Sunday, February 28, 2010

Prisoners of Lies

 (picture from
From the March Naysayer by Phil Goodstein

In 2005, voters swallowed the city hall line when they authorized a new "justice center," a massive jail and courthouse adjacent to the City and County Building. They were told it would open by 2009, featuring a signature building designed by a hotshot architect. The man hired to create the primary structure, Steven Hall, bailed out of the effort in October 2006, claiming that the city had vastly and cynically underestimated the costs of the project to dupe voters into authorizing it. The administration replied that it was on the verge of firing Hall for incompetence. Amidst this, James Mejia, an all-embracing city hall hack, left his post as coordinator of the effort to run the city preschool initiative.

From the beginning, the city's numbers about the Justice Center have fluctuated wildly. At the time of Hall's departure, newspapers reported the effort was $34 million over budget. A year later, the projected price was $50 million more than Mayor John Hickenlooper had promised taxpayers. The cost, initially slated at about $213 million was $286.3 million by November 2008.

Amidst this, the city has announced that the effort is finally about to open "on budget and on time." It cites a cost of the jail of $159 million and the courthouse of $136 million-a sum of $295 million. Far from exposing city hall's fabrications, the Denver Post proudly reported them as exemplars of the efficiency of its beloved mayor.

The Naysayer of the Month

(The Naysayer is a print-only monthly penned by Denver historian Phil Goodstein, who graciously gives us permission to publish it here. The Naysayers next meet on Saturday, March 6, Enzo's Pizza, 3424 Colfax (between Cook and Madison) 5:30 PM)

In face of mass opposition to his policy of sealing off the city's parks to private interests to stage profit-driven, admission charged events, Mayor John Hickenlooper created a packed commission to study the subject a couple of years ago. Even while it has pondered the issue and how to get around charter provisions specifying that the city's parks are public spaces, not private venues, the administration went ahead with a scheme to fence off the Civic Center so the film elite could drink and dine there this summer while watching movies to which tickets cost $15 to $20 each. Amazingly, four members of city council had the wherewithal to say no to the project. Eight others acted in their usual role as rubber stamps---one member was absent. Meanwhile, the promoter had barraged the public with rather illiterate Promotional pieces while asserting that the destruction of the Civic Center as a public space is actually an epochal step toward Denver's emergence as a world-class arts city. Despite getting everything it has wanted from the Hickenlooper administration, US OpenAir of Massachusetts, the company behind what has been billed as the OpenAir Cinema, has announced it will not be able to close the Civic Center as promised in 2010. After receiving the green light from city hall, it had to concede that its finances are so shaky that it lacked the adequate sponsors and the preparations to get a liquor license. (The all-so-sophisticated arts crowd cannot think of having any event without alcohol even as the righteous decry drinking by "undesirables," i.e., the poor in the Civic Center.) Consequently, OpenAir has postponed its abominable scheme for a year. For so showing its inability to deliver on a really bad promise, it is the Naysayer of the Month.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

"Spork Must Die" - More Animal Control Out of Control

Also see Facebook page and article here.


For Immediate Release

Date: February 24, 2010 To: All Denver Police Officers, Media, Denver City Council, and Denver Community Associations. Contact: Sonny Jackson Address: Office of the Chief 1331 Cherokee St., Denver, CO 80204 Phone: 720-913-6534

The Denver Police Department would like the community to be aware of a thief preying on the elderly in the Denver metro area. This suspect targets elderly females in a grocery store, and steals her wallet from her or the complete purse. The suspect steals the wallet and immediately goes to an electronic or department stores and uses the credit cards to purchases high dollar items. The suspect struck as recently as yesterday at the Safeway store located at 5th and Corona Street. The suspect is very deceptive while committing the thefts. The suspect is described as a white male in his 40's, balding head, light goatee, and well dressed.

There was another case on February 19, 2010, where a female victim had her purse stole from her grocery cart while shopping at a Cherry Creek grocery store. The suspect used the victim's credit cards at numerous local businesses. On February 21, 2010, the same type of incident happened at a King Soopers store in south Denver the suspect stole a purse from the grocery cart and again used the credit card at local businesses.

We are releasing a video of the suspect making purchases at a local department store. The CD can be picked-up at the Denver Police Administration Building located at 1331 Cherokee Street.

Denver Police want the community to be aware of these crimes, and if anyone recognizes this suspect to call Denver Police Department at 120-913-2000 or Crime Stoppers at 120-913-STOP (7867).

Friday, February 26, 2010

Roaring Fork, Crystal River Revisited

 Even your dedicated editor has to get away once in a while, so we headed back to one of our favorite stomping grounds, Glenwood Springs, hopeful that the magic sulfur waters would cure the cold that we had picked up in the trenches.

Of course no trip to Glenwood would be complete for me without a side trip to the Crystal River Valley, where I once (mid '70s) filmed a public service announcement in opposition to the development of a dam and reservoir there. Folks thought that long-time resident Marjorie Orloski would be the perfect person to make the argument against the dam.

Mrs. Orloski lived in lovely cabin which had once been a railroad depot. I arrived a little early and could not raise anyone by voice, so I waited in my van. Soon, a spry little lady of 60+ came snowshoeing over the embankment - she had been out running her traps.

The inside walls of her living area where covered in pelts - an array the likes of which I had never seen. She was very hospitable, and I shot scenes of her talking about the valley. Later I superimposed her face over a slow zoom out of a scene much like the one above. The spot aired, and the dam didn't get built, so I always like to say that the PSA saved the Crystal River valley from inundation.

Well, the healing waters back at the world's largest hot springs pool didn't do the trick. I ended up with a fever and went to the Valley View Hospital ER to get some penicillin. What an expensive way to dispense drugs!

But you can't keep a good reporter down, even when he's sick, so I stopped by the Peaceful Warrior (medical marijuana dispensary in a former filling station in Glenwood at 6th and Pine). There I spoke with the proprietor, David Martin, about his growing business.

The town had been receptive, he said, but the inspections and, especially, the taxes, were getting him down. Just that morning he had been told by an inspector that he couldn't sell the little 3-inch plants because of the lack of agricultural zoning. He estimated that taxes were taking 60% of his gross, and said he had a tax payment check of $7000 in his pocket for delivery that day. His workers were busy painting and putting up shelves, but he lamented that he would have been able to hire two additional workers if not for the tax burden.

The funny thing, he said, was that he had first gotten into the business when he was sent to do a TV interview of his now-partner in the mmj business. They got to talking, and one thing led to another, and now, here he was, full tilt into the Peaceful Warrior. You never know.

Photos by GHT

Monday, February 22, 2010

Fireworks expected at Mayor Hickenlooper's Marijuana Panel Meeting Tomorrow

(Press release from SAFER)

DENVER -- The Denver Marijuana Policy Review Panel will meet tomorrow at 3:30 p.m. in the Denver Police Auditorium on the first floor of the Police Administration Building at 1331 Cherokee Street. Prior to the meeting, Colorado voters who support marijuana policy reform will rally at a 3 p.m. news conference being held by Safer Alternative For Enjoyable Recreation (SAFER) in front of the Denver City and County Building just around the corner at 1437 Bannock Street.

At the news conference, SAFER will release statistics showing a dramatic increase in arrests for marijuana possession in Denver in 2009. It will also respond to the prepared statement from Mayor John Hickenlooper's office, which defends the appointment of anti-marijuana crusader Lt. Ernie Martinez to the Panel. Lt. Martinez came under fire last week after SAFER uncovered an official letter from him, in which he compares supporters of marijuana legalization to "a cancer eat[ing] away at society's resolve and moral fiber." More than 650 people joined SAFER in communicating to Mayor Hickenlooper that he should replace Lt. Martinez on the Panel and stop obstructing progress on marijuana policy reform.

"The panel is legally charged with making marijuana possession the city's lowest priority, yet Mayor Hickenlooper appointed an anti-marijuana extremist who wants to keep it a high priority," said panel member and SAFER Executive Director Mason Tvert. "That's on par with appointing Tom Tancredo to the Latino Commission, and we hope it is not a sign of things to come should the mayor become our next governor.

"Polls show two-thirds of Denver voters and half of Colorado voters want to make marijuana legal and start treating it like alcohol," Tvert said. "If Hickenlooper expects these people to send him to the Colorado Governor's Mansion, he needs to stop stonewalling on this issue and demonstrate he's in tune with the voters on it."

In 2005, Denver became the first city in the nation to vote to remove all penalties for adult marijuana possession at the city level. In 2007, a strong majority approved a new city ordinance designating adult marijuana possession the city's lowest law enforcement priority, and calling on the mayor to establish a city panel that would implement such a policy to "the greatest extent possible."

The prepared statement from the mayor's office said the role of the panel is "to determine what this ordinance means," and that, "Police officers and recreational users of marijuana may, understandably, have very different perspectives on the phrases 'lowest law enforcement priority' and 'greatest extent possible.'"

"The panel's purpose is not to determine what the ordinance means or define concepts like 'lowest' and 'greatest'," Tvert said. "The purpose of the panel is to do everything in it's power to make adult marijuana possession something police treat as a lower infraction than jaywalking or going 7 MPH over the speed limit.

"The solution is simple -- police need to stop issuing citations and prosecutors need to stop bringing charges, both of which are entirely possible as demonstrated by the City of Seattle, where voters adopted a virtually identical ordinance and city officials actually listened."

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Dog park supporters forming advocacy group

By Catherine Calder for Denver Direct

While numerous Denverites continue to question certain recommendations of the city’s Dog Park Master Plan, such as off-leash areas in City Park and proposed usage fees, there is widespread support for a citizen-led dog park support group.

Denver Parks and Recreation (DPR) recently conducted a meeting to bolster what the Master Plan identifies as a need for “a long-term and well-established partnership.” Parks personnel said the Denver group would be similar to Citizens for Off Leash Areas (COLA), SFDOG, and NYC Dogs (pronounced “nice”) in other cities. These are nonprofit groups, led by volunteers, which support off-leash dog parks in metropolitan areas.

Has Obama Lost Control?

of the DEA? You may recall that AG Eric Holder announced that the Obama administration would not prosecute medical marijuana in states that had made it legal, like Colorado. Now we have the DEA in another high-profile bust in Colorado. Who is in charge?


See also here for LA report.

And who is in charge of the military? Read how 17,000 new troops to Afghanistan became 40,000.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Move Our Money

You may be aware of a movement suggesting that you move your money out of too-big-to-fail banks (TARP recipients) into smaller community banks as a way to protest the actions of these giant banks. We noticed some time ago that our City tax payments were going to Dallas, Texas, and, lacking a knowledgeable City Council person, we turned to our Council person-at-large, Doug Linkhart, who always answers our email questions. (You might consider doing the same if your City Councilperson is unresponsive.)

In response to Linkhart's inquiry:
The City’s Acting Treasurer, Steve Ellington has asked that I respond to your inquiry of February 5th about why the City is not using a local bank to process its lockbox services. The short answer is that the City will be releasing its RFP for banking services, including lockbox processing later this year. As a result, the City will be able to evaluate if a local solution can provide better benefits. It is important to recognize that banking relationships are very intricate and the awarding of services is leveraged a number of ways to benefit the City.

Background: When the City issued its RFP and awarded its primary banking relationship with JP Morgan, the bank had a local lockbox processing site. After the Federal Reserve Bank provided notice that it was going to cease clearing physical checks in Denver (thorough the Kansas City Reserve’s branch here in Denver) JP Morgan made the business decision to relocate its lockbox services to Dallas to be closer to the Federal Reserve Bank clearing site. While there are three known local lockbox providers of sufficient size to be able to service the City, by having the processing site in the locality of the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank, JP Morgan Chase can provide the City credit on its payments the same day the payments are processed by the bank. These funds can then be invested one to three days sooner, than having the checks processed locally and then transported to Dallas to clear through the Federal Reserve.

Time Line for Bidding Banking Services: Treasury expects to issue its RFP for banking services in the fourth quarter of this year. We can evaluate the pricing and benefits of having lockbox services locally as part of that process. The banking industry has been undergoing very significant changes, including greater use of imaging, which may mitigate the Federal Reserve processing at some point in the future. However, it is important to keep in mind that the City’s relationships with its banks have many facets to consider. For example, by having a number of services provided by JP Morgan Bank, the bank is motivated to apply its capital to the benefit of the City on debt issues. JP Morgan provides stand by purchase agreements and letters of credit on City debt transactions that other banks have declined to participate given the current difficult financial markets. Two of the local processors are not banks, and awarding them the services would mean the City might be unable to leverage its relationship if one of the nonbanks were selected to provide lockbox services.

But, until we have the responses, it is difficult to ascertain and quantify what a competitor can provide. If you have any additional questions, please let me know.
Bob Gibson
Director of Financial Management

Thursday, February 18, 2010



February 17, 2010
by Thomas R. Anthony
President, Elyria Neighborhood Association

Should neighborhoods have protections against industrial pollution?  Should neighborhoods have a say in their future?  Should neighborhoods protect their citizens?  Should elected leaders punish neighborhoods working for self-determination by de-funding their kids' recreation center?   Should troubling health study results be tabled and ignored in order to expedite huge corporate profits?   Should elected leaders help funnel public money to their campaign workers through non-profits that deliberately harm private property rights?   If you have no opinion, read on and inform yourself of the FACTS:

1.  Elyria, established in 1881 (the year before the Union Stockyards Company, 23 years before the Western Stock Show, 30 years before Purina, 56 years before Conoco, 122 years before TAXI and River North,) is one of Denver's oldest, smallest and poorest neighborhoods, bounded by I-70 and Purina, the Platte River, the Union Pacific North freight tracks, and the North Denver boundary line just south of Suncor Refinery.  Counting multifamily housing, it has about 250 dwelling units and 1,000 residents which include about 400 kids.  According to the Piton Foundation, Elyria averages 200% more families with children, and more than 200% higher rate of those children born to teenagers; where 91% of the kids qualify for DPS free lunch; where we earn 70% of the average household income while supporting double the number of occupants per house.  Because Elyria is only two miles from downtown Denver, in a broader context, enough vacant and underutilized real estate exists between Broadway in Globeville and Brighton Blvd. in Elyria to accomodate 40,000 new dwelling units which, due to their central proximity, would save an estimated $2.6 trillion more in transportation costs than subdivisions on E-470 over 50 years.

Critic: Park Movie Scheme Flawed

By Dave Felice

Denver City Councilwoman Jeanne Faatz says cancellation of plans to close a large part of Civic Center Park this summer for outdoor movies does not resolve the fundamental issue.

“I’m amazed the administration would bring such a controversial contract to council and try to justify it to concerned citizens when the event promoters didn’t have their own act together,” says Faatz in exclusive comments for Denver Direct. “Unfortunately, the underlying charter issues still remain.”

Faatz voted against a contract allowing the Massachusetts affiliate of a Swiss firm to take over a major portion of the park for 50 days this summer and charge admission for outdoor movies. Among the four council members opposing the contract, Faatz is the most vocal in defending the City Charter prohibitions against leasing park property, using parks for non-park activities, and commercial use of park property.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Open Air Cinema Fades


Facing continued neighborhood opposition, OpenAir Cinema operators are canceling plans to close part of Civic Center Park this summer for outdoor movies. Mayoral aide Heather Barry notified officers of Inter-Neighborhood Cooperation by telephone that OpenAir "couldn't find a sponsor."

The financial arrangements of the deal have been in question since the City Council approved the controversial contract with OpenAir last month by a vote of 8-to-4. A Denver newspaper now reports that the city's expected revenue appears to be even lower than the figures originally presented to Council.

The outdoor movies, to have been presented by the Massachusetts affiliate of a Swiss company, were to have been part of the Biennial of the Americas arts festival later this year. That festival has been scaled back from its original plan, and there is widespread speculation the event is confronting serious financial difficulties.

The Denver Post reports OpenAir still want to have its inaugural event in Denver at Civic Center in 2011, instead of City Park.

(Editor's note: I wonder how much money was wasted by the City pursuing this no-bid contract for an illegal lease of park space. I don't recall any mention being made of the possibility that OpenAir had yet to find a sponsor.)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Ambrose Will Run for District 1 City Council Seat

DENVER, CO – Larry Ambrose, a Colorado native, resident of NW Denver since 1973, will be a candidate for Denver City Council in the special election expected to take place at the end of April. Ambrose, a business owner and consultant, was the Executive Director of the Auraria Foundation, manager of Colorado's second largest convention center, a Community College professor and is doing restoration and management of two historic buildings. A community advocate and neighborhood activist for 37 years, he is currently President of the Sloan's Lake Neighborhood Association and Co-chair of the Interneighborhood Cooperation Parks and Recreation Committee. Among his accomplishments are relocating and restoring the Golda Meir House at the Auraria Campus, leading the successful effort to bury power lines along West 32nd Avenue in the Highlands Square Business District, starting the North High Alumni Association and initiating the Viking Park entryway to NW Denver. Ambrose and his wife, Jane, founded the One Sky One World International Kite Fly for Peace and in 1975 she opened the first Colorado kite business, Sky Scrapers Kite Store, on Upper 15th Street which moved to Highland Square in 1988. He holds a law degree from DU, a Masters in Business from UCLA and Bachelor’s in Marketing from CU Boulder. In his free time, he takes his three border collies to Denver dog parks, which he was instrumental in establishing.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

"Building to Be the Change"

Part 1 - Introduction

Be the Change ( sponsored a great event on February 13, 2010 to which we were invited to videotape. The evening program included what was to have been the first US Senate Candidate Forum featuring Colorado Senator Michael Bennet and challenger Andrew Romanoff. This clip includes David Sirota, Dick Barkey and Mike Miles in introduction.

Part 2 - Opening statements

Part 3 - Continued

Part 4 - Continued

Part 5 - Continued

Part 6 - Continued

Part 7 - Continued

Part 8 - Continued

Part 9 - Closing remarks

Friday, February 12, 2010

"Animal Control" Out of Control - Part 4

US Veteran Glen Belcher testified at the HB1124 hearing on yet another example of "animal control" being out of control. You see, Mr. Belcher's VA prescribed service dog is of the bull terrier breed. The City of Denver has killed over 3,000 of these dogs and wants to kill his as well. He's tried to educate animal control Director Kelly, but to no avail.

Community representatives say park policy needs public involvement

By Dave Felice

Several opponents express dissatisfaction with the process leading the Denver Parks and Recreation Advisory Board (PRAB) to accept the concept of closed commercial events in city parks. While some PRAB members agree the public engagement isn’t as good as it could be, the board voted 12-to-4 in favor of admissions based events. The board also asked Parks staff to rewrite the proposed policy to be more specific about events.

“This is the poorest excuse for public process I’ve ever seen,” said former City Councilwoman Cathy Donohue during a brief public comment period at the beginning of the PRAB meeting. “You (PRAB) have to do the courtesy of asking the public.”

“You should be ashamed of yourselves,” asserted Thad Tecza, a member of the Inter-Neighborhood Cooperation (INC) Parks Committee. He called the 10-minute public comment period “an incredible assertion of arrogance and disrespect” and said the board is irresponsible in “not soliciting input from all affected.”

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Everybody into the Pool

Architect's computer-generated view of La Alma Rec Center

Thanks to Councilwoman Judy Montero's ability to "find" $600,000, half of which will go to the La Alma recreation center to keep it from having to "transition" to a non-profit operation, that Center will remain open and under Parks and Rec control. With $2,000,000 available from Bond money, an Olympic size 50-meter swimming pool is slated for construction. The residents, led by Dean Sanchez, want the pool connected to the existing recreation center. But at last night's meeting, while it was announced that another $1,500,000 had been "found" to increase the total for pool construction to $3,500,000, it was not enough to allow the connection.

From Sanchez:

Last night's La Alma pool design meeting was a disaster. it was another reminder that the city has it's own agenda and the community is not part of that.

At last month's community meeting to discuss how to use the $2 million dollar budget to remodel La Alma's pool, the community shared their concerns with the city and it's design firms. The main concern was in keeping the 50 meter length and permanently connecting the Recreation Center and the pool with a multi-use structure that would house locker rooms and a “bathhouse”.

The city claimed “that the budget was too small and keeping a pool of this size was not feasible, but they would draw up some plans for a proposal connecting the pool and Rec center”.

Last night the city's opening statement included a personal boast of how, in the city's commitment to the community, they went to bat for La Alma and acquired another 1.5 million dollars, “so they could do the project right”.

After a long winded speech concerning what a pleasure it is to work with the La Alma community, the city claimed "that connecting the two structures was unrealistic and would cost more then the budget allows".

In conclusion, the community has continually come out in force to work and sometimes compromise with the Department of Parks and Recreation, only to be told that our input is irrelevant. People, I am not an expert on architectural design. But, I (unlike our city officials) possess some commonsense. And the idea that you can not join two structures and remodel a pool for 3.5 million dollars is completely absurd.

The DPR's, Assistant Director for planning design, Mark Tabor specifically said “we are here to complete the project that the voters decided to give you, nothing more”.

Compadres, we are the voters, we are not some charity case that should be happy with what we are given. This is not the 1850's, this is our tax money, we are the consumer and we should be given what we pay for!

P.S. And yet nothing ($0) for Globeville's Johnson Recreation Center, also in Montero's district, and on the road to "transitioning".

Bureaucrats Cover Bag Man’s Costs

by Dave Felice

By paying $30,000, Denver Parks and Recreation (DPR) is enabling entrepreneur Bill Airy to recover part of his speculative investment in an ill-fated park advertising scheme.

After his proposal to install hundreds of dog waste bag dispensers with advertising signs in city parks was rejected, Airy claimed he had a contract which the City had breached. Airy, whose veracity came into question during the deal-making, never produced a contract for anyone to see. But prior to widespread community uprising against the scheme, Parks and Recreation staff had promoted his plan to be implemented in “15 parks” during the month of June 2009.

Monday, February 8, 2010

"Animal Control" Out of Control - Part 3

Attorney Jennifer Edwards speaks on behalf of the Animal Law Center in favor of HB1124, which would set standards for training of animal control officers.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

"Animal Control" Out of Control - Part 2

Victoria Brodsky came to the Capitol to testify at the Committee Hearing on HB1124 regarding the training and bonding of animal control officers. See Part 1 here.

After one of her dogs bit the other, a nightmarish ordeal of government intrusion began, ultimately costing her nearly $12,000 and her plea of guilty to untrue charges.

System run amok.

Last Minute Parks Policy Changes

By Dave Felice

Just days before a meeting of the parks advisory board and without any apparent public consultation, Denver Parks and Recreation (DPR) is making what neighborhood leaders call “dramatic changes” in the proposed policy on closing parks for commercial events.

The Parks and Recreation Advisory Board (PRAB) meets Thursday, February 11, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Bogey’s Restaurant in City Park Golf Course at East 26th Avenue and York.

DPR Senior Policy Advisor Chantal Unfug sent a notice of the revised policy Friday afternoon.  Almost immediately, Jay and Kathleen Rust of Neighbors and Friends of Cheesman Park sent an e-mail message to City Council President Jeanne Robb.  The Rusts question the intent of the amendments, and the lack of public involvement.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Oh yeah!

Tree Of Life
Words and Music by Human

I wanna tell y’all a little bit about a plant I know that can save the world.
It grows long and tall and has flowers that can make your mind swirl.
It’s a sacred plant with a fiber that is resistant to rain and mold.
It’s the strongest plant fiber known to man, the best rope you’ll ever hold.

Now the pioneers covered up their wagon train with a canvas made of hemp
Washington and Jefferson grew it on their farms and said to make the most of it.
The first stars and stripes were made on hemp the first constitution too.
Its used around the world for fuel fiber oil medicine and food.

If you press its seeds you wont have no need for any other oil,
You can make paints and inks or run your car, grow it back next season it’ll fix the soil.
The most nutritious seed you can put in your mouth with Omega 6 and 3
We can feed the world with the tree of life and live sustainably.

If we cut down all the trees, then we won’t have no air to breath,
Grow a field of hemp instead, you can make your paper, build your house from it. The Goddess plant growing wild and free, livin’ the way we oughta be, gone leave my children a better world than my ancestors left me.

The flowers of the female hemp plant make the best medicines on Earth,
Helps cancer and AIDS patients eat their food, helps those with depression overcome the blues,
Glaucoma, Epilepsy, Nausia, Insomnia, Stress, Neurosis, Psychosis, Pain PMS
All the studies have been done all the doctors agree, but the corporations can’t make money off this plant you see, because its free, it grows from a seed, wild and free like we oughta be.
The future is growin in our backyards.


In this modern world we seem to lack a little spirituality,
This one plant can bring us back 10.000 years in history.
To the Shiva Parahanas, The Jesus The Christ, to Buddah, The Pagans, The Goddess, The Light. To commune with all the animals, commune with all the trees, to realize the god I seek is inside me.
Yeah the futures in our hands, we’ve gotta take care of the Earth.
Because the Earth is the mother that gives life birth.
We can end all our pollution with a single green plant and we can start right now, start right now.


So you see in this modern day and age, living in the lap of luxury,
There is really only one plant we need to harvest for almost everything.
We can run our cars on clean hempseed oil, run our generators too.
Stop! Wow I can’t believe hemp has so many uses! I say three cheers for Hemp: Hemp hemp Hooray! Hemp Hemp Hooray! Hemp Hemp hooray!


Friday, February 5, 2010

"Animal Control" Out of Control - Part 1

Representative Wes McKinley (HD64) is carrying a bill which would provide State standards for the training and bonding of animal control officers. The hearing room was packed with citizens testifying in favor of the bill as well as control officers and administrators speaking against the bill. Many of the citizens told horror stories of officers abusing their powers, threatening owners with jail and legal expenses, and taking actions of questionable legality. In short, out of control control officers.

Currently in Colorado, there are no uniform standards for the training and bonding of animal control officers. Often, cities and counties will contract with 3rd party non-profits, such as the Human Society, to provide these officers. Apparently these individuals often lack appropriate training.

Anna Pullaro and her now deceased husband, Sam Lopez, made the mistake of taking in sick and abandoned animals on their 125 acre farm outside of Pueblo. Because Anna's story is long and complicated, I've had to edit it down. Despite the complexities, what became clear to me is that without controls, some of the "humane" officers are, in essence, acting as an animal control gestapo, often seizing and then selling animals in order to provide funds for their organizations. These actions often wreck the lives of the well-intentioned owners.

The bill, HR 1124, was "laid over" for further discussion.

Editor's Note: Actually, none of this is too surprising considering this:
The Colorado Humane Society came under fire back in 2008 for claims of misusing funds in the shelter. These claims were directed primarily at the operators of the facility, Robert and Mary C. Warren, and staff member Stephanie L. Gardner. The Office of the Attorney General filed a lawsuit against Gardner and the Warrens back in December of 2008, alleging that they, through the Colorado Humane Society, violated numerous provisions of Colorado law. Along with numerous other violations, the shelter’s operators were mismanaging funds with the charity and needlessly euthanizing  animals to make room for ‘more adoptable pets’.

As part of the settlement, the Warrens are barred from managing or operating charitable organizations for ten years and will not be able to operate any business covered by the Colorado Pet Animal Care Facilities Act for the next five years. Gardner was also barred from operating a charity for at least two years and operating an animal shelter for one year.

“The fact that the Colorado Humane Society is no longer in operation today is a testament to the mismanagement and poor choices of the organization’s former management,” Attorney General Suthers said. “This case should underline the reality that the managers of nonprofits throughout Colorado have a duty to manage their operations responsibly.” –

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Denver to Pay $6.5 Million for Property Assessed at $1 Million

Same old dreary Safeway, price up 600%

The old Safeway at 16th and Josephine in East Denver, for which the City has agreed to pay $6.5 million to Charles H. Woolley II, has a current appraisal (by the City of Denver) of $1,026,050.00. This information came directly from online City tax records.

Lucky (or informed) individuals, buying at the right time, often make a “killing” when their property is chosen by a government entity for purchase. Charles Woolley II was an early advisor/partner to now Mayor Hickenlooper, back when Hick was just starting the Breckenridge Brewery.

That Woolley is certainly one lucky guy.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Cowboys for Kids

Cowboys for Kids is a non-profit organization helping abused children. They sponsored an event for all kids at this year's National Western Stock Show. Colorado State Representative Wes McKinley from HD 64 is a founding sponsor and received recognition at the event. (Note: the kids pictured are just there for the pony ride, and are not abused kids.)