Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Last night's DPS meeting at East High - notes from FB

Also see more here.

Joyce Madrid-Andrews
I attended the East/Manual merger meeting tonight...They are not being truthful. During the Q&A session, A gentlemen commented that he attended the Manual community meeting last week, and it was mentioned at that meeting that a proposal was made from teachers, students, and parents from Manual. Greta Martinez, interim assistant superintendent said they have not seen any other proposals. Well, that is not the truth. My son, who is senior class president at Manual, and fellow classmates hand delivered a part of this proposal to Greta Martinez. Again, Manual and it's kids are an afterthought for this district. There is no such thing as a fair equality education for the Manual community.

Traci L. Jones
Just a reminder about the East parent meeting tonight. I just received this e-mail "Please get everyone you know to come to this meeting. I have been to 2 meeting about this at Manual and it's a real mess. I am distrustful that this is completely a proposal from Andy and the Manual interim (place holder) principal, Don Roy. My experience tells me this is a DPS driven mess and Andy is a pawn in the game.
Andy did have designs on having 9th grade at Manual starting in fall 2015 and was intending to submit a proposal this Feb to that effect. DPS said no, that Manual didn't want East there and was working on their own proposals. East backed away.
Then in Feb/March DPS received 7 million from the Federal Depart of Labor to install STEM programs in schools. Suddenly DPS came back to East asking for their proposal to be submitted. It has since morphed and been combined to support 2 STEM tracks going into Manual. The STEM programs need about 100-150 per grade starting in 10th to make them successful. Hence let's use East's draw and allow the traditional 9th grade to grow to about 800. At Manual all 9th graders would be exposed to sample STEM classes and at the end of the year students would choose to do the STEM track or traditional East classes.
STEM has been portrayed as vocational and a guarantee to community college and some 4 year colleges in state (no out of state). Questions have also arisen as to HS students not being prepared for rigorous math, science, and engineering classes.
Students cannot go in and out of STEM classes: you either take all or none.
Eventually our 9th graders would be at Manual and there would be 100+ 10th, 11th and 12th graders at Manual in the STEM classes so not sure what benefit it is to have our 9th graders with upper classmen there vs upper classmen at East.
This is not a well thought out proposal, nor does it or will it have the full positive marketing by DPS to be successful. Costs will extremely high and DPS will only use per pupil funds and add no more towards add'l admin. costs. WHEN this fails, it will be East's failure of Manual, and not DPS's failure of Manual. This is not a good thing. "
There is a lot of information that needs to be addressed and hopefully we can get some answers tonight! If you have a fifth, six, or seventh you should definitely try to come!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Meeting to discuss potential additional options for Manual and East High School students

Please join East High School Principal Andy Mendelsberg Tuesday, May 27 at 6 PM for a meeting to discuss potential additional options for Manual and East High School students that would be available in the 2015-16 school year. 
We invite parents, families and community members to attend this meeting and to share their thoughts on potential changes.
Tuesday, May 27, 2014  |  6:00 - 7:15 p.m.
East High School Auditorium
1600 City Park Esplanade, Denver, CO 80206
For more information, please contact Amber Callender at 720-423-3242

Community Meeting - BIG changes are in the works across this district

It's Time WE Take Back OUR Schools
Students, Parents, Teachers, Neighbors, Business Owners

East High School Rally
Community Meeting


Saturday, May 17, 2014

Piton Foundation's Data Initiative's expanded regional focus

Learn about the Data Initiative's New Regional Focus
Informational Open House, June 5
Whether your work is already immersed in data, or you're curious about accessing and utilizing meaningful information, we hope you will join us for an informational open house on Thursday, June 5 that will showcase the Data Initiative's expanded regional focus, areas of expertise and future projects.

Thank you,
The Piton Foundation's Data Initiative Team

Monday, May 12, 2014

Close PCMS, says Not 1 More Acre!

Colorado Springs Independent
Posted by Pam Zubeck 
Full story: 1-more-acre

The Army's desire to use heavier arms fire training and drones at the Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site is drawing opposition, judging from comments made during a public meeting in Trinidad on Tuesday.
Not 1 More Acre! spokeswoman Jean Aguerre urged the Army to simply close PCMS, saying the 235,000-acre short-grass prairie can't survive heavier use, according to the Pueblo Chieftain's story about the meeting.
"You can't train soldiers in a Dust Bowl," Aguerre said, drawing applause, the Chieftain reported.
The Army isn't seeking to expand PCMS, as it has in the past. This time, it wants to intensify use of the property in southeast Colorado. As the Chieftain describes, the Army is studying the impact of drone aircraft, helicopter gunnery, drop zones for paratroopers, electronic jamming and demolition training.
[Click here to listen to the list of expanded weapons systems the PCMS EIS will analyze for environmental, cultural and socioeconomic impacts.]
Not 1 More Acre! issued a statement of its position prior to the meeting: 
The Department of Defense has spent more than a decade implementing plans to expand the PCMS through additional training, intensified use, expanded operations and land acquisition.
Every internal military planning document obtained by Not 1 More Acre! has insisted that the PCMS in its current size can neither meet mission requirements nor sustain the environment to meet multi-force training requirements.

The future of the City Park West Neighborhood Organization (CPWNO)

Dear City Park West Neighborhood Organization members,
I am writing today to discuss the future of the CPWNO. Many of you know that I took on the role of
president to accomplish three things: to fulfill the responsibility of sharing information from the city via email and by hosting representatives at the meetings, to build a stronger community by increasing
membership and partnering with other community groups, and to organize and conduct community
events with an emphasis on service.
At this point in time I believe I have achieved some of these goals. I have included a timeline of the
organization from the first reformation meetings to date. As a group we have accomplished many great things and made great progress towards these goals.
However, as I have learned firsthand, it is quite difficult to achieve many of these goals without
financing and an established organizational and communication structure. It is with this thought in mind that I believe we should dissolve our organization and participate in one of the two other organizations that share our boundaries - Uptown on the Hill and Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods, Inc. I have provided contact information for both organizations at the end of this letter. However, if there is anyone that would like to continue with this organization I will gladly pass on the information required for continued operation.

Barnes-Gelt: The hinky history of Denver's land swap

Early this month, following more than a year of political shenanigans, civic and media consternation, lawsuits and failed appeals, Denver District Court Judge Herbert Stern affirmed the legality of Denver Mayor Michael Hancock's decision to transfer 11 acres of open space in southeast Denver to Denver Public Schools for a new elementary school.
In exchange for the acreage and $710,000, the city got an obsolete DPS building in the Golden Triangle that will house a domestic violence center for women.
No one disputes the value of a new elementary school or a domestic violence center. At issue is how the city administration managed the deal. To recap:
In late 2012, Lauri Dannemiller, manager of Parks and Recreation, asked her 18-member advisory board to approve the swap and de-designate 9 acres of Hentzell Park as open space and the adjacent 2½ acres as a parking lot. The board opposed the measure, 11-6. The board, charged with oversight and stewardship of Denver's treasured parks and open space, was chagrined when Dannemiller overruled the majority opinion.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Million More Mouths Myth Mantra

by Larry Ambrose, INC President, May Newsletter

Larry Ambrose
A recent interview with NW Denver Councilwoman, Susan Shepherd, in the March 19 edition of the North Denver Tribune has revealed the rationale behind her tacit approval of the massive development plan at the old St. Anthony Hospital site. The author, Laurie Dunklee writes, “Her priority is preparing Northwest Denver for sustainable population growth. “An estimated one million more people will move to the Denver area by 2030,” Shepherd said. “If we fight the influx of people into the city, more single family homes will be built on the outskirts and more agricultural land will be lost. Our water supply will be further endangered because all those lawns take tons of water. So multi-family housing is far more sustainable. We can’t keep building single-family homes or we endanger our future.”
This same million more mouths mantra was repeated at the INC ZAP meeting Saturday, March 21 by Shepherd’s fellow Councilwoman, Robin Kniech. Now we know that our city’s decidedly dense future has a definite number associated with it and from this, we undoubtedly can extrapolate that approvals for whatever developments meet this 1000 K, Council driven target will be forthcoming. We might as well get used to it, that’s the way it’s going to be!  No disrespect to our two knowledgeable Council members, but I did a little research to see from where this number may have emanated. Turns out, this million person number was first forecast back in 2009 in a PBS “Blueprint America” Report on Boomtown Denver and was memorialized in a Denver Regional Council of Governments’ (DRCOG) “Metro Vision 2035 Plan” published in 2011. The only thing is that this population increase is forecast to be region-wide, not just within the City and County of Denver! Annual growth of 2% to 3% still would mean only 200,000 to 300,000 more residents in our fair City; however, that may not justify the kind of additional density being requested by many developers who fund Council election campaigns.


Dave Felice in the rain at the big CWA rally in Washington against fast track and TPP


by Gerald Trumbule

I wasn't at the protest, but this one piece of video seems to show the Denver Police, in riot gear, suddenly attacking the peaceful protesters. I thought Chief White had brought a different, more reasonable, approach to the Denver Police Department, but apparently I was wrong. The officers in this video seem to start up all at once, as if on command. What was the trigger here? Did I miss something?

Update 5/8/2014

From a press release here:

Denver 5/5- Wednesday, May 5th saw the 7th monthly “Every 5th” protest in
the streets of Denver. The loose internet-based activist collective known
as “Anonymous” has been holding these events to call attention to
different issues in the city and the nation. The last event on April 5th
was a protest against police brutality, which was predictably attacked by
the Denver Police Department. This month’s protest was to call for an
“end to Denver’s war on free speech,” to call attention to the
unconstitutional anti-protest measures often taken by the police
department. The number of marchers fluctuated between 30 and 100
throughout the day. With slogans and banners calling attention to police
brutality and free speech issues, the march went all around downtown,
passed through the Auraria college campus, and visited the 16th st mall.
While the march was on the sidewalk outside Rock Bottom Brewery on 16th
st, a line of riot police charged the march and violently pushed several
people, including elderly women and children, to the ground in addition to
making several unprovoked arrests. After a tense standoff outside Rock
Bottom, the march went back up 16th st to disperse at the capitol
building. As people dispersed to leave the protest, squads of Denver
police stalked people leaving the protest, ambushing groups and
individuals in parking lots and streets, apparently as “revenge” for their
protest against the Denver Police Department. It was very apparent to
eyewitnesses that Denver Police were maliciously targeting protesters in
an attempt to intimidate them into ceasing first amendment-protected
protest activity. The Denver Police continue to claim that their actions
were to keep the public safe, which is very odd when reconciled with the
sounds of innocent bystanders screaming as the police rushed and attacked
people who were standing on the sidewalk. The protest was not hurting
anyone, there was no danger and no acts of destruction. The only danger
present was that crowds of people on the 16th street mall might see that
there are people ready to stand up against the privatized, militarized,
and gentrified direction Denver has been taking of late.

An account by a mother who was violently knocked to the ground by DPD
during the attack on the crowd outside Rock Bottom Brewery:

“I was walking on the sidewalk, playing my drum when the police suddenly
attacked the crowd. A police officer pushed me to the ground, someone
picked me up, and then another police officer picked me up and threw me
into a man standing nearby. The officer then yelled at me to “get off of
him!” after the police themselves threw me into this man. This was my
first protest in Denver, and I never said “fuck the police.” I was
conducting myself in a peaceful and legal manner, and the police really
opened up my eyes in terms of how they deal with protests in this city. I
did not feel safe and in fact felt endangered by the officers’ aggressive
behavior. I asked who was in charge, but no officers would tell me who is
in charge. Who is responsible for this? This is not ok.”

The person who provided the above eyewitness account is available for
interviews upon request. We can provide other eyewitnesses as well.

“A group of us was calmly walking away from the protest, heading towards
the Capitol Hill neighborhood. As we passed through a parking lot, a
group of police officers on bicycles suddenly surrounded us, rammed our
friend’s bike with their bike, knocking him to the ground. They proceeded
to chase him and arrest him without explaining themselves. Another
individual present was punched in the face although he was never detained
or accused of a crime. This kind of behavior by Denver Police is clearly
a direct retaliation against us exercising our first amendment rights to
publicly denounce the corruption and brutality of this city’s police
force. Today, I am ashamed to be a taxpayer in the city of Denver,
because my tax dollars are financing the violent repression of peaceful

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Truth Will Out - Councilwoman Marcia Johnson, IRG, and the very polluted Lowry Vista site

by Gerald Trumbule

Thanks to Glen Richardson of the Glendale Cherry Creek Chronicle and the work of Assistant Attorney General for Colorado Jennifer Robbins, it looks like the truth may finally be told regarding this rotten and highly polluted deal rammed down the throats of citizens back in 2008 - 2012. Be sure to read all of the sordid details in this article if you are concerned about the backroom deals going on, even now.
I've compiled a playlist of the videos I posted on this subject at the time, thanks to the efforts and urging of Adrienne Anderson. One thing I remember distinctly is the description of how even the trees in the proposed development were going to have to be planted in below-grade concrete boxes to keep them separate from the polluted ground.

It may take time, but maybe there is still hope that eventually "the truth will out".

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Judge Stern granted judgment for the Defendants City and County of Denver and Denver Public Schools

Dear Friends,
On Friday May 2 Judge Stern granted judgment for the Defendants City and County of Denver and Denver Public Schools.  A copy of Judge Stern’s Order is attached.
There will be no jury trial on May 19.  All witnesses are released from their subpoenas. DPS will continue to build the new school in what used to be Hampden Heights North Park.