Friday, November 30, 2007

Missing Link

Here’s the “Trail of the Purple Pipes” map taken from the Denver Water website. It shows how sewage effluent is dispersed from the recycling treatment plant to various parks, schools and lakes through the $180,000,000 system. There is only one problem. They left out the 17-mile pipe that comes from the Lowry Landfill Superfund Site (so I added it). This missing link brings water so toxic that it could not be successfully treated on site at Lowry. By secret agreement, and for 50 years, it is being flushed to Metro Wastewater sewage plant, where, by the way, it is not actually treated but merely mixed with the actual sewage effluent. And then piped to a Denver Water facility (the Denver Water Recycling Treatment plant), where it is flocculated.

Now that’s just crazy. But to add insult to injury, this is the water (sewage effluent) that is allowed to have measurable amounts of e. coli in it. This is insane.

Get this water out of our lakes and fields, and especially, get it out of the Bruce Randolph School yard. We adults can avoid the toxic parks and lakes, but the kids are forced to go to school.

This is actually a criminal enterprise designed to disperse this collection of untreatable toxic waste, produced by the biggest polluters in the state of Colorado, onto our parks and lakes. WTF!

Coming soon: So what's actually in this effing effluent?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Anschutz and Denver’s Grand Experiment

(Warning: satire ahead)

Hickenlooper and Madison Cooperate to Arrange Large-Scale Experiment in City Park

Sewage effluent from Metro Wastewater, euphemistically called “effluent”, is being used to irrigate the lawns and fill the lake at City Park. This we know. What we don’t know, because no environmental impact study was ever conducted, is the effect this treated sewage water plus Lowry toxin is having on the creatures that inhabit the park, in particular whether or not exposure to the effluent can impair the immune system and provoke illness or death by "natural" causes.

In an effort to determine the effects of using this pollutant-laden water, squirrels were first enlisted. Many contracted bubonic plague and died after exposure. Although unsolicited, an adventurous monkey at the near-by zoo volunteered and gave his life for this phase of the experiment.

Next, ducks were pressed into service. A total of over 1000 of the wild quackers made the brave sacrifice to prove the effluent safe throughout the wastewater system, but perished from avian botulism in the process, after their immune systems were undoubtedly compromised.

Now, in a final effort to determine once and for all if this greywater concept is safe, humans will be enlisted for a three-day experiment in the park next summer. Phil Anschutz (billionaire) , long-known for his interest in science, John Hickenlooper (Denver mayor), an avid science-fiction reader, and Carla Madison (City Council), not so much into science but always willing to go along for the ride, have devised an extremely clever experiment to get to the bottom of this mystery.

During a three day period in July 2008, up to 100,000 brave humans will be enlisted to test whether or not the e. coli and chemical substances permitted in the sewage effluent irrigation and lake water by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, are sufficient to make them sick. After donating upwards of $75 each to help defray the cost of this massive undertaking, the human subjects will enter the experimental zone, fenced off and well guarded by over 300 off-duty police.

To make their experimental time more endurable, food and adult beverages will be provided, at prices unfortunately inflated by the risk factor involved. To help pass the hours necessary for proper exposure, music will be provided at many stages by civic-minded musicians, who will, themselves, risk exposure.

Experimental subjects will be encouraged to roll on the grass, eat food without washing their hands, and smoke a calming medication designed to make them lay back. According to Chuck Morris, Chief Coordinator of Experimental Design, this “laying back” is an essential part of the experiment, without which maximum exposure could not be attained.

Some subjects will be exposed to the sewage effluent in another manner. Fifty foot-high blasts from the water fountain, located in the center of the lake, will provide an aerosol spray of mist to bring individuals more directly into contact with the effluent.

Experimental zone boundaries will extend to the fence of the nearby Denver Zoo. Some animals will undoubtedly enjoy the tunes and dance to the music. Some, not so much.

Neighbors of the park, with some trepidation, have agreed to leave the experimental subjects alone, as they course to and from the experimental zone. “They told us some of the subjects may act like zombies, but we won’t mess with them unless they try to mess with us.” said one man, who stood in his yard with arms crossed in defiance, and asked not to be identified.

After the three-day exposure period, subjects will be required to report back to AEG Live, the optimistically named medical sponsor. Any illness or death attributable to the experiment must be promptly reported, and those affected (or their families) will receive large (unspecified) bonus payments, according to Morris.

Anschutz pointed out that this is the first experiment of its kind anywhere in the United States. Quoting the President of the United States, Anschutz summed it all up: “This will finally answer the question, “Is our families safe?”

1.) It should be noted that although many subjects will and have been harmed in the conduct of this experiment, advancements in medical science and sewage effluent use will be well worth the price.
2.) Thanks to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment for providing the details of this rigorous experiment in Regulation 84, available online at
3.) If you have read this far and do not realize this post is satirical, you should definitely not volunteer for the experiment, as you are already probably brain-damaged, and your participation could drastically skew the results.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Water Quality Issues

We'd all like to think that our water supply is free from deadly substances, but apparently not. Check out the following clips. I'm not going to go into all of the complicated history and details, as Anderson has already done that over at Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Crime in Your Denver Neighborhood

Now, finally, you can access up-to-date crime reports in your neighborhood from your computer.

Go here and enter your choices. Depending on the distance (50 to 5000 ft) you'll get a map like one of those above detailing the occurrence of crimes in the last 6 months. Thanks to the Department of Safety for letting us join the 21st century.

Some years back we had a "crime wave" in my neighborhood. My building was broken into 12 times in a few months by the same person (same m.o.). Others in the neighborhood reported similar crimes, but we had no way to get this kind of overview. Each break-in was reported, and each time a different detective would show up and take my story. There was no coordination, and no attempt was made to actually find the burglar. I learned then that these cases were called "stampers", i.e. stamped and put in a file. The fingerprints taken each time were not checked against any database, and were to be used only if a suspect was apprehended.

I was warned by one detective not to try to interfere with the buglar. If I hurt him, I would be sued by his family and they would "end up with my building". If he was a gang member, they would target me. The detective shrugged when I asked him what I was supposed to do.

Fed up, I waited up one night for this crack-head and finally, and regrettably, disregarding the advice I had been given, I took a shot at him as he was breaking into my basement. I missed.

The police responded very quickly to a "shots fired" report and took my gun away from me. The bullet had gone through the window and out into the neighborhood. (BTW, firing a .357 Magnum three feet from a concrete wall in the basement is not a good idea - I am partially deaf in my right ear as a result.)

I had to report to the Police Headquarters downtown the next day, and there I learned that I was now the suspect, ( in the illegal discharge of a weapon) not the burglar, and I also learned the details of the make-my-day law. Three criteria must be met: 1.) It must be a break in - if the burglar comes in through an open or unlocked door or window, it doesn't qualify, 2.) It must be your home, not your office or car, and 3.) (the easy part) You must fear for your life.

After a two-hour wait and a 15-minute interview, I was deemed to have qualified, and my gun (sans bullets) was returned.

This episode put me through some real head trips, and I was actually glad that I had not killed the man over a $100 microwave (although he had cost me over $12,000 in stolen items and damage by that time).

I was, however, pleased when I learned that a neighbor at 13th and Ogden had shot and killed him about two weeks later under very similar circumstances (one shot to the heart from a semi-automatic 9mm). As far as I know, the police were never able to identify the thief, because in his apartment he had nothing but stolen I.D.

This one thief had been responsible for hundreds of burglaries in my neighborhood, all within walking distance of his apartment, as he had no car. I tried to tell the detectives this, since he always took two trash bags to carry the loot. But no one was even trying to solve the crimes as far as I could tell. After his death, the "crime-wave" was over, and life went back to normal.

Hopefully this mapping system has allowed the detectives to more quickly apprehend the criminals. It has been in operation for a number of years, and they have now made it available to us.

Be alert - the world needs more lerts.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

More Bond Talk (Elevated from the Comments)

It's not every day that I get a comment from an esteemed blogger such as Andrew Oh'Willeke at Wash Park Prophet, plus a mention by another of my favorites, George in Denver. So I'll take this opportunity to elevate the discussion from the comments to the posts.

First let me thank Andrew Oh’Willeke for the comment in the post below. It is always reassuring to know that at least we bloggers are giving thoughtful consideration to each other’s posts.

But Andrew, I must take exception to your rejection of the premise that municipal bonds might be affected by the global credit freeze up. Complaints about the ordinate on the graph strike me as complaining about the alignment of the infamous deck chairs on the Titanic. As you know, changes in the dollar index are normally quite small, as vast amounts of currency are involved, thus the increments on the ordinate are small. The graph I included is just as it comes from the NYBOT site. Perhaps a more recent condensed version would convince you that the dollar is in serious decline.

As to your not being worried about the possible ramifications of this decline on the insurers of these muni bonds, I must confess I know only what I read. The day following my post the U.K. Telegraph published another article speaking specifically to your point about the possibility of AAA ratings (like Denver's current ratings) being affected. I quote:

The potential damage from any downgrade could stretch far beyond the companies themselves by lowering the credit ratings of the AAA bonds that they insure. This could force pension funds, mutual funds, and institutions to liquidate holdings on a vast scale, causing the credit crisis to spread into areas that have remained unscathed until now.

Matt Fabian, managing director of Municipal Market Advisors, said any downgrades would be a "crushing blow" to the municipal bond market. "I have never seen a crisis of confidence in insurers like this before," he said.

And from the broader world of financial commentary:

America is finished, washed up, kaput. Foreign investors and central banks around the world have lost confidence in US markets and are headed for the exits. The dollar is sinking, the country is insolvent, and its leaders are barking mad. That’s bad for business. Investors are voting with their feet. They’ve had enough. Capital is flowing to China and the Far East in a torrent.It’s "sayonara" Manhattan and “Hello” Tiananmen Square.

As to the "assurance of repayment being high because of the way property taxes are structured", would that be because the interest gets paid first? Even if the tax revenues fall because of foreclosure and default? Will Ritter's property tax freeze protect us or kill us?

Foreclosures in Denver per 1000 homes:

2nd quarter - 2006 - 5.92
3rd quarter - 2006 - 11.11
1st quarter - 2007 - 21.28

And another worrisome thought, what if there is a 40% cost overrun on these projects as there was on the previous bond projects?

I really don't think these bonds won't be sold, but at what price? I've seen the prime rate at 18% and house prices fall by 50%, right here in good old Denver (during the '80s recession). The current triple whammy of elevated real estate appraisals, property tax freeze, increasing foreclosure and default, and inflation (real) running at 12% (oh wait, that's a quadruple whammy), will have me squealing like a stuck pig on a fixed income.

Ah, time will tell. But right now I've got to get back to more pressing concerns. The leaves in my back yard are nearly a foot deep, and it's a beautiful day in Denver.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Bonds May be Issued, But Will They be Bought?

Looks like between 40 and 50 thousand (out of 210,000) voters decided to go for broke and rehab Denver all at once. As I said previously, we might as well borrow as much as we can now, because the US dollar is falling so fast, the dollars we pay back will be all shriveled and shrunken.

In case you hadn't noticed, our dollar has fallen 34% since Bush got in, 7% in the last month, and now, at about 8:00 pm this very evening (11/6/07), it appears to have fallen off a cliff.

And then there is this from the U.K. Telegraph:

Bond insurers set off fresh wave of credit panic
By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, International Business Editor
Last Updated: 12:43am GMT 07/11/2007

Fitch Ratings has threatened to downgrade a clutch of top US bond insurers in a move that could set off a fresh credit crisis and cause contagion across America's $2,400bn (£1,150bn) municipal bond market.

You see what I mean..."2.4 TRILLION municipal bond market" of cities borrowings. That's going to include us.

The total amount of our current Bond Boondoggle (tm) was decreased before it went before us on the ballot because of fears that a larger amount would not be able to get the highest bond rating. Now a ripple of lowered bond ratings could strike fear into the hearts of the funds that buy these bonds. A lower rating for Denver's bonds could mean a higher interest payment, so that the $1.1 Billion going to interest could be what....$1.6 Billion? Oh boy, here come da judge! The price is going up before we can even get this paper out the door!

Spread that cost of borrowing over the projects we actually plan to build/repair, and you've got yourself some pretty expensive projects, as old Joe Anderson so aptly pointed out. I can't help but wonder if those less than 25% of us who voted in favor would have done so if they had fully understood that each $100,000 project, using the current cost of borrowing figures, will cost $300,000, each $1,000,000 will cost $3,000,000, and so on.

Like many of the sub-prime buyers, we don't want to think about that part. We'll just keep making those payment, as long as we can, while the stuff we built and fixed up will be depreciating and running down.

Ooops, we should have thought of that.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Wes McKinley for Colorado House District 64

Representative Wes McKinley really doesn't need any "reincarnation" yet, but his friend, Billy Whitfield, Cowboy Poet and Musician, gives him a lesson anyway.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

From Pollution Crimes to Planetary Control

Regular readers know that Adrienne Anderson has been a strong voice in Denver and Boulder in uncovering the facts behind recent pollution related events in our parks, lakes and buttes. This lecture is free and open to the public. It's worth a trip to Boulder, and it could very well open your eyes. I'll be there videotaping.

Hot Topics Lecture Series
University of Colorado at Boulder
Humanities Building, Room 250
Tuesday, November 6th, 2007
6:30 – 8:00 p.m.

Sponsored by the Student Environmental Action Coalition

This is the lecture CU’s administration and some of its major polluting corporate donors don’t want you to hear. For speaking environmental truths to power, Adrienne Anderson, former 11-year CU Boulder faculty member, was ousted. Investigating faculty committees, the Colorado AAUP, and CU’s 2005 Tri-Executives have all called for her reinstatement. To date, CU’s administration has refused to reinstate her.