Monday, April 30, 2012

What will be the fate of the elevated section of I-70 through Elyria?

Saturday, April 28, 2012

May 1 - General Strike in Denver this Tuesday

Hey Denver - Mayday is coming are you ready for no work, no school, no shopping, pay no bills? It is a day of priorities and unplugging from the machine that thinks it has control over us, but we know where the true power lies and that is with us, the 99%. Contact the Occupy Denver organizers if you would like to contribute or just show up and be in your community.

 May 1st - starting at noon - going all day - Civic Center Park
Whose streets? Our streets!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Unhappy Campers: Westword is Denver's best in-depth news source

With this in-depth look at homelessness on the Mall, Westword once again distinguishes itself as Denver's best news source.
Today I'm housed and sober, but I still don't get why any homeless person would bother with downtown. So last Monday night, I packed my bag and a thermos of coffee and headed for the 16th Street Mall, ground zero in this city's fight over "urban camping" — an odd term to describe a practice that has historically never involved a single s'mores cookout. A proposal to ban urban camping — and so to ban the homeless from sleeping on the mall and in any other public spots that aren't already off limits — is grinding its way through the machinations of bureaucracy toward a vote next month. It's already been the subject of endless discussion, but one group has been conspicuously absent from the proceedings: the homeless themselves.
See also: Councilman Albus Brooks discusses the proposed ban on urban camping

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Toll Road Legislation Pulled

Press release from

State Senator, Betty Boyd and Jeffco Commissioner, Don Rosier have officially pulled their half-baked “BEEP” Act bill from the Colorado Legislature. Take a moment to celebrate, but we can guarantee they will be back in the fall. This bill failed because it got started too late to gain support, not to mention the bill was a gross overreach.

The bill’s intention was to create yet another layer of government that had ultimate powers over the governor and the legislature to push eminent domain, meaning they could take private and public property (including schools and parks) to build private toll roads.  While the bill was written to apply to everyone throughout the state, this is an obvious effort to push a toll road through Golden. Anyone who says the Jefferson toll road will have no affect Golden is probably naive.

McKinley's Hemp Bill passes in the Colorado House

This bill (pdf) appropriates $25,000 to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment for the study of the effectiveness of using the hemp plant to remove contaminants (heavy metals) from the soil. Hemp (and tobacco) are already known to have this ability, so it will be interesting to see what results the CDPHE gets (if it passes the Senate).

It is not clear to me what happens to the hemp loaded up with plutonium (or whatever was in the soil) after harvest. Is it dangerous to handle or process into clothes? Can it be safely destroyed? It only takes breathing in one molecule of plutonium to start lung cancer.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Neighborhood Crime Alert!

Reports are coming in about individuals who approach neighbors in their yard or at grocery stores to solicit a few dollars under the guise of family emergency or as a stranded tourist.

On Thursday, (two days ago, one Skyland neighbor gave $16 to a woman who claimed to live in the neighborhood. She said her husband was out of town and she needed to buy a nebulizer for her son. Once she received the money, she jumped in a van and took off. (older green van, Chevy, woman was Hispanic, American accent, no description of driver.)

Last year several elder neighbors were kidnapped in their cars and the crooks attempted by threat and force to go to their banks to withdraw money.

Reports about these con artists show that these people are coming in all shapes and sizes. Men, women, all ages, all colors, often with fake accents.. Always the story is similar;, they have a hardship and claim that they live in the area.


Even if they say they live in the neighborhood, keep your doors locked, speak to these people through the glass of your window or door. Direct them to get help at the fire station on Steele / MLK or offer to call the police for them if their need is great.
(I put one of them to work, weeding in my yard last year before I would give her money. She kept wanting to get into my home – changing her story and trying all sorts of excuses, even that she had to use the bathroom for ‘feminine reasons’. I refused and directed her to the Fire Station. No other person came to my door all summer after that! I suspect many of these con-artists work in a gang – like the Irish travelers with their roofing and driveway scams.)

Friday, April 20, 2012

Earth Week Festival

Annual HD8 Spaghetti Dinner

Saturday, April 21, 2012 - 6:00pm - 9:00pm

Location: Loyola Catholic Church :: 2301 York St

Join your fellow House District 8 Democrats
Elected officials, and host
Loyola Catholic Church, 23rd Ave & York St.
Doors open 6:00, dinner and program at 6:30
Adults: $20 (includes glass of wine) – Seniors & Kids: $10
Tickets: email
* * * * * * * 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Heads-up on High St at 16th Ave

Drug sales have been picking up a lot in our neighborhood. In case you haven’t noticed, the people milling around on Vine Street are probably waiting for their drug dealer to show up. Vehicle activity has been ongoing at the 16th and 18th intersections, the parking lot of 1733 and the bench at 1741. That person walking up and down, checking traffic in all directions and probably using their cell phone every few minutes is anxious about their fix showing up and usually runs to the car that finally shows up, or yours if you slow down. Cars with people sitting in them for 15 -30 minutes at a time are probably waiting for their fix also. It’s obvious when they get out their car, into another car to buy and then back to their own car to leave the neighborhood. The three drop off vehicles I know of are a black Escalade, a dark green 4 door Mazda and a champagne colored Escalade with pink breast cancer plates.

Hand to hand and vehicle sales are obvious on the 15 block of High street if you pay attention, especially weekends when the businesses and Gathering Place are closed.

It's spring, drugs are in the air and more are coming from the west. Anything you can do to help is appreciated.

Craig A. Demmon, AIA

Colorado House Appropriations Committee hearing on McKinley's HB 12-1109

Rep. Wes McKinley's (D) District 64 (Cokedale), bill (HB 12-1109) proposing to reduce all Colorado departmental employee's salary by 7.9% in order to fund education ($198 million toward a $1-4 billion shortfall) stirred up animosities at the Appropriations Committee hearing on Tuesday morning at 7:30 am, April 17, 2012. Read the bill and its fiscal impact.

Funding education in Colorado has always been a problem, but the recent Lobato decision has thrown a billion dollar judicial monkey wrench into the works. If you are not familiar with the Lobato decision, I suggest you go here first to understand the big picture before you watch the vidie, and here for a written summary of this Committee hearing

Aside: The vidie is 50 minutes long and unedited. I spent a day editing it in an effort to get it down to an acceptable size, which for YouTube is about 10 minutes, but it is so packed with drama that I finally decided just to upload the whole thing. I'll give you some marker points to skip to if you want just the highlights. If you drag the pointer along the timeline below the picture you can find the time mark and start there.

Despite the repeated emotional attacks (2:14)(21:30) of Rep. Cheri Gerou, (R) District 25 (Jefferson county), McKinley, the Zen cowboy of southeast Colorado, remains calm and resolute (0:59)(33:10). After all, he reasons, if we don't have enough money to fund education, we are going to have to cut something else, and McKinley's "we are all going to have to bleed a little" (49:00) spreads the pain across all State employee's making more than $50,000 (if amended- L002).

Rep. Jerry Sonnenberg (R) District 65 (Sterling) then takes Gerou to task for attacking McKinley (24:33).

It is the childish behavior of the so-called House minority "leader" Rep. Mark Ferrandino (D), District 2, south-central Denver, to which I would call your attention.

Ferrandino acts like an immature, petulant nerd with the arrogance of petty power. He first tries to send the bill to oblivion with a substitute motion to PI (postpone indefinitely) the bill (36:15). That fails on a 7-6 vote. Then, saying he wasn't going to say anything (50:12), he lets loose with his own emotional tirade, eventually accusing McKinley of lying. After he speaks, his eyes dart furtively around the room, trying to assess the effect of his words. During the final vote, apparently disgusted, he dramatically leaves the room as the vote is being taken, passing 7-6 and headed for the House floor.

It is fortunate that the high school students from Trinidad High, Elliana Hillhouse, Jeana Hoffpauir, and Cody Johnson, testifying (4:57) that their school has 10 year-old computers, a chemistry lab not updated since the 1970s, and has been forced to lay off teachers, were exposed to the immature bickering of their legislative elders. They are the future, as Elliana said, and maybe they will be inspired by this experience. Or maybe not.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Burglary Sex Assault in Northeast Park Hill

From: Dist2 - DPD <>
Subject: Burglary Sex Assault in Northeast Park Hill
Date: April 16, 2012 3:33:02 PM MDT
To: Undisclosed recipients:;

Park Hill Neighbors:
Over the weekend, a burglary / sex assault occurred in the Northeast Park Hill Neighborhood.  The general area is north of Martin Luther King BLVD, between Colorado BLVD and Holly ST. The suspect is described as a black male, 20-29 years of age, about 5-10, 180-190 lbs, scruffy beard, dark sweat pants and sweat top with hoody, with unknown writing on the back area.

This incident is being actively investigated by the Denver Police, and is of utmost priority to the assigned detectives and the area officers.

We are asking residents in the area to keep their doors and windows locked as a precaution.

Respectfully yours,

District Two
Denver Police Department

Monday, April 16, 2012

Crocs recycling

If you, or anyone you know, has old Crocs (R) shoes no longer being worn, these shoes are RECYCLABLE.  To recycle Crocs, just send or take them to the company store in Boulder:
1129 Pearl Street
Boulder  CO 80302
If you send the shoes, include a note saying the shoes are for donation or recycling. 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

City-wide Denver Neighborhood Organization Votes, Asks City Council to Delay Vote to Arrest “Occupiers” and the Homeless

Established in 1975, Inter-Neighborhood Cooperation (INC) is a city-wide network of more than 100 Registered Neighborhood Organizations. INC’s mission is to advocate for Denver citizens by bringing together, informing and empowering Denver neighborhood organizations to actively engage in addressing City issues.
At its monthly delegate meeting on Saturday, April 14, INC Delegates asked Councilman Albus Brooks who is sponsoring the ordinance on “unauthorized camping” to delay a vote, scheduled for May 7,  until INC holds a full public forum on May 12.  Councilman Brooks, who was present at the meeting, contended that situation is "an emergency" as having people sleeping on the 16th Street Mall is unacceptable and the City needs to pass the ordinance quickly.  Brooks admitted that the ordinance  was passed out of committee “two and a half weeks ago” and denied that it was being pushed through Council too precipitously and without the benefit of public input. INC Vice President, Cindy Johnstone, pointed out to the Councilman that the situation has existed for many years and asked why Council is not providing more time for the public to learn about details of the plan and consider its consequences. 

Tech Note: Grinding to a halt

Over the past month, my internet speed seemed to be slowly decreasing. I noticed it first with streaming video and YouTube clips. More buffering and less playing. At first I concentrated on the video aspect of the problem, but eventually I started measuring the actual internet speed ( The "advertised" rate is 1.5 Mbps (mega-bits-per-second), I was coming in at around .5 Mbps as my download speed. Not good.

Customer Service closed on the weekends
I finally got around to calling CenturyLink, (formerly Qwest, formerly Mountain Bell) my "service" provider. It took two days and 5 telephone calls, but finally, yesterday (Saturday) I was able to get a CenturyLink operator (thanks Debbie) that 1) I could understand, and 2) stuck with me for the arduous task of re-programming my modem (PK5000), rebooting, etc. and the use of so that she could see the results of my speed test. Conclusion: new modem is needed. Solution: I will have to call Customer Service on Monday to ask them for a new modem to be sent out. Why wait 'til Monday? Because customer service is not open on the weekends. Couldn't she order it for me internally and save me the call? No, she didn't have the authority to do that. Would there be a cost to me? She couldn't say.

Friday, April 13, 2012


from Press Release

Is it Pot, or Is it Not?

By Dennis Blewitt, Boulder Committee to Protect the First Amendment

Join Us on 4/20 for a Legal Protest Against Marijuana Prohibition

University Needs Reminding that it is a Place for Free Exchange of Ideas and The First Amendment Still Exists

Gonzo urges his followers to join him on 4/20 for the annual marijuana prohibition protest at the University of Colorado in Boulder and to partake in "Gonzo First Amendment Weed", symbolic marijuana made of legal weeds. 4/20 has for years been an international day of protest against marijuana prohibition. This year, the University of Colorado, formerly an institution of learning and tolerance, has become an institution for brainwashing and coercing compliant future workers.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Colorado telecommunications workers watch contract talks

By Dave Felice
In exclusive comments for Denver Direct, a union leader in Denver says the situation is “dicey” regarding contract negotiations between the Communications Workers of America and AT&T.
“I wouldn’t take the strike option off the table at this point,” says Bill Domgaard, President of CWA Local 7750.  Domgaard’s Local represents about 240 AT&T workers in the metro Denver area and a total of about 400 throughout Colorado and Wyoming.
According to Domgaard, “the company started (the negotiations) by trying to take us back 50 years and erase all the progress the union has made.”  He says that progress includes better health care, pensions, and job security.
Nationwide, about 40,000 union AT&T employees continue to work without a contract, while negotiators try to reach agreement.  The possibility of a strike remains after the contract expired over the weekend (April 7).  Employees of the company’s cellular operations, AT&T Mobility, are covered by a separate labor agreement. 
Workers criticize company officials for complaining about rising costs while AT&T Chief Executive Randall Stephenson got $27.3 million in compensation for 2011.  Stephenson also got a $7.8 million dollar bonus this year, in spite of the company’s loss of $4.2 million on a failed bid to buy the T-Mobile wireless operations.  Speaking for Denver Direct, one worker put it bluntly, saying “company officials are a bunch of greedy bastards.”  Overall, AT&T had a profit of $4 billion in 2011.
The difficulties in AT&T negotiations follow a continuing lack of contract agreement between the CWA and Verizon, another large telecommunications firm.  Employees of Verizon have been working without a contract for several months.
Leaders of CWA District 7, based in Denver, are watching developments closely.  The contract between CWA and CenturyLink expires October 6.
Working without a contract, AT&T employees have the same wages and benefits as they had under the expired agreement, with the exception of binding arbitration on grievances.  If no settlement is reached, the union has authorization to call a strike.
Issues include health care costs and the ability of workers to transfer to another location if they are laid off.  AT&T says workers should bear more of the health care costs.  The company is also trying to slash costs of its diminishing business in wired telephones.
Three years ago, agreement on the latest contract followed an extension of negotiations.  AT&T, based in Dallas, has the country’s largest union workforce.  Over half of the company’s 256,000 employees are represented by a union.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Private Reception with Lord Christopher Monckton

April 10th
Time: 5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Where: National Western Club
National Western Complex
4655 Humboldt St.
Denver, CO 80216

Lord Monckton loves visiting with people one on one.
That's why the April 10th private reception is limited to 200 people.
Because we recognize this tough economy, the admittance fee is only $125 each.
If, when you are at the event you're inclined to contribute
more to help defray costs, that'd be wonderful, but isn't necessary.
We sincerely thank Chuck Sylvester, Kevin McNicolas, Steve Milloy (JunkScience)
and reception co-host Kay Deline, for making
Lord Monckton's appearance in Colorado possible.
Steve Milloy will also be present at the private reception.
Follow “Monckton's Tour of America” on

In this completely separate event, Monckton will join supporters at a
Private Gathering the evening of April 10th.
A $125 contribution will secure your one on one with Lord Monckton;
and if you'd like, recognition on
Please make your reservations today, as space is limited to the first 200.
Confirm on
Or, you may make out a check to and mail to:
Land And Water USA P.O. Box 155 LaSalle, CO 80645
Please show your support for Colorado Agriculture by joining
Chuck Sylvester (Retired GM of the National Western Livestock Show and Rodeo),
Kay Deline, Land and Water USA and Steve Milloy
Contact info: Roni Bell Sylvester (970) 284-6874 -or- Chuck Sylvester (970) 430-0110
The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley 
c/o Brooks's, St. James's Street, London SW1A 1LN

Colorado Legislators with ALEC Ties

House of Representatives


Road Home Collection Meter

Denver, CO
According to the Denver Westword News, two women were confronted by police at the
16th Street Mall when trying to help out homeless individuals. One of the women gave a
homeless man a hamburger and a dollar in front of two undercover police officers. One
of the police officers proceeded to chase her down and forced her back to where she gave
the homeless man the burger. One undercover officer said that he could arrest her for
giving money and food to a panhandler after dark. When she questioned that such a law
exists and asked to see his badge, the police refused to do so and told her to leave.
The other incident involved a woman who purchased a fleece blanket for a man she saw
sitting in a wheelchair outside of the mall. The Denver Westword News reported that
when she tried to give the man the blanket, an officer told her to stop and asked her for
identification. While the police confronted her, the man in the wheelchair left. She was
subsequently arrested for interfering with law enforcement.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Parks: Ruby Hill Alcohol Sales and Rules Revisions‏

by Dave Felice

Keep Parks for People, not Profit

The Denver Parks and Recreation Advisory Board (PRAB) holds two important public hearings on Thursday, April 12. The first hearing is for a request to allow sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages at Ruby Hill Park. The original designation of Ruby Hill as a special events site makes no provision for alcoholic beverages.

Proponents, including event promoters, argue that alcohol sales are necessary to recoup the costs of events, are "part of the overall package" and "an essential part of the experience" of park events.
The Greenway Foundation proposes a free public concert at which alcoholic beverages can be sold and consumed. Swallow Hill Music Association contemplates closing a portion of the park and requiring an admission fee for entrance into the closed area where beer and wine would be sold.

From Occupy Denver re Camping Ban

Open Letter to Mayor Hancock About the “Urban Camping Ban”

April 7, 2012 
Dear Mayor Hancock,
We are responding to your letter dated April 2 about the proposed “urban camping ban.” We are sorry to learn about your experience of homelessness as a child. We have heard the stories of our homeless sisters and brothers who have gathered with us and we know how painful life can be for them. Undoubtedly your experience will help you shape a thoughtful and compassionate response to this ordinance.
As we read your letter, we noticed that it failed to mention two critical realities:
First, the letter made no mention of the fact that we’re in the worst economic decline since the Great Depression. According to the Homelessness in the Denver Metropolitan Area – 2011 Point in Time Study, there are now 11,377 homeless men, women, and children in Denver. Unemployment and housing costs are the two major reasons for homelessness.
Second, the letter makes no mention of the fact that experts on homelessness in Denver believe the city does not have the funding or the infrastructure to implement the “urban camping ban.”
  • John Parvensky, President of the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, told the Denver Post “that funding for services and homeless shelters has been slashed.” Parvensky attended Tuesday’s April 3rd ordinance hearing and spoke of the impact of funding cuts: “At the coalition we have 2,000 people who are mentally ill and homeless, who are on a waiting list for services. Yet we can’t serve them, because we don’t have the ability to provide those services.”
  • Bennie Milliner, Executive Director for Denver’s Road Home, told the Denver Westword that even if the city doubled its current shelter capacity, it would still not reach the necessary number.
Denver’s Road Home draft response plan to the “urban camping ban” demonstrates that the city is far from ready to implement this ordinance: “In general, community partners and service providers are stretched to capacity. We have very limited capacity for mental health resources especially. The National Alliance to End Homelessness is conducting a Shelter Review with a final report expected June 1, 2012 which will identify shelter specific needs.”
The lack of funding and infrastructure to implement the “urban camping ban” will lead to the criminalization of our homeless by council fiat. In a city struggling to better identify and overcome police brutality, it is difficult to see how our homeless sisters and brothers will be protected from “unjust treatment” and “punitive action.”
Mayor Hancock, as our elected representative, we at Occupy Denver call on you to do the following:
1. Listen to the citizens of Denver, the 99%
One of the most troubling things in your letter is the suggestion that this ordinance is a done deal: “We are also hard at work to ensure our 1,400 police officers are well-trained to implement this ordinance with the right goal in mind: getting people to the services they need.” Albus Brooks, the council member putting this ordinance forward, told several Occupy Denver activists on March 23rd that he had already secured the votes to pass the ordinance. He clearly stated that regardless of positive alternatives proposed, which he invited us to submit, that he would still push forward with criminalizing our homeless sisters and brothers. It is hard to see how input from the citizens of Denver can have any meaningful impact if this ordinance is a foregone conclusion.
2. Place social justice ahead of economic privilege
So often we see our elected representatives pander to corporate interests to protect campaign funding. Corporate and business interests in Denver coalesce in the Downtown Denver Partnership, an organization that believes our homeless “will drive future conventions, tourists, residents and businesses from downtown.” The opportunity to obtain funds for campaigns and city services from corporations represented by the partnership should not tempt politicians away from their duty to serve and protect our homeless. At Tuesday’s April 3rd ordinance hearing, President & CEO Tamara Door represented thepartnership’s view of our homeless sisters and brothers, saying: “It’s impacting businesses and the perception of our communities.” We at Occupy Denver call on you to place social justice ahead of economic privilege.
3. Follow the lead of other cities and pursue justice-based alternatives to the criminalization of our homeless
Homes Not Handcuffs: The Criminalization of Homelessness in U.S. Cities, a new report from the National Coalition for the Homeless and the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty provides many alternatives to the criminalization of homelessness.
The report makes the following recommendations:
  • Instead of criminalizing homelessness, local governments, business groups, and law enforcement officials should work with homeless people, providers, and advocates for solutions to prevent and end homelessness.
  • Cities should dedicate more resources to creating more affordable housing, permanent supportive housing, emergency shelters, and homeless services in general. To address street homelessness, cities should adopt or dedicate more resources to outreach programs, emergency shelter, and permanent supportive housing.
  • Business groups can play a positive role in helping to address the issue of homelessness. Instead of advocating for criminalization measures, business groups can put resources into solutions to homelessness.
  • When cities work with homeless persons and advocate for solutions to homelessness, instead of punishing those who are homeless or poor, everyone benefits.
Mayor Hancock, we at Occupy Denver call on you and the City Council to defeat this ordinance. As residents of Denver, we want to be proud to live in a compassionate city.
Occupy Denver General Assembly
Unanimously Approved on April 7, 2012

Friday, April 6, 2012

Denver IT audit reveals City at risk for 7 years

Figure 4 - Equipment not protected
 from people or object
Dennis Gallagher, Denver's astute City Auditor, has opened the lid on Denver's seriously lacking Information Technology department. You can download the report here (pdf), or you can read it online here. Photos and quotes that follow are from the report.

...We found conditions indicating that the City has weak information security awareness and is lacking strong leadership and authority for information security governance.
As an illustration of this issue, for almost half of the eighteen sites we sampled throughout the City, we identified one or more of the following conditions: Network equipment is not physically protected from access by the general public, Network equipment is mounted precariously or not protected from contact with people or objects, The general public has inappropriate access to portions of the City’s internal data network
Door to equipment room open, no lock.
Additionally, we found the following conditions that inhibit the ability to ensure the confidentially, integrity, and availability of City business systems: Network equipment is installed in environmentally harsh conditions without temperature monitoring or regulation, and subject to adverse and extreme temperature ranges, Audible alarms signaling temperatures out of tolerance within equipment rooms are not monitored, Computers are installed with access to sensitive networks in areas allowing direct physical access to hardware by prisoners incarcerated by the City and County of Denver Prisoners are allowed physical access to alter computer configuration settings Prisoners are allowed to make to make unauthorized access attempts to the Internet which results in continuous system maintenance and configuration corrections (emphasis added), Areas where network equipment is received, tested, and configured are open to the general public, Network monitoring software is accessible by any internal user, Wireless access points are not installed for optimal performance.