Association Tuesday, October 23 at 6:30pm
Kaiser Franklin St. Building (Corner of 21st and Franklin)
Hyer Room (in the basement)
Agenda: - 6:30 to 6:50 Food, Socializing
- 6:50 to 7:15 Welcome and Update on Steering Committee Activities and Direction
- 7:15 to 7:20 Explanation of the Strategic Planning Process and Introduction of Guests
- 7:20 to 8:00 Great Neighborhoods in Denver Forum. Hear from 3 successful neighborhood association leaders about What their organizations have accomplished and How they did it.
- 8:00 to 8:20 Q and A, Discussion
- 9:00 Nighty Night
Let's THINK BIG as we plan for the future of the CPWNA!!
Please come; meet your neighbors and have your say. Food will be provided. If you'd like to bring a dish, please do.
Questions? Call 303-894-8838 or e-mail

Friday, October 5, 2007

I've Been Busy...

Relaxing at the above undisclosed location. I'll be back next week.