Denver Direct: November 2008
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Friday, November 28, 2008
Oh what a tangled web we weave,
When first we practice to deceive!
Sir Walter Scott, 1771 – 1832
Last night’s (11-25-08) required public meeting for International Risk Group (IRG)’s submitted General Development Plan was another in a seemingly endless series (18 in 2008 and a total of over 60, they say) of public meetings concerning the “Lowry Vista” redevelopment project of the former Air Force toxic dump on Alameda. As usual, Marcus Pachner, the talented PR person for IRG, presented a slick, time-consuming slide show for the approximately 300 people in attendance. Essentially, he says, the project is an “idea” that will change over time, as IRG works through repeated official “no” decisions to forge ahead on the $10 (ten dollar) deal.
Having attended and videotaped five of these meetings, I am aware that most of the presentation, and even the Q and A afterward, is repetitive and probably boring to the general reader of this blog. So I try to find a pivot point in the discussion, something I can cut out of the 2 ½ hours of blah, blah, blah. YouTube has a 10 minute limit, and readers have about a 2 minute limit before they get bored and click away. This requires me to review the entire meeting, looking for the gem, a moment that will crystallize the truth.
I thought I had such a “moment of truth” from Tuesday’s meeting. In the Q and A, Adrienne Anderson, an expert on environmental radiation hazards, states, with regard to a California lawsuit brought by workers made ill from alleged radiation from an IRG project:
“… and what was IRG’s response? They sued the workers to silence them, and, they also sued a website, a citizen-based website, that was posting documents about the workers allegations.”
“IRG took them to court to try to silence them, and a Federal judge, just about two weeks ago, ruled in favor of the worker’s right to speak up about the hazards of what he alleges is associated with his exposure on that site. So the liability, is to sue the people who are concerned, to shut them up. And that is their pattern….”
So, to summarize, IRG sued the workers to shut them up, but a judge ruled in the workers’ favor and dismissed the lawsuit.
Next comes Brent Anderson, attorney, with International Risk Group.
“…as to suing, er, trying to chill Adrienne, I know the website, I guarantee you we haven’t done anything to chill it, AT LEAST NOT TO MY KNOWLEDGE, second of all, AS FAR AS I KNOW OF, any litigation that International Risk Group is involved in, in California, we were sued, we haven’t sued anybody. And I think its really important to make that clear”.
Here is the lawsuit. Scroll down to 32(h) and (i) for mention of Adrienne Anderson. Note that 1000 “Does” are named.
Ok, this looks fairly clear cut. Did or did not IRG sue the workers in California who were suing them? Well, not so fast, it turns out there are two different IRGs being referred to here; International Risk Group and Industrial Realty Group. Both of their websites claim Lowry Vista as one of their projects.
The citizen website in question, KaiserPapers.info, details the web of interlocking IRG LLCs (as in Limited Liability Company), in Colorado, Nevada, and California. There is even a patent on the process of turning “brownfields” into money.
Two hours later
Wait, wait… oh no, there are at least 21 IRGs in Colorado alone. For more, check out California and Nevada Secretary of State offices.
So when Adrienne says IRG (Industrial Realty Group) sued the workers, she is correct. And when Brent says IRG (International Risk Group) hasn’t sued anyone, he is correct(but he really isn’t making anything clear).
And by the way, if you want to get really creepy, the Kaiser Papers website was recently hacked and completely destroyed by what is alleged to be the “Russian mafia”, and the Downey Studios project in California caught fire just hours after the judge ruled against them.
This is getting really IRGsome. My head is hurting from IRGness overload. As they say at the Kaiser Papers website “The Justice Department needs to sort this out.”
Monday, November 24, 2008
Local Local News
Welcome aboard to Cathy Calder of BlondeDesign, who brings local neighborhood news and upcoming events to our eclectic mix.
The Cole neighborhood is working with surrounding neighborhoods in hopes of attracting a Sunflower Market to Northeast Denver. They would like to gather signatures by January 10th which will then be submitted to Sunflower markets along with a request for a meeting with Sunflower. If you are supportive of this effort, please sign the petition linked below and include your comments. WNA will keep the
Whittier Neighborhood updated on the status of this effort.
Also, feel free to share this information with other neighborhood associations if they would like to join in the effort. All suggestions are welcome. Please email Jules Kelty at [email protected]
Pick It Up Project
A class at Manual High School is currently participating in a service project to try to help with the litter problem at their school called "Pick it Up." Their class has done a lot of research at their school and in the community; they have found that Manual does not have enough trashcans and the ones they do have are not visible enough. Their goal is to place 12 new trashcans throughout their school campus in highly-trafficked areas as well as to paint them so that they are more eye catching. They are also going to do an awareness campaign to try and promote a litter-free community. They believe this will not only benefit Manual High School, but the greater community as well as it teaches students to be more respectful and responsible with their trash.
They cannot do this project without your help. Would you like to support the project? If so, you can make checks payable to the Cottonwood Institute. This is the non-profit organization sponsoring the class. They are happy to pick the check up, or you can also mailit to:
Manual High School
Attn: Leslie Douglass & the Cottonwood Institute
1700 E. 28th St.
Denver, CO 80205
Do you need more information? Someone from their class can come by and speak with you or you can contact the teacher, who will let then know when and how to get back in touch with you. Her name is Leslie Douglass. Her phone number is: 303.570.3716 or her email is [email protected]
NEIGHBORHOOD VITAL SIGNS
Building Inclusive, Effective and Connected Neighborhoods in Denver
• Tired of trying the same things year after year in your neighborhood but not seeing results?
• Are you interested in helping your neighborhood develop a shared vision and clear goals?
• Would you like to learn how to use data to strengthen your neighborhood efforts?
• Would you like your neighborhood to be more connected and engaged?
Community Learning Exchange
Sat., Dec. 6
Breakfast @ 8:30am . Learning Exchange from 9am - 2pm
Manual High School - 27th Ave. & Williams St. (Childcare is Available)
Join us as we learn about the Neighborhood Vital Signs Project--a new effort to promote strong neighborhoods by giving residents, businesses and other stakeholders the tools to create a shared vision, measure progress on what matters most, and work together to achieve their goals.
John Stern, Executive Director of the Nashville Neighborhoods Resource Center and Chairman of the Nashville Neighborhood Alliance will discuss his extensive experiences using data and indicators to strengthen neighborhood activism and outcomes.
Please respond to LaDawn @ 303.996.7350 or email [email protected]
by Dec. 4th!
THE LEARNING EXCHANGE IS FREE, BUT RESERVATIONS ARE REQUIRED
Presented by: The Strengthening Neighborhoods Program of The Denver Foundation, The Civic Canopy, Piton Foundation, City of Denver's Office of Community Planning, CiviCore, OMNI Institute, Athmar Park Neighborhood Assoc., Northeast Park Hill Coalition, and Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods.
Home Installation Rebates
Greenprint Denver has partnered with the Smart Energy Living Alliance and the Governor's Energy Office's 2008 Insulate Colorado program to offer cash-back rebates* to qualifying Denver homeowners who make energy efficient improvements to their homes. The rebates will be issued for the installation of either attic or exterior wall insulation and basic air sealing measures, performed by an approved contractor.
To learn more visit: www.greenprintdenver.org. If you have any questions, contact Smart Energy Living Alliance for additional information at 303-216-2026 or email [email protected]
* The rebates cover 20 percent of the total cost of insulation and air sealing upgrades or $300, whichever is less. Rebates will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis until program funding is exhausted. This is a limited time offer so rebates are not guaranteed.
Rejoicing the Roots
PREMIER Screenings: Mon. & Tues., Nov. 24 & 25 . 7 pm
ESQUIRE THEATRE: 6th Ave. & Downing St., Denver, Colorado
Cleo Parker Robinson Dance, one of the Colorado's most renowned, enduring contemporary dance ensembles, and Jae Ram Arts' Tom Tilton are pleased to announce a new digital film release Rejoicing the Roots. A film unlike any other, uniquely editted, bringing the thrill of live performance to the big screen.
Mournin' Son, is an excerpt from Cleo's original Spiritual Suite, an offering from her dance ensemble's early repertoire, featuring Marceline Freeman & Randy Brooks; performed here for the first time with live musical accompaniment directed by Tom Tilton with his Improvisation Music/Theatre Ensemble.
A Jazz Suite for Ann is presented here for the first time since the original World Premiere stage production played to over-capacity crowds attending each performance in 1998. Cleo offers tribute to her life long mentor and cousin Ann Henry, who's legacy as one of the innovator's of Jazz Dance, inspired this 6 movement Suite. It is uniquely choreographed, narratively and figuratively blending solos and duets into double-ensemble improvisations in a celebration of the freedom of modern American Jazz Dance!
Watch the trailer! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tCsjKmVzjVY
Share a Cycle
Donate your outgrown kids' bikes to be refurbished for youth served by Denver Kids, Inc. Bikes will be accepted at the following locations:
The Cherry Creek Bike Rack - 171 Detroit Street, 303-388-1630
Campus Cycles - 2102 S. Washington Street, 303-698-2811
For more information, call 303-377-7086 or visit www.transolutions.org.
Citizen Emergency Response Training (CERT)
Dec. 9 & 10 . 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (both days needed to receive a certificate)
When a disaster hits, we can't always depend on professional responders to be immediately available. We would like to have the citizens of Denver trained to help within their own communities.
This 16-hour disaster preparedness and response training will include how to plan for a disaster and teach basic response skills such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. At the completion of this training, participants are encouraged to support emergency response agencies by taking a more active role in emergency preparedness projects in our community.
This training is open to anyone. They will accept up to 40 participants and there is no cost. Sponsored by the Office of Emergency Management, Denver Fire Department, and the Denver Police Department.
Where: Denver Police District #3, Community room, 1625 South University Blvd, Denver, CO 80210
For More Information and Registration: http://www.denvergov.org/oem;
Carolyn H. Bluhm, OEM: 720.865.7600; or email, [email protected]
Mayor Hickenlooper Seeks Suggestions for Naming Justice Center Complex Facilities
Mayor John Hickenlooper today invited Denver citizens to submit suggestions for naming the two central buildings of the City's new Justice Center Complex - the Detention Center and Courthouse. In May 2005, Denver voters approved the bond initiative and land acquisition for the Denver Justice Center Complex. Construction is expected to be complete by December 2009.
Per City ordinance, public buildings can be named only for "outstanding persons who have been influential in the cultural, political, economical or social life of the community or in recognition of an individual or corporation which has contributed
substantial funding for the construction of the public buildings or major component of public buildings." Anyone can submit a naming suggestion if they provide at least 100 signatures supporting the suggestion and a reason why the building should be named after the suggested individual.
The City's Office of Human Rights and Community Relations will collect proposals through Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2008, and submit them to the Justice Center Citizen Naming Task Force, currently being assembled by the Mayor's Office. The Task Force will hold its first meeting the first week of December to review the project and select a chairperson. The Mayor will then meet with the task force the week of Dec. 15 to finalize nominees, which will be presented to City Council the last week of December.
To submit naming suggestions, contact Anthony Aragon at 720-913-8462 for complete instructions and a petition form. Once 100 supporting signatures have been obtained, suggestions should be submitted with an explanation of their relevance to Anthony Aragon, Director of Community Relations, Agency for Human Rights and Community Relations, 201 W. Colfax Ave., Department 1102, Denver, CO 80202.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Economic Hurricane - Best Explanation
It's been hard to pay much attention to anything other than the economic hurricane, now that it is upon us. I've been writing about its coming for the past three years. People got tired of my ranting and raving over at Astounding News, my other blog. Now that it is here, there is no stopping it. The current action taken by the unconstitutional Federal Reserve Bank in concert with the Treasury Department amounts to the final rape of this country by the Bush administration.
If you want to understand how this happened, read this. It's the best explanation I've seen so far.
Obama's choice of Timothy Geithner, the New York Fed president, is not a good sign. Instead he should be seeking to nationalize the Fed and take the power from this cabal, whose greed is now plunging the world into chaos.
The last person contemplating such an action was John F. Kennedy.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Bee Keeping in Denver
Denver City Council considered, and passed, a new ordinance to allow 2 hives per zone lot in Denver. I've condensed the two-hour discussion into 5 minutes for your viewing enjoyment.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
In some circles, being known as a “developer” is worse than being a sex offender. Try to build a new structure (allowed by the zoning code) and the neighborhood goes into high-gear to “protect” itself from any change. You may recall my reaction (Overlay Express) when 20% of my neighborhood forced an “overlay” on our R-3 and R-4 properties to prevent building anything over 35-feet high. In my opinion, overlays are an illegal taking of property rights – an end-run around existing zoning laws.
And even worse is ad-hoc down-zoning, in this case changing an R-2 area into an R-1, drastically changes what you can build on your own property. Anyone buying a property with plans to build will be thwarted if the neighbors don’t like your project and submit a down-zoning application, or as in this case, get their Councilperson to go for a "legislative" application. As Councilman Brown said “this is happening all over the City.”
But when a Councilperson defames the reputation of a developer at a public meeting with unfounded accusations of “incompetence, and dangerousness” and rumors of “fraud and forgery”, a line may have been crossed. Is this then “slander”?
“Slander refers to a malicious, false, and defamatory spoken statement or report… Most jurisdictions allow legal actions, civil and/or criminal, to deter various kinds of defamation and retaliate against groundless criticism. Related to defamation is public disclosure of private facts which arises where one person reveals information which is not of public concern, and the release of which would offend a reasonable person.
Slander per se The four (4) categories of slander per se are (i) accusing someone of a crime; (ii) alleging that someone has a foul or loathsome disease; (iii) adversely reflecting on a person’s fitness to conduct his business or trade; and (iv) imputing serious sexual misconduct (especially the chastity of a woman). Once again, all you would have to prove is that someone had published the statement to a third party. No proof of special damages is required."
Madison's Statement “As you mentioned this date of September 8th, and that was very early in my relationship with Mr. Greg Thomas, and after I, you know, because he had worked with me, not really with the neighbors, he had worked with me, to try to get this, ah, his 9 units in place, um, I felt like that that would be the thing to do, but then, as I found out more and more about this man, I realized that he was not just, you know, rude, but incompetent and dangerous…I’m not going to go on and on about Greg, but I also got calls saying he’d been, was under investigation for fraud and forgery, um, you know, um, that’s just sorta how it went…and I kinda decided that this gentleman should not only not build 22 units, should not build 9 units, but probably should not build a dog house in Park Hill. And so I changed my mind.”
Oh my, the Queen has changed her mind.
Project allowed despite rezoning By Christopher N. Osher The Denver Post Article Last Updated: 11/04/2008 02:23:49 AM MST
The Denver City Council approved a contentious rezoning late Monday, but it also crafted a compromise that will allow a property owner to go forward with a multiunit housing project despite the change.
The council debated the topic until well after 11 p.m. An 11 to 2 majority, led by Councilwoman Carla Madison, finally supported the rezoning for a portion of Park Hill.
An amendment to the rezoning had passed earlier in the night on a 9 to 4 vote. That amendment allows property owner Chad Anderson to proceed with a controversial development for nine townhomes.
The wider rezoning would prevent similar multiunit development in the 21.5 acres bordered by East 16th Avenue, Batavia Place, Albion Street and Dahlia Street. It would change the zoning from R2, a category which allows duplexes and multiplexes, to an R1 zoning category, which places more restrictions on density and limits new development to single-family residences.
Anderson pleaded with the council to allow his project to go forward, saying he had invested more than $1 million and faced bankruptcy if his plans were denied. He said he had bought out an earlier partner, developer Greg Thomas, who had angered residents by pushing a bigger plan for 40 three-story townhomes.
Rezoning debates have been among the most controversial subjects for the council to tackle, and this one proved no less volatile. Tensions were high throughout the night, with both sides saying their property rights were at stake. Most neighborhood residents favored limiting development to single-family homes.
Rezoning opponent Meredith Carson told the council that a developer had planned to buy her lot with a small bungalow. The rezoning proposal scared that developer away, she said, and her property is now worth $150,000 less.
Update: Meredith Carson wrote a letter to the Rocky Mountain News. The Denver Post provides a good summary article.
"A landfill that will take monitoring forever and ever."
Attending an International Risk Group (IRG) public forum on the proposed Lowry Vista project is an exercise in futility, as the event is controlled by a slick IRG visual presentation, and the public is limited as to what subjects are “appropriate” for discussion. The meeting held Nov. 14, 2008, was worse than usual because most of the slides were unreadable, taken directly from the General Development Plan being submitted. But when the floor was opened for discussion, the fireworks broke out.
Marcia Johnson gave her version of the history of the of this 80-acre former Air Force toxic waste dump. Interestingly, she said the site was a “landfill that would take monitoring forever and ever”. If, as IRG claims, there is nothing dangerous in the landfill, why would it have to be monitored forever and ever?
Anne Calliston, herself an expert in this history, could not contain her disdain for Johnson’s defense of the project. For more on this project, click here.
If IRG gets its way, I can imagine what a Lowry Vista resident might endure. Knock, knock. Yes? I'm here to check the radiation levels in your condo. Come on in, but don't wake the baby, she hasn't been feeling well lately.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
City Park West Neighborhood Association Bylaws
an email from Dave Webster: -------------------------------------------------------------- IMPORTANT NEIGHBORHOOD MEETING
This meeting is very important to our neighborhood and is cosponsored by Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods, Wyman Historic District, Uptown Neighborhood Watch, City Park West, and, hopefully West City Park.
It will be held on November 13th at 6:30PM at the old Harry's Chop House between the Vine Street Pub and the Vintage Theater. This is the northeast corner of Vine and E. 17th before the alley.
This is a multipurpose meeting. Item 1 is to discuss the redevelopment of the Planned Parenthood building at 2030 E. 20th Avenue (at Vine) Item 2 is to update us on the redevelopment of Children's Hospital just west of Downing Item 3 is to elect two delegates to the Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods Board from our district (2). Item 4 is to elect officers of City Park West so it can again function effectively for our neighborhood in dealings with the city especially zoning and liqour licenses, the Uptown Neighborhood Watch and West City Park are focused on other issues.
District 2 of Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods is the area bounded by Colfax, 22nd Avenue, York and Park Avenue City Park West boundarv is bounded by Colfax, 22nd Avenue, York and Park Avenue.
Please join us for an interesting evening that we will attempt to hold to one hour.
Thanks for your consideration.
Dave Webster ------------------------------------------------------------------
I (your blogger) scanned the copy below of the CPWNA Bylaws in the event that meeting attendees want to check out the section on elections - Article VI, Section 3, page 5, before planning or holding an election.
Sunday, November 9, 2008
McKinley Rides Again
Congratulations to Wes McKinley, who successfully won the State House District 64 race against the Republican challenger Torres, by over 17%. McKinley was back at the Capitol the next day, continuing to work on the issues, and planning a concert during the upcoming Western Stock Show (more later).
I was pleased that he was able to run the commercials I created for him, which, according to Wes, were a "major factor" in his victory. I think he won because the people of his district truly support what he does for them. I mean, check out Prowers County below. How often do you see a 100% win?
Colorado State House District 64 Results Wes McKinley vs. Ken Torres
Results: District 64, 100% reporting ( 69 precincts )
|Wes McKinley (Dem)||58.7%||15,305|
|Ken Torres (GOP)||41.2%||10,738|
|Results by County|
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Denver Votes at Manual High - No Drama
After two years of campaign drama, I figured I had to go out and shoot some footage of voters actually voting, so I went to Manual High. Poll workers told me that there had been lines at 7:00 am of people anticipating lines who had arrived early to avoid lines. Once those people voted there were no lines.
The four electronic voting machines had gone down briefly earlier in the day, but while I was there, no one was using them. Seems everyone wanted a paper ballot.
One first-hand story from a poll-worker who received a call telling her to go to a different location from the one she had been assigned. Another round of calls from headquarters straightened that out, but it appeared that a "dirty trickster", who may have had a list of the assignments, was trying to gum up the works.
Ed. Note: That's Shanekua Lewis studying the lengthy ballot while baby sleeps.
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