Denver Direct: April 2012
Monday, April 30, 2012
Saturday, April 28, 2012
at 9:28 AM
Thursday, April 26, 2012
With this in-depth look at homelessness on the Mall, Westword once again distinguishes itself as Denver's best news source.
Today I'm housed and sober, but I still don't get why any homeless person would bother with downtown. So last Monday night, I packed my bag and a thermos of coffee and headed for the 16th Street Mall, ground zero in this city's fight over "urban camping" — an odd term to describe a practice that has historically never involved a single s'mores cookout. A proposal to ban urban camping — and so to ban the homeless from sleeping on the mall and in any other public spots that aren't already off limits — is grinding its way through the machinations of bureaucracy toward a vote next month. It's already been the subject of endless discussion, but one group has been conspicuously absent from the proceedings: the homeless themselves.
at 10:06 AM
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Press release from www.GoTheBetterWay.org
State Senator, Betty Boyd and Jeffco Commissioner, Don Rosier have officially pulled their half-baked “BEEP” Act bill from the Colorado Legislature. Take a moment to celebrate, but we can guarantee they will be back in the fall. This bill failed because it got started too late to gain support, not to mention the bill was a gross overreach.
The bill’s intention was to create yet another layer of government that had ultimate powers over the governor and the legislature to push eminent domain, meaning they could take private and public property (including schools and parks) to build private toll roads. While the bill was written to apply to everyone throughout the state, this is an obvious effort to push a toll road through Golden. Anyone who says the Jefferson toll road will have no affect Golden is probably naive.
at 2:52 PM
This bill (pdf) appropriates $25,000 to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment for the study of the effectiveness of using the hemp plant to remove contaminants (heavy metals) from the soil. Hemp (and tobacco) are already known to have this ability, so it will be interesting to see what results the CDPHE gets (if it passes the Senate).
It is not clear to me what happens to the hemp loaded up with plutonium (or whatever was in the soil) after harvest. Is it dangerous to handle or process into clothes? Can it be safely destroyed? It only takes breathing in one molecule of plutonium to start lung cancer.
at 11:31 AM
Saturday, April 21, 2012
Reports are coming in about individuals who approach neighbors in their yard or at grocery stores to solicit a few dollars under the guise of family emergency or as a stranded tourist.
On Thursday, (two days ago, one Skyland neighbor gave $16 to a woman who claimed to live in the neighborhood. She said her husband was out of town and she needed to buy a nebulizer for her son. Once she received the money, she jumped in a van and took off. (older green van, Chevy, woman was Hispanic, American accent, no description of driver.)
Last year several elder neighbors were kidnapped in their cars and the crooks attempted by threat and force to go to their banks to withdraw money.
Reports about these con artists show that these people are coming in all shapes and sizes. Men, women, all ages, all colors, often with fake accents.. Always the story is similar;, they have a hardship and claim that they live in the area.
DO NOT LET ANY STRANGER INTO YOU HOME OR YOUR CAR.
Even if they say they live in the neighborhood, keep your doors locked, speak to these people through the glass of your window or door. Direct them to get help at the fire station on Steele / MLK or offer to call the police for them if their need is great.
(I put one of them to work, weeding in my yard last year before I would give her money. She kept wanting to get into my home – changing her story and trying all sorts of excuses, even that she had to use the bathroom for ‘feminine reasons’. I refused and directed her to the Fire Station. No other person came to my door all summer after that! I suspect many of these con-artists work in a gang – like the Irish travelers with their roofing and driveway scams.)
at 5:03 PM
Friday, April 20, 2012
Saturday, April 21, 2012 - 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Join your fellow House District 8 Democrats
Elected officials, and host
Loyola Catholic Church, 23rd Ave & York St.
Doors open 6:00, dinner and program at 6:30
Adults: $20 (includes glass of wine) – Seniors & Kids: $10
Tickets: email email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
* * * * * * *
Elected officials, and host
Doors open 6:00, dinner and program at 6:30
Tickets: email email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
at 7:21 AM
Thursday, April 19, 2012
Drug sales have been picking up a lot in our neighborhood. In case you haven’t noticed, the people milling around on Vine Street are probably waiting for their drug dealer to show up. Vehicle activity has been ongoing at the 16th and 18th intersections, the parking lot of 1733 and the bench at 1741. That person walking up and down, checking traffic in all directions and probably using their cell phone every few minutes is anxious about their fix showing up and usually runs to the car that finally shows up, or yours if you slow down. Cars with people sitting in them for 15 -30 minutes at a time are probably waiting for their fix also. It’s obvious when they get out their car, into another car to buy and then back to their own car to leave the neighborhood. The three drop off vehicles I know of are a black Escalade, a dark green 4 door Mazda and a champagne colored Escalade with pink breast cancer plates.
Hand to hand and vehicle sales are obvious on the 15 block of High street if you pay attention, especially weekends when the businesses and Gathering Place are closed.
It's spring, drugs are in the air and more are coming from the west. Anything you can do to help is appreciated.
Craig A. Demmon, AIA
at 3:10 PM
Rep. Wes McKinley's (D) District 64 (Cokedale), bill (HB 12-1109) proposing to reduce all Colorado departmental employee's salary by 7.9% in order to fund education ($198 million toward a $1-4 billion shortfall) stirred up animosities at the Appropriations Committee hearing on Tuesday morning at 7:30 am, April 17, 2012. Read the bill and its fiscal impact.
Funding education in Colorado has always been a problem, but the recent Lobato decision has thrown a billion dollar judicial monkey wrench into the works. If you are not familiar with the Lobato decision, I suggest you go here first to understand the big picture before you watch the vidie, and here for a written summary of this Committee hearing
Aside: The vidie is 50 minutes long and unedited. I spent a day editing it in an effort to get it down to an acceptable size, which for YouTube is about 10 minutes, but it is so packed with drama that I finally decided just to upload the whole thing. I'll give you some marker points to skip to if you want just the highlights. If you drag the pointer along the timeline below the picture you can find the time mark and start there.
Despite the repeated emotional attacks (2:14)(21:30) of Rep. Cheri Gerou, (R) District 25 (Jefferson county), McKinley, the Zen cowboy of southeast Colorado, remains calm and resolute (0:59)(33:10). After all, he reasons, if we don't have enough money to fund education, we are going to have to cut something else, and McKinley's "we are all going to have to bleed a little" (49:00) spreads the pain across all State employee's making more than $50,000 (if amended- L002).
Rep. Jerry Sonnenberg (R) District 65 (Sterling) then takes Gerou to task for attacking McKinley (24:33).
It is the childish behavior of the so-called House minority "leader" Rep. Mark Ferrandino (D), District 2, south-central Denver, to which I would call your attention.
Ferrandino acts like an immature, petulant nerd with the arrogance of petty power. He first tries to send the bill to oblivion with a substitute motion to PI (postpone indefinitely) the bill (36:15). That fails on a 7-6 vote. Then, saying he wasn't going to say anything (50:12), he lets loose with his own emotional tirade, eventually accusing McKinley of lying. After he speaks, his eyes dart furtively around the room, trying to assess the effect of his words. During the final vote, apparently disgusted, he dramatically leaves the room as the vote is being taken, passing 7-6 and headed for the House floor.
It is fortunate that the high school students from Trinidad High, Elliana Hillhouse, Jeana Hoffpauir, and Cody Johnson, testifying (4:57) that their school has 10 year-old computers, a chemistry lab not updated since the 1970s, and has been forced to lay off teachers, were exposed to the immature bickering of their legislative elders. They are the future, as Elliana said, and maybe they will be inspired by this experience. Or maybe not.
at 11:42 AM
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Over the weekend, a burglary / sex assault occurred in the Northeast Park Hill Neighborhood. The general area is north of Martin Luther King BLVD, between Colorado BLVD and Holly ST. The suspect is described as a black male, 20-29 years of age, about 5-10, 180-190 lbs, scruffy beard, dark sweat pants and sweat top with hoody, with unknown writing on the back area.
This incident is being actively investigated by the Denver Police, and is of utmost priority to the assigned detectives and the area officers.
We are asking residents in the area to keep their doors and windows locked as a precaution.
Denver Police Department
at 5:46 AM
Monday, April 16, 2012
at 9:26 AM
Sunday, April 15, 2012
City-wide Denver Neighborhood Organization Votes, Asks City Council to Delay Vote to Arrest “Occupiers” and the Homeless
at 8:30 PM
Over the past month, my internet speed seemed to be slowly decreasing. I noticed it first with streaming video and YouTube clips. More buffering and less playing. At first I concentrated on the video aspect of the problem, but eventually I started measuring the actual internet speed (www.speedtest.net). The "advertised" rate is 1.5 Mbps (mega-bits-per-second), I was coming in at around .5 Mbps as my download speed. Not good.
|Customer Service closed on the weekends|
I finally got around to calling CenturyLink, (formerly Qwest, formerly Mountain Bell) my "service" provider. It took two days and 5 telephone calls, but finally, yesterday (Saturday) I was able to get a CenturyLink operator (thanks Debbie) that 1) I could understand, and 2) stuck with me for the arduous task of re-programming my modem (PK5000), rebooting, etc. and the use of www.speedtest.qwest.net so that she could see the results of my speed test. Conclusion: new modem is needed. Solution: I will have to call Customer Service on Monday to ask them for a new modem to be sent out. Why wait 'til Monday? Because customer service is not open on the weekends. Couldn't she order it for me internally and save me the call? No, she didn't have the authority to do that. Would there be a cost to me? She couldn't say.
at 9:51 AM
Friday, April 13, 2012
from Press Release
Is it Pot, or Is it Not?
Join Us on 4/20 for a Legal Protest Against Marijuana Prohibition
University Needs Reminding that it is a Place for Free Exchange of Ideas and The First Amendment Still Exists
Gonzo urges his followers to join him on 4/20 for the annual marijuana prohibition protest at the University of Colorado in Boulder and to partake in "Gonzo First Amendment Weed", symbolic marijuana made of legal weeds. 4/20 has for years been an international day of protest against marijuana prohibition. This year, the University of Colorado, formerly an institution of learning and tolerance, has become an institution for brainwashing and coercing compliant future workers.
at 5:41 PM
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
at 12:20 PM
Monday, April 9, 2012
Time: 5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Where: National Western Club
National Western Complex
4655 Humboldt St.
Denver, CO 80216
Lord Monckton loves visiting with people one on one.
That's why the April 10th private reception is limited to 200 people.
Because we recognize this tough economy, the admittance fee is only $125 each.
If, when you are at the event you're inclined to contribute
more to help defray costs, that'd be wonderful, but isn't necessary.
We sincerely thank Chuck Sylvester, Kevin McNicolas, Steve Milloy (JunkScience)
and reception co-host Kay Deline, for making
Lord Monckton's appearance in Colorado possible.
Follow “Monckton's Tour of America” on
In this completely separate event, Monckton will join supporters at a
Private Gathering the evening of April 10th.
A $125 contribution will secure your one on one with Lord Monckton;
and if you'd like, recognition on www.LandAndWaterUSA.com
Please make your reservations today, as space is limited to the first 200.
Confirm on www.LandAndWaterUSA.com
Land And Water USA P.O. Box 155 LaSalle, CO 80645
Please show your support for Colorado Agriculture by joining
Chuck Sylvester (Retired GM of the National Western Livestock Show and Rodeo),
Kay Deline, Land and Water USA and Steve Milloy JunkScience.com.
c/o Brooks's, St. James's Street, London SW1A 1LN
at 1:55 PM
House of Representatives
- Rep. B J Nikkel (R-49), State Chairman
- Rep. Larry G. Liston (R-16); Commerce, Insurance and Economic Development Task Force
- Rep. Robert S. Gardner (R-21); Civil Justice Task Force
- Rep. Mark Waller (R-15); Civil Justice Task Force and Telecommunications and Information Technology Task Force
- Rep. Cindy Acree (R-40); Health and Human Services Task Force
- Rep. Kenneth Summers (R-22); Health and Human Services Task Force
- Rep. Carole R. Murray (R-45); Education Task Force
- Rep. Frank McNulty (R-43); Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force
- Rep. Cheri Gerou (R-25); Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force
- Rep. Kent Lambert (R-14)
- Sen. Bill Cadman (R-10), State Chairman; Civil Justice Task Force
- Sen. Nancy Spence (R-27), former co-chair, Education Task Force; Education Task Force
- Sen. Steve King (R-7)
- Sen. Keith C. King (R-12); Education Task Force
- Sen. Scott W. Renfroe (R-13); Commerce, Insurance and Economic Development Task Force
- Sen. Mike Kopp (R-22); Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force
- Sen. Kevin Lundberg (R-15); Health and Human Services Task Force
- Sen. Greg Brophy (R-1); Public Safety and Elections Task Force
at 11:41 AM
at 9:01 AM
Saturday, April 7, 2012
by Dave Felice
Keep Parks for People, not Profit
The Denver Parks and Recreation Advisory Board (PRAB) holds two important public hearings on Thursday, April 12. The first hearing is for a request to allow sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages at Ruby Hill Park. The original designation of Ruby Hill as a special events site makes no provision for alcoholic beverages.
Proponents, including event promoters, argue that alcohol sales are necessary to recoup the costs of events, are "part of the overall package" and "an essential part of the experience" of park events.
The Greenway Foundation proposes a free public concert at which alcoholic beverages can be sold and consumed. Swallow Hill Music Association contemplates closing a portion of the park and requiring an admission fee for entrance into the closed area where beer and wine would be sold.
at 10:55 PM
Friday, April 6, 2012
|Figure 4 - Equipment not protected
from people or object
Dennis Gallagher, Denver's astute City Auditor, has opened the lid on Denver's seriously lacking Information Technology department. You can download the report here (pdf), or you can read it online here. Photos and quotes that follow are from the report.
...We found conditions indicating that the City has weak information security awareness and is lacking strong leadership and authority for information security governance.
As an illustration of this issue, for almost half of the eighteen sites we sampled throughout the City, we identified one or more of the following conditions: Network equipment is not physically protected from access by the general public, Network equipment is mounted precariously or not protected from contact with people or objects, The general public has inappropriate access to portions of the City’s internal data network
Door to equipment room open, no lock.
Additionally, we found the following conditions that inhibit the ability to ensure the confidentially, integrity, and availability of City business systems: Network equipment is installed in environmentally harsh conditions without temperature monitoring or regulation, and subject to adverse and extreme temperature ranges, Audible alarms signaling temperatures out of tolerance within equipment rooms are not monitored, Computers are installed with access to sensitive networks in areas allowing direct physical access to hardware by prisoners incarcerated by the City and County of Denver Prisoners are allowed physical access to alter computer configuration settings Prisoners are allowed to make to make unauthorized access attempts to the Internet which results in continuous system maintenance and configuration corrections (emphasis added), Areas where network equipment is received, tested, and configured are open to the general public, Network monitoring software is accessible by any internal user, Wireless access points are not installed for optimal performance.
at 4:03 PM
I appreciate you sharing your concerns on this important issue. Resident safety is one of the foundational issues to any community, people must feel safe to want to live and work in our communities. Large numbers of individuals living on our streets does impact quality of life for other residents. But our concern for safety must also include consideration for those who are on the streets.
And as we discuss the issue of homelessness, we cannot ignore one of the root causes – a severe lack of affordable housing. A recent estimate showed Denver has a shortage of at least 27,000 affordable rental units given our population and the jobs/wages in our city. Ultimately, housing is the cure for most homelessness, and for many years I’ve worked to support more mixed income housing for low-wage workers, seniors and disabled populations. This continues to be one of my office’s highest priorities, with the greatest potential to make a difference on homelessness.
So it’s important to keep the eye on the cure to the issue. But treating the symptoms matters too, and there are a percentage of homeless individuals facing challenges beyond affordability of housing. There are a number of methods to decrease street-homelessness that Denver has not tried: 1) a true 24 hour shelter that never closes and allows individuals to sleep/rest and get services at all hours of all days, 2) improved shelter conditions/criteria so fewer folks are excluded – such as allowing couples to enter together, permitting those under the influence of a substance but not misbehaving, etc. 3) more shelter beds distributed to new areas where shelters are not currently concentrated, and 4) increased comprehensive mental health/substance abuse treatment which is going to become more possible in 2014 with health care reform, but could be expanded now with greater local resources dedicated. It is my strong belief that until Denver implements these practices we won’t have success through a law enforcement approach.
In terms of the proposed ordinance, we are still waiting to see what additional resources, if any, are being proposed to be paired with the ordinance. It is constitutionally questionable for us to arrest an individual for using a blanket on the street if there is no alternative – no shelter space for which that person is eligible, or if they are number 200 on a waiting list for treatment. So I’ll be looking at that issue closely.
I recognize the quality of life concerns that motivated this ordinance, and I will advocate for the approaches above as a better and more proven method for reducing the impacts while staying within the guidelines of the constitution and protecting the safety of those who are homeless with no other options.
Councilwoman Robin Kniech
at 9:19 AM
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- Burglary Sex Assault in Northeast Park Hill
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