Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Neighborhood Events Update

Coyotes in our Neighborhoods Thursday, February 26th at 6:00 p.m. In response to the numerous coyotes seen in the area in recent months, there is a community meeting in conjunction with the Mayor’s Office on Thursday February 26, 2009 at 6 p.m. at Temple Emanuel, 55 Grape Street. The wily and adaptable coyote has learned how to find new territory in North American cities, and Denver is no exception. Urban coyotes thrive in close proximity to people and pets. While they reduce rodent populations and act as a valuable top predator in our urban ecosystem, they also can target small pets and get too comfortable approaching people. Melanie Kaknes, District Wildlife Manager for the Colorado Division of Wildlife, and Ashley Delaup, Wildlife Ecologist for Denver Parks and Recreation, will be discussing safety tips and the City’s response to the influx of coyotes we’re seeing in our neighborhoods. For more information, please contact Heather Barry, neighborhood liaison for the Mayor’s Office, at (720) 865-9103. *********** Additional opportunities to learn about Coyotes in our neighborhoods: Tuesday, March 3, 2009 at 9:00 a.m. Denver Parks and Recreation begins training volunteers in coyote hazing techniques. Sign up to volunteer by contacting Ashley Delaup, 303.455.0785. Training will take place in the north parking lot of Bible Park. Volunteers will receive training on effective and humane hazing & participate in reshaping the behavior of our local coyotes Safe City Youth Summit Entertainment Search When: February 28th, 2009 Time: 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Call to schedule audition 720-913-4295 Location: Blair-Caldwell Library 2401 WELTON ST DENVER 80205 Youth talents age 13-18, ALL TALENTS WELCOME!! Safe City Youth Leadership Team is a youth run organization dedicated to improving the leadership skills to Denver’s youth while supporting and improving the community. $100 will be given to each performance selected! Earn a chance to perform your talent at our 15th annual youth summit April 3rd for over 400 youths! EIS Corridor Public Meetings As part of the 45-day comment period for the DEIS, public hearings are scheduled for March 4th and 5th, 2009 to present the findings of the study and to obtain comments from the community. The same information will be available at both meetings. Spanish translation, childcare, and light refreshments will also be available at both meetings. Please call 303-299-2000 and follow the prompts for East Corridor for special accommodation requests. Wednesday, March 4th, 2009 5:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. North Middle School 12095 Montview Boulevard, Aurora Thursday, March 5th, 2009 5:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Bruce Randolph Middle School 3955 Steele Street, Denver Since these meetings are formal public hearings, there will be a few differences when compared to the corridor-wide meetings you may have previously attended. The meeting agenda includes: Open House from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.: During the open house, members of the project team will be available to walk you through exhibits that will provide a project update, describe the Preferred Alternative, provide analysis of the impacts to environmental resources, and provide information on the next steps for the project. Presentation/Formal Comment Period from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.: A brief presentation will be provided summarizing the project and providing an overview of the analysis conducted to date. Following the presentation, verbal comments will be accepted during a formal comment period and recorded for inclusion in the project record. Please visit the project website for additional updates: The Park People’s Annual Denver Digs Trees Distribution is Just Around the Corner - Applications for Street Trees Due March 16 Snow may still be on the ground, but spring is coming. In preparation for planting season, The Park People is now accepting applications for its annual Denver Digs Trees street tree program. Denver residents who have room to add a street tree must submit a tree request by March 16. The trees will be distributed on Saturday, April 18. Street trees for Denver residents are $25 each, or free for residents who live in one of the 21 targeted neighborhoods, which have the lowest tree canopy coverage citywide: Baker, Barnum, Barnum West, Chaffee Park, Clayton, Cole, Elyria/Swansea, Five Points, Globeville, Jefferson Park, Lincoln Park, Northeast Park Hill, Ruby Hill, Skyland, Sunnyside, Sun Valley, Valverde, Villa Park, West Colfax, Westwood, and Whittier. Tree request forms are available at, by calling 303-722-6262, or by sending an e-mail to Available tree varieties include Bur Oak, Corinthian Linden, Green Mountain Sugar Maple, Magyar Ginkgo Biloba, Regent Japanese Pagoda Tree, Turkish Filbert, Green Vase Zelkova, Kentucky Coffee Tree and more. All have been selected for their adaptability to Denver's climate, and will be distributed at six convenient sites. The Earth Day yard tree sale will be held on Saturday, April 19, at the Washington Park site for those wishing to plant trees on private property. Additional tree varieties will be available. Colorado Convention on Global Sustainability March 17th – 19th, 2009 Denver to Dubai to Delhi: global sustainability is the underlying theme of the 4th Annual Sustainable Opportunities Summit. Join 1,000 others at this unique conference to learn how business leaders from around the world are responding to the challenge of creating a more sustainable global economy and deriving unprecedented financial benefit for their organizations in the process. For more information, contact Greenprint Denver via email at, or call 720-865-9017 Earth Hour 2009 is set to switch off the globe. On Saturday, March 28th people around the world and across the United States will turn off their lights for one hour — Earth Hour — from 8:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. local time, to make a strong statement about energy use and climate change. Why participate? Build awareness: Earth Hour is an important reminder that individuals and companies alike need to pay close attention to how our energy use impacts greenhouse gas emissions. Consider the economics: By turning off non-essential lighting, you can save money in utility costs. Protect wildlife: Over 1 billion birds are killed each year in collisions with tall buildings – particularly during migratory seasons, including the month of March. Turning off non-essential essential lighting can reduce that number. One person committed to reducing energy consumption can make a difference. Millions of us working together can change the world. Please consider being a part of the solution. Earth Hour - Saturday, March 28th, 2009 How to get involved: • Turn off non-essential lights and appliances for one hour. Ask a friend or neighbor to do the same. • Host a pot luck party by candlelight. • Encourage your entire neighborhood to turn off their lights. • Ask restaurants and businesses in your neighborhood to participate. Summer Youth Employment 2009 Summer Youth Employment Program This program is intended for Denver ages 14 – 21 and includes income restrictions. Applications will be accepted until March 20th. To learn more about the 2009 Summer Youth Employment Program click here. Governor's Summer Job Hunt This program is for all Colorado youth and has no income restrictions. There are four job fairs in February and March, including one on February 18th at the Colorado Convention Center. More information can be found here. For questions or more information, please call Denver Youth Services at 720-865-5700. Want to Teach? This Program May be for You! The program enables individuals that do not have teaching credentials to be hired as teachers and earn their credentials while they teach. If you are an individual who reflects the diversity of our district and may not have thought about teaching as a career path, but think you could bring great value to the profession, get more information today! Contact Happy Haynes at 720-423-3221or contact Juan Pablo Parodi at 720-423-1239 regarding this exciting opportunity! Time is limited for signing up for this program, so act now! U.S. Green Building Council Colorado Chapter ~ Metro Branch First Monday Speakers Series Denver's Living Streets Initiative: A plan bringing together a number of local agencies working towards a more sustainable transportation infrastructure March 2nd, 2009 4:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.: Join members of the Metro-Denver Branch Steering Committee for Pre-event Drinks and Networking; My Brother's Bar (2376 15th St., Denver, CO 80202) 6:00 p.m.- 8:00 p.m.: Light buffet, Presentation, Questions and Answers REI Flagship Store (1416 Platte St., Denver, CO 80202) FirstMonday REI Speaker Series The Living Streets Initiative (LSI) is a regional effort to transform the way municipalities conceive of and fund improvements to the public right of way. It is based on the simple premise that streets should be places where people of all ages and physical abilities feel comfortable using any mode of travel. Living Streets are streets that sustainably perform for transportation, community development, economic development, environmental quality and public health. This local initiative brings together eight city departments/agencies (Public Works, Community Planning & Development, Environmental Health, Economic Development, Parks & Recreation, Greenprint Denver, Budget & Management, and Human Rights & Community Relations) to unify Denver's efforts to redevelop its enhanced transportation corridors. Gideon Berger is the co-project manager of LSI. He will present details of the initiative's goals and strategies, and discuss what it could mean for Denver and all of Colorado. Gideon Berger, AICP, Co-Project Manager, Living Streets Initiative Gideon is a Senior City Planner for the City & County of Denver and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Colorado Denver. Cost: $5 Students, $10 Members, $15 Nonmembers *Cost includes light buffet *Price increases $5 at the door REGISTER ONLINE NOW Public Hearing: Which metro area transportation projects should receive economic recovery funding? 6:00 p.m. Wednesday, March 4th, 2009 1290 Broadway, Denver The Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) will hold a public hearing to hear comments about projects to be considered for funding in the Denver region with anticipated federal transportation economic recovery funds. The DRCOG Board of Directors will select projects to receive recovery funds immediately after the public hearing or at subsequent Board meetings. At this time, it appears that approximately $60 million could be available for transportation projects to be selected by the DRCOG Board. As the Metropolitan Planning Organization for the Denver region, the DRCOG Board will also review and approve selections proposed by the Colorado Department of Transportation ($120 million) and the Regional Transportation District ($70 million) with the funds allocated to them. Lists of proposed projects are available on the DRCOG Web site at; look for the public hearing icon at the bottom of the page Doors Open Denver: Focus on Architecture Photography Competition Focus on your favorite Denver architectural and urban sites during the first annual Focus on Architecture Denver Photography Competition! This is your opportunity to photograph your favorite sites in Denver, post them on a public site, and have them reviewed by a panel of judges. All ages over 18 are invited to participate and winning entries will be featured on the Doors Open Denver website and the public image site, Winners will be named in the following categories: interiors, exteriors, details, people/urban environs, and urban landscapes. The entry deadline is Friday, April 28th. Download the full competition rules at “Are You Ready?” For the aging population What would YOU do if a disaster hit close to home?? What: “Are You Ready?” An In-depth Guide to Citizen Preparedness (IS-22) is FEMA’s most comprehensive source on individual, family, and community preparedness. The Program provides in-depth information on what to do before, during, and after each disaster event. Why: “Are You Ready?” is a two hour program is a step-by-step approach to disaster preparedness by walking the participants through how to get informed, identify hazards that affect our area, develop and maintain an emergency communications plan with family and friends and build a disaster supplies kit. Other topics covered include evacuation, emergency shelters, animals in disaster, and information specific to people in the ageing population and with disabilities. Who: This training is open to anyone. When: Saturday, April 18th, 2009, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Where: Park Mayfair, 955 Eudora Street (first floor party room), Denver, CO How much: NO COST/FREE Sponsored by: Mayor's Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (OEM/HS and Park Mayfair For more information visit our website: Contact the Mayor’s office of Emergence Management and Homeland Security at 720-865-7600 or Denver Children’s Theatre Presents: The Golden Goose by Charles Way Directed by Billie McBride Denver Children’s Theatre presents a bolder, funnier version of one of your favorite tales - The Golden Goose, beginning March 1st and running Sundays at 1 p.m. through May 3rd at the Mizel Arts and Cultural Center, 350 S. Dahlia St., Denver. Ticket Prices are $9 for General Admission and $8 for Children, Students, and Seniors and are available by calling 303-316-6360 or on-line at *Please note: No Performances Sunday, April 12(Easter) Performances for School Groups are held at 10 a.m. from February 26th through May 7th with a free teacher preview on Wednesday March 4th at 6 p.m. Please call 303-316-6360 for a reservation. A Study Guide/Teacher Supplement will be provided to all school groups. School Ticket Prices: Students/$7; Two adults per school group/Free Encore Program: Led by professional arts educators, children “take ownership” of the concepts behind the play. Curriculum Guide is keyed to Colorado Model Content Standards. Cost: $9/student; two adults/group: free; $7 each additional and includes: performance of The Golden Goose, discussion with cast, backstage technical tour and theatre workshop based on the play’s themes. The school performance schedule can be found at and is recommended for grades K–6. History Colorado's "Denver Inside and Out" Symposium February 27th – 28th, 2009 Colorado History Museum, 1300 Broadway, Denver Cost: $45 for two-day symposium ($30 for students), or $8.50 to attend Friday evening debate only Call 303-866-4686 or visit for more information To continue highlighting Denver's 150th anniversary, History Colorado is bringing together scholars from around the globe to consider the ways Denver has influenced the development of local and regional political and economic development. Land and water use, transportation and communication systems, society, culture, sports, and leisure are all topics that will be covered. Programs include discussions ranging from the early schools of Denver to Denver women and the Ku Klux Klan. An evening debate by Tom “Dr. Colorado” Noel and Ed Quillen, Salida resident and editor of Colorado Central magazine, will attempt to answer the question, "What Good is Denver?" Featured speakers include John Temple, Editor and Publisher of the Rocky Mountain News on "The Media's Role in Shaping Denver's Identity"; Edward C. Nichols, Colorado Historical Society President & CEO; and William Convery, Colorado Historical Society State Historian. A complete program can be downloaded here: Heather Barry | Neighborhood Relations Director Office of Mayor John W. Hickenlooper Phone: 720.865.9103 | Fax: 720.865.8781 | Dial 3-1-1 for City Services

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Vehicle-fee bill unfair and unreasonable

Published February 24, 2009 at 12:05 a.m. in the letters to the Editor, Rocky Mountain News. Colorado Senate Bill 108, the "End Run Around Voters" revenue enhancement bill, is certain to cause grievous harm to Colorado motorists ("Bill to fix bridges, roads off to House after Senate OK," Feb. 6). Besides increasing license fees by up to 100 percent or more, there are unbelievable punitive "late fees." It looks like there's a $25-per-month late fee if you fail to renew on time. This bill will really hurt those with low incomes, small businesses, farmers, and antique or collectible vehicle owners. Many business and farm vehicles are used seasonally or rotated for use, and with many of these of heavy weight, they have a large license expense. These vehicles are sometimes not in use, their license plates expired to save money. Antique and collectible vehicles have similar downtimes, used seasonally, or their use is rotated to allow various maintenance and restoration work, or just to use different vehicles. It just isn't fair to keep paying for license fees for vehicles not in use on Colorado roads. Just as there's "no taxation without representation" there shouldn't be taxation to use the transportation infrastructure if you're not using it. I hope good logic wins out and Senate Bill 108 is killed or more reasonable rate increases are used.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Decide What Your Neighbors Can Do!

You don't have to be a member of any organization or even live in the neighborhood. You don't have to be a property owner. But you can vote at this meeting to decide what 7-11 can sell and what the owner of the property at 20th and Vine can build. Come join in the fun - you too can be a zoning dictator. And, its free! NEIGHBORHOOD MEETING YOU ARE INVITED! Come listen to a discussion with the applicants and voice your opinions about 2 important neighborhood topics: 1. The 7-11 store at the southwest corner of Colfax and Josephine (2340 East Colfax) is applying for an application to sell 3.2 beer If currently-pending legislation passes, such a license would automatically convert to allow sale of full-strength beer. The store had a 3.2 beer license earlier, but allowed it to lapse. The public hearing on this application will be on March 18 at the Denver Department of Excise and Licenses. 2. The application by Argus Home Health Care to rezone the former Planned Parenthood property at 20th and Vine to a Planned Unit Development to allow construction of a 5-story multi-unit dwelling for seniors and ground-floor offices for Argus Home Health Care. The current zoning (R-4/OD-1) would only allow a new building of 35-feet or less. The applicant has revised plans and drawings to present to the community since the last community meeting on November 13. THURSDAY FEBRUARY 26 6:30pm Church in the City (in the Angels’ Den) 1530 Josephine Co-Sponsored by: Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods Colfax on the Hill South City Park Neighborhood Association Uptown Neighborhood Watch Association Contact CHUN for information – 303-830-1651

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Romanoff Surfaces

by Dave Felice Romanoff spoke at a meeting of Democrats in Rep. Ann McGihon’s District Three in south-central Denver, Saturday, Feb 21, 2009. Romanoff had to leave the legislature because of term limits. He was a strong contender for the appointment to the U.S. Senate for the seat vacated by Sen. Ken Salazar. Since Denver School Superintendent Michael Bennet got that appointment, Romanoff has yet to reveal any future plans for his involvement in government. Former house speaker Andrew Romanoff said Democrats need to “remain humble but hungry,” now that they have majorities at both the state and federal levels. Romanoff, a Denver Democrat, said history is being rewritten by the electoral gains of the Democratic Party in legislative power, especially in the state general assembly. “Republicans don’t like being in the minority,” he commented. “And the Republicans will do anything and say anything to try to regain power. But their actions in the General Assembly have indicated they are not really interested in governing.” Romanoff tempered his comments by adding that legislation coming from the Colorado legislature is generally much more bipartisan than it appears. He said while the Republicans controlled the legislature, the Democrats found that it was easy to get media coverage “by criticizing the other side.” But he said Democrats realized they needed to offer ideas and solutions and that is the successful approach that helped get Democrats elected. When they gained the majority in the legislature, Romanoff acknowledged Democrats had to face some critical financial realities, because the previous administration had gutted social programs, health care, schools, and infrastructure. In spite of these pressing matters, he said, Republicans were obsessed with the issue of so-called gay marriage. “We now have a chance to dream a little bit,” said Romanoff. After getting some relief on immediate funding restrictions, Romanoff said “we now have an opportunity to remake some institutions and think of new ways of doing business.” He pointed out that Colorado is “one of the richest states,” but needs to pay more attention to rebuilding programs aimed at social well-being. Romanoff said TABOR restrictions on taxes and funding are a principal cause of the state’s financial difficulties. He is still supporting a suggested state constitutional convention even if the convention would deal only with fiscal matters. “Just using all of the state revenue is not a panacea for current financial difficulties,” he said. “There just isn’t enough money to go around to pay for everything.” The former house speaker said increasing the automobile registration fees is one way of raising revenue without raising taxes. He points out there’s a distinction between taxes and fees, because fees can be earmarked for specific purpose, while taxes must go to the general fund. He admits the gasoline tax is a hybrid, because that tax revenue supports road projects.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Wouldn’t It Be Nice ….

Denver Mayor Hickenlooper has the opportunity to fill a vacancy on Denver Water’s 5-member Board of Commissioners. The vacancy was brought about by the departure of newly-appointed Senator Bennett who took his wife, Susan Daggett, to Washington with him. She had been appointed to a 6-year term on November 6, 2007. Given the current composition of the Board, Penfield Tate III, President, a shareholder in the Public Finance Group at the law firm of Greenberg Traurig, John Lucero, a broker associate at Lucero Real Estate, Inc., a local real estate company that offers residential, commercial, development and investment real estate expertise, Tom Gougeon, a principal in Continuum Partners LLC, a Colorado-based development company known for "green" building projects, And George Beardsley, a principal with Inverness Properties, LLC, which specializes in the development and operation of commercial real estate properties, Wouldn’t it be nice if we had a Board member who represented the interests of the people who use the water? Someone with years of experience working on behalf of water consumers and workers? Someone like Adrienne Anderson?

By email to Mayor John Hickenlooper Dear Mayor: It is my understanding that there is currently a vacancy on the Denver Water Board of Commissioners. Please consider appointing Adrienne Anderson to this position. Anderson has a background unlike any other current Board member, with over 25 years of service to the Denver community in water-related issues. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, Gerald Trumbule With a simple copy and paste, you can join me in emailing Mayor Hickenlooper to recommend Anderson for this position. Wouldn't it be nice...?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Citizen Comment at Denver Water Board Meeting 2-11-09

The Denver Water Board of Commissioners meets twice a month in public. Members of the public are invited to speak at the beginning of each meeting on matters not on the agenda. On Monday, Feb 11, 2009 there were two speakers, Sonja Leonard (see previous post) and Adrienne Anderson. Anderson is a community/environmental activist (featured many times on these pages - see index on the right) with 25 years of experience in water and the pollution thereof. Her knowledge in these matters is voluminous. At this meeting she raises a variety of issues: In Part 2, Penfield Tate III, President, calls on staff to speak to Anderson's points. Their comments are revealing.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Bob Turner at Colorado Capitol

For your weekend enjoyment More of Bob singing here, and more about Bob here.

General Announcement

You are invited to attend an ECONOMIC TOWN HALL MEETING How can you survive the economic crisis? THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 19th - 7:00 – 8:30 pm EAST HIGH SCHOOL Sponsored by Representative Beth McCann (HD8) Tim Powers – Colorado Banker’s Association Paula Gomez Farrell, Ph.D. – Denver Office of Economic Development Tamela Lee – Governor’s Office of Economic Development Kathi Williams – Director of Colorado Division of Housing Invited Guests: Speaker of the House Terrance Carroll City Councilmember at-Large Carol Boigon City Councilmember at-Large Doug Linkhart District 8 City Councilwoman Carla Madison District 10 City Councilwoman Jeanne Robb Senator Chris Romer Former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb Denver Health Elbra Wedgeworth Refreshments and childcare (for ages 3+) will be provided to attendees. Traductor español estará presente.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Denver Water (Bill) Spikes

Denver Water bills going from $40 to $900 and no one can find out why? Apparently hundreds of rate payers are experiencing the dreaded "water spike". From The Glendale Cherry Creek Chronicle: "Leading the fight to find answers is real estate broker Sonja Leonard of Leonard Leonard & Associates who has been in business for 28 years. After receiving water bills for $40 on a property located at 1111 E. 3rd Avenue, Leonard received a bill for just over $1,000 in February 2008 and another bill for just over $900 in September 2008. Outraged at the “spike” in her water bill, Leonard said she called Denver Water to find out what was going on. “I’ve received these spikes in water bills in 2007 and 2008 and every time I call Denver Water they either don’t call me back or tell me that they checked the water meter and report that it’s fine,” said Leonard. “It’s so frustrating because none of this makes any sense. The high water spikes come out of the blue and no one knows why." Wouldn't a prudent provider have a computer program to flag this kind of increase, and then go to the address and get to the bottom of it, rather than requiring the user to prove that they don't have leaks and pay if they can't?

Monday, February 9, 2009

Fee vs. Tax

Associate Dave Felice shares his letter to Representative Beth McCann. More here. February 6, 2009
Hello, Beth.
You know I am a very liberal Democrat. I'm also just as concerned about the condition of roads and "job creation" as anyone.
I am strongly opposed to the auto registration fee increase legislation now before the House. This is really nothing more than a tax increase in disguise. Let's be honest. The proponents are touting this "fee increase" as a way of generating money because they know they cannot take a tax increase proposal to the voters.
In addition, the fee hike is regressive. It hurts the economically disadvantaged population most. Since mass transit is really lousy at best, many in this population depend on automobile transportation to and from low-paying jobs.
Furthermore, now is not the time to be saddling people with the increased costs of government and making people pay for the contemptuous behavior of the Republicans over the last eight years. The roads are in bad shape because the Republicans wouldn't pay for repairs, and the Democrats should now just say so. "Highway Bill" Owens was quick to pave anything that didn't move, but he had no thought about fixing the pavement when it deteriorated.
Then, there are some of us who are opposed to wholesale road repair schemes because we simply do not use the roads that much. I realize that's a selfish position, but with the high cost of transportation, I'm staying as close to my ZIP Code as possible and I actually drive LESS than 7,000 miles per year.
My car is 28 years old and I'm giving serious consideration to not registering if the fee goes up. Well, what happens to the grand revenue-generating scheme if fewer people actually register?
Part of the solution is to just say NO. Prioritize the needs. Fix the bridges that are dangerous. Leave the rest alone for a while. If the pavement isn't always smooth as glass, that's the hardship we all have to bear.
This "jobs creation" myth is a story for another time.
Thanks for listening, and thanks for representing me in the General Assembly.
Dave (Felice)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Denver Marijuana Prosecutions Plunged in 2008

from Mason Tvert at SAFER. Also see Westword article here.

Prosecutions dropped 21 percent in the year following voters' adoption of "lowest law enforcement priority" law and establishment of city review panel (pictured above)
DENVER -- Prosecutions for private adult marijuana possession plunged more than 21 percent in 2008, reaching the lowest rate since 2005, according to the Denver City Attorney's Office.
Director of Prosecution Vince DiCroce presented the 2008 statistics to the Denver Marijuana Policy Review Panel at its meeting Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. in the Denver City-County Building. The Denver City Attorney's Office is required to provide the Panel with marijuana possession statistics every six months.
Prosecutions fell from 2,105 in 2007, to 1,658 in 2008, the year following voters' adoption of a city ordinance designating adult possession the city's "lowest law enforcement priority" and Mayor John Hickenlooper's subsequent appointment of the Denver Marijuana Policy Review Panel. The Panel was established to implement, monitor and report on the new ordinance. In May 2008, it recommended the city halt prosecutions for adult marijuana possession, and in August it called on city police to refrain from citing adults during the Democratic National Convention.
The new trend in marijuana prosecutions is NOT the result of fewer arrests for other offenses, according to DiCroce, who speculated that the number of charges filed for all offenses in Denver likely increased or held steady in 2008.
"Our city punished far fewer adults for marijuana possession this year, yet the sky did not fall," said Mason Tvert, a member of the Panel and the executive director of Safer Alternative For Enjoyable Recreation (SAFER), the organization behind the successful marijuana initiative campaign. "Hopefully this is just the beginning of Denver's shift toward a more rational approach to marijuana."
"There are still far too many adults in Denver being needlessly punished simply for using a substance that is far less harmful than alcohol," Tvert said. "It's time to stop these prosecutions altogether and start allowing adults to make the safer choice to use marijuana instead of alcohol, if that's what they prefer."
Cases of Private Adult Marijuana Possession: Jan. 1, 2005 - Jan. 1, 2009
(Possession of up to one ounce of marijuana by adults 21 and older)
Released by the Denver City Attorney's Office, February 4, 2009
Year Cases
2005 1,485
2006 1,841
2007 2,105
2008 1,658
November 2005 -- more than 53 percent of Denver voters approved Initiated Question 100, amending city ordinances to remove ALL penalties for private adult marijuana possession under city ordinances. This was the first time in history that a city had voted to do so.
November 2006 -- approximately 55 percent of Denver voters approved Amendment 44, a statewide ballot initiative that would have removed all penalties for private adult marijuana possession under state statutes. The measure received more than 41 percent of the statewide vote.
November 2007 -- 57 percent of Denver voters approved Initiated Question 100, creating a new city ordinance designating adult marijuana possession the city's "lowest law enforcement priority" and calling for the creation of a city review panel.
December 2007 -- Mayor John Hickenlooper appoints the Denver Marijuana Policy Review Panel. See below for list of panel members.
May 2008 -- The Denver Marijuana Policy Review Panel adopts a formal recommendation that the Denver City Attorney's Office no longer prosecute cases of private adult marijuana possession. The Denver City Attorney's Office announces its plans to change its policy so that adults cited for marijuana possession are no longer required to appear in court and can pay a significantly reduced fine by mail -- this has yet to be implemented.
August 2008 -- The Denver Marijuana Policy Review Panel adopts a formal recommendation that the Denver Police Department refrain from citing, arresting or detaining adults for private marijuana possession during the 2008 Democratic National Convention.
February 2009 -- The Denver City Attorney's Office releases statistics showing that prosecutions for private adult marijuana possession in Denver plunged 21 percent in 2008, and are at the lowest rate since 2005.
Denver Marijuana Policy Review Panel
Doug Linkhart, Denver City Council, At-large
Lt. Ernie Martinez, Denver Police Dept., president of the Colorado Drug Investigators Association
Vincent DiCroce, Director of Prosecution, Denver City Attorney's Office
Phil Cherner, defense attorney and member of the Denver Crime Commission
Frank Moya, Denver public defender
Sandy Mullins, executive director,Colorado Criminal Defense Bar
Dora-Lee Larson, Denver Domestic Violence Coordinating Council
Crystal Noel, substance abuse counselor, Empowerment Program
Mason Tvert, executive director, Safer Alternative For Enjoyable Recreation (SAFER)
Brian Vicente, defense attorney and executive director of Sensible Colorado

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

"bits of fried meat or blackened cinder"

This just in from Tom Anthony, President of the Elyria Neighborhood Association. Reprinted as received.

"Full Suncor fuel tankers all over the neighborhood, along the Platte River Greenway, in the middle of the River North Entertainment District, near art studios, homes, restaurants and businesses."
Dear neighborhood folks, If you don't want to know about it, fine, but we have a tremendous couple problems in Elyria neighborhood here in Judy Montero's District 9. She won't help us get CDOT to study a partial tunnelization of I-70 as part of the solution to the bottleneck here, although we've asked her for 5 years and gave her almost 600 signatures 4 years ago and asked a dozen times. She absolutely refused to write a letter on our behalf and now the EIS is in the final comment period. For God's sake, what would it cost her to write one sentence? She wouldn't do it. Since the neighborhood went to court with the city over two years ago because the city approved a 10 million gallon a year fuel refinery on the Platte River Greenway between an entertainment district and a residence, we have spent almost $20,000 in court costs. I'm sure the city has spent about the same. Meanwhile the city is saying they can't keep our recreation center open without getting a private contractor to run it. The rec center is pretty much right in the way of where CDOT is looking at putting a new I-70 alignment. Amazingly right in the same spot the North Metro Fastracks team says is the best location for a commuter rail stop. Which would you rather have, a 12 lane highway or a commuter rail station? We can't have both, but, we can't get Judy to help CDOT see the tunnel vision. Of course since the elected officials turned their backs on us, and I'm being all inclusive here because so far not one has bothered to write so much as a word on our behalf in five years, and believe me we have stuck sheafs of petitions into many hands in the past five years, suddenly a new business has quietly started up in the neighborhood. It's the business of storing full Suncor fuel tankers all over the neighborhood, along the Platte River Greenway, in the middle of the River North Entertainment District, near art studios, homes, restaurants and businesses. Since I am the main "gadfly" you might say, my family wakes up every morning to these mobile napalm bombs sitting ourside our breakfast nook. I'm attaching an article from two days ago showing how a fuel tanker exploded in Kenya and you could feel it for miles, and there were hundreds of casualties that were "so gruesome Red Cross workers were being offered counseling." But here in Elyria, all the city and county of Denver can offer are winks and nods. It doesn't pay to question authority in Denver. So, let this serve as a lesson to you all: keep quiet or you may get on the hit list too. Don't be surprised if we're on the helicopter news one of these days. It'll be much too hot up here for a fire engine. So here's my request (obviously I had one, it's in the title line.) Remember us when we're nothing but bits of fried meat or blackened cinder. Tom Anthony, President Elyria Neighborhood Assn. 303-299-0202