Friday, April 30, 2010

Cormorants Cope with Construction

Video by Gerald Trumbule - Music by Jaime Rudoff

By Dave Felice

The cormorants at Duck Lake in Denver’s City Park are carrying on with their nesting, despite the disturbance of lake renovation and development of the Asian Tropics exhibit at the Denver Zoo.

The migratory double-crested cormorants nest in the trees on the one-acre island in Duck Lake and feed on fresh-water fish. Observers say more cormorants are flying to find food this year, apparently because of the lower water level of the lake.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Denver DA Morrissey - Crime Rate Down

Denver's District Attorney Mitch Morrissey spoke at the Dems District 8 Annual Spaghetti Denver reporting that the crime rate, despite the recession, is down.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Councilwoman Johnson Initiates Investigation of Lowry Neighbors (RNO)

from The Lowry News

The Lowry Neighbors received a call from Denver’s Planning office requesting documentation of meetings. When asked, Councilwoman Johnson said she had initiated the investigation into the procedural qualifications of Lowry Neighbors. The Lowry Neighbors is an RNO (registered neighborhood organization) on file with the City of Denver which has followed the Denver City rules regulating RNOs. This has the appearance of using taxpayer dollars to go after those who opposed her on the Lowry Vista rezoning. The Lowry Neighbors [had previously] submitted a letter to city council members opposing the rezoning of Lowry Vista from open space to commercial mixed use.

The investigation of a small registered neighborhood organization contrasts starkly with the Councilwoman’s “see no evil, hear no evil” approach when the LCMA (Lowry Community Master Association) President spoke in support of the rezoning at the Denver Planning Board Hearing Dec. 2nd without following proper procedure to obtain prior approval of the LCMA Board or to notify Lowry homeowners or business owners.

The Councilwoman is apparently eager to spend taxpayer money to investigate an RNO. However, when the City’s likely illegal contract for zoning with IRG (International Risk Group, developer of 8th and Uinta and Lowry Vista) was exposed (The Lowry News: March 2009, page 3 – online at past issues), the Councilwoman defended IRG and this contract, calling the language regarding future zoning an “unfortunate provision” rather than calling for an investigation as to how the City entered into such a questionable contract with one of her campaign contributors. When it became apparent to her that the questions were not going away, she had the City Attorney’s office quietly revise the contract. In this case, no investigation was ever carried out.
Who is Councilwoman Johnson working for?

Denver Councilman Linkhart - We have enough prison beds

Councilman Doug Linkhart wants to divert Better Denver Bond money ($25 million) from re-building the prison on Smith Road to more productive preventative purposes.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Denver Auditor Sings

Denver Auditor Dennis Gallagher sang to the Democrats at their Annual Spaghetti Dinner on April 17, 2010. Actually not that unusual, as Mr. Gallagher often sings at public events, and we love it.

Oh, and by the way, Mr. Gallagher, could you give us an official statement that the City and County of Denver, or any of its associated entities (Denver Water, etc.), has not entered into any "bank deals" involving credit default swaps, or any other such derivative instruments, like the ones that Senator Bennet disastrously arranged for the Denver Public Schools?

And thanks for your efforts to date to keep tabs on our money.

Update: I was surprised and pleased to learn that Mr. Gallagher has his own blog here.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Locked Gardens

by Denver historian Phil Goodstein

Jim Fowler was a Denver-born communist. In the 1930s, he fought for the Spanish Republicans in the Abraham Lincoln Battalion. Back in Colorado, he was convinced that corporate agriculture was poisoning the food supply. The solution, he argued, was for locals, especially city dwellers, to dig up abandoned lots and transform them into community gardens.

By the 1970s, the program initiated by Fowler was so popular that the city took control of it. Eventually, it emerged as a self righteous yuppie effort, Denver Urban Gardens (DUG). During the past decades, gardeners participating in it have increasingly locked off their gardens.

This is to be expected since the gardeners are dangerous. suspicious characters. At least Denver Public Schools (DPS) argues as much. It recently ruled that those participating in DUG plots on school grounds must get police background checks.

Sen. Chris Romer on Education

Colorado State Senator Chris Romer speaks at the Denver Dems Annual Spaghetti Diner on education and SB 10-191, among other topics.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

One Thing Leads to Another

Thanks to Wade Norris and UltimatePolitics for posting on YouTube

Also see DPS Board Member Andrea Merida's website for more. Be sure to watch the video Erring on the side of transparency.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Money Can't Buy You Love

I love the Huffington Post, and its creator, Arianna Huffington. She is whip-crack smart, extremely articulate, innovative to the extreme, and runs an outstanding news operation. Although I rely on my own aggregator (Yahoo) to pull together news from the many sources I choose, I always check the Huffington Post for fast breaking news and important opinion, as they have a large stable of great writers.

When Ethan Axelrod rode into town last year with the Denver version of the Huffington Post (DHP) I wondered if it would be of the same caliber. I had heard that Mr. Axelrod contacted many of the local bloggers and news sources and made arrangements with them to feed their stories to him for re-posting. I also noticed that Mr. Axelrod wrote a number of the items at DHP himself. And of course, with a name like Axelrod, it was hard not to notice that Ethan is the son of David Axelrod, a top adviser to President Obama.

When it comes to our local race between appointee Senator Michael Bennet and former Speaker of the House Andrew Romanoff, we all pretty much know the score – “Big Money” Bennet v. “Man of the People” Romanoff, headed to a primary to see who shall represent us. Although local Democrats were told not to endorse their favorite before the primary, apparently President Obama did not get the message, as his endorsement of Bennet came out the day after Bennet announced, and his benefit for Michael at the Fillmore was very early in the game and very well attended. This has created a contentious situation for Democratic locals, some of whom are still trying to follow the Party lead by remaining uncommitted until after the primary, but with growing resentment.

When Denver Direct got the exclusive footage of Romanoff blasting the Tea Party last Saturday at the District 8 Spaghetti Dinner, we figured it was very newsworthy and hurried to post it on Sunday, April 18. Thinking it would be a story of some import, we even emailed Ethan a link that day, (after all, he has used our material in the past) but got no response. Maybe it wasn’t that important after all.

Imagine our surprise yesterday (Thursday) when we saw the pathetic piece that the Denver Huffington Post published of Senator Bennet “slamming” the Tea Party. Difficult to understand audio, recorded by sources unnamed, and posted to YouTube by “whosaidyousaidtv” (but with a somewhat different slant at their website). A day late and a dollar short, Bennet once again proved that his money can’t buy him love.

With even more proof in his recent TV ads, Senator Bennet may have the worst media team ever assembled. Even his faithful are choking on the disingenuous ads. And as for Senator Bennet himself, he just doesn’t have “it”. Lacking affect, and often seeming to slur his words, he always seems to be playing catch-up to Romanoff. Now saddled with the colossal financial blunder from his days as DPS Superintendent (costing us $90 million?), I have to ask, Why is this guy Bennet even being considered for this position when we have the stellar Mr. Romanoff who could really represent us?

Compare and contrast for yourself:
Romanoff (posted 4/18/10)

Bennet (posted 4/21/10)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Ambrose Proposes Parks Solution

by Dave Felice

A City Council candidate welcomes the possibility of an admissions based festival park along the Platte Valley, and a member of the Parks advisory Board offers a qualified endorsement of the prospect.

For years, Larry Ambrose, a candidate in the District One special election, has suggested creating a full-time festival park at the Elitch Gardens site or some other location for fee-based events.

Now, Denver Parks and Recreation (DPR) Planning Director Gordon Robertson concurs with Ambrose, publicly saying: “If someday Elitch's (amusement park) were to move, the opportunity exists for a huge event center. This (an admissions based festival park) is a potential future use should that land (in the central Platte River Valley) become available.”

Parks and Recreation Advisory Board (PRAB) member Mary Ewing likes the notion. “I think it is a good idea for Parks and Rec to acquire the Elitch's site for a large event park,” Ewing told Denver Direct. “If Elitch's were acquired for this purpose, I would support giving it a special designation to allow it to be used for paid admission events, but only if the current proposal to use existing parks for paid admission events is withdrawn.” Ewing represents central Denver’s council District 10 on the PRAB.

Ambrose, a member of the Admissions Based Special Events Policy (ABSEP) Task Force, and co-chair of the Inter-Neighborhood Cooperative Parks Committee, is deeply concerned with the negative impact on parks and the conflict between the Denver City Charter and a commercial events policy.

What's up with eBay?

from DenverDirect correspondent Christian Anderson

eBay Killing Small Businesses

eBbay is doing its very best to kill eBay as we know it. Sales have completely died for almost all long term sellers. On March 30, 2010 eBay put into place many changes that were supposed to make eBay better. For whom? The actual fees sellers pay when something sells went up. Sales disappeared. Rolling blackouts, where you cannot find your item for days at a time, unless you are logged in on your account, began to be commonplace.

eBay Listings 102,342,757. Listings removed in 24 hours -678,793 -0.66% April 19, 2010 1:06 am

Long term sellers are leaving eBay in a mass exodus, fleeing a sinking ship.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Romanoff Calls Out Tea Party

At the HD8 Democratic Annual Spaghetti dinner last night, Andrew Romanoff, candidate for US Senate, spoke out against what he called the "Dick Armey created Frankenstein" that is the Tea Party.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Ballot Trace

“Ballot TRACE” to get second test in May 4 Special Vacancy Election
Innovative technology on track for full rollout in August 2010 Primary Election
The second test of Denver’s new Ballot TRACE system, a free mail ballot tracking service, will begin this week. The service is being offered to voters in the City Council District 1 Special Vacancy Election.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Purple Pipe Water Coming to Cheesman Park

It looks like it's time for Cheesman Park to be added to the list of parks and places where the recycled sewer water and the horrible effluent from the Lowry Landfill Superfund Site are mixed for the delivery of 157 pollutants and 10 radionuclides to the lakes, lawns and fields of our Denver parks.

Better Denver Bond money for "irrigation" projects is spreading the reach of this "recycled" but badly polluted mix.

This topic is covered at great length on this site, (see the index (right sidebar): Purplewater, Greywater, City Park Pollution) as well as the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center site. You can also see what Denver Water told Councilman Linkhart here, what the Washington Park Profile had to say, and Amy Goodman's report on Democracy Now!

And here's the list, from the permit, of the stuff in the water.
As usual, click to enlarge (it works now):

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Romanoff Surges at Denver County Assembly

Democrats at the Denver County Assembly, voting  in the Preference Voting for US Senator today, solidly preferred Romanoff with 911 votes, to Bennet with 542 votes. Bennet gave his usual lackluster performance compared to Romanoff's standing-ovation effort. Money isn't everything.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Well Said: No Admission Based Events in Our Parks

APRIL 8, 2010

Members of the Board:

My name is Joe Halpern. I live in the Alamo Placita neighborhood, and as you know, I am very much interested in the Admission Based Special Events Policy that this Board and the Department’s staff have been considering.

Mr. Patterson stated at the March 23rd Task Force meeting, “There will be an Admission Based Events Policy.” So, it appears that he has taken off the table any further discussion of why such a policy should or should not be adopted.

However, the Department has not offered any clear or consistent rationale for adopting such a policy. Early on, the Department said it was because of demand from the private sector to use our parks for paid-admission events. When we made an Open Records Act request for the identities of those private sector parties, we were told, “We have no such records.”

Welcoming Colorado

By Dave Felice, with material from Chandra Russo

The Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition (CIRC) is using bus advertising to publicize its “Welcoming Colorado” campaign. The new statewide public education and media campaign is aimed at developing “open and respectful dialogue between immigrants and their communities,” according to Chandra Russo of CIRC. “Through innovative activities, we hope people can share experiences and correct misinformation,” says Russo.

In the metro-Denver area, RTD buses are carrying the image of Mohamed, a Union Taxi driver. Union Taxi, an affiliate of the Communications Workers of America Local 7777, is a driver-owned and operated company founded primarily by African immigrants, with assistance from CWA.

Russo says Mohamed was selected for the advertisement “because he exemplifies the struggles and successes so many immigrants and refugees face when coming to the U.S. and Colorado. As we are trying to make Colorado a more welcoming state for newcomers, we thought that Mohamed's story should be shared.”

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Criminal and Juvenile Justice Town Hall Meeting

You are invited to attend WEDNESDAY, APRIL 21st from 7:00 - 8:30 pm

Commons area
1600 City Park Esplanade
Denver, CO 80206

Topics of Discussion:
Reducing recidivism, treatment, advocacy, role of substance abuse in criminal activity, recent legislation that will affect or has affected juveniles in the justice system, and resources for families with juveniles in the system.

Invited Speakers:
Ari Zavaras - Executive Director, Colorado Department of Corrections

John Gomez - Division of Youth Corrections
Christie Donner - Director, Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition

Mary Ellen Johnson - Director, Pendulum Foundation Maureen Cain - Colorado Criminal Defense Bar

Town Hall Meeting sponsored by Representative Beth McCann (HD8)
Please contact or call (303) 866-2959 with any questions.

Pinon Canyon Update

from the PCEOC Newsletter:

In light of the ongoing recession it is important to keep in mind the economic consequences of PCMS expansion. Much of the productivity of the lands surrounding Pinon Canyon is invisible to the casual observer. A 100,000 acre expansion of PCMS would cost the communities of Southeastern Colorado $27 million to $76 million annually according to economic data compiled by Marilyn Musgrave and John Salazar. This includes tourism revenue, hunting revenue, cattle sales, agricultural salaries, and hay sales. Wind development on 100,000 acres would generate an additional $25 to $35 million annually. Gas fields east of I-25 could also become a reality as energy prices rise. The Army estimates PCMS expansion will bring $5 million in salary and $4 million in maintenance costs annually to the local economy. A good trade? Pro-expansion politicians say expansion is about jobs. They are right; expansion is about the loss of private sector jobs and businesses in southeast Colorado in the hope of creating tax payer funded jobs near Fort Carson.

See also Pinon Canyon Trailride (featuring Rep. Wes McKinley, Rep. Terrance Carroll, and Westword's Patty Calhoun).

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Done Deal

The sign proclaims that the Old Safeway property, as we in the neighborhood still refer to it, is now the Central Denver Recreation Center site. But the current use seems to be a homeless bedroom.

Reading the Denver Property Assessment Records is a bit of a challenge. To see for yourself go here. The address is 1530 Josephine.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Your Computer is Dirty

Or at least mine was. On Sunday it just shut down on its own, when I wasn’t doing anything. I remembered this happening before, and it was an overheating problem brought on by dust bunnies inside the case.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Concrete at Cheesman

As of April 2, 2010. Story here.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Here Comes the Next Big One

Editorial by Gerald H. Trumbule
(not an April Fool's joke, although I wish it were)

Last Thursday, March 25, 2010, an event occurred in the world of finance which will build into a second “meltdown” of economic disaster for the United States and the world. At a public hearing by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission it was revealed, in dramatic fashion, that the futures trading market in precious metals is a complete and utter fraud. An explosive fraud that makes Madoff look like a firecracker.

Immediately following, there was a news blackout. Interviews were canceled by major media outlets. But the internet came through. The bomb had exploded, and it was happening in slow motion, on YouTube, blogs, and newsletters.

The next day the whistle-blower who had insisted on talking out of turn at the hearing was hit by a car. He and his wife were hospitalized overnight and released the next day. The hit-and-run driver was caught.

I waited in vain for the price of gold and silver to take off. Once the cartel’s manipulations were revealed, and the naked shorts fell to the ground, I thought, rocket city here we come. Having only one ounce of metal for every 100 you sold claim to, once revealed, I thought, would start a stampede.

But no. Nothing seemed to happen. That is, until today. The word is spreading on the internet and I predict it will break into the MSM on or before Monday. If the people ever understand what has been done, they may well demand that heads roll. But that doesn’t really matter now, because the fuse, slowly burning for all these years, has finally reached the bomb. It is too late now.

The global meltdown will be unprecedented. Currencies will crash. Countries will react – I’m not going to go beyond that for now. Trading will be suspended in some markets. Banks may take a holiday. The Gs (G3, G8, G20, etc.) will meet and discuss, but the peeps are not going to stand for another bailout, even if this one wouldn’t have to be so big it would be bigger than the planet.

I don’t see anyway the FED, the Treasury, and their collusive banks, JPMorganChase (or whatever the hell they call themselves now) the ones who have been dictating, with market manipulation, what will happen next, can pull a magic trick off this time. I think all of the nice rabbits are out of the hat. Only the rabid rabbits are left – the ones who will eat your savings and income for lunch, have currencies and whole countries for dinner, and then snack on your children's college fund, or the kid’s piggy bank, depending on how hungry they are.

In short, the meltdown that we were said to have avoided? Not so much.

(To see for yourself, go to

Update April 4, 2010: Or maybe not. Apparently, in a system built on fraud, exposing fraud doesn't create much interest. MSM will probably remain silent. Go here for latest info.
Update April 6, 2010: Fraud fully revealed - nothing happening.