Wednesday, February 26, 2014

This Just In - City Releases Documents HHNP is a PARK‏

Dear Friends,

Attached is our reply brief in the Colorado Supreme Court in support of our Petition for Writ of Certiorari.

When you read the brief (it’s only 11 pages double spaced and written in plain English), you will see that the city turned over a treasure trove of documents in discovery on February 6.

The documents show that HHNP always was considered a designated park - when the Charter was amended in 1955, when it was amended in 1983, when it was amended in 1996, and especially when the city adopted the new zoning code in 2010.

In other words, I am brimming with optimism that we will prove our case and get justice.

To all of you who have worked tirelessly to locate witnesses, donate money for court costs, and help us and encourage us in so many ways, I am truly grateful.

Warm regards,

John Case

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Audit: Colorado agencies sitting on $25.6 million beyond legal limits - The Denver Post

"The biggest offender is the Medical Marijuana Cash Fund, accounting for $12.5 million when the fiscal year ended last June. As a result, the $35 fee for a medical marijuana license dropped from $35 to $15 last month.
The fee fell from $90 to $35 in 2011, but money continued to pile up. The annual fee was $140 when licensing began in 2000."
Read more here 

[Ed. And while you are at it, cut those outrageous application fees, please.]

Sunday, February 23, 2014


Is Chris Nevitt the only City Councilperson with any common sense?

Oh yeah, lets do this again on 4/20 (Denver police clear Civic Center Park during Occupy)

Friday, February 21, 2014

Conceptual master plan of the proposed development at 9th & Colorado Blvd

The arrival on 9th Avenue with the repurposed Research Bridge and new development along 9th

Illustrates the proposed neighborhood park located north of 9th between Albion and Ash.

The third rendering is the proposed retail plaza environment located between 8th – 9th and Albion – Ash. The parking for this mixed use retail area is a single level below grade, using the voids left from demolition of the basements under the School of Medicine complex. 

Representatives from Continuum Partners will present their plan at the Colorado Boulevard Health Care District meeting on March 6
th.  Time and Place will be announced later.

Please join us at City Loop Stakeholder/Focus Group meetings!

The City has scheduled two meetings at Bogey’s on the Park (26th & York) from 6:00-8:30pm and will provide a Taco bar.

Wednesday, February 26th
Wednesday, March 12th

As far as we know, Parks & Rec may have invited as many as 100 representatives to participate: 42 Registered Neighborhood Organizations (RNOs) were asked to submit 2 reps each, and an unknown number of schools were asked to submit two reps each from their Parent Teacher groups (PTSOs).
As we understand P&R's rules about such meetings, only the people invited are allowed to speak, but anyone from the public is allowed to attend. For those who aren’t an invited group representative, we suggest you wear a hat to show you're a silenced observer. We’ve also heard that the City intends to stay after the official event is over to give everyone who wasn’t invited a chance to speak.

We've documented what we know as best we can, based on communications we've pieced together from the City.

The following neighborhood organizations (RNOs) have approved Resolutions regarding City Loop: Greater Park Hill, South City Park, and Whittier. Other RNOs representing neighborhood residents are carefully considering City Loop and thoughtfully choosing members to represent them at the City's Stakeholder/Focus group meetings, including North City Park, City Park West, and Cole.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Denver Police to Confront Pot Celebration Lawbreakers on 4/20

from Robert Chase at (720) 213-6497 or

Denver Police will try to enforce total ban on public consumption of cannabis
Over a year after Denver voted two-to-one to “regulate marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol”, the City Council still has not instituted a process to issue permits for the public consumption of cannabis and plans a crackdown on Denver’s annual 4/20 Rally against Prohibition instead.  “The Constitution does not protect the public use of cannabis, but it does not ban it, either” said Robert Chase of Team420,  “Councilor Charlie Brown and our so-called Marijuana Czar Ashley Kilroy, are pretending that the City cannot do what our Constitution says they should do and what a large majority of the People of Denver want them to do – treat cannabis like alcohol”.  Denver lets organizations applying for Festival permits also obtain special permits allowing the public to buy and use alcohol there, but maintains a total ban on the public use of cannabis.
While State law now prevents the outdoor sale of cannabis at the 4/20 Rally, there is no legal impediment to Denver issuing a permit for what most who will come, will come to the Rally to do – protest the Prohibition of cannabis by publicly enjoying some.  The collision between the reality of Denver’s general acceptance of cannabis and the dogged opposition of its government takes place this April 20, with the mass-citation of attendees at a City-permitted event under an ordinance (38-175(b) of the Municipal Code), which can stand legal review in any court except that of public opinion.  The City Administration plans a propaganda campaign to “educate” Denver that no one may so much as expose cannabis to public view in our parks based on the mistaken claim that the Constitution prohibits public use.
The City has gone so far as to demand that the Rally erect signs telling those in attendance not to use cannabis as a precondition of receiving a permit – a clear infringement of its First Amendment rights.  “City Council’s unconstitutional ordinance stands against the decision of two-thirds of Denver’s voters, and it cannot dictate what we say at the Rally” said Chase.  “The City Council’s intransigent opposition to the will of the voters on cannabis demonstrates just how unrepresentative Denver’s government is”.  Chase points to the timing of Denver’s municipal elections in May as one causative factor:  “If we change the City Charter to make municipal elections coincide with general elections, we can turn more of the people who live in Denver out to vote for those who will govern Denver, and force municipal politicians to be more accountable to their constituents”, he said.
Unless DPD mounts a major operation inside the Park during the Rally, it will limit itself to picking off those on the fringes – neither signs nor police are likely to deter rally-goers from using cannabis.  In an effort to forestall unnecessary confrontation and inappropriate enforcement, the Colorado Coalition for Patients and Caregivers and Team420 have enjoined public officials against enforcement of Municipal Ordinance 38-175(b) and urged them to abide by the stated purpose of Amendment 64, which legalized some use of cannabis in November, 2012.  “City Council has wasted an incredible amount of time on the subject of cannabis, yet because it has consistently disregarded the will of its constituents and the Constitution both, we are no closer to having comparable systems of regulations regarding the public use of cannabis and of alcohol than we were a year ago.  Do better, now”, he wrote to Denver’s Mayor, City Council, Police Chief, and Czar.

Mercy Killers tour

Coming Colorado March 1st to the 14th:
Michael Milligan in "Mercy Killers"


One man, one show, one hour that will change you forever.
Sponsored by Health Care for All Colorado Foundation a 501c3 educating for single payer health care, fiscally responsible and socially just, and Health Care for All Colorado, the 501c4 that advocates for the political change need to achieve single payer reform.
Tickets and schedule:
Saturday, March 1 - Pueblo, Hoag Theater, Pueblo Community College (tickets and info).
Sunday, March 2 - Canon City, Shepherd of the Hills Church (tickets and info). 
Monday, March 3 - Colorado Springs, High Plains Church Unitarian Universalist (tickets and info). Download flier.
Tuesday, March 4 - Boulder, Unitarian Universalist Church of Boulder (tickets and info). Download flier.
Wednesday, March 5 - Wheat Ridge, Wheat Ridge Recreation Center (tickets and info). Download flier.
Thursday, March 6 - Denver, Mercury Cafe (tickets and info). Download flier.
Friday, March 7 - Denver, Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Theater (tickets and info). Download flier.
Saturday, March 8 - Denver, University of Colorado at Denver (tickets and info). Download flier.
Sunday, March 9 - Denver, Lannie's Clock Tower Cabaret (tickets and info). Download flier.
Tuesday, March 11 - Frisco, Summit County Community and Senior Center (tickets and info). Download flier.
Thursday, March 13 - Fort Collins, Bas Bleu Theater (tickets and info). Download flier.
Friday, March 14 - Denver, First Unitarian Universalist Church (tickets and info). Download flier.
Theater Reviews from around the country for Mercy Killers:
Raw, emotional and devastatingly honest. When Joe's wife is diagnosed with cancer and the health insurance company refuses to pay, his life and his beliefs begin to fall apart. Broadway actor Michael Milligan's solo show gives an insight into the destructive personal impact of the American health care system. It makes public the private stories of thousands of Americans and shows an urgent need for change in a system failing so many. His performance is incredibly powerful and passionate, sweeping the audience up in Joe's story; making them laugh sometimes and bringing them to the edge of tears at others. Milligan has written a beautifully moving and thought-provoking piece that will leave you feeling a mixture of thankful, angered and saddened.
This searing one man show manages to make politics personal, largely thanks to a heart-breaking performance from leading man and Broadway actor Michael Milligan. What could have been painfully simplistic or horribly over-played, is executed with considered pace here, in all its devastating detail unfolds.
Journalist Aaron Smith, Ohio: "His play, first and foremost, is an attempt to speak out on behalf of the gross numbers of individuals who have spiraled into bankruptcy as a result of medical debt. In performance, however, Milligan does much more than this. With an eye toward individualism and the American dream, Mercy Killers ultimately calls for much more than medical reform reform of the values that comprise our culture today."

Drink and Skate

Developer for 9th and Colorado Blvd. Announced

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Feb. 20, 2014) The University of Colorado Board of Regents today approved the sale of CU’s former Health Sciences Center at 9th Avenue and Colorado Boulevard in Denver to Continuum  Partners, a Denver-based developer, for $30 million.
Continuum’s proposal for the 25.918-acre campus encompasses a broad range of residential, office and retail spaces with an emphasis on small and local businesses.  Continuum’s plans envision a vibrant, walkable mixed-use neighborhood that creates a memorable place, including a true “town center” with amenities including parks, plazas, and underground parking.
The closing on the sale of the property is scheduled to occur by December 2014. Continuum anticipates beginning work on the project immediately following closing and estimates that the overall project will take approximately five years to complete.
CU moved its health sciences education programs to the 9th and Colorado location in 1924. The university has been marketing that property since 2006 as it relocated the health sciences campus to the former Fitzsimons Army Medical Center in Aurora, now the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.
“This property has had a wonderful past and now is headed toward a wonderful future,” said Lilly Marks, vice president for health affairs for the University of Colorado and executive vice chancellor of the Anschutz campus. “It served Denver and Colorado well as a health sciences center. Now it can start anew as a vibrant part of Denver.”
CU sold 6.74 acres of the old campus to Lionstone Group in June 2013. The buildings on that lot are being demolished to make way for residential development.
The announcement today follows months of collaboration between the university, Denver officials and City Council members to find the best use for the prime acreage on Denver’s east side.A review committee of representatives from CU, the City & County of Denver and the Denver Urban Renewal Authority (DURA) was formed to recommend a developer to the Board of Regents that could close on the sale and embrace the needs of the university, the surrounding neighborhoods and the City of Denver. Continuum has redeveloped several complex mixed-use sites including Denver Union Station and Belmar in Lakewood.
The regents’ vote today was 9-0. The final sale is contingent upon City approval of tax-increment financing.
Denver City Council President Mary Beth Susman, whose council district incorporates part of the 9th and Colorado site, stated, “It is exciting to see this project moving forward again, and we look forward to working with the developer in sharing the plan with the community and hearing their feedback.”  Councilwomen Jeanne Robb, whose district also includes the site, added, “We are pleased with our preliminary understanding of the Continuum plan because it addresses many of the aspirations of the neighbors and city plans.”
 “From the start, we wanted a project that the neighbors, the city and Continuum would be proud of,” said Continuum CEO and founder Mark Falcone. “Our company is dedicated to creating sustainable urban spaces that have character and enduring value, and we feel that this project embodies those ideals.”
“The city is grateful for the public input that has been garnered around this development," Mayor Michael Hancock said. "We look forward to further collaboration to ensure this is a project we can all be proud of and will serve the neighborhoods well, now and into the future.”

Wednesday, February 19, 2014


Why the TPP is Dangerous: Digital Privacy & Rights Under Attack

by Dave Felice
Dave Felice
Negotiations over the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) are shrouded in secrecy.  Despite nearly twenty rounds of negotiations, both the public and many policymakers still lack a full audit of what’s in the proposed trade pact.  Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) provides some information; additional content is leaked from other sources.  What we do know about the TPP is disturbing for many Americans.
Across the ideological spectrum, many voices are speaking out against the TPP.  Even Tea Party supporters raise legitimate concerns about deficient congressional oversight over the TPP and the trade pact’s potential impact on our national sovereignty.  Labor leaders note that the TPP would accelerate off-shoring trends, export jobs, and benefit corporate interests at the expense of American workers.  Human rights organizations highlight how TPP would give trade benefits to Vietnam, a totalitarian nation that still uses child labor in its apparel manufacturing industry.
In Colorado and around the country, industries, from dairy to beef to sugar, worry about the long-term effects of the TPP on their American producers and workers.  And from environmental groups to anti-tobacco organizations, many issue advocates fear that passing TPP would create a race to the bottom that lowers standards and undercuts progress on critical health, environmental, and safety priorities.
Alongside all of these voices and issues, we should not lose sight of how the TPP could curtail digital privacy and online freedoms.  In fact, some of the same corporate backers behind the infamous Stop Online Privacy Act (SOPA) are now hoping to use the TPP to advance similar goals and restrictions – with similar consequences at stake.
Many people fervently organized against SOPA in 2011 and 2012.  Opponents, including Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO), recognized that SOPA would establish a dangerous new beachhead for governments to censor technology and communications platforms.  SOPA would have harmed free speech and created massive unintended consequences, while being an overly blunt instrument against the online piracy and copyright concerns that drove the legislation forward in the first place. 
The TPP is set to repeat many of the same mistakes.  Its worrisome details include provisions that could make downloading music a crime punishable by imprisonment.  There is language which facilitates new and Draconian measures to allow Internet Service Providers to kick users off their internet connection after accusations of copyright infringement.  New copyright restrictions on incidental “buffer copies” would force routine online proceedings to require licensing approval from the copyright owner and expose consumers to increased liability.
The TPP treats copyright law as a blunt instrument, neglecting to include critical limitations and exceptions to copyright, adversely impacting fair use, preservation by libraries, and translations of works into formats accessible for the disabled.  Similarly, while the TPP focuses on copyright laws and patent issues, it lacks consumer protections established through intellectual property laws.
Activism against SOPA took many forms.   Google, Wikipedia, and other major Internet services joined a blackout in January 2012 that helped to signal the death knell for SOPA legislation.  Months of activism from an unusual mix of digital advocates, the tech community, First Amendment experts, students and everyday citizens preceded the blackout.  Their education and dedication helped to sway policymakers to do the right thing.
Now, Congressman Polis leads a bipartisan group calling for greater openness of the intellectual property provisions of the TPP, saying “We must insure our trade policy is transparent and balanced.”
At a minimum, Congress should use its constitutional authority to fully and openly scrutinize the TPP.  Congress must also reject efforts by the administration of Barack Obama to pursue “Fast Track” authorization to ratify the pact without legislative involvement. Absolutely critical questions about the TPP, such as what the deal would mean for digital rights and protections, must be answered before we move forward.

Dave Felice, in addition to being a Featured Contributor at Denver Direct, is a customer service technician in information technology, and a member of the Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 7777 in Denver.


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Today's Twitter Storm to save American jobs

Hello Everyone,  
To help you all hit the ground running on Tuesday when your members of Congress are back in their district offices, we're attaching the notes, links, materials and access to the call recording and PowerPoint from Sunday's National TPP Team Conference Call.
Click here to join Tuesday's Twitter Storm to save American jobs! The one-hour storm begins at 6 p.m. PST/9 p.m. EST
Tweets post at the link above, one hour before the start of the storm.
For all members of the House and Senate: use this EASY link to make calls and send email.

Monday, February 17, 2014

"Gessler loves an audience"

Via email:
So much for the “party of fiscal responsibility.”
Colorado’s Secretary of State Scott Gessler has never been one to play by the rules. Since taking office in 2011, Gessler has faced scandal after scandal over his own efforts to tilt the playing field to his and his party’s advantage. Gessler is the only statewide politician in office today in Colorado who has been found by the state’s Independent Ethics Commission to have “violated the public trust for private gain.”
Now we learn Gessler can’t even manage his own department’s budget. After slashing fees on business registrations and other services performed by his office, news reports have revealed that the Secretary of State’s office is millions of dollars in the red. Gessler blames political opponents, but these were his decisions. Cutting fees on business is a great way to pander while running for higher office, but taxpayers shouldn’t be on the hook for it.
Don’t take my word for it. Even the conservative Grand Junction Sentinel [1] says Gessler is wrong to blame others for his own mismanagement:
"Unfortunately for the [Joint Budget Committee], Gessler loves an audience and he will undoubtedly use the grandstand the budget committee is providing him to loudly proclaim his victimhood. But the JBC holds the higher moral ground in this dispute. Gessler got himself into this predicament by sharply cutting business fees for his cash-funded office, when his office had a large surplus several years ago, refusing to put a portion of the surplus into the state general fund as lawmakers demanded."
Over the past three years, Scott Gessler has caused more controversy, and been hit with more ethics scandals, than any politician in this state. By simple yardsticks of scandal and mismanagement, he’s the worst Secretary of State Colorado has seen in decades--maybe ever. Enough is enough: tell Scott Gessler to withdraw his request for millions more taxpayer dollars to cover his office’s avoidable shortfall. He’ll receive your message instantly, and we’ll share your comments with the media and other public officials.
The only thing Scott Gessler is better at than getting into trouble is making excuses. If Gessler can’t manage the finances of a single department, how could anyone even consider entrusting him with more responsibility? It just doesn’t make sense. Let Gessler know you’re not buying it, and that you expect better.
Thank you,
Amy Runyon-Harms

The Pirates and their clever plot to steal our Park in a court of law on May 19, 2014.

Good Morning,

I just took David to the bus stop so he can take the light rail to work.  The sun was shining, soft breezes blowing, and hints of spring in the air.  I can't wait to see the earth
become alive with new growth again. Speaking of growth, the construction continues in Hampden Heights North Park unabated as if laws do not apply to the most powerful
and mighty, which brings me to the purpose of this posting.  We have a date with the most powerful and mighty.  We will get our chance to discuss the Pirates and their
clever plot to steal our Park in a court of law on May 19, 2014.  Our crew of unpaid workers is diligently interviewing people in the community, combing through old city records, and old historical documents putting together our court case that will show that it was never the intent of city government to have our parks used as development opportunities without a vote of the people. As in most endeavors, this court case will have its expenses.  And it is my hope that everyone will understand the importance of this court case and it's far reaching implications for the future of our parks.

We are now in high alert mode that the time is NOW to kick in high gear our efforts to raise funds for this case.  We were able to get a good start on funding in the fall with our
Hootenanny Good Time BBQ Dinner but still have a need for more funds to present our case in the best manner possible.   We looked at our website and saw that currently
there has been twelve thousand and forty visitors on our website and this number is not including the visits total on our Facebook and Twitter accounts.  If each  person who
visited our sites had made even a small donation, we wouldn't be needing to continue fundraising.

So that being said,  we hope to encourage folks to consider a crowd funding effort by joining Friends  of Denver Parks as an honorary member for $25.00, or contributing what you can.  Or you can think about organizing a fundraiser for Friends of Denver Parks such  as a bake sale, spaghetti dinner, garage sale.  Its the best way I know of creating community in your neighborhoods.  Having a common goal and working together.  We have a puppet show being created as a benefit currently. Possibly someone can organize a concert.

We have every intention of working hard to win this court case.  We are going to Win!!

For Future Generations And For The Community Today, Saving Our Parks from Development Without a Vote Of The People Is Worth Our Every Effort!!


Our Theme this year is “ Let’s Have Fun” which has led to Friends of Denver Parks to signing up to be in the St Patrick’s Day Parade.   We want to do something fun and honor our inner Leprechaun’s.  We would like to invite all those “Green Shirts” out there to join us for a fun day as an entry in the parade.   Shawn and I are already working on a giant Owl for the top of the car.  Athena the Owl is still in her chicken wire stage, we hope to have signs to carry (Mary is our official sign person) and if you have a child’s wagon at home, maybe you can decorate it in a parks lover  theme to pull your own personal small float in the parade.  Everyone who cares about the future of our Parks is invited to come have some fun marching in the parade.

So Let’s Have Fun Along the Way!!  Come show your support for Friends of Denver Parks!!



Friends of Denver Parks

Current 1-70 expansion (the cut and cover)

Via email:

From: Jude Aiello
Sent: Sunday, February 16, 2014 12:10 AM
Subject: follow up to your town hall mtg

Dear Representative Duran,
Please excuse the delay of this email. I was unable to attend your town hall mtg as planned due to other commitments.  I hoped one of your legislative budget requests would include funding for a supplemental  environmental impact study (EIS) for the 1-70 reroute proposal. If that wasn't proposed, I would like to request this be included in the budget. 
I came to a meeting you attended where several people discussed with you mitigation measures if the current 1-70 expansion (the cut and cover) goes thru.  However, the more I hear about the potential (I would dare say probable) health and environmental hazards this project will inflict on an already health impacted population, the more convinced I am that no amount of mitigation can make up for the long term damage this will create for these communities. 
Although some at CDOT and in the City claim that the cut and cover is a "done deal", it was not that long ago that another alternative was described the same way.  That previous alternative was abandoned after a huge outcry from the affected communities. This new "done deal" was only put forth in 2012, without the input of the PAC by the way, and after a five time delay the EIS still is not complete and won't be available until at least the end of May.  What happens if the EIS shows that it is too dangerous, or that needed mitigation would be too expensive?  Wouldn't it make send to have an alternate EIS for comparison, not to mention a savings of time if the re-route was chosen as the better plan?
Denver's history is full of decisions which proved to be harmful and extremely expensive both in terms of health consequences and money; decisions that were a "done deal" made by a limited number of politically powerful people:   Rocky Flats not only caused contamination and the ongoing health problems (and lawsuits because of them), but the product produced was never used. Rocky Mountain Arsenal was so contaminated by the uses there that we had to build a new airport almost to Kansas because they couldn't expand the old one onto that land. I-70 was originally suppose to go further north so it wouldn't divide all the communities it has.  It wasn't that these projects weren't opposed.  It was that those in power didn't listen or consider alternatives.
There are many projects that are moving forward in Denver.  They should not just be rubber stamped and any problems arising from them "promised" to be dealt with by "mitigation".  Those serving the people of Denver have an obligation to prevent harm and not just try to deal with its after effects. 
We should learn from past mistakes. I'm sure you remember when the issue of going to war with Iraq was decided.  Those who voted felt obligated to go along with the president and barely questioned the information given to prove the need for it. In fact, although there was info to show  what was being claimed as a reason to go to war was false, that info was withheld.  All the information and options on an issue should be studied instead of preemptively making a decision based on limited data and politically motivated agendas.
I'm sure it's not comfortable going against to those who are politically and economically advantaged, but we are counting on our representatives to do what is in the best interest of the community.
Our leaders have the chance not only to right a wrong by reuniting areas of the city that were divided by the highway, but to open up inner city land to provide much needed housing close to mass transit choices, providing jobs and decreasing energy use and water and air pollution.  All of these are included in Denver's 2020 Sustainability goals, goals that will be much harder to reach with the proposed cut and cover plan.
I would appreciate a reply giving your position on requesting and funding a supplemental EIS on the I-70 re-route option.  My email is  Thank you for your time and attention.  Jude Aiello, a member of Denver Neighborhood Advocates.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Manual High School: A Symbol of Corporate Education Reform

by Ed Augden, Retired DPS Teacher and community activist

In the autumn of 1968, I was transferred from Cole Junior High School to Manual High School where my teaching career began in Denver Public Schools (DPS). Approximately sixty percent of the students at Manual were African American, approximately twenty percent Hispanic and the remainder Asians and Anglos. James Ward, first African American principal of a high school in Colorado, used a collaborative, democratic governance model in which input was sought from the faculty and community. In that hospitable environment, many students succeeded and graduated from high school prepared for college or the working world.
Contrast that hospitable environment at Manual then with the current hostile and fearful environment fostered both by Michael Bennet and now by current superintendent Tom Boasberg, at Manual and throughout the district. And, the method of governance is authoritarian being falsely characterized as “choice” and inclusive of widespread parent support.
While James Ward was Manual’s principal, Denver Public Schools were ordered in 1974 by U.S. District Judge William Doyle to desegregate. To prepare for an influx of Anglo students from the George Washington High School attendance area, Ward facilitated the organization of students, parents, teachers and interested community members into committees to plan for the integration of Manual. While other schools, including GW, encountered difficulties with the integration process, Manual smoothly transitioned from a segregated to an integrated school succeeding academically and socially until the court order ended in 1995.
Since 1995, Manual has been changed numerous times by various administrations including dividing it into three separate schools. None of the changes have been good for the school. Yet, the turnaround strategy, characteristic of corporate education reform, employed at Manual resulted in more hardship for students and parents with little or no increase in student achievement and declining enrollment. Reform has hurt the Manual community as well as other neighborhoods.
When Manual was closed in 2006, the community was taken unaware. Superintendent Michael Bennet apparently decided alone to close the school. There was immediate opposition from Manual community members. Tension, suspicion and resistance replaced collaboration and cooperation in the Manual community. A negative sentiment still persists among students, parents, teachers and community members. The district board of education and administration apparently remain indifferent to those concerns because no serious effort has been made by DPS to create a network of collaboration and cooperation from the bottom up instead of the familiar authoritarian top down approach favored by corporate education reformers.
Similar turnaround efforts have been made elsewhere in DPS with similar results. The North High community endured a “redesign” in 2007 following a period of slow but steady growth. The principal was reassigned and faculty was required to reapply for their positions. With a new principal and staff, North lost students, the dropout rate increased and student achievement declined. What happened at Manual happened at North.
Corporate education reform occurs in so-called “failing schools” such as Manual and North, schools that have high concentrations of impoverished students and special needs students. The issue of poverty is not, and has not been addressed. Instead, teachers’ unions and others who question or oppose “reform” are scapegoated and stereotyped.
Community inclusion and input may not be goals of the current school board majority corporate education reform faction. If those goals are to be realized, the community must provide the organization, passion and commitment. This district is, in my view, at a crossroads. It will be dedicated to the many, governed democratically and dedicated to the common good or dedicated to the privileged and the lucky with an authoritarian power structure as is the current status quo. It’s our choice.

Thursday, February 13, 2014



Act for Affordable Transit

Where: RTD Board, 1600 Blake Street
When: Tue, Feb 18th, 5 PM

Economic Justice Lobby Day
Where: St Paul, 1600 Grant Street
When: Wed, Feb 19th, 8 AM to 1 PM

Donate to Colorado Jobs with Justice

Show RTD We Support Affordable Transit!

Monthly RTD passes start at $80 and go up from there. Many working class folks who rely on public transit to get to work can't afford that. Colorado JWJ member organization, 9to5, is launching a campaign to have RTD create an income-based transit pass, and they've already gotten quite the reaction from RTD. We'll be joining them at the next RTD meeting on Tuesday February 18th at 5 PM at 1600 Blake Street -- will you join us there and WEAR RED to show your support?

Economic Justice Lobby Day

Next week on February 19th, JWJ will be collaborating with 9to5 Colorado, Colorado Progressive Coalition, El Centro Humanitario, and FRESC: Good Jobs Strong Communities on an Economic Justice Lobby Day. There's a long list of bills that need support -- from major pushes on the bills to stop wage theft and protect the rights of homeowners in manufactured housing to child care affordability and equal pay for adjunct professors at community colleges. We'll start with breakfast at 8 AM at St Paul Lutheran -- 1600 Grant Street. There will be an overview of the bills, materials, and training on how to lobby legislators provided. We'll then go to the Capitol to lobby, return to the church at noon and each lunch. We'll be done at 1 PM. This is a great opportunity to show legislators that working people's issues are important, so come join us!


CDOT states its case for private partner on U.S. 36

from here.

"State road officials are launching a full-court press with the public and state legislators. They hope to better explain the need for private contractors to take over a $490 million project to expand and maintain U.S. 36 between Denver and Boulder.
The Colorado Department of Transportation chose a consortium in April 2013, led by The Plenary Group, an international infrastructure developer with offices in Los Angeles, Vancouver andAustralia, to upgrade the aging, clogged roadway.
CDOT issued a letter of explanation Wednesday morning, and will be holding public meetings on the project Wednesday, 6:30-7:30 p.m. in Westminster's City Park Recreation Center. The agency will hold a second meeting Thursday, 6:30-7:30 p.m. at the old Sam's Club at 550 S. McCaslin in Louisville."  Read more...


LOUISVILLE, Colo. - Due to concerns about the expected crowd tonight, the Colorado Department of Transportation is moving the second public hearing on plans to privatize and charge a toll for the new lanes on U.S. 36.
The hearing was initially going to be held at the Louisville Recreation Center, but it has been changed to the old Sam's Club at 550 S. McCaslin in Louisville. The hearing time has not changed -- it will still be held from 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Hundreds of angry residents attended the first public hearing in Westminster on Wednesday. Many are concerned that CDOT signed a contract with a private company.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


who didn't see their comments show up. I just found a stash of 24 comments that were clogged up. All are now published. Sorry. Ed.

State Senator Matt Jones weighs in on US 36 and highway privatization - meetings tonight and tomorrow night

via email
Dear Mr. Trumbule, 

Last week, I led a group of 14 legislators representing areas along US-36 asking for a 60 day review period. We should know what is in the deal and it should not be secret.
I strongly support transparency and think a 60 day review period should be granted, so the public and legislators can be informed and have an opportunity to comment on the agreement. This is especially true since the contract is said to have been signed this last summer and the final closing documents are said to be soon signed.
Going forward I believe we should require legislative approval and public involvement opportunities before contracts are agreed to and signed.

I also wanted to let you know that there are two public meetings, hosted by the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), scheduled for tonight and tomorrow regarding this issue. I encourage you to attend and make your voice heard. The information for the meetings are listed below.
My Best,
State Senator Matt Jones

Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014
6:30 -7:30 p.m.
City Park Recreation Center
10455 Sheridan Blvd
Westminster Co 80020

Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014
6:30-7:30 p.m.
The Louisville Recreation Center, Crown Room
900 W. Appia
Louisville, CO  80027