Denver Direct: 2012
Monday, December 31, 2012
at 11:50 AM
Sunday, December 30, 2012
Its time to be through with 2012, and 2013 should be a very educational and mind expanding year! I have big plans in the coming year to remain invested in the political process surrounding the cannabis industry, and to do my very best to keep you informed so that we can ensure that we all remain relevant in a rapidly changing regulatory system.
I have been out most of this past week with that wicked evil bad flu that has been going around, but Im fully recovered and ready to cook up some fun for your patients. Deliveries for next week will be delayed a day all the way around due to the Holiday on Monday/Tuesday but please feel free to let us know what you would like us to deliver and we will do it very happily. And as usual the savings are at the bottom of the news, and will be all year long in 2013! That said you shouldn't skip the homework, there are gonna be a lot of important issues that you will benefit from timely participation in.
Also about 5-6 of the Xmas cards we sent to all of you bounced back, so if you didnt get our card please lemme know so we can ensure you get our remembrance of our gratitude for your support in 2012! Thanks!
just a reminder that the legislative session in CO begins on January 9th, so if you can be at the capitol to kick off the session that is the day, more news on the opener next week! Also a reminder that the A-64 task force has their next general meeting on Monday 1-7-13.
at 7:35 AM
Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Ed. note: This is a very long piece regarding the latest information on the proposed beltway expansion being challenged by Citizens Involved in the Northwest Quadrant (CINQ).
From CINQ - A lot has recently happened and I have delayed release of this information due to Christmas. In summary, Golden lost the lawsuit but it is preparing an appeal, to be joined by Superior and other organizations. Many close to this case have commented that the Federal judge has made a grossly poor decision. We are aware that the judge was lobbied by at least one very high profile federal official, which is highly unusual. This speaks to the lengths supporters of the beltway will go. We are very glad that Golden will seek an emergency injunction and appeal the case. Maybe we will get a fair shake from a federal appeals court. There's a lot here, and information is provided in sequential order as it was received by us.
Today's Boulder Camera reports that the federal case regarding the transfer of land at Rocky Flats for the Jefferson Parkway recently decided in favor of U.S. Fish & Wildlife has been appealed by the cities of Superior and Golden and two environmental groups. The article is on line at http://www.dailycamera.com/superior-news/ci_22255712/superior-environmentalists-appeal-jefferson-parkway-ruling
at 12:24 PM
Friday, December 21, 2012
at 3:41 PM
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
by Bill Langton
Special to Denver Direct
To follow on with the saga of trading the 11 acres of land controlled by Denver Parks and Recreation for a closed school at 13th and Fox to be used as a Shelter for Abused Women and Children, the DPR (Denver Parks and Recreation) Advisory Board voted 11-to-6 against the proposal (December 13). I attended the meeting to see what this was all about. That's the good news. The bad news is that the Parks Board is advisory. DPR is capable of accepting the advice or rejecting it. Time will tell.
I would like to give you my observations on this complex issue foisted on DPR.
As a retired businessman, I found early in my career that these kinds of proposals are never what they seem to be. So, the rule is to follow the money and you will uncover the motive.
First, if the city wanted the school on Fox Street for a shelter, the city could could simply buy it and create the shelter.
Second, if we need a elementary school for southeast Denver, the School District could find a site and develop it. The vote in November gave the District plenty of money.
So why create this subterfuge? If you take the jaundiced view that the city wants this land for commecial development to increase the tax base, it starts to make sense.
The city could not take public land under the DPR rules because it is classified as natural area and prohibited from such acts. But if the administration reclassified it and the school district took over the land then when the school district determined that it was unfit for an elementary school they could sell it for commercial development.
To get the declassification, city officials needed to create a situation where if DPR Advisory Board did not vote to reclassify they they were against Abused Women and Children and were against schools. What a dilemma!
Fortunately, some on the Advisory Board asked some very straight questions. Is this really a fair exchange? The Mayor's representatives said "Oh yes." The school on Fox Ave is valued at 3.7 million and the 11 acres of open space is valued at 3.2 million. How can that be unless it was valued as commercial property? It has no value as open space.
Board members also asked if the DPS was committed to building on this site. They went into great detail on how there would also be community facilities, such as, a ball field for everyone to enjoy. But, then they also recieved a letter from the DPS (Denver Public Schools) saying that the School District would not be able to start building until 2014 and if the demographics or anything else changed, they might not go forward.
So, ergo, the open space is gone, the DPS now can move forward to sell the site for commercial development.
It is hard to imagine building an elementary school next to Havana, one of the busiest state roads in Denver. Children would have to cross Havana to go to school and I assume a 15 mph speed limit would have to be posted during rush hour. This would create a major traffic and safety problems. Children would also use the trail to go to school and run off all of the existing wild life that makes the trail so special. In other words, it is my opinion that school would never be built.
This is my view from listening to the discussions at the Parks Advisory Board meeting and my experience in business. It may or may not be as nafarious as I have made it out but I do think this was a con from the start and the real questions is what developer is behind it and how does the Mayor benefit other than increasing a tax base.
Anyway, one major bullet has been dodged, for the time being, but I think we have to watch this very closely.
at 9:41 PM
Monday, December 17, 2012
Here is as full a review as I can possibly offer of today's Amendment 64 Task Force meeting, in light of the fact that the panelists seem to have been selected as much for their marble mouthed mumbling qualities as any other obvious qualification. Should be an interesting 8 weeks, I have the dates for pending meetings as well as Pix of important power point pages. I will try to condense this into as quick a read as I can, so I will go over the intro to the meeting and discussion points about the panel, post the pics, and below each picture i will elaborate about the topic in the photo, and give pointers on the panelists proposals and responses. When I want to interject my own thoughts I will *** and change fonts...
The meeting began with Jack Findlaw the Governors office and Barbara Brohl from DOR saying they would be the authority on A64, and going around the table to do introductions. Then Barbara Brohl laid down the basis for the day's session as being "issue Identification". Panel Members were given a binder of worksheets and info contacts etc... the binder contents were reviewed, including the fact that the MMED plans to assist with writing the rules in WA state as well as here. and for the record I am in the process of obtaining a copy of the Map (tab 12) contained in the Binder which shows the state MMJ bans by region.
The group proceeded to set the dates for meetings to occur after the new year, which again are open to you to attend and will also be at the gaming office building at
17301 W Colfax. Meeting dates are as follows.
Monday 1-7-13 12 1-5pm.
Tuesday 1-22-13 1-5pm
Tuesday 2-5-13 1-5pm
Tuesday 2-19-13 1-5pm
(and possibly if nesc 2-28-13)
Then Jack Findlaw started the session with the statement that the MMED is the standard, which alarmed me as I thought the voters wanted recreational to be regulated like alcohol, not over-regulated to death.
"Task force is intended to review legal & policy issues not debate legality of marijuana"
these two power point pages show the role and desired outcome of the task force... they also show some skull, to keep it sexy for ya!
what's cut off here is 'participate in work groups" and "review state law to identify and make recommendations for changes if applicable"
*** This subject to approval aspect is going to complicate things i predict, based on the need for a "quorum". What that means is that a majority, of greater than 50% of the panel (at least 13 panelists) must agree " to a consensus" on an issue for it to move forward. This is alarming given that the panel only has 2 1/2 people who may represent "us" out of 24 people, thereby potentially disenfranchising patients.
and alarmingly when there is no Consensus the majority vote of the majority of workgroup members in attendance is the way they will move forward if there is a quorum. Also alarmingly we were told if a panelist is going to be absent they may send a proxy to vote on their behalf, but if a proxy is underinformed about previous materials debated or discussed they may cast an uninformed vote we all have to live by.
Also Task Force members must vote on issues, and only may abstain is there is a conflict of interest. WHO DECIDES what is a conflict?
We learned that the meetings will be open to the public, but you need to sign up to speak when you arrive not after the meeting.
The DOR will be taking minutes at meetings which will be posted to their webpage upon their approval at the next meeting (2 week time frame). The work group meetings and all Task force meetings will be posted to the public in compliance with CO open meetings act. ***There is no timeline for how many days in advance these meetings will be posted.
Then we got this powerpoint of the task force workgroups and who is in charge of em...
The grey back grounds make these hard to read, but we have the actual PDF of the real powerpoint attached here too...
Then they went through the groups one by one, in a session where panelists got to give feedback about each work group's agenda. so I will post each pic, share my personal observations and concerns, and give you the panelists comments....
***Ok, so things were going along weirdly enough, but when questions arose about #5 on this guideline, strangely nobody knew where that suggestion came from! State run Cannabis would only adhere to the intent of regulating like alcohol if we lived in Utah folks.
The panelists were asked to identify other issues that fall under this topic, I am presenting an edited version as I couldnt write it all verbatim.
Findlaw: we have choices, to regulate like alcohol, like MMJ, like gaming, MMED is model since it is working... **** really? who told him that?
CS: Alcohol is Model citizens voted for & the framework.
DB what is regulatory framework for WA state?
KB: which implimentation model gains favor will affect local control.
DP: banking issues and federal implications
CU: Define uses
KB: what does DOR envision looking at beyond licensing?
?: Public Consumption
CS: Banking, federal preemption not issue, unless we bring to table, should not be discussed or used at threat. *** Good point.
VM: Will insurance Co's cover MMJ patients, what effect will that have on medicaid funds?
RK: Ideally harmonized Medical & recreational, ***not at expense of patients please.
?: Grey Market sales?
RK: Emergency funding for regulatory, where, when how?
MS: Regulation for home grows...
CT: clarity on outdoor grows
*** here my main concern is that the chair person for this workgroup is Kevin Bommer from Municiple league, as you know I shared a document from his office 2 weeks ago where the CML ws already prioritizing Prohibition over regulation. The CML has also been instrumental in passing many regional bans. I question if the state plans to write a pretty set of rules while at the same time encouraging Kbomb to get the local municipalities to enact bans in every area retail sales might ever be eligible to occur.
main topics were:
BB Different rolls for different agencies state & local.
MS identify opportunities for retail?
DB: Local advertising regs?
CS: who binds local certification?
*** once again they seem to be very keen on finding ways to take money!
We learned a few things on this one, like that the co-chair of this workgroup also happens to be the co-chari of the CCJJ who decides about DUI laws. *** Cozy no? Most of these points centered on DUI no surprise. But there were some other shocking issues of topic...
*** the 1st speaker to chime in on this topic also made the news today for her other opinions... Tamara Ward is a panelist who also is primary signatory of the letter sent by CO business groups to the DOJ requesting that the federal government enforce the Controlled Substances Act. Read the link here, I think this person among about 5 others should be recused for conflict of interest. http://blogs.westword.com/latestword/2012/12/marijuana_amendment_64_task_force_conflict_of_interest.php
TW: Concerns for employers
MS: 280 E tax issues on state level
CS: decouple state & fed taxes for industry
DP?: Student Aid issues, Housing, Contract enforcability???
CS: Where does money go once collected? **** Great Question!
CS: Define Excise tax v other taxes
BB: Where will excise taxes be collected?
CG: Child court issues Dui & juvie court for underage driving intoxicated
MS: (union) DUID in workplace in blood while not using... (nanogram level)
cs: redefine probable cause
kb: redefine muni code rules for misdemeanor
*** expect plenty of new laws to be passed to keep enforcement profitable! See items 2 through 6... and how to keep for profit jails filled long term,
see 7 & 8.
Topics here included:
BB: #6 define safe use, re child services & custody, home grows, and child abuse...
MS: labeling standards
DZ: Illegitimate vs criminal sales definitions... *** note this ass hat's language... this is the "citizen at large" member of the panel who also ironically works in the El Paso Cty DA's office under none other than MMJ hater Dan Maye... nothing to see here...
CU: Diversion to Minors?
DZ: comparrison to Gaming as well as liquor?
*** expect even more new stuff here, as they "think of the children" !
Topics spun out from this one like cheesewhiz from a can shoved up a chihuahua's ass! (sorry, needed to blow off some steam, this typing sucks).
JF: issues of medical vs recreational potency, proposed limit of 10% THC on recreational cannabis.
CT (kiddie drug cop nanny man) blathered on about: advertising to kids, using cartoons, sponsoring youth sports, exposure to smoke, expose to grows, drug culture, impact to drug free schools, duid, substance treatment facilities, mental illness facilities, community colleges? *** this was all one comment in like 20 seconds, the guy sounded all agitated, like he needed to smoke some weed or something.
MS: Responsible vendors- tamperproof package.
CS: re potency please use science vs conjecture.
BB: label & package to deter kids
Smalls: Prohibited chemicals and pesticides
RK: testing standards for potency and health safety
JS: Hashish advertising
RC: Size limits for retail grow operations, plant limit, who regulates?
DZ: community acceptance should be considered
VM: sunset these rules in 4 years in case some dont work out? **** changed my opinion of this woman right here, very sensible.
MS: industry needs a consumer watch dog agency.
Also as I typed this up I got a response from Mark Couch at MMED, he sent me a link to a PDF of all the power point slides so that is attached here, and will let you see the text behind the skulls and grimaces in the pics i took for you. It comes out sideways, but no biggie turn your head!
*** so there you have it... I think what we've learned is that many of these people have 0% of a clue on this topic, and no emotional investment in its success, in fact we seemed to find that in spite of our 3 or 4 years as an industry with a very very few bad apples the prevailing view of panelists was that cannabis users are criminals and addicts who can not be trusted to act responsibly without a nanny state to watch over them. Of course about 35% of these panelists careers depend on that belief system, how is that a conflict of interest? (sarcasm alert) We need to start an email bomb project to let these people know that patients still exist, the medical market is not the same as recreational, and the will of the people was to decrease the drug war and money spent on it, not find new ways to wring blood and money from the same old stoners.
THanks for reading,
Twirling Hippy Confections
2145 W Evans Denver CO
303 922 3661
at 10:48 PM
Thanks very much for your interest and cooperation.
Ballot Initiative #95 -- to Amend the Colorado Constitution to Establish a State-Owned Bank
for the State of Colorado - Modeled on the Bank of North Dakota
Since 1919 North Dakota has owned its own bank, the Bank of North Dakota (BND), which holds all fees and taxes collected by the government of North Dakota and invests it through loans made through or in conjunction with private community banks for industry, agriculture and other services needed by the citizens of the state. This has produced many advantages:
* BND has paid the state treasurer >$325 million from bank profits over the past 10 years; $61M in 2010
* ND is the only State with continuous budget surpluses since before the financial crisis of 2008
* North Dakota has the lowest unemployment rate (3.0%) of any State in the U.S.
* North Dakota has one of the lowest home foreclosure rates and credit card default rates in the U.S.
* In FY 2010 BND enjoyed a 19% return on investment
* North Dakota has had no bank failures and has the most community banks per capita
* Banks in Colorado are failing five times more often on average than banks in other states
* In 2011 North Dakota enjoyed almost $500 million in tax cuts and 30% in cuts over 2009-2011
* These benefits are not due primarily to North Dakota’s oil; e.g. Alaska and Montana have as much oil but have high unemployment >7.7%, and have had budget deficits
The proposed Colorado Amendment would add §22 to Article X of the Constitution of the State of Colorado:
Establishment of State-Owned Bank. The measure establishes a bank owned by the state of Colorado. The bank is authorized to lend money at interest or at no interest to promote development, commerce, industry, and agriculture in the state and to promote home ownership, maintenance and construction of needed infrastructure, education, public health and safety, and other purposes for the general welfare of the citizens of the state of Colorado. The bank will have the same powers as other banks chartered by the State and the power and authority to deposit public revenues and funds in the bank, except as expanded or limited by the General Assembly. The bank would not be subject to any revenue or spending limits such as under TABOR, but the measure would not alter TABOR’s restrictions on new tax measures. The bank would be regulated, managed, and advised by public officials, banking professionals, and public representatives, and be subject to annual public audits. It would be backed by the full faith and credit of the state.
at 1:18 PM
Sunday, December 16, 2012
By Dave Felice
|Hentzell Natural Area - photo by Ray Ehrenstein|
Date: Sat, 15 Dec 2012 10:25:31 -0700
Subject: RE: Hentzell Park Natural Area - Comments
at 9:05 PM
Saturday, December 15, 2012
at 5:40 PM
Friday, December 14, 2012
at 10:40 AM
Thursday, December 13, 2012
Just phoned in by Dave Felice
The Denver Parks and Recreation Advisory Board voted 11 to 6 against de-designating a part of the Hentzell Park. This may stop Mayor Hancock from completing his "done deal".
The Rose A. Andom Center website: has been scrubbed of this statement.
We have a home…
A building at 1330 Fox Street has been secured by the City of Denver for The Center.The Center has a long-term lease for use of the building and will be responsible for raising all renovation funds and reimbursing the City for ongoing occupancy costs.
at 8:34 PM
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Opinion by Gerald Trumbule
|Hentzell Park Natural Area photo by Ray Ehrenstein|
Have you been following the parkland-for-a-building swap deal being promulgated by Denver Mayor Michael Hancock? Hancock has advocated for a domestic violence center in Denver. That's a good thing. While in no way impugning his motives, it seems he has forgotten, at least briefly, that Denver's assets are not his to give away or trade. I don't think he anticipated the ferocious love we have for our parks and parkland here in Denver. He's stepped on a landmine of criticism.
And then there is new conflict-of-interest complaint. We'll have to see if this goes deeper than a mere temporary lapse of good judgement. He could pull the plug on the deal, but that may signal deeper concerns.
Experience teaches us that whenever the City/Mayor is involved in land, be it purchase, sale or swap, the citizens need to be extra vigilant.
at 6:43 PM
|James T. Allen, Advisory Board member|
From the Complaint, filed today:
Commencing on or about August 1, 2012, et seq, including, but not limited to the official meeting of the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board (PRAB) on November 8, 2012, James T. Allen, an appointee to the PRAB participated in discussions, exchanged e-mail, attended meetings, and otherwise sought to influence a decision by the PRAB to an exchange of property (1) between the City and County of Denver and the Denver Public School District 1.
By participating in discussions, exchanging e-mail, and attending PRAB meetings, James T. Allen demonstrated a conflict of interest because of his concurrent position as Director of Bond Construction for Denver Public Schools. Allen’s mere presence in a room where discussions took place constitute an attempt to promote an d influence a favorable judgment on his behalf.
As remedy, all discussions, meetings, and decisions by the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board involving James T. Allen and the
are to be declared null and void. Allen is to take a leave of absence from his position with the City and Denver Public Schools until the matter involving his conflict of interest is fully resolved. Countyof Denver
1) The matter under discussion involves a proposal to exchange nine (9) acres of city-owned parkland at Hentzell Park Natural Area for an office building at1330 Fox Street
. The building is owned by Denver Public Schools.
at 5:48 PM
Monday, December 10, 2012
8 degrees in Nederland while I type away, and we have snow! Got a response to the letter I mailed the Governor last week, and i actually got to fill out an application to join the Governors task force on Amendment 64, wish me luck!
COMPLETED City of Denver MIPS license inspection card... All licenses done, all state & local agencies paid in full, just waiting on some papers to prove Twirling Hippy Confections is 100% legally legit, at least with the state of CO!
If you're selling a MIPs which is made in Denver and that MIPs doesnt have one of these inspection cards at least in progress, they might have some licensing issues soon, Denver Excise says that only 3 dozenish MIPs have done the Denver license application so far, & only about 30% of those have completed it...
Quote from the State's A-64 FAQ sheet... "Cultivation, sale, and possession of marijuana for adults age 21 and older is still illegal under federal law. As a result, prosecution of marijuana crimes may shift to the Colorado federal courts within the available resources of the U.S. Attorney's office. That prosecution could include possession or use of marijuana and operating marijuana businesses made legal by Amendment 64." read the rest here:
this story is making the rounds... Statement From U.S. Attorney's Office on Initiative 502
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 5, 2012
The Department of Justice is reviewing the legalization initiatives recently passed in Colorado and Washington State. The Department's responsibility to enforce the Controlled Substances Act remains unchanged. Neither States nor the Executive branch can nullify a statute passed by Congress. In enacting the Controlled Substances Act, Congress determined that marijuana is a Schedule I controlled substance. Regardless of any changes in state law, including the change that will go into effect on December 6th in Washington State, growing, selling or possessing any amount of marijuana remains illegal under federal law. Members of the public are also advised to remember that it remains against federal law to bring any amount of marijuana onto federal property, including all federal buildings, national parks and forests, military installations, and courthouses.
Marijuana: Rumblings about federal crackdown on Colorado over Amendment 64blogs.westword.com At this point, there's still no official word from the Justice Department about a response to Amendment 64, the Regulate...
Colorado Municipal league is the entity that has helped dozens of localities ban MMJ, now Kevin Bommer is helping towns across the state pre-ban amendment 64 on the bias that 64 does not give local governments enough time to implement new regulations.
note they repeatedly list prohibition as the 1st option for their members to persue rather than regulation. Not to mention that the Voters have had their voices heard, 53% to 46% mmmkay, CML has always had an anti-agenda about Cannabis.
some of these "businesses" are influenced by this malarky...
Amendment 64: Business organizations ask feds to clamp down on Colorado marijuana measure
at least one lil town isnt under the influence of CML... Boulder council: No ban on recreational pot shops for nowwww.dailycamera.comDespite the concerns of City Attorney Tom Carr, the Boulder City Council held off on any action, saying they needed more information and public input before they could even consider a ban on stores selling recreational marijuana.
BUT some other little towns have some issues still, we support you Brad & Karen! go team go!
Medical marijuana ban in Dacono targeted by repeal petition
just in time for Xmas and new years...
Worth Repeating: Suicide Rates Fall In Medical Marijuana States - Toke of the Townwww.tokeofthetown.com"We conclude that the legalization of medical marijuana leads to an improvement in the psychological well being of young adult males, an improvement that is reflected in fewer suicides." This story didn't make it past the network news filters, was ignored by the mainstream media, and numerous mental...
also worth mentioning going into the Big Three weeks of holiday driving and parties, be alert for DUI crackdown. Please advise all patients to drive responsibly and DO NOT MEDICATE IN THE CAR esp during the next 4 weeks.
case in point...
whoa what is up with the goatee? that might actually be creepier than the porn/cop mustache which preceded it...
King Says Delta-9-THC Leaves System Hours After Smoking Pot www.krextv.com For the fifth time in three years, lawmakers are pushing for a driving under the influence of drugs per say standard in Colorado. Sen. Steve King (R-Dist. 7) said people suspected of driving under the influence of marijuana would specifically be tested for Delta-9-THC. He says this form of THC does ...
see also, now called impaired driving month... remember the highway funding issues with DUI's back in the 80's?
National Impaired Driving Prevention Month | The White Housewww.whitehouse.govDecember is National Impaired Driving Prevention Month - a time to focus our efforts toward recognizing the risks and reducing the prevalence of drugged driving.
third on the topic... this happened in Denver in 2010-2011... the state manager in question is still in charge.
FYI: What Do Forensic Chemists Do, And Why Would They Cheat?www.popsci.comEarlier this fall, a forensic chemist at the Massachusetts-based crime lab William A. Hinton State Laboratory was
In Wake of Scathing Review of Fracking Report, University of Texas Revises Conflict of Interest Polinews.sciencemag.orgThe University of Texas (UT), Austin, is getting a hard lesson in what can go wrong if you fail to spot and disclose a potential conflict of interest. UT has been clobbered with a tough outside review, made public yesterday by Provost Steven Leslie, of blunders in a controversial study on the use of...
Fracking wastewater wells were also linked to earthquakes near raton in CO early this week... Remember MMIG is tied to the fracking lobby, and always has been. When you buy meds from an MMIG member MMC you are subsidising the Industry that is poisoning our precious ground water and spreading cancer across the state. It is your right to know these facts, and it is your right to question if your MMC or MIPS is a Member of a group that pays rent on the offices of the CPA (our state's fracking lobby shares their office suite with MMIG) BOYCOTT MMIG.
at 7:43 AM
At the November 8, 2012 meeting of the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, Denver Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) Manager Lauri Dannemiller brought forward a request from the Denver Public Schools (DPS) that nine acres of the Hentzell Park Natural Area in southeast Denver be “de-designated”. The proposed de-designation would allow DPS to use the land as a site for a pre-school/elementary school complex. In exchange, a building at 1330 Fox Street, now owned by DPS, will be used to house the city’s new Domestic Violence Center, a mayoral priority.
This action flies in the face of the DPR’s own Management Plan for Hentzell the purpose of which is to restore Hentzell to a showy example of sandhills and riparian vegetation that once existed in the area. De-designation would set an unacceptable precedent that could erode the quality and size of Denver’s park system, and it highlights serious problems with the way in which Denver’s parkland is classified and protected.
These problems include the following. First: It is within the authority of the DPR Manager to de-designate Natural Areas. This is a flawed policy. All parkland managed by DPR including Natural Areas, Parks, and Open Spaces, is held in the public trust. It is not to be used (or sold) for purposes removed from conservation, preservation, and recreation. In fact, the Denver City Charter provides the model (see Part 4, Section 2.4.5) for how this land should be treated. The Charter explicitly prohibits the sale or leasing of land designated as a park by ordinance without approval by a majority of registered voters. It is clear that the de-designation of nine acres of the Hentzell Park Natural Area violates the spirit of the City Charter.
Second, a significant minority of what DPR labels as parks and the citizens of Denver have come to consider as parks, “parks” such as Stapleton or Ruby Hill, for example, have never been designated by ordinance as such. These undesignated “parks” are at risk of being used for whatever purpose a particular administration considers appropriate at the moment. This poses a threat to our current and future park system.
Third, we need more not less land to achieve the goals of the DPR stated mission (see the DPR Game Plan). The population of Denver, now estimated to be 620,000, is expected to rise to 754,000 by 2030. In light of the projected increase in population and a likely increase in the density of population in central areas, it is critical that we convert more not less land than we have at present to parkland of all types.
As a result of these issues and threats to Denver’s parks posed by the precedent that would be set by the proposed de-designation of nine acres of the Hentzell Park Natural Area, we should :
1. Bring the issue of de-designation of the Hentzell Park Natural Area to a vote of the people;
2. Mandate the immediate designation of undesignated (and legally eligible parkland) including Natural Areas and Parks; and
3. Revise the relevant rules and regulations so that designated Natural Areas cannot be sold or leased or de-designated, without a vote of the people.
I urge that citizens concerned with maintaining our parkland and enhancing our park system join the growing list of individuals and groups that have endorsed the position noted above (seewww.denvernature.net for a list of organizations), and email comments to DPR Manager Lauri.Dannemiller@denvergov.org or firstname.lastname@example.org or Mayor Michael Hancock email@example.com or attend the next Parks and Advisory Board meeting on Dec. 13, 3013, 5:30 pm, at the 4th Floor (Room 4.F.6) Web Building, 201 W. Colfax.
Kathleen Wells, Ph.D. on behalf of Advocates for Denver’s Parks
Board Member, Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods and Cheesman Park Advocacy Group
at 5:51 AM
Columnist says protect parks; Hentzell designati...
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