Denver Direct: November 2012
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Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Walkabout – November 24, 2012
|Red on blue over York St|
|City Park’s Duck Lake with new Toyota Elephant Complex in background|
|Toyota Elephant Complex as seen from the back|
|Major Taylor Bicycling Club gets ready to ride
|New tree stump in City Park with message left by person who found a diary there for the person who wrote the diary|
|Formerly yellow building at Colfax and Detroit now red|
|Under new management on Colfax|
|New management – very friendly|
|New hand signal at Colfax and Josephine|
|New signage with moving electric lights at 16th and Josephine|
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Citizens Document Prairie Dog Poison on Playground Site at 26th Ave
Ed. note: Thanks to Patricia Olson, Holly Hazard, and Ghia Speakman for allowing us to publish their excellent work in documenting this toxic danger, and to Dave Felice for forwarding it to us.
November 20, 2012
VOLUNTARY WITNESS STATEMENT
I, Patricia N. Olson, 2690 Hanover Street, Denver, CO 80238, 970-222-0881, on Monday, November 20th, 2012, make this voluntary statement to the Commissioner of Agriculture, State of Colorado. I have read and understand the contents of this statement. The statement is true to the best of my knowledge and belief. I am at least 18 years of age and, if needed, would be willing and able to testify to information contained herein at court or hearing.
At approximately 11:00 a.m. on Monday, November 19, 2012, I met Holly Hazard, Senior Vice President, Programs & Innovations for the Humane Society of the United States and Ghia Speakman, staff member with wildlife expertise from the Prairie Dog Coalition, to further evaluate the proposed 26th Ave Park for a pilot project.
I am a veterinarian who lives near the proposed 26th Ave Park and have been concerned for over a year about the administration of aluminum phosphide fields in the Stapleton area – cautioning the developer, city council members, the mayor and many other agencies/groups about the potential risks for pets and children.
The proposed 26th Ave Park, to be developed by Forest City Enterprises, is to provide 2 acres for a children’s playground park and 23 acres for a natural park. Many Stapleton citizens believe that the natural part of the future park could be developed so that prairie dogs could co-exist with people. Wildlife scientists at the National Wildlife Research Center have already offered their help to contracept the prairie dogs so that the population would be manageable. Several other wildlife experts have offered their expertise on using natural grasses and other barriers to prevent migration of the animals into the playground or other undesired areas. The proposed pilot would allow prairie dogs and associated species to survive, allow children to play in the park safely, and offer children a rich educational experience about wildlife.
Many neighbors living near this proposed park site have been concerned for over a year because of the administration of aluminum phosphide to the land. They were concerned about the inhumane deaths of prairie dogs and also the potential risk to pets and children. A letter and photographs of children playing in the park were sent to Mayor Michael Hancock on 10/2/2012. As of today, I have received no response from the Mayor’s office.
|Children playing in 26th Avenue Park – photographs taken 9/30/2012|
Event on 11/19/2012
Thus, on November 19, 2012, Holly Hazard, Ghia Speakman and I were walking through the park to evaluate potential sites for the pilot project. Holly noticed a metal object in one of the prairie dog mounds. Initially, Ghia and Holly thought it likely a metal drinking bottle, or some other type of garbage. Holly decided to recover and identify the object.
|Canister found on 11/19/2012 at the proposed 26th Ave Park site|
Holly Hazard (left) recovering the can, along with Ghia Speakman (right) Patricia Olson (me) taking pictures
|Recovered canister – Fumitoxin|
|White material noted inside the can and near can|
|Close-up of the can|
I photograph Holly and Ghia for location
Holly also does GPS location
|I walk directly north from the recovery site to get street intersection|
|26th Ave and Emporia|
I tell Holly and Ghia to walk to my house (2690 Hanover Street) so that we can get the canister contained and so that they can clean up. We try to place the canister in a gallon zip-lock bag but it is too large so we cover the top and bottom with two gallon zip-lock bags and put this all inside a 30 gallon white kitchen garbage bag. Holly and Ghia wash their hands for several minutes.
We return to the park and find a second canister within 5 to 10 minutes.
Second canister found on 11/19/2012
We did not attempt to recover this one
|Again, I photograph Holly and Ghia for landmarks|
|I walk directly north to get street intersection|
Holly calls police and requests help. I return to my house and call Steve Blunt, Colorado Department of Agriculture. I clean up and leave to register my granddaughters for middle school.
Summary: Children are at-risk now and in the future (play ground area that is to be developed will be bounded by Fulton, 26th Ave, Florence and 25th Ave) to [toxic] waste that has not been cleaned up.
Monday, November 26, 2012
City officials try to quiet opposition to park deal
By Dave Felice
Special to Denver Direct
Denver’s Parks and Recreation Department (DPR) is apparently trying to appease the public and thwart criticism of Mayor Michael B. Hancock’s controversial proposal to give up park land in exchange for a downtown building owned by the school district.
Advocates for parks, open space, and wildlife seriously question Hancock’s scheme to trade nine acres of Hentzell Park in far southeast Denver for a building at 1330 Fox to house a victims’ assistance center. The land in question is part of the designated, but not necessarily dedicated, Natural Area of the park.
For the plan to proceed, the Parks Manager needs a recommendation from the Parks Advisory Board (PRAB). Following the recommendation, the manager can decide to de-designate the park land. Members of the Advisory Board say Parks and the school district have provided insufficient information about the deal.
In response, the Parks Department presents a different approach for prairie dog control, launches a campaign to influence the Advisory Board, and looks at official park dedication for the remaining 14 acres of natural area.
The Parks Department reveals it intends to put up poles where birds of prey can perch in an attempt to naturally control the prairie dog population in the Stapleton area. This follows harsh criticism of efforts to eradicate the animals by poisoning and gassing, especially in areas where children play. The Hentzell Park area also has prairie dogs, and Parks Manager Lauri Dannemiller says those animals would have to be eliminated as well.
Expressing skepticism, birds of prey specialists have mixed opinions about the effectiveness of the “raptor poles.” The key, they say, is to closely monitor the results and not just claim success. The bird specialists say getting good information on the results will be difficult, because there are multiple influences on prairie dog population levels. Some studies show that prairie dogs towns have shrunk after such perches are used in conjunction with other methods.
Assistant Parks Manager Scott Gilmore, a wildlife specialist and Stapleton resident, is taking ownership of the raptor perches project. Gilmore had previously posted comments of the Parks web site stating that prairie dogs provide a good opportunity to teach children about wildlife because the dogs are one of the few non-nocturnal species.
DPR has repudiated previous natural area management plans and no longer has a full-time wildlife biologist on staff.
In what appears to be an attempt to convince the Advisory Board to accept the deal at its next meeting, Parks is now presenting more information on its web site and offering tours of the area in question. Manager Lauri Dannemiller says the department has a dedicated address for e-mail on the subject.
The online information now declares that the area in question is a total of 11.5 acres, which includes a two-and-a-half acre parking lot originally built for Kennedy Golf Course. In its initial information, Parks specified only 5.7 acres of park land would be transferred. Now, a total of nine acres of designated natural area is at risk. Opponents say changing the specification should require the 45-day notification process to be restarted.
According to DPR’s web site:
Denver Parks and Recreation will accept public comments until December 13, 2012. The Advisory board will make a recommendation at the meeting after reviewing public comments. You may email your comments to email@example.com or mail them to Manager Lauri Dannemiller, 201 W Colfax Ave., Dept 601 Denver, CO 80202. Please mention Hentzell Natural Area in the subject.
Those who comment should keep in mind that, unless marked otherwise, communication is a public document, subject to the Colorado Open Records Act. Dannemiller’s phone is 720-913-0738.
Advisory Board President Keith Pryor (firstname.lastname@example.org) of Council District 8 has sent an e-mail message to encourage board members to review the material and get public comment before the next Board meeting December 13. The Board meets at 5:30 p.m. in the Webb Office Building. E-mail addresses for the Advisory Board members are on the web site.
“Please try and have some conversations with as many people as you can to get a sense of the pros and cons and come ready to make a recommendation,” writes Pryor. “We will be sending out any additional public comment that is received by the public before the meeting.”
In a further effort of seemingly public appeasement, Dannemiller says District 4 Councilwoman Peggy Lehmann has “initiated a conversation” about dedicating by ordinance the remaining 14 acres of the natural area north of Cherry Creek. This comes in response to concerns that once the school district had control of the southern section, there would be little to prevent northward incursion.
James T. Allen is still getting Advisory Board e-mail and sitting in on deliberations. Allen is the representative for Denver Public Schools on the Advisory Board and has a conflict of interest because he is also the Director of Bond Construction for the school district. Charter Section 2.61 says city representatives shall refrain from attempting to influence decisions.
School district critics still question the actual need for a school in the Hampden Heights location. Even though voters approved a $400 million bond to include the costs of the school, DPS still hasn’t presented clear plans on its intent to even build a school.
Homeowners in the area protest that they are being deceived by the de-designation process. They say they bought their property believing that it would always be adjacent to park land.
Park advocates, including attorney Joe Halpern, say it is improper to give up even one inch of land in a city which is already deficient in the amount of per capita park and open space property. Critics claim the city is using technical details to circumvent Charter Section 2.4.5 on public oversight of ownership of public parks.
People who plan to attend the Advisory Board meeting December 13 should use the Court Street entrance to the Webb Building and be prepared to go through security screening.
Sunday, November 25, 2012
All Things MJ with Jessica LeRoux - November 25, 2012
Thursday, November 22, 2012
The Six-Plant Loophole
|A single plant producing multiple buds.|
Opinion by Gerald Trumbule
Disclaimer: I am not an expert in anything; not a lawyer, not a chemist, not a farmer. What follows is my non-expert opinion, which is not intended to be advice.
Colorado's new Amendment 64 (A64) contains the following:
(3) Personal use of marijuana. NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER PROVISION OF LAW, THE FOLLOWING ACTS ARE NOT UNLAWFUL AND SHALL NOT BE AN OFFENSE UNDER COLORADO LAW OR THE LAW OF ANY LOCALITY WITHIN COLORADO OR BE A BASIS FOR SEIZURE OR FORFEITURE OF ASSETS UNDER COLORADO LAW FOR PERSONS TWENTY-ONE YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER:
(a) POSSESSING, USING, DISPLAYING, PURCHASING, OR TRANSPORTING MARIJUANA ACCESSORIES OR ONE OUNCE OR LESS OF MARIJUANA.
(b) POSSESSING, GROWING, PROCESSING, OR TRANSPORTING NO MORE THAN SIX MARIJUANA PLANTS, WITH THREE OR FEWER BEING MATURE, FLOWERING PLANTS, AND POSSESSION OF THE MARIJUANA PRODUCED BY THE PLANTS ON THE PREMISES WHERE THE PLANTS WERE GROWN, PROVIDED THAT THE GROWING TAKES PLACE IN AN ENCLOSED, LOCKED SPACE, IS NOT CONDUCTED OPENLY OR PUBLICLY, AND IS NOT MADE AVAILABLE FOR SALE.
(c) TRANSFER OF ONE OUNCE OR LESS OF MARIJUANA WITHOUT REMUNERATION TO A PERSON WHO IS TWENTY-ONE YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER.
(d) CONSUMPTION OF MARIJUANA, PROVIDED THAT NOTHING IN THIS SECTION SHALL PERMIT CONSUMPTION THAT IS CONDUCTED OPENLY AND PUBLICLY OR IN A MANNER THAT ENDANGERS OTHERS.
(e) ASSISTING ANOTHER PERSON WHO IS TWENTY-ONE YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER IN ANY OF THE ACTS DESCRIBED IN PARAGRAPHS (a) THROUGH (d) OF THIS SUBSECTION.
I have a friend (with a Medical Marijuana red-card license) who has allowed me to document his "grow" over the past two summers. He grows his pot in his back yard, outdoors, which has a six-foot wooden fence around it, with a locked gate, and which is not visible from the alley or street. He believes that he is in compliance with the MMJ rules and will be in compliance with A64. He uses various commercial plant additives to enhance his grow.
He buys clones from a MMJ dispensary in the early spring, when they are about 1-ft tall, at a cost of $10 each. Last year his harvest from the six plants, after separating the buds from the stalk and extraneous leaves, was 15 pounds, or 240 ounces. This was greatly in excess of what he uses himself, so he gave a lot of it away.
This year his plants grew very well, (4 of the 6 were over 6ft tall) and after harvest he decided to process the raw plant into a more condensed form. He purchased a set of micro-fiber bags and used a dry-ice separation technique (Google: bubble hash). This technique separates the resin glands (trichomes) from the plant material and yields a fine powder (kief), which is where the THC and other cannabinoids reside. His yield this year from the 6 plants was 400 grams of kief. He says this "shit" is really "kick-ass". His own use is less that 1 gram/week, so he plans to give a lot of it away.
Let's assume that marijuana is like everything else, subject to the law of supply and demand. My thesis here is that if 1 out of 5 pot users grows and gives away his excess, the price of this product sold on the open market should fall to near zero. In other words, marijuana, a weed, will be worth what a weed should be worth, nearly nothing. See this article on The Production Cost of Marijuana. This will remove the financial incentive, both criminal and commercial.
In Colorado, pot will eventually be free, and tax free. Of course, various "value-added" businesses, such as Amsterdam-style coffee shops, may be created. Maybe it will be used as a give-away. "Stop by to pick up your free ounce of pot with every lube job."
1. My friend doesn't distinguish between "flowering" and "non-flowering". A64 does, although it does not define "flowering". It is hard to imagine the State having enough inspectors to tramp around through all of the (unregistered) citizen growers backyards checking to see if and when a weed flowers. I'm not even sure that an un-pollinated plant can even produce a "flower".
2. Paragraph (e) states (e) ASSISTING ANOTHER PERSON WHO IS TWENTY-ONE YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER IN ANY OF THE ACTS DESCRIBED IN PARAGRAPHS (a) THROUGH (d) OF THIS SUBSECTION.
Does this mean that my friend can host his friends growing their 6 plants in his back yard? If he has 10 friends can he grow 60 plants?
3. My friend has only one growing season per year. If he had an indoor-grow room, I'm assuming he could have at least 4 seasons per year, and 4 times as much to give away.
4. All of the discussion above ignores the role that the Federal government will play in this unfolding drama. Time will tell, but it is hard to imagine any Federal force large enough to enforce the old rules.
Then again, I did have Federal agents pay me a visit back in the '60s when I refused to pay the new "telephone" tax used to subsidize the bombing of Vietnamese citizens. I owed $1.64 and they sent two agents. As they were leaving with my check for $1.64, one told me that Nixon wanted this tax collected "no matter what the cost". He said it was costing about $100 for every $1 collected. Proof that there is no telling what lengths an irrational government will go to enforce an irrational policy.
Update 11/25/12 from the Denver Post:
For instance, the measure gives individuals the constitutional right to grow up to six marijuana plants and keep all of the harvest from those plants without fear of state prosecution. There are no limits on how big the plants can be, Corry said. The measure also allows people to join together to grow marijuana — meaning people could form large-scale cooperatives that produce marijuana by the pound without needing a license so long as none of the marijuana is sold, Corry said.
And, because the measure prohibits marijuana use only that is done "openly and publicly or in a manner that endangers others," Corry said private businesses will be able to allow marijuana smoking on site.
"You can have an Amsterdam-style private coffee shop," Corry said at Tuesday's forum.
Monday, November 19, 2012
What's up with Scott Gessler, Colorado's Colorful Secretary of State?
|Photo - Kathleen Lavine - Denver Business Journal|
Do you follow the activities of our Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler? If so, you know he is quite a colorful guy. No, seriously, his face is said to turn various colors when he gets emotional, i.e. angry. Not that there is anything wrong with that. Just another form of body language.
Now, he's slashing fees like a bush-whacker in the thicket. How can he do this when other agencies are raising fees, in some cases drastically, citing rising agency costs?
I'm not beyond imagining a few hypotheses: Is he trying to prove that he can do anything he wants in the SoS office? Is this for publicity? Did he really get such savings that he can cut fees by 99% and still run the his office (did he run projections or audits)? Will this create an amazing jobs-boosting bump?
I had heard that he wanted to spend $700,000 on a new elections software package. He says he's putting more stuff online. I don't know if these are related to the great fee-slashing or not, but maybe he can explain his magic to the other fee-raising departments.
Text of Colorado Amendment 64 as enacted
(a) IN THE INTEREST OF THE EFFICIENT USE OF LAW ENFORCEMENT RESOURCES, ENHANCING REVENUE FOR PUBLIC PURPOSES, AND INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM, THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF COLORADO FIND AND DECLARE THAT THE USE OF MARIJUANA SHOULD BE LEGAL FOR PERSONS TWENTY-ONE YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER AND TAXED IN A MANNER SIMILAR TO ALCOHOL.
(b) IN THE INTEREST OF THE HEALTH AND PUBLIC SAFETY OF OUR CITIZENRY, THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF COLORADO FURTHER FIND AND DECLARE THAT MARIJUANA SHOULD BE REGULATED IN A MANNER SIMILAR TO ALCOHOL SO THAT:
(I) INDIVIDUALS WILL HAVE TO SHOW PROOF OF AGE BEFORE PURCHASING MARIJUANA;
(II) SELLING, DISTRIBUTING, OR TRANSFERRING MARIJUANA TO MINORS AND OTHER INDIVIDUALS UNDER THE AGE OF TWENTY-ONE SHALL REMAIN ILLEGAL;
(III) DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF MARIJUANA SHALL REMAIN ILLEGAL;
(IV) LEGITIMATE, TAXPAYING BUSINESS PEOPLE, AND NOT CRIMINAL ACTORS, WILL CONDUCT SALES OF MARIJUANA; AND
(V) MARIJUANA SOLD IN THIS STATE WILL BE LABELED AND SUBJECT TO ADDITIONAL REGULATIONS TO ENSURE THAT CONSUMERS ARE INFORMED AND PROTECTED.
(c) IN THE INTEREST OF ENACTING RATIONAL POLICIES FOR THE TREATMENT OF ALL VARIATIONS OF THE CANNABIS PLANT, THE PEOPLE OF COLORADO FURTHER FIND AND DECLARE THAT INDUSTRIAL HEMP SHOULD BE REGULATED SEPARATELY FROM STRAINS OF CANNABIS WITH HIGHER DELTA-9 TETRAHYDROCANNABINOL (THC) CONCENTRATIONS.
(d) THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF COLORADO FURTHER FIND AND DECLARE THAT IT IS NECESSARY TO ENSURE CONSISTENCY AND FAIRNESS IN THE APPLICATION OF THIS SECTION THROUGHOUT THE STATE AND THAT, THEREFORE, THE MATTERS ADDRESSED BY THIS SECTION ARE, EXCEPT AS SPECIFIED HEREIN, MATTERS OF STATEWIDE CONCERN.
HUD funding list in Denver
- The FAX Partnership.
- Federal Boulevard Partnership.
- Five Points Business District.
- NEWSED Community Development Corp.
- Rocky Mountain MicroFinance Institute.
- West 38th Avenue Merchants Association.
- West Colfax Business Improvement District (joint project with The FAX Partnership.)
- West Community Economic Development Corp.
- Brothers Redevelopment.
- Colorado Coalition for the Homeless.
- Colorado Health Network/Denver Colorado AIDS Project.
- Colorado Housing Assistance Corp.
- Community Housing Services, Inc.
- Denver Housing Authority.
- Denver Urban Renewal Authority.
- Empowerment Program
- Northeast Denver Housing Center, Del Norte Neighborhood Development Corporation and NEWSED.
- Visiting Nurse Association.
- Bayaud Enterprises
- Beacon Neighborhood Centers at Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver.
- Colorado Nonprofit Development Center (El Sistema Colorado.
- Denver Housing Authority.
- Denver Urban Gardens.
- Environmental Learning for Kids.
- Focus Points Family Resource Center.
- Girls Incorporated of Metro Denver.
- Groundwork Denver.
- Hunger Free Colorado.
- Metro CareRing.
- Mile High United Way.
- Southwest Improvement Council.
- Urban Land Conservancy.
- Urban Peak.
- West Colfax Business Improvement District.
Sunday, November 18, 2012
All Things MJ with Jessica LeRoux - November 18, 2012
I've had a few reporters call me this week in the wake of the election... and all three major publications that contacted me asked the same 20 minutes of questions... then when they figured out that I was not selling a souped up story of get rich quick, they started asking the same question... "who do you know in the industry, whom stands to profit from 64?" Apparently actual truth about my 4 years as a legal MMJ business owner do not match the redundant green rush story they had already imagined writing, and they needed another source... I'd say these callers were pretty good fiction authors, but hardly journalists...
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
No more email to Hickenlooper (use his website instead)
from a correspondent:
Gentlemen: I learned today that our beloved Governor has no email to which anything can be sent. I was told he just gets too much to have an email address so you have to submit your comments, questions or requests through his website. Thank you Governor 311. As of yet he has not implemented a State 311, so the I asked the State employee if I could send the email to him, and then he could print it out and give it to the Governor. Nope, even the Office of "Constituent Services" doesn't have an email either. Geesh.
Monday, November 12, 2012
Tax increase dangerous to homeowners and small businesses
- Walkabout - November 24, 2012
- Citizens Document Prairie Dog Poison on Playground...
- City officials try to quiet opposition to park dea...
- All Things MJ with Jessica LeRoux - November 25, 2...
- The Six-Plant Loophole
- What's up with Scott Gessler, Colorado's Colorful ...
- Text of Colorado Amendment 64 as enacted
- HUD funding list in Denver
- All Things MJ with Jessica LeRoux - November 18, 2...
- No more email to Hickenlooper (use his website ins...
- Tax increase dangerous to homeowners and small bus...
- Congrats to Dean Ormiston, Baca County's New Commi...
- No Denver Ballpark Garage
- All Things MMJ with Jessica LeRoux - November 10, ...
- Take a survey, get a free week
- Parks Board delays vote, seeks more information
- Our guy - Sen. Mike Johnston - District 33
- NUNS ON THE BUS TOUR
- All Things MMJ with Jessica LeRoux - November 4, 2...
- Stabbing at 13th and Pennsylvania
- City-School Property Trade Questionable
- Report on Land Swap Deal Meeting
- The senior director of bonds and construction at D...
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