Monday, November 29, 2010

Naysayer Editorial - by Phil Goodstein

The Triumph of the Republicans

Historian Phil Goodstein
     Seventeenth Street Republicans swept the Colorado elections. This is the branch of the GOP also known as the Democrats. Led by the likes of Roy Romer, John Hickenlooper, and Michael Bennet, it has made it plain that advancing the corporate agenda is the primary duty of elected officials. Precisely because the Democrats have assured that its officeholders will carry out the business line, the Republicans have been able to run and elect ever more extreme candidates.
     In some ways, the polling results were quite positive. Regardless of who won the contests for governor and the Senate, obnoxiously bad candidates lost. What is more, getting Hickenlooper out of city hall is an accomplishment. Since gaining the mayor’s post in 2003, he has primarily relied on public relations to cloak his agenda of turning over public business to private interests. His efforts to destroy the integrity of the parks as free gathering spots is simply the tip of his effort to assure that Federico Pena’s beloved “public/private partnership” is the complete control of public life by private entities. Even so, Hickenlooper leaves as mayor before he has been able to make this goal a complete reality. In particular, US OpenAir, an out-of-state contractor whom he allowed to fence off the Civic Center to show movies at $15 a pop, not only failed to do so in 2010, but it recently walked away from its efforts to transform City Park into a private venue for 2011.

Flyover Plan Draws Flak

From the Wall Street Journal

The U.S. Air Force thinks the rough-hewn peaks of southwest Colorado and northern New Mexico make excellent surrogates for the treacherous mountain ranges in global hotspots such as Afghanistan. Some local residents beg to differ.
In a bid to provide Special Operations pilots more realistic simulations of wartime missions, the Air Force has proposed a vast new tactical training zone that stretches across 94,000 square miles of rugged terrain. Starting next year, commanders want to send C-130 transport planes and CV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft skimming across the region after dark at altitudes as low as 200 feet and speeds of up to 288 miles per hour. They envision three sorties a night. Read more...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

OSHA Investigates Duck Lake Excavation

The ongoing excavation of the sediment at the bottom of Duck Lake has reportedly been stopped by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) due to concerns for worker safety. The sediment may contain the pollutants and radionuclides from the Lowry Landfill Superfund Site that have been included in the "reclaimed" water coming from Denver sewers. Kiewit, one of the largest construction companies in North America, the contractor for this job, is being required to do soil analysis and testing before work can proceed.
Denver's City Park Duck Lake as of Nov. 18, 2010

Apparently Denver and Aurora are unique among American cities in allowing Superfund Site effluvia to be pumped into their sewers (since 2000). When Metro Wastewater started recycling the sewer water in 2004 through a system of purple pipes (now appearing in Cheesman Park), it also used this water to fill Ferril and Duck Lakes in City Park, as well as Grasmere Lake in Washington Park. Although the sewer water is partially treated to reduce some contaminants, no special treatment is used to remove the potent pollutants coming from Lowry Landfill.

The recent "Duck Mortality" study suggested that chemicals in this water were stripping the oil off of the ducks' feathers and causing them to sink and drown. Could the same chemicals cause health problems for the workers who were "down in the hole" without adequate protective gear?

Channel 31's Heidi Hemmat wraps it all up in her report of Nov. 23, 2010.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Circulation and Use Plan for Denver's City Park

From Denver Parks and Rec's Angela Casias, Community Relations and Marketing Specialist:

The City Park Circulation Plan is complete and implementation will begin with the rerouting of the road south of the museum. This is currently in the design phase and construction is expected to start in Summer 2011.
We will also begin replacing gates with bollards and posting traffic and way finding signage throughout the park.
Funding is being sought to implement other recommendations of the circulation plan. We expect that the entirety of the plan will be implemented within the next five years.
Any other questions you may contact Britta Herwig at 720-913-0614.
For the entire plan (pdf) go here.
Click to enlarge

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


via Press Release

DENVER— Outdoor cinema producer US OpenAir, announced today they will be terminating the remainder of their Parks Use Agreement with the City of Denver, and will not be proceeding with the scheduled Denver event in City Park, July 2011.

After much discussion, event organizers will cease future event plans in Denver, CO, sighting difficulties in securing title sponsorship.

“There was a great amount of interest in bringing this unique event to Denver, as OpenAir’s US premiere event. It would have been one of the cornerstones of summer activities and serve to highlight Denver as a progressive and cultural city,” said Julie Frahm, Managing Director of US OpenAir.

“As a Denver native, I had a vision of US OpenAir launching in City Park with the iconic Denver view greeting every guest,” said Frahm. “In the current economic climate we have been unable to find a corporate partner to be the title sponsor of this new event.”

Frahm continued, “I cannot even begin to express the respect we have for City Council members, City of Denver staff and the community groups that worked with us to develop plans and ideas for the Denver launch. The approach was community driven and the insight we gathered will help us immensely as we evaluate other markets in North America.”

Frahm went on to mention this was the second attempt by US OpenAir to secure a title sponsorship in Denver without success. “We have gained a lot of support, but without the title sponsor the financial risk to the company is too great,” Frahm said.

“Thank you to everyone who supported us and even those that objected but heard us out.”

Friday, November 12, 2010

Neighborhood Representation

(For other assembly meeting times and places go here.)

Click to enlarge

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Food Price Inflation

From here – read it and weep.

The National Inflation Association today announced projections for future U.S. food prices based after this week’s announced $600 billion in quantitative easing by the Federal Reserve.
The Federal Reserve announced this week that it will be expanding its balance sheet by $75 billion per month until the end of June 2011, for total quantitative easing of $600 billion. Quantitative easing is nothing more than inflation and when the Federal Reserve creates inflation, it steals from the purchasing power of the incomes and savings of all Americans.
From $1.25 per ear, the average price of a ear of corn in your grocery store will likely rise to around $11.43.
From $1.69, the average price for a 24 oz loaf of the cheapest store brand of wheat bread in your grocery store will likely rise to around $23.05.
From $2.19, the average price for a 32 oz package of Domino Granulated Sugar in your grocery store will likely rise to around $62.21.
From $2.99, the average price for a 64 fl oz container of Minute Maid 100% Pure Squeezed Orange Juice in your grocery store will likely rise to around $45.71.
From $0.69, the average price for a Hershey’s Milk Chocolate 1.55 oz candy bar in your grocery store will likely rise to around $15.50.
From $3.99, the average price for a 11.30 oz container of Folgers Ground Classic Roast Coffee in your grocery store will likely rise to around $77.71.
From $5, the average price for a plain white men’s cotton t-shirt at Wal-Mart will likely rise to around $55.57.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Councilman Doug Linkhart for Mayor

In lieu of having a responsive City Councilperson for my area, I have often called upon Councilman-at-Large Linkhart to respond to various issues that concerned me. He has always followed up on my concerns, and responded promptly. But that’s not why I’m endorsing him now, before the stampede of candidates has even started.

I believe that Linkhart will be the leader that Denver will need in the troubling times on the horizon. Because of events effecting our entire country, many of which have not yet taken their toll on Denver, we will face stressful times ahead. Denver will not be immune. The systematic gutting of our monetary system by the banksters is going to result in a world-wide depression which we will not be able to avoid. I don’t think I need to list the results, as we are already seeing them.

What we will need for these times is a peace-maker, a calm and reasonable person who can truly bring people together to make the hard decisions we will face. In my estimation, Linkhart is that person.

He is a true public servant, and has devoted his life to it, as his long track record reveals. He doesn’t seem to be ego driven. He seems to genuinely have the greater good in mind – not some agenda for his own aggrandizement.

I know of at least 6 more people who I expect to announce their intention to run for Mayor. There is none better than Doug Linkhart.

For more analysis, go here.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Dog Park Parking

I guess I'm fixated on the Woolley Dog Park at 16th and Josephine because it is just a block from my office and I can't avoid seeing it every time I go out for a walk. And I continue to be amazed that Mr. Woolley, friend and investor in now Governor-elect Hickenlooper, made a cool $5 million profit from its sale, and no one seemed to notice or care.

Yesterday, I discovered that it seems to be a convenient parking place for cars. Although there were no dogs or people in the park itself, there were 19 cars parked there. It seems to be functioning as an overflow lot for the East High students and teachers.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Prop. 19 Loss in California Means Colorado Could Be First State to Legalize Marijuana

DENVER -- The state's two largest marijuana policy reform organizations are not deterred by the results of Proposition 19 in California and will move forward with a similar 2012 statewide ballot initiative in Colorado. Prop. 19 was trailing 56-44 at the time of this release.

Safer Alternative For Enjoyable Recreation (SAFER) and Sensible Colorado are working to place a measure on the 2012 ballot that would remove penalties for adult marijuana use and establish a system of regulation for marijuana similar to that of alcohol.

According to a 9 News/Denver Post poll released last week, 46 percent of likely 2010 voters would support such a measure, while just 43 percent would oppose it. The poll echoes previous and recent internal polls showing support for regulating marijuana around 50 percent among 2010 likely voters. The 2012 electorate should be even more favorably inclined toward supporting such a measure.

"California started the race toward legalization but Colorado is going to finish it," said Mason Tvert, executive director of SAFER, which coordinated the successful citywide marijuana initiatives in Denver in 2005 and 2007, and the statewide marijuana initiative in 2006. "Coloradans are ready to move forward and bring about a safer, more sensible approach to marijuana.

"For too long our government and the Arrest and Prosecution Industry have been playing a game to keep marijuana illegal for adults," Tvert said. "That game will soon be over -- we're playing to win in 2012."

SAFER and its close ally, Sensible Colorado, have been working on plans for a 2012 initiative while closely following the fight over Prop. 19 in California this year.

"Over the past five years we have built a large coalition of organizations, elected officials, and citizens across the state," said Sensible Colorado Executive Director Brian Vicente. "Now that the 2010 election is over we are moving full-steam ahead with a plan to organize, mobilize, and energize our coalition and potential voters throughout Colorado.

"The campaign for legalization in Colorado begins today and will not end until we become the first -- or one of the first -- in the nation to establish a legal marijuana market for all adults."

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Election Day - at Last

We agreed to provide the Huffington Post with a report from our local polling place. Things were calm and lines were non-existent around noon at the Franklin Residences at Denver's Franklin Park, polling place for precincts 826 and 823. According to Sally Reno, assistant supervisor, "It looks like a pretty good turn-out for a mid-term election".