Denver Direct: I Love Rock and Roll, But Not in the Effluent


Wednesday, December 5, 2007

I Love Rock and Roll, But Not in the Effluent

I’ve walked to City Park hundreds of times over the years, seen it degenerate slowly, seen it get improved and then fixed up. Had many good picnics there, but no more.

For the first 20 years or so of my City Park experience, no sales were permitted in the park, and even our own People’s Fair was kept out. Think about that: our Fair was kept out of our park.

Then the Black Arts Festival was allowed in (stay on the asphalt), and shortly thereafter the City Park West Arts and Music Festival, but it was eventually pushed to the Esplanade in front of East High to bake.

Then the kids weren’t allowed to play soccer during the most recent drought, because it was ruining the grass.

But then, we the people, voted to borrow money to fix it up. Ferril Lake was drained, bottom repaired, new light display, walls, actual sidewalks, wow! And a huge weird underground flood catchment was built for floods I had never seen to flush into the Lake.

And then, big mistake. A system of purple pipes was installed at a cost of $180,000,000 to disperse the sewage effluent plus industrial toxic waste of the Major Polluters at Lowry through a 17 mile pipe and on to a third level of treatment; holding ponds (our lakes) and dispersal on the grass (our park fields) for the next 50 years.

I know, it seems too sick to be true. But once you’ve read the documents, there is no other conclusion, regardless of what Denver Water puts up on its site.

So, now, into our City Park, where even the hardy mallards die, and the squirrels had bubonic plague this summer, Phillip Anschutz, the richest guy in these parts by far, worth a conservative $10,000,000,000, wants to bring a crowd of 50,000 per day for three days to party down? at a cost of “upwards” of $75 per person per day?

Imagine 50,000 beer-sotted rockers, getting down with the loud sound.

And then, oh lordy, when the party breaks up at 10:00 pm are the rent-a-cops going to protect your yard? Do you think this stoked crowd is going to get back on their buses in an orderly fashion? Colfax and surrounds, get ready to part-tay!

Have I lost my mind? Did we fix this park up so it could be rented to the rich guy to make even more money? He made his first money in oil and real estate, then railroads, founded Qwest, now theaters, films, and ……..wait………….rock concerts? This conservative Republican religious rich guy wants to hold rock concerts in the fragile ecosphere of City Park, our beautiful open-air atrium next to the zoo? Where the kids weren’t allowed to play soccer?

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I know the zoo folks are aware of the hyper-hearing that many animals have, even outside the range of our hearing. Certainly they wouldn’t just let AEG set up giant speakers on the zoo border, would they? Without running tests? PETA?

When Mayor John Hickenlooper said he was a businessman, I didn’t imagine that he would be in the business of renting out City Park to Anschutz to use as a giant beer-stand. A giant beer-stand in a polluted park. Sad.

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We already have music in our lovely chemical-laden park, at just about the level we like. Now, maybe we could expand that to a weekly music festival, including rock. Of course we’d have to stop the effluent spraying, and we would have to keep it small, so as not to chrush those “standing silently” in the ecosystem, and those locked up in near-by zoo cages.

Go to the forum at http://www.savecitypark.org/ if you have something to say or learn on this issue.

Most always the pessimist, this time I’m optimistic. I think the train with 50,000 fun-loving partyers can be stopped.

The Anschutz Group will figure out that the sewage effluent risk is too large. Forget about the diluted blackwater, the e. coli alone will make the lawyers blanch. They will write off the $2 million spent so far and fold their tent. We will avoid branding.

Otherwise, stand back, it’s the Anschutz Invasion of the Affluent into the Effluent.

For your viewing enjoyment;

AEG Proposal – Part 1 (9:04)

AEG Proposal – Part 2 (2:01)

Dave Felice – Wrong Venue (5:32)


Sorry Dave, its been going on for years.