Monday, March 31, 2014

420 Coming Soon

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Doors Open Denver

Doors Open Denver, April 12 and 13, is a free event which invites people to explore the architecture of Denver's most interesting buildings.  Participants can take special guided tours, bike to historic places, and walk through several historic neighborhoods. 
CenturyLink has generously agreed to allow the Telecommunications History Group (THG) to conduct tours of the historic Mountain States Telephone and Telegraph building at 931 14th Street.  This building, completed one month before the stock market crash of 1929, is rarely open to the general public.  THG will have two tours each day.  Each tour accommodates 20 participants.
More information can be obtained at
Doors Open Denver is free, thanks to the support of the Denver Architectural Foundation, Inter-Neighborhood Cooperation (INC), and other friends and sponsors. 
The headquarters for the tours this year is the remodeled white marble lobby of 1801 California Street.  At the headquarters, participants can get the event guide and map, sign up for tours, and purchase a copy of Guide to Denver Architecture.  Generally, buildings are open from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. for tours.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Ludlow: The Public/Private Partnership

from the April edition of the Naysayer newsletter from historian, author, and social critic Phil Goodstein.
Note a different location, La Casa de Manuel at 3158 Larimer, for the Naysayers' meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 4.
Ludlow strikers. (from here)
Events 100 years ago showed what the public/private partnership really means. Both then and as advocated by the likes of Federico Peña and Bill Clinton, it is an alliance of the govern­ment and private capital. In particular, in April 1914 it linked the state government, controlled by the Democrats, with Colorado Fuel & Iron (CF&I). The latter was the state’s largest industrial concern. Besides manufacturing steel in Pueblo, it had coal mines through southern Colorado, being the dominant coal dealer in the region. Most of all, CF&I was the foremost branch of the Rockefeller empire in the Centennial State.

Lawsuit against TABOR

from the April edition of the Naysayer newsletter from historian, author, and social critic Phil Goodstein.
Note a different location, La Casa de Manuel at 3158 Larimer, for the Naysayers' meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 4.

The Democrats’ thorough contempt of voters and popular democ­racy is endless. It has surfaced again in the lawsuit filed by party lawmakers against the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR). The citizenry adopted this amendment to the state constitution in 1992, partially in reaction to the extravagant handouts and giveaways of the government to private businesses and the scam of Denver International Airport.
Ever since its passage, the governing class has raged against it. This refers to the political elite. Far from seeing themselves as representa­tives of the public, designed to get the government to work for everyday people, they are essentially representatives of the government who try to impose the dictates of the bureaucracy on the populace. They particularly call for ever greater pay for public officials, seeing them­selves as the enlightened guardians of civilization while they surround public buildings with goons to defend the government from the popu­lace. Such ideologues rail against TABOR precisely beside it is designed to check the usual plunder of officeholders with their give­aways to politically well-connected donors.
While endlessly attacking TABOR, the governing class has never tried to repeal it through an open and honest referendum. Rather, as is its wont, it has employed stealth. Its latest scheme is a federal lawsuit, claiming the act is unconstitutional because it ties the hands of lawmak­ers in deciding how much they can tax the populace. In other words, rather than having the courts respect the decision of the electorate, the governing class wants sweeping judicial intervention whereby ap­pointed jurists, with no public accountability, will allow it to have its way despite the mandate of the citizenry. Precisely such policies and arrogance are what fuel the massive alienation of the citizenry from the government. For so illustrating their elitism and contempt for every­body except their cherished government, those pushing the TABOR suit are an Associate Naysayer of the Month.

So what ever happened with City Park Loop - (expansion of Dustin Redd Playground)?

by Linda Drake

On a cold gray Saturday, 200 - 250 neighbors gathered for the “Stakeholders Meeting” at the Denver Zoo, sponsored by Denver Parks and Recreation. DPR provided coffee, fruit, and pastries - and that was after a parking lot tailgate party provisioned by the folks of StopCityLoop. SCL handed out name tags that said “I vote,” and most of the audience donned them. So many people attended that host and DPR Manager Lauri Dannemiller oversaw the needed resupply of the refreshments table.

Much speculation existed as to what the meeting would entail, and Councilman Albus Brooks had noted in a recent Denver Post article that the meeting would "bring news." I did not see Councilman Brooks until after the meeting; he had been detained by two previous events that morning. Greater Park Hill News Editor Cara DeGette was asking him questions - check out the April 1 issue for the result of that conversation…

But back to the meeting. Lauri Dannemiller got the attention of the plethora of people from all walks of life gathered in a large room at the Zoo shortly after 10 a.m. and briefly made the following announcement:

“It’s clear that our goals don’t align with the needs and wants of the community. We are dropping plans for City Loop in City Park and are moving it to another site in the City. We’ve evaluated other sites…It will be in a neighborhood that shares our vision [regarding multi-generational active, healthy lifestyles]…”

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Important I-70 meeting

Meeting tomorrow, Friday March 28th with Councilwoman Judy Montero and the North East organizers for a discussion relating to the I-70 east project. This meeting will cover: I-70 mitigations, a City Council Proclamation, and next steps.
What: Councilwoman Montero and NE Organizers meeting regarding I-70
When: Friday, March 28th at 1:00 – 3:00pm
Where: Focus Points – 2501 E. 48th Ave  

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Walkabout March 26, 2014

Sun Mart at Colfax and York closed. To be torn down soon.

Gas pumps gone, stock being removed from store.

Awad Maher, owner, a very happy man now that the deal is finally closed. This is the corner where the new Central Recreation Center is to be built. 
Across Colfax, the former 7-11 is being remodeled, with a Subway said to be moving in soon. Main Street zoning not so evident here. 

But here, directly across Colfax, inside of what I call "The 7-11 Church", Main Street Zoning dictated that they build a two-story building for a one-story use, hence the cathedral ceiling, in a 7-11 store. Heating and lighting efficiency be damned.

Couldn't help but notice that the new style "homeless parking meters" take credit cards. I recall reading that they bring in thousands of dollars for the benefit of the homeless. I want one outside of my house in case anyone wants to make a donation for the benefit of me.

Is Neighborhood Opinion Obstructive and Uninformed?

From Larry Ambrose, INC President

"No, not enough credit given to community"

At the Saturday March 21 meeting at the Denver Zoo, where Parks Manager Laurie Dannemiller finally lopped the City Loop from City Park, I ran into an old friend who, to my surprise (and disappointment), was actually there in support of this much and deservedly maligned “regional, multi-generational playground” project. Turns out, he had somehow been on a junket to Philadelphia with head honcho, Park Planner, Gordon Robertson, and had seen all kinds of cutting edge and “modern” park development amenities which he angrily said, “would obviously never see the light of day in Denver because of the unreasonable and stupid neighborhood people who are against everything”. That this reasonably intelligent, former hippie who lived in a commune in his youth could be so vitriolic against what he perceived as pervasive NIMBY-like opposition shocked me.

The week before this episode, I had the privilege of being invited to participate as a panelist with Roger Armstrong of Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods (CHUN) in the recent Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute Conference at the University of Denver. The Conference, sponsored by the law firm of Otten Johnson Robinson Neff & Ragonetti brings together real estate developers and urban planners from around the state and the nation to learn about the the most recent development trends.

Monday, March 24, 2014


from Dave Felice:
It has become crystal clear to most people paying the slightest bit of attention that our banking and financial sector is unstable and severely inadequate in addressing the financial needs of local governments and communities. Here in Colorado we have been watching helplessly as essential government services are continually being cut and privatized. Politicians tell us they do not have enough money and have no other choice but there is another option - Public Banking.

On March 13th of this year a group of citizens submitted a Proposed Constitutional Amendment for the State of Colorado to establish a Publicly Owned State Bank. It would truly be the people's bank and could lend money out at low (or no) interest to promote local business and the interests of Colorado residents. And the money the bank earns on interest it could use for schools, roads or other things the state is falling short of funding.

You can read the proposal here:

The hearing on the Initiative before the Colorado Legislative Council is this coming Thursday, March 27th at 1:30 p.m. in the Capitol Building, Room HCR 0109.

Dave's wrap up on City Loop at City Park

Originally streamed live from the zoo (see below) Dave Felice gives us his take on the statement by Lauri Dannemiller that City Loop will NOT be built in City Park.

Saturday, March 22, 2014


(This video was broadcast live using Ustream and Galaxy S3 phone - thus the slow video rate.) It was a great day for citizen activism with the announcement that City Loop will NOT be built in City Park, but will be located elsewhere (new location not announced).

TRANSCRIPT (thanks to Dave Felice)
Lauri Dannemiller
"When Denver Parks and Recreation first set out with the City Loop project, our intent was to create a new, multi-generational play area that would replace the existing Dustin Redd playground, which is in need of significant repair or replacement after nearly 20 years of use.

Our goal, based on the department’s game plan and the playground master plan, was to create a new concept that was innovative and forward-thinking that gives everyone using the park – from small children to adults – an opportunity to remain active and enjoy a healthy lifestyle.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

From the Zoo re: City Loop - What?

From: Ana Bowie <>
Subject: Denver Zoo & CityLoop
Date: March 20, 2014 1:57:50 PM MDT

Thank you for your patience while we have worked to determine the zoo’s status with the CityLoop concept.  I want to begin by assuring you that we at Denver Zoo take our role as a park resident very seriously and are passionate about City Park. We have supported activities in the park that we believe improve the lives of our neighbors and guests and have defended our zoo and the park when we felt  activities were being proposed that could be detrimental to our animals, guests or neighbors.  
In the case of Re-imagine Play/CityLoop, Denver Zoo’s only involvement to date has been in July 2012 when we offered space for DPR to display the many Re-imagine Play design boards that were presented early in the competition before a final concept was chosen. We have no record of the zoo being on any applications or review groups for this process and none of us who were here at the time can recall any involvement beyond hosting the boards. There are no plans envisioned for any physical connection to CityLoop and we do not envision generating any income from the CityLoop project.
We are anxious to see the next concepts that will be presented. Denver Zoo does support replacing the Dustin Redd Playground however, we have not yet been approached to contribute to the concept and look forward to hearing what the new concept is. When those designs are shared, we will provide input and will certainly take a close look at anything that could negatively impact our animals.
I understand that the next stakeholder meeting will be held at the zoo on Saturday. Please do not take the location of the meeting to imply anything related to the zoo and this project. I had hoped to attend the March 12 meeting that was cancelled.  Denver Zoo will not be attending Saturday’s meeting in a formal capacity as we need to learn , as well, before we can provide input. I hope you have been provided information from DPR about parking and access. I expect that we will be very busy. I am anxious to hear the feedback from the stakeholders. It is my understanding  that revised designs/concepts will not be presented at this meeting. I assume there will be another meeting later to present concepts based upon all of the stakeholder feedback?
Bridget, I do need to take offense to the following statement from one of your letters. You wrote, “Unfortunately, my search for noise standards for captive zoo animals at zoo accrediting organizations has been disappointing. Of course these organizations are nothing more than clubs  for zoo administrators and boards so it is not surprising that they would avoid an obvious stressor if it meant that they weren't going to have maximum flexibility in their fundraising endeavors. “ I hope that you wrote that in a moment of frustration because those of us who work in accredited zoos have dedicated our lives to caring for animals and your comment was insensitive and alienating. We regularly monitor decibel levels when there are activities inside the zoo or in the park and have contact information for organizers when we have concerns. Caring for animals and saving their wild brethren is why we come to work every day. We also believe to do this, we have to have human understanding.
We have reached out to DPR to learn more about this project.
As this process continues, Denver Zoo will monitor proposed plans and provide feedback when there is opportunity.  
Again, I appreciate you reaching out to Denver Zoo and I hope I have given you a clearer understanding of our involvement in CityLoop. Denver Zoo has not turned its back, we simply have not been included up to this point and are working to learn about the project. We have always had a positive relationship with DPR and I am confident that both Denver Zoo and Denver Museum of Nature & Science will be brought into discussions as new concepts develop.
I look forward to healthy continued dialogue.
Ana Bowie
Vice President for Strategic Initiatives & External Affairs
Denver Zoo
2300 Steele Street
Denver, CO 80205


  • City Park is the only location for City Loop that is under serious consideration.
  • The goal of the Stakeholder meeting is to alter the City Loop design to the point where citizens will accept it in City Park.

Parks & Rec has spent $270,000 on architects' fees to design City Loop. They are motivated to build it, and they want it in City Park. Join us to say, “NO” to City Loop!

Second City Loop Stakeholder Meeting
This Weekend:
Saturday, March 22, 10am
At the Denver Zoo
Free Admittance to the meeting
We need your voice!
Parks & Recreation warns that Parking and Traffic could be a problem. Arrive between 9 and 9:30 to:
  • avoid traffic, 
  • guarantee a close parking space, and
  • JOIN US for a pre-meeting, Tailgate Coffee Hour!
Dress warmly for the TAILGATE COFFEE HOUR.  Saturday morning might be cold! If you're coming early to join us, click here to let us know so we can bring enough coffee, hot chocolate, and donuts.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


(Thanks to Dick Young for letting us repost his powerful email.)
From: Dick Young
Sent: Monday, March 17, 2014 9:51 PM
To: Green, Jeff - PR Administration Division'
Cc: Gilmore, Scott M - PR Parks and Planning - PP'
Subject:RE: The Loop Project Planned for City Park

Jeff, I read your below e-mail and the attachments. As I requested, you sent me copies of all the news releases your Parks and Recreation Department sent out over the past two years about replacing the current Dustin Redd playground at City Park. But there was no indication of to whom these news releases were sent. You yourself admit that no article has ever appeared in the Denver Post, except one on December 7, 2013, which was about the December public meeting where there was a major outcry about putting this huge project into a park already crowded with the Zoo, the Museum, summer concerts and weekly runs. Parking is a huge problem. The plan for this huge new addition calls for only “street parking.” No wonder all surrounding neighbors are so up in arms.

Interestingly the major story run in December 2013 in Westward, which does have wide circulation, certainly carried much information that never before had been revealed by you. I have the two articles which appeared in the Greater Park Hill News in October of 2011, and April 2012. I believe there was also a later article which you do not mention,

In the very first paragraph of your quite long March 2, 2012 news release. you talk about replacing the current Dustin Redd Playground with “an innovative new playground…at the site of the current Dustin Redd playground.”

And who could argue with that, particularly the many who have tried to use the fixtures and playthings there at the site. The definition of “site” means a place where something is. Right? Your Department is well aware that it has permitted this existing playground to deteriorate to the extent that it is unusable and not safe, with always the excuse that Parks and Recreation does not have even enough money to repair it so it would be safe and usable.

But there can be no question that what Perks and Recreation was announcing was that it was going to replace those items there “at the site” with new, innovative playground equipment.

The only other news release you sent was an undated one but announcing the presentations of the three finalists for their ideas to “reshape the beloved playground at Denver’s City Park.” Again, this makes clear to any reader that this whole effort was about replacing the equipment at the Dustin Redd playground with innovative new equipment. Only in the last paragraph would a person who had access to this entire news release read that the proposed project was now projected to ”to be in the general vicinity of the existing Dustin Redd on City Park’s west side.” But this information was never publicized. This is a drastic change from being built at the site of the current Dustin Redd playground.

So, to me, it is obvious, based on your own few news releases that were put out and were not covered in our local main media, that your (Parks and Recreation) constant reiterations that you publicized all of this so all of Denver would know, is simply an untrue statement. Constantly repeating it as you and other Parks and Recreation people do. does not bring it any closer to the truth.

Your below e-mail indicates you were in attendance at the first public meeting in December where massive concerns were raised about this huge, below the radar, five million dollar project which would take over most of the western side of City Park. Many there, in fact to a person, stated unequivocally this project should not be built at City Park. Yes, some pointed out that there was no parking available for it. Yes, some pointed out its size was outlandish and would take over much of the cherished green grass and trees that make a park a park. Yes, some stated they did not want to see a bunch of aluminum or other material being used to build the “loop.” Yes, some stated that if Parks and Recreation cannot even maintain the little Dustin Redd playground,. how can anyone expect it to maintain a huge 5 million dollar project. I could go on and on, but anyone who claims people there were suggesting that by changing the color or using different material, or reducing the size just a little, would make it acceptable, simply wasn’t listening and are now trying to put lipstick on a pig to make it beautiful.

And the same thing happened at the very disorganized meeting at Bogey’s which you stated was only for stakeholders. No others could speak. No others could even eat the food provided. This appears, at least to many of us, to be a term that Parks and Recreation uses to say the Stakeholders have approved such and such. But I have asked for a list of the names and addresses of the Stakeholders, and Parks and Recreation cannot provide one. No minutes are kept; no votes taken at the Bogey’s meeting. A number of people were allowed to speak who were not stakeholders; some spoke who did not identify themselves. These people who represent various neighborhoods are very dedicated to keeping our parks as parks. They put in much volunteer time to try to accomplish this. They attend meetings and study various proposals. And again, to almost a person, all that spoke at the March 2, 2012 meeting, where supposedly only stakeholders were allowed to speak, said over and over, this project should not be built at City Park.

Now, what is very obvious is that Parks and Recreation is attempting to once again not have input from the people who will be most affected by this regional 5 million dollar effort, by (1) cancelling the previously announced meeting that was to be last week (without notice to the public, a number showed up for the meeting); and (2) by not announcing the replacement meeting to the public, but rather letting only a select few know of the meeting, and holding the meeting in the zoo (which means going through a gate with a ticket, and trying to find out where this closed meeting is being held . This clearly means you (Parks and Recreation) want to keep those people most affected by this proposal from even attending this meeting.

That is shameful. Political pressure is building in all the neighborhoods around City Park about you attempting to force this project down the throats of so many people. I can almost bet there will be political consequences to our City officials because of these blatant attempts of people on our city’s payroll to push this through, and by your actions which say: full speed ahead; to hell with the voters.

Richard E. Young

_UMB and _UMBER: "Count on More (Fees)"

Opinion by Gerald Trumbule

When choosing a bank, I picked the one closest to my house. Way back in 1972, that was Mountain States Bank on Colfax at Gilpin. Over the years I had various experiences with this bank, good and bad. Once when I was refinancing my building, the president of the bank came out for an inspection. He was practically drooling over the prospect of my default (after that we called it Mountain Snakes). No default, and the bank was convenient, so I continued on. During the 34 years that I was a customer at Mountain States, I estimate that I put at least $5 million through the bank with my various business activities.
When Mountain States was sold to UMB in 2006, I was told not to worry, it was still a "family-owned" bank.
In June of 2013 I received the following from UMB. Note that the name "Small Business Free Checking Account" was being changed to "Small Business Checking Account". Hmmm.

Further reading reveals that there will be a $10/month fee for each such account, unless a minimum balance is retained. And note the "hope that you will be pleased with these changes". In fact the brochure was such an obvious insult to the intelligence of any customer that it actually pissed me off. My 5 accounts were going to cost me $50/month - $600 dollars a year! No way.
Yes, way. Although I met with Clint Burnette (Client Relations Manager - very nice guy) on two occasions to try to get the fees waived, and each time he would go to the back to consult with "the boss" to see if they might make an exception, (like a used car salesman checking your offer with the manager), the answer was always no - no exceptions.
So I cancelled all 5 accounts. It took a few months to get the accounts extricated from auto-pay, etc., and I had to have new checks printed, but FirstBank, on the same block on Colfax, was happy to have my business.
UMB on Colfax had no customers when I was there yesterday.
Yesterday I was at UMB for the final account closures, and Clint happened to come out of his office and stopped to say hello/goodbye. Commenting on the fact that I was the only customer in the bank, I said "looks like the new fees are a good way to kill a bank. I was just at FirstBank next door and they have 20 customers there right now." He smiled and wished me luck. What's a Customer Relations Manager to do?
I've talked with 6 employees of UMB about the effect these fees are having on the customers, and they all agreed that it was an adverse effect. But management even brags about it:
One person who doesn’t lose a lot of sleep over these problems is Michael Hagedorn, vice chairman and chief financial officer at UMB Financial Corp., a $15.7-billion asset bank in Kansas City, Missouri. UMB is unique: In 2011 and 2012, the bank derived well over 50 percent of its operating revenue from a diverse set of fee-based businesses, including various payments products and services, asset servicing and investment management.
He may not be losing sleep but he is certainly losing customers. Maybe they have a new model for making money without customers.

City Loop in City Park: Recap

 City Loop is not a plan to support play for young children in City Park: it is a plan to transform City Park into a "regional attraction", and create a Music Festival Space.

With the passage of the 2010 Denver Zoning Code, control of park land no longer resides with City Council, but solely with the Mayor’s office.

Thanks to Denver Parks and Rec for posting the following YouTube videos. They provide some insight into fantasies of the planners.

Published on Apr 19, 2012

Published on Jul 26, 2012

Published on Jul 26, 2012

Published on Jul 26, 2012

Monday, March 17, 2014


An amendment to the Denver Zoning Code is in the works that would allow Denver residents to sell home-grown produce and some “cottage foods” at their residences, directly to consumers. Councilwoman Robin Kniech proposed the change, in collaboration with the Denver Sustainable Food Policy Council and LiveWell Denver, with the intent of expanding access to healthy, affordable foods throughout Denver’s neighborhoods and to bring Denver into compliance with the Colorado Cottage Food Act.
A draft of the proposed amendment has been posted on the city’s website for public review, and city staff will be presenting the proposal to the City Council Land Use, Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on Tuesday, March 25.
RNOs interested in submitting comments or questions on the draft may direct them Senior City Planner Sarah Showalter ( and Councilwoman Kniech’s office (
About the Amendment
The idea for the amendment was brought forward by Councilwoman Kniech as part of an effort to help implement city policy objectives to increase residents’ access to healthy foods, reduce obesity rates, and increase opportunities for self-sufficiency, as outlined in the 2020 Sustainability Goals for Health and Food. The amendment would also support Comprehensive Plan 2000 objectives to preserve and enhance the environment, create a sustainable economy, build on neighborhood assets and foster community.
Today, the Denver Zoning code does not allow direct retail sales of food from the home. However, some limited home businesses are allowed as accessory to the homes’ primary residential use. They include hair salons, professional offices, small-scale repair services, art studios and child care services.
The proposed zoning code amendment would allow individuals to sell:
·         Raw, uncut fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs, grown in an on-site garden or community garden.
·         Whole eggs produced by chickens or ducks owned and kept by the individual at the home.
·         Cottage foods, which include non-potentially hazardous, unrefrigerated food products made on-site such as spices, teas, honey, jams, and certain baked goods, as defined by the state in Senate Bill 12-048 (known as the Colorado Cottage Food Act).
Sale of marijuana or products made with marijuana are NOT included in the amendment.
As proposed, sales would be allowed from 7 a.m. to dusk, indoors or outdoors, with one small window or wall sign allowed.
To learn more about the amendment or current regulations under the Denver Zoning Code, visit the Denver Community Planning and Development website.


Super Shuttle to implement 30% pay cut

from Dave Felice
Last week Super Shuttle announced they were going to illegally implement a 30% pay cut. This morning folks were out educating the drivers, creating awareness and letting Super Shuttle know this behavior will not be tolerated in Colorado.


Friday, March 14, 2014

Friends of Denver Parks and the Owl Team - St Patrick Day Parade

Green Shirt Alert* St Patrick's Day Parade Info  

Friends of Denver Parks and the Owl Team would like to invite you to march with us in the St Patrick Day Parade.  We have Athena the Owl, a large banner and several signs to carry.  Let’s have a fun day together before the big trial date, May 19, 2014.

We will have an antique 1971 VW van that blows bubbles and plays Irish Music.  Thanks to Bridget Walsh at, Real Estate  who has generously offered her time and VW Bug. .Athena the Owl will be riding on top.  We plan to be at 253 "Dublin Street" on Coors Field early in the am.

Be sure to print this info sheet.

For those who would like a green Friends of Denver Parks t-shirt, we will have them available at the parade.  Please call 303-337-2947 for further parade information

When: March 15, 2014

Entry Name: Friends of Denver Parks

Onsite Contact:
Renee’s Cell Phone: 970-331-6641 

Your Unit Number: 2-53

Your Staging Address is:   253 "Dublin Street"

Parade will start moving at 9AM our Staging time is 10am

Parade Theme this year:  Sweet Home Colorado

Here is the website for the parade route: 

We will have one vehicle in the parade to carry snacks, water, jackets, and any other supplies that we might need.

Parking Information:

Please plan for parking prior to the parade. 

NOTE *  Parade Direction is reversed this year

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Is Denver now, or will it ever be, a WORLD CLASS CITY?

Commentary by Dave Felice
Writing in the recent edition of Denver's Indulge magazine, Thom Wise says a massive "regional attraction" proposed for City Park [City Loop] exemplifies a lack of "world class thinking."
Wise, described as a "chronicler of the Denver restaurant scene," claims the city could have been "re-inventing, re-energizing, and re-purposing" the Gates complex on South Broadway.  Instead, he says, "Denver will have unremarkable condos and even more forgettable ho-hum retail." 
According to Wise, the "lack of world class thinking" comes from the "same politically-motivated cadre trying to cram the 'City Loop' concept into City Park.
"Let's be honest," writes Wise.  "New York, Sydney, Paris, and Hong Kong are world class cities...but Denver is not there."
Instead of Mayor Michael B. Hancock's effort about "building Denver into a world class city," Wise suggests it requires "real boldness to rise up and admit" that Denver is what it is and what it may never be. 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Public Vote on Highway Deals

This week, the Colorado Department of Transportation approved a 50-year agreement with a private company to manage US36. Unfortunately, the 1,002 pages of details were posted six days before the agreement was approved, and calls for more time to better understand the deal and provide input were denied. 

The public must have time to review and the opportunity to weigh in on any deals like this. 
Please support legislation that requires at least a 30-day public comment period after the final details of deals like these are released.

Kick-off event for Hillary Clinton

For those of you already thinking about 2016, please join me this Wednesday at a kick-off event for Hillary Clinton. I hope to see you there!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

What could be worse than Citizens United for our nation?‏

From Laura Avant, MoveOn Activist:
McCutcheon vs FEC, that’s what.  As Dave Felice of the CWA explains about Citizens United, “The floodgates opened wide and total spending for the 2012 election cycle exceeded all estimates and expectations at $7 billion, according to FEC Chair Ellen Weintraub. That kind of money can only be acquired from the wealthiest of donors: the special interests of big business and their lobbyists. Our elected officials subsequently became beholden to big money interests like never before.”
Soon, it is likely to get worse. Any time between Feb. 24 and the end of June, the Supreme Court will announce its decision in the McCutcheon vs. FEC case. This decision will determine whether the limit on political campaign contributions from individuals, now at $123,200 per election cycle and more than twice the annual median income in the country, will be increased to as much as $6 million (that’s right, six million dollars). If the Citizens United case is a precedent, then it is likely that the Court will rule in favor of McCutcheon, and our political finance system will be flooded by enormous amounts of special interest money coming from a very small number of exceedingly wealthy individuals.
Democracy is not a spectator sport. If you would like to join the hundreds of thousands of Americans of all political persuasions who are fed up with an increasingly polluted campaign finance system and are actively organizing for change, please do two things. First, learn about the issues. Good websites to start with are and
While you are on the Money Out/Voters In site, go to the Find an Event section and sign up to participate in one of the Rapid Response events that will be held all across the country on the day that the McCutcheon ruling is made.  The Denver demonstration and march will start at 5:00 at Civic Center Park.”
Please follow the link and sign up for our event.  That way I can stay in touch with you by phone and let you know when the decision is announced so that you can join us that afternoon for a rally and funeral procession to mourn the death of our democracy and many of the rights and institutions that we have taken for granted until this huge influx of corporate money changed the political landscape.  Dave is right:  democracy is not a spectator sport.  Join us and let the nation know that we are not pleased with rule by the 1% for the 1% while the rest of us struggle and lose our political voice.

Stop Denver City Park City Loop

by Niccolo Casewit via FB
You Came and You Said NO! to City Loop
Approximately 100 City Park neighbors and friends came to Bogey's on February 26, including both invited representatives ("Stakeholders") and observers. Citizens were nearly unanimous in telling Parks and Recreation staffers and representatives to drop the proposed 13-acre City Loop Attraction and instead focus on City Park's playgrounds.
Stakeholders and citizens told the City:
Don't take green space from City Park for new features.
Design a playground for children. Children need a space designed specifically for them. If you try to build for all ages, you will please none. Adults who wish to run, cross-country ski, or pursue other fitness activities will find City Loop is in the way.
In crafting a new playground use natural elements, materials, and colors wherever possible.
Respect the historic character of City Park, and honor the Olmsted vision it embodies.
They rejected one of the major assumptions of the City Loop proposal: that City Park must attract "regional visitors," i.e. people who don't live in the central Denver neighborhoods near the park. City Park already supports regional users at the Denver Zoo and Museum of Nature and Science. In 2012, these two institutions hosted 3,330,593 visitors to City Park. We have too many people in the Denver metro area itself for the remainder of City Park to be used to attract "regional visitors."
Participants also:
rejected the assumption that Parks should be regarded as large, outdoor Rec Centers,
voiced concerns about parking, traffic, and safety, and
expressed doubt that Parks and Rec can maintain a complex Attraction like City Loop given their poor track record in maintaining the Dustin Redd playground and other City Park features
The City told us that our feedback from February 26th will be given to the current playground designers. On March 12 the designers are to present revised proposals incorporating that input.
Please join us at the follow-up meeting on Wednesday, March 12, 6 pm, at Bogey's 26th and York. We’ll find out if Parks & Recreation has heard what we’ve told them!
Information you may enjoy:
Meyer: If there's a meeting and no one attends, does it really happen?. Maybe we can help the Denver Post to understand: Poor communication/public engagement = poor decision making = backlash!

Monday, March 3, 2014


Roller Skate Party

Ken Gordon Memorial

Tuesday, March 11, 2014, 9:00 am
State Capitol Building, House of Representatives Chamber
200 E. Colfax Ave
Rep. Lois Court and Senator Pat Steadman are sponsoring a Senate Joint Memorial to honor colleague and friend, the late Ken Gordon.  It's tradition that the current representatives for a deceased former member's district sponsor an observance of the passing and remembrance of public service.  A large audience is expected, and many of those who served with Ken in the House and Senate will speak at this special occasion.  Arrive early to get a seat in the gallery.