Denver Direct: December 2007
Sunday, December 30, 2007
(Headquarters at 64th and York. This is a secure facility, guarded by Homeland Security, and no photographs are allowed.)
CORA, CORA, CORA
The Colorado Open Records Act (CORA) is a rich source for original documents kept by governmental agencies. It’s very easy to use; email or write to the agency and they then have three days to respond and up to 10 days to schedule you for an examination of the records you request. Be sure to ask for a list of the documents they are not going to let you see, with details about what and why.
Show up for the appointment and they will likely sit you down in a room with the documents and a person to watch you. Take your time, go through the documents, and select those you want copied. They make the copies and charge you 25 cents for each page. They bring you the copies, you pay, thank them and leave. (Note: The Mayor’s Office, at which I have a pending CORA, has mentioned charging for “research time”.)
Thus it was that I obtained, in my effort to document exactly what is filling Grasmere Lake in Washington Park and Ferril Lake in City Park and irrigating the fields in those and various other parks, a complete copy of the current Industrial Wastewater Discharge Permit for the Lowry Landfill Superfund Site by the Metro Wastewater Reclamation District. That’s quite a mouthful. Let them explain (from their website at http://www.metrowastewater.com/).
The Metro Wastewater Reclamation District is the wastewater treatment authority for most of metro Denver. It was formed by the Colorado state legislature in 1961 to provide wastewater transmission and treatment services to member municipalities and special connectors in compliance with federal, state, and local laws.
The Metro District serves about 1.5 million people in a 380-square mile service area that includes Denver, Arvada, Aurora, Lakewood, Thornton, Westminster, and more than 45 sanitation and water and sanitation districts.
The Metro District treats about 130 million gallons of wastewater a day and discharges the treated water into the South Platte River where it makes up nearly 90 percent of the River for nine months of the year.
So if you are an industrial entity, and you have some stuff you’d like to flush down the drain into the sewer system, you shouldn’t just flush it in the dark of night. Instead, you should apply for and receive an Industrial Wastewater Discharge Permit (I understand that over 200 such Permits have been issued). The Lowry Landfill Superfund Site (LLSS) is such an entity, and they have a lot of “stuff” they want to flush. Thus, they have obtained the Permit and I have obtained a copy of it.
In this series I intend to analyze this Permit and outline the details of exactly what is going into our lakes and onto our parks. I hope you’ll stick with me as this is a complex story, but your health and welfare may very well hinge on the details. Remember the Dead Ducks.
at 10:42 AM
Monday, December 24, 2007
Thanks again to Dave Felice who has written and posted letters to officials in the Zoo - AEG Music Festival standoff at www.savecitypark.org. Here's his latest summary.
CONCERT ORGANIZER "MAD" ABOUT ZOO DECISION HANDLING
In its edition of December 21, the Rocky Mountain News quotes concert organizer Chuck Morris as saying he's "mad about...the way it was handled," referring to the Denver Zoo decision to withhold support of a music festival Morris proposed to stage in City Park.
According to the newspaper story by reporter Daniel Chacon, "(M)usic promoter Chuck Morris, president and CEO of AEG Live Rocky Mountain Division, said he respects (Zoo Director Craig) Piper's decision but wished he (Piper) would have made it known sooner."
Chacon's story goes on, quoting Morris: "We (AEG) met with them (Zoo officials) September 12 and never was any major problem . . . about the sound brought up."
The leader of the Denver Zoo for nearly four decades, Clayton Freiheit, died on October 28. The Zoo's Board unanimously named Piper to succeed Freiheit on November 29. In public meetings, Morris had stated that he understood the zoo was going through a "difficult time"and Morris indicated he was delaying further meetings with zoo officials.
According to the Rocky Mountain News, Zoo representative Ana Bowie said Morris never told Zoo officials "that the decision to stage the two day event at City Park hinged on the Zoo." In neighborhood meetings, Morris said he would not go forward if the Zoo determined there would be risk to the zoo animals.
In a statement provided to savecitypark.org, Piper said:"Unfortunately, there is no data to help us determine the potential additional impact to animals of extending the exposure to loud music to two-and-a-half days as proposed."
Piper said zoo officials "discussed this with a number of our professional colleagues around the country who host music concert series at their zoos or who have them in adjacent park facilities. We have found a number of venues (which) allow music much louder than Denver and Denver Zoo currently allows, without ill effects, however,none of these concert series subject animals to multiple days of loud music."
In each case, they host shorter performances and have decibel limits in place much like our current approach. Piper added, "(T)o our knowledge, there is no similar model where zoo animals have been exposed to extended loud music to help us determine how we could accomplish this safely in Denver."
Citing "fundamental responsibility...to protect the animals," Piper concluded, "(the) Denver Zoo is unable to endorse the proposed music festival in City Park. We wish that it could be held at another more appropriate venue that would not risk the lives of the animals."
After Piper notified city officials of his decision, Anschutz Entertainment issued a statement saying the organization would be"exploring alternative locations" for the proposed festival. Earlier,in at least one public meeting, Morris said "there was no second choice" to City Park.
In its statement, Anschutz Entertainment representatives say they arranged for promoter Howard Pollack to meet with Denver Zoo officials. Pollack has been staging the Music Series at the Oklahoma City Zoo for over 20 years. According to AEG, Pollack and the staff of the Oklahoma City Zoo has not "had a problem with animal safety"during that time.
Piper also expressed concern about the financial impact of the proposed festival, saying the Zoo could lose up to $300,000 over a weekend.
The Rocky Mountain News reports Morris offered to compensate the zoo,quoting Morris as saying "We were talking about buying out the whole zoo for what they averaged that weekend."
District 8 Councilwoman Carla Madison, a member of the Public Amenities Committee, was the only member of the Denver City Council to express support for the festival plan. Madison appeared in a video prepared by AEG before the proposal was presented to the public.There was no immediate comment from Madison following the Zoo's decision. Madison's district includes City Park.
Other animal welfare organizations, such as the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and the American Humane Association, have not made any public comment on developments in Denver.
The full text of the Rocky Mountain News story is available at RockyMountainNews.com. The statements by AEG and Craig Piper are both available at savecitypark.org.
at 2:22 PM
Thursday, December 20, 2007
The Ears Have It
Concern for the safety of the Zoo animals has brought sanity to the City Park area in Denver, Colorado.
Anschutz Mile High Music Festival organizers and local politicians have been notified that the Denver City Zoo cannot endorse or support the Music Festival in City Park.
at 12:25 PM
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Carla was right about one thing, the neighbors are buzzing about the proposed Mile High Music Festival at City Park next year. I've heard all kinds of rumors, but nothing to report, yet. So I'll plug the Google Group at http://www.savecitypark.org/. If you sign up, you will automatically be notified of new postings. Plus, you can join in with your thoughts and posts. Pro and con equally welcomed. No cost, no gimmicks. Try it.
at 8:00 PM
Youtube Vidies Not Cheap!
In an earlier post, I expounded on the questionable “What If? Colorado” advertising campaign conducted by Ground Floor Media to promote emergency preparedness awareness.
Quickly visiting each Youtube episode and noteing the total hits on each, I find a total of 6,525 hits spread across 21 episodes (at this date and time). Whoa Nelly! That comes to a cost of $116.17 per view.
So if one person watched all 21 episodes, it cost S2,439.54 to make that person more aware. If, that is, it actually did. No post-tests were announced.
My take: you could put together quite an emergency kit for that amount.
So let's all watch Episode 12, which got the least number of hits, and bring that cost down.
at 7:42 PM
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
(Warning: Satire ahead)
NANA Coming Soon
Mayor John Hickenlooper, in announcing a new city policy based on the ground-breaking AEG Mile High Music Festival, stated that City Park will be rented, in its entirety, to the National Association of Nudists of America (NANA) for the entire month of July, 2009.
“This respected group has a very gentle footprint, and will not damage the park or its amenities in any way,” said Hickenlooper, flanked by City Councilperson Carla Madison. Madison was instrumental in arranging the first large scale rental of a city park to Anschutz Entertainment Group, even appearing in their promotional film “To the Highest Bidder” which itself garnered numerous awards in the "Wool Over Your Eyes" category.
Promoter and long-time Denver booster Chuck Morris, accompanied by his lovely daughter, Brittany Morris of CRL Associates, was on hand to comment, “We did it first with the extremely successful Mile High Music Festival back in ’08. That Festival branded Denver as a city where you can git ‘er done. Despite the opposition of some who predicted dire consequences, our record of only 4 deaths and 1,266 cases of pollution-related illness out of over 150,000 attendees, still stands today as one of the safest Festivals in the country”.
Bob Dylan, who was often mentioned in the Festival promotion but did not perform at the Anschutz Music Festival was quoted as saying, “I’m Not There”.
Denver Zoo representatives, who were originally somewhat apprehensive of the Anschutz Music Festival because of the extremely loud music, joined in, “Even though many of the animals near the Music Festival border appeared to suffer deafness as a result, this has worked to their benefit, as they are no longer bothered by auditory disturbances. We feel that the NANA Festival, which will include the Zoo as part of the fair grounds, is even more compatible as the animals are already nude and will enjoy the nudity of the visitors.”
Denver Water officials, also on hand at the press conference, stated reassuringly, “Even though we’ve had to raise the levels of Lowry toxins in the effluent mix since last year, participants will have nothing to worry about as long as they do not actually eat the grass or drink the lake water. Merely rolling around nude in the grass or swimming in the lake will not result in increased levels of risk above established tolerance levels.”
Hickenlooper, nationally known as the Businessman Mayor, concluded, “We’ve been able to raise far more money than we’ve paid out in lawsuit settlements with our new “Everything’s For Rent” policy. Nudity in City Park will bring joy to the surrounding community and provide an even greater opportunity for our citizens to engage in entrepreneurial activities. After all,” he quipped, “it’s all about having fun while making money.”
at 8:04 AM
Sunday, December 9, 2007
My backyard this morning - Peaceful
Thanks to Dave Felice (see YouTube, below), who describes himself as "The Loyal Opposition to the Anschutz Invasion", for these dispatches:
If you have time, you may want to attend the meeting the City Council's Public Amenities Committee next Monday afternoon.
This is the first time the proposed Anschutz music festival in City Park will "officially" come before city council members.
The Public Amenities Committee meets at 3:15 p.m., Monday, December 3, in Conference Room 391 of the City and County Building, 1437 Bannock. The meeting is open to the public.
The committee is chaired by Councilwoman Peggy Lehmann. Committee members are Councilwomen Marcia Johnson, Jeanne Robb, and Carla Madison.
For additional information, contact Clerk of City Council at 720-865-9534.
From: Brittany Morris
Cc: Chuck Morris
Sent: Thu, 29 Nov 2007 7:34 pm
Subject: City Council Committee Meeting Cancellation re: Mile High Music and Arts Festival at City Park
Good evening, everyone.
We are still fine-tuning the proposed agreement between the City and County of Denver and AEG Live regarding the proposed Mile High Music and Arts Festival at City Park. As a result, we put in a meeting cancellation request to the committee chairperson and she has agreed to cancel next Monday’s 3:15 pm Denver City Council Public Amenities Committee presentation (12.03.2007). We will be back in touch with you once it has been rescheduled.
To City Council Members and Neighborhood Association Presidents: If you wouldn’t mind forwarding this message to interested constituents and community members, we’d greatly appreciate it.
Thanks again and, as always, please feel free to contact us at any time with questions or concerns at this email or 303-592-5458.
Chuck Morris, President & CEO, AEG Live’s Rocky Mountain Division
Brittany Morris, Vice President, CRL Associates, Inc.
From Dave Felice
Saturday, Dec 8, 11:00 am
The Public Amenities Committee meeting has been postponed "indefinitely". Something about CRL having trouble getting the contract ready.
Sounds to me like the Anschutz lawyers are working overtime.
at 9:49 AM
Friday, December 7, 2007
Those of us who sat through years of meetings with Carla Madison when she was pretending to be the President of City Park West Neighborhood Association recognize the autocratic streak making itself apparent in her new role as primo pimp for the Anschutz Entertainment Group. I say pretending because for the last 4 years of her reign at CPWNA most of the rules established in the by-laws were abandoned.
No minutes of the meetings were kept. No proper elections were held – Carla was reappointed by proclamation. Money was improperly transferred into Hubby Paul’s accounts. In short, Queen Carla did what she wanted to do on the road to Councilhood.
So it is not surprising to see her jump so quickly into bed with the PR firm of CRL, a major Madison contributor and our new “out-sourced” arm of government (which ran the wildly successful Dancing Letters campaign for Hickenlooper.)
But I was surprised to see Carla’s smiling face in the promo movie for Chuck and daughter Brittany Morris’s grand Anschutz Experiment. So blatant. So in your face. The question has not yet been put to Council and Carla is in the movie! She just doesn’t get the concept of conflict of interest.
“Hey, we can get branded!” she says in the movie, tossing around the jargon of the PR crowd. Their main argument is that we can all make money.
Chuck: “You guys can sell parking spaces.” Do you need a license from the City to do that? “Hey, nobody pays attention to those rules.”
Well, paying attention to the rules is what it’s all about if we are to have a civil government that benefits us all, and not just the billionaires and their sycophants among us.
Carla is proposing to “facilitate” the committee to decide where the Anschutz “community” money goes. Har har. We’ve seen that kind of “facilitation” before. Would this be for some kind of "arts" project?
Hi neighbors! Well, the Mile High Music and Arts Festival is all the buzz as I'm sure you've heard! One of the things that is being talked about is the $1/ticket that AEG Live proposes to donate to a non-profit organization (specific organization to be determined) to solely benefit the neighborhoods surrounding City Park in a gesture to "share the wealth" and because we will be such an integral part of the success of this festival. One point of discussion is how that money is going to be distributed amongst the groups or how we think it might best be spent and what mechanism should be used. The thing that has been agreed upon by those of us who have been engaged in these conversations is that we need to pull a group together of two representatives from each group so that we can have a good conversation or two about how this all should be done. I agreed to facilitate this and I think that we should hold our first meeting after the first of the year and after the legislation goes through council that decides whether this Festival can happen or not. I'm giving us all plenty of time to arrange this, I'm thinking Jan 10, the second Thursday, around 6, probably at my office. I do not think this date conflicts with any regularly scheduled neighborhood meetings. Do some talking and see which two representatives from each group would like to participate. I know you are already being asked to send representatives to the Parks and Rec meetings about the parameters of charging for events in the Parks, and to participate on the AEG Live hosted Mile High Music and Festival Community Advisory Committee. The need for this group could be fairly long term though the representatives can certainly change. Please let me know if his night works for a couple of representatives from each of your groups. Thank you! Carla Madison
Queen Carla never knew how to properly run a neighborhood association. How could she be expected to run a Council district?
at 9:05 AM
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
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?
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.
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 2 (2:01)
Dave Felice - Wrong Venue (5:32)
Sorry Dave, its been going on for years.
at 7:11 PM
I’ve been using the term “greywater” to describe the sewage effluent plus Lowry concoction coming down the purple pipes to our fields and lakes. This is not correct. Greywater is the name for domestic used water. The correct name for water with toxic chemicals in it is blackwater. Diluting blackwater with sewage effluent does not make it graywater. It’s still blackwater.
“Dilution is not the solution to pollution.”
From Wikipedia (new rule – always check Wikipedia first) Greywater, sometimes spelled graywater, grey water or gray water and also known as sullage, is non-industrial wastewater generated from domestic processes such as washing dishes, laundry and bathing. Greywater comprises 50-80% of residential wastewater. Greywater is distinct from blackwater in the amount and composition of its chemical and biological contaminants (from feces or toxic chemicals). Greywater gets its name from its cloudy appearance and from its status as being neither fresh (white water from groundwater or potable water), nor heavily polluted (blackwater).
at 10:31 AM
Monday, December 3, 2007
Chuck Morris, resident of Park Hill and long-time Denver music promoter, has been visiting many of the neighborhood community associations and groups to promote a three-day Anschutz Entertainment Group Live music festival in City Park. While Chuck and his daughter Brittany, Vice-President of CRL, put on a professional presentation, some were skeptical that City Park was the appropriate venue for 50,000 people per day to spend three days rocking and rolling.
Amazingly (to me) Councilperson Madison was already on board and in the promo movie, even though the proposal has yet to be presented to Council. Oh wait, CRL people donated at least $3000 to Madison's campaign. I was naive enough to think that she was going to find out what her constituents thought before she decided. Silly me.
Given the toxic mix of sewage effluent (see Effing Effluent) that is being sprayed on the grass and used to fill up the lakes (see Tertiary Treatment ) it may not be a good idea. Some parents who know about the sewage effluent are not even letting their kids play soccer on the fields.
at 5:44 PM
Sunday, December 2, 2007
Helped fund Amendment 2, a ballot initiative designed to overturn a Colorado state law giving equal rights to homosexuals.
Be careful who you party with.
at 1:58 PM
Saturday, December 1, 2007
We've been blogging about squirrels with bubonic plague, ducks dying of botulism, lake bottoms being replaced, and the Effing Effluent (tm) a.k.a. recycled water, sewage effluent or greywater, i.e. the stuff which is being sprayed on the fields and filling up the lakes. But what is actually in it?
I was finally able to obtain a copy of the original (thanks to the indefatigable Adrienne Anderson,) Industrial Wastewater Discharge Permit No. 1-118 granted by the Metro Wastewater Reclamation District to the City and County of Denver and Waste Management, Inc. to "discharge treated groundwater and incidental operational wastestreams through the outfall(s) identified herein to the sanitary sewer system, in accordance with the effluent limitations, monitoring requirement and other conditions set forth herein." In other words, what they can flush into the sewer system, and thence on to the "recycling" plant.
1. Aurora is included in this system, and I am leaving it out to simplify the overview.
2. All of this is from the original agreement. I have not yet been able to obtain a copy of the current agreement, but I understand that the limitations have been increased.
3.The list below is just the ingredients that are monitored and regulated. There may be other contaminants.
4. Below the list are copies of the actual document, where the detail-oriented can find the actual numerical limits.
2,3,7,8-TCD (and congeners)
at 2:09 PM
- Blackwater Near You - Part 1
- Zoo - Festival Wrapped Up?
- Zoo Zaps Music Festival
- Keeping Up With the Festival Buzz
- What If? Colorado - Part 3
- National Nudist Group to Rent City Park in '09
- Anschutz in City Park: This Just In…
- Queen Carla
- I Love Rock and Roll, But Not in the Effluent
- Branded and Put on the Map
- Who Is Phillip Anschutz Anyway? Part 1
- What is in the Effing Effluent?
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