Showing posts with label Denver. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Denver. Show all posts

Monday, August 24, 2015


Dave Taylor, the retired geologist who predicted the EPA project that caused the massive 3 million toxic spill in Colorado on August 5 would fail, says the EPA employees who caused the spill should be fired as soon as possible.

In a second letter to the editor published in the Silverton Standard on Thursday, Taylorwrote:
When I wrote my Letter to the Editor, published July 30, 2015, I warned of potential problems with the EPA’s Red and Bonita mine plugging scheme. At the time, I had no idea that the EPA could be so incredibly incompetent as to cause the failure of the Gold King Mine plug. Breaching the plug, August 5, 2015, resulted in a catastrophic deluge of 3 million gallons of contaminated water and mine waste that flowed down Cement Creek to the Animas River.
“In my opinion,” Taylor continued, “the EPA employees responsible for the breach should be held accountable and fired ASAP.”
“But of course, that probably won’t happen. Following the VA investigation, which took many months, only one employee was fired,” Taylor noted.
“Where is Donald Trump when you need him?” Taylor asked rhetorically.
“You’re fired!” Taylor added, indicating the message he wanted Trump to send to the EPA employees responsible for the breach.
“In the mining business, one must have the attitude that all accidents are preventable and prepare accordingly,” Taylor wrote.
“Obviously, the EPA was over confident and didn’t take the time to stand back, evaluate and think about how much water was upstream of the plug, what the hydrostatic pressure might be and what could happen if the plug was disturbed,” the retired geologist added.
“Over the years, I have worked on similar delicate projects. I always thought out my most effective Plan ‘A’ and subsequent additional back-up Plans ‘B,’ ‘C’ and ‘D’ just in case ‘Murphy’s Law’ came into play,” he noted.
“I don’t think the EPA even thought about a back-up plan, afterall, they are geniuses and could never make a mistake!” Taylor commented.
“The EPA is going to be covered up with follow-up testing, lawsuits and clean-up efforts,” Taylor predicted.
Taylor just might see Trump follow his recommendation about the firing of EPA employees responsible for the August 5 spill.
On August 13, eight days after the spill, GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump toldtalk radio host Hugh Hewitt, “[t]his is all the more example why EPA, we should do it locally. We shouldn’t be doing it from Washington.”
“Often times for a thing like this, you have to just get rid of them [the bureaucrats in charge],” Trump added. That would presumably include EPA administrator Gina McCarthy, who visited Colorado earlier this month but didn’t go to see the site of the spill.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

DENVER: RTD accused of double standard on ‘issue’ ads

DENVER — The operators of Denver’s bus and rail system are now under fire for “fact-checking” certain free speech and political ads while leaving others alone.
Before Republicans were allowed to run a political message on the side of a Denver bus, the Regional Transportation District in Denver asked for edits, citing its policy on “false, misleading, or deceptive” advertising.
When a pair of animal rights groups wanted to run political messages on the side of Denver buses, RTD again asked for edits, making certain all the facts checked out. One of the recommendations was so drastic, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) walked away without buying the space.
When a pro-Palestinian group wanted to run ads on the side of a Denver bus accusing Israel of war crimes and apartheid, RTD approved the message with no edits – except to change the color of a banner from red to yellow.
A months-long FOX31 Denver Problem Solvers investigation into how RTD makes decisions about issue advertisements uncovered a string of inconsistent decisions seemingly at odds with its written policy.
FOX31 Problem Solvers used Colorado Open Records laws to examine why RTD waived forward a controversial Anti-Israel ad while denying proposed campaigns submitted by Republicans and animal rights groups.
Investigative Reporter Chris Halsne found what appeared to be an uneven playing field.
When it comes to what messages get onto the side of a bus RTD’s written policy is simple.
They won’t accept ads for commercial products that are obscene or that pitch an illegal product and for “issue ads” RTD will not display anything false, misleading, or deceptive.
Late last year, pro-Palestinian groups made a splash around Denver buying bus ads implying Israel is guilty of war crimes and sending visitors to a website about “ethnic cleansing.”
RTD took the money then went on the defensive putting out a press release saying in part “political type-ads” are a “public forum” which there are “very limited controls.”
RTD spokesperson, Scott Reed told Halsne during a recent video interview, “You end up in a situation where you don’t like the ad, you don’t necessarily agree with it, but because of the fact it’s politically protected free speech it must be allowed to run otherwise it will result in a legal challenge.”
However, public records sought and obtained by FOX31 Problem Solvers show while RTD found nothing deceptive about the war crimes ad it had no troubles flagging, denying, and editing some other issue advertisements.
For example, FOX31 Denver uncovered a string of emails, contract changes, and other correspondence between the Colorado Citizens for Canine Welfare, RTD and RTD’s advertising partner, Lamar.
The records showed RTD intervened to “deny,” editorialize, then change the images and words on the canine group’s proposed bus billboard messages.
President of Colorado Citizens for Canine Welfare, Dr. Cheryl Saipe, says the group wanted a special ad placed on the back of twenty buses around Christmas 2013.
Records show RTD said no and stamped that version “denied.”
Halsne: “Did you think that your first submission was false or deceptive?”
Dr. Saipe:   “No.”
Halsne: “But RTD did?”
Dr. Saipe: “Well they didn’t use the word deception. I think they said you can’t prove that every pet shop sells only puppy mill dogs.”
Using its editorial control, RTD changed the ad to say no to puppy mill pet shops and online sellers – believing that was more accurate.
Saipe’s group was happy to add the words, but what was their alternative?
“We wanted an ad to get our message across about ending puppy mills by not buying dogs from pet stores or from the Internet,” said Dr. Saipe. “We’re new to this and I was just glad they would run it at all.”
Dr. Saipe added that RTD, despite the editorializing, treated them fairly, by allowing the ads to stay on some buses for a longer time period than listed on the contract.
Records show RTD also tried to change another animal rights ad. PETA wanted to buy bus backs saying, “Research shows livestock and poultry emissions cause more greenhouse gases than buses, cars and planes combined.”
RTD said no. Reed says the reason was simple: “They claim the study found certain things and that’s not what the study found.”
And, according to records obtained by FOX31 Problem Solvers, RTD thinks Boulder County Republicans got another ad wrong too.
The “BIG GOVERNMENT DEBT IS STEALING HER FUTURE!” message had a picture of a crying baby touting her share of the national debt at $150,000.
RTD did its own research and found that number was the amount owed by all taxpayers—and that babies don’t pay taxes. The debt number was lowered to $55,206 per citizen before being approved.
When FOX31 Denver shared its findings with Scott Levin, regional director of the local Anti-Defamation League, he was surprised. The ADL is a group that battles hateful content and anti-Semitism.
Levin says RTD had been publically defending its approval of the pro-Palestinian ad based on their inability to interfere with politically protected free speech.
Now, after seeing the other cases we’ve found of RTD making changes, he wonders.
Levin says, “There is no credible evidence that Israel has been involved in any ethnic cleansing or war crimes. If RTD is actually willing to evaluate, in these other campaigns, whether or not something is false, misleading or deceptive, it really ought to be doing it in this situation — to not do so is a double standard. Our belief is people are entitled to have bad speech. The way you overcome that is just with a lot more good speech, but if you’re going to establish a policy we want to make sure you apply it and apply it fairly.”
The Israeli War Crimes campaign was paid for by the Friends of Sabeel, Coloradans for Justice in Palestine and the Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign (SeaMAC).
The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a ruling March 18 of this year that a metro bus service in King County, Washington could “reject the ad” and “thus not violate the First Amendment.”
SeaMAC responded to an inquiry from FOX31 Denver, saying “Yes, the bus ad that ran in Denver is substantially the same as the ad that was first approved and accepted and then revoked in Seattle.”

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Obama Issues ‘Executive Actions’ To Put Solar Panels On Federally Subsidized Housing

U.S. President Barack Obama delivers remarks on clean energy after a tour of a solar power array at Hill Air Force Base, Utah April 3, 2015. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst The Obama administration is issuing a slew of executive orders to boost the solar panel industry, this time by pushing for more solar panels to be used at federally subsidized housing developments.
The White House announced a goal of getting 300 megawatts installed at federally subsidized housing all while providing technical and financial assistance to subsidized housing operators looking to go green. The administration also says it’s leveraged $520 million in “independent commitments from philanthropic and impact investors, states, and cities” to boost solar energy among the low income community.
“The executive actions and private sector commitments that we are announcing today will help continue to scale up solar for all Americans, including those who are renters, lack the startup capital to invest in solar, or do not have adequate information on how to transition to solar energy,” the White House said in a statement.
The move to push solar panel on federally-subsidized housing comes less than one month after Obama unveiled “executive actions” to “make information about energy and climate programs … accessible and more understandable to the public, including to mission-driven investors.” Obama also ordered the IRS to issue guidance on how groups could invest in green energy.
Obama’s latest orders also call for the creation of a “National Community Solar Partnership” to increase solar power access to low-income families that rent their homes or apartments and may not have enough rooftop space for a solar panel array. So-called “solar gardens” are a new way to finance solar panels across the country, but one that could increase costs and bring dubious benefits.
For example, Denver recently contracted with a solar company to have 16 city-operated buildings powered by solar energy from a community solar project. City officials heralded the deal as helping green up Denver, but there’s one caveat — there’s no guarantee solar power will actually come to your home or building.
What happens is that those who buy electricity from community solar projects simply get a credit on their electric bill to show they invested in solar. Yet, no solar panels are hooked up on site, instead power is generated on a solar farm somewhere else and that power is sent onto the grid.
Those looking to invest in solar will get utility credits, but there’s no guarantee that the solar power you finance will ever be used to meet your electrical needs.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

‘It’s heartbreaking:’ Denver school board members get a taste of Michelle O lunches

DENVER – School district administrators in Denver recently got a taste of what students have been complaining about: a school lunch with a cold chicken patty on a rock-hard burnt bun, frozen strawberries and a “really hard” pear.
That was the meal served to school board member Rosemary Rodriguez at Kepner Middle School in Denver May 12, after Kepner student Stephanie Torres took her complaints about the food to the school board, reports.
Aside from the unappetizing offerings, the cafeteria at Kepner ran out of at least one food item during the visit, which also included representatives from Padres & Jovenes Unidos – a social services organization.
“It’s heartbreaking,” Padres health justice organizer Monica Acosta said of the lunch prepared under federal food guidelines championed by first lady Michelle Obama. “That’s the type of food Kepner students have been having all year long.”
DenverlunchThe visit, however, did spur changes in Kepner’s cafeteria. Food workers now thaw the fruit, and no longer serve expired milk. School officials also plan to offer more choices in the future.
Kepner Middle School and others in the district have also experienced a wave of negative feedback on the “Breakfast after the Bell” program implemented in 2013. That program is also subject to food nutrition laws imposed on schools in the National School Lunch Program as part of Obama school food overhaul.
Since the new limits on calories, fat, sugar, sodium, whole wheat, and other nutritional elements went into effect in 2012, at least 1.2 million students nationwide have dropped out of the National School Lunch Program in favor of packed lunches from home.
The changes also spawned massive food waste – roughly $1 billion per year – because of regulations that stipulate that all students must receive a fruit or vegetable each day, which most simply toss in the trash.

The waste has been a serious problem in many school districts, one of many reasons hundreds of U.S. schools have ditched the National School Lunch Program to serve students food they’ll actually eat.
“We’re trying to waste less food,” Greater Johnstown School District board president Paul VanDenburgh recently told the Leader Herald.
The district removed its Jansen Avenue School from the federal lunch program effective June 30 over complaints about waste, as well as the tight nutrition restrictions that have run the school’s lunch program into the red.
Greater Johnstown superintendent Robert DeLilli told school board members in a recent meeting the plan is to see how the Jansen lunch program improves without the federal restrictions before considering the move for other schools, as well.
“It’s kind of like a pilot to see how it works,” he said, according to the Leader Herald. “We’ll wait and see how it goes.”
Other schools are turning to recommended recipes from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to help prepare nutritious and tasty foods under the federal rules, but a recent survey shows those recipes don’t seem to be much help.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Cities Raise Alarms Over EPA’s Surprise Hydrant Lead Rule

Philadelphia has 119 fire hydrants that cost about $2,000 each waiting in a warehouse to be installed, yet they sit high and dry because federal regulators say their fittings might taint drinking water with lead.
The City of Brotherly Love and communities across the U.S. face the specter of hundreds of millions of dollars in useless hydrants after a surprise ruling last month by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that requires fireplugs put in after Jan. 4 meet stricter standards for lead content, said Tom Curtis of the American Water Works Association in Denver. That means cities must scrap or retrofit inventory or buy hydrants and parts that some vendors aren’t even making yet.
Manufacturers and Curtis’s group, which represents utilities that serve about 80 percent of Americans, are urging the agency to reconsider or at least allow more time to comply. American Cast Iron Pipe Co., one of the largest hydrant makers, is seeing some customers delay or cancel orders.
“This delivers a huge cost and probably no health protection,” said Curtis, the water group’s deputy executive director. “It needs to be rethought.”
Mueller Water Products Inc. (MWA), an Atlanta-based company that says it is the largest U.S. hydrant maker, supports efforts to have fireplugs excluded from the EPA rule. It cited “no discernible health risk,” in a statement.
Hydrants pose little, if any, risk of long-term lead exposure because they are used to supply drinking water only on occasions such as a festival or when a main breaks, Curtis said by telephone from Washington.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Colorado Woman Who Championed Obamacare Loses Insurance Plan

CBS4's Shaun Boyd talks with Kathy Wagner (credit: CBS)DENVER (CBS4) - President Barack Obama is apologizing to Americans who are losing their current health insurance plans. Millions of people are getting cancellation notices, including about 250,000 Coloradans.
For years the president said that those who like their current plan would be able to keep it, but it turns out that’s not the case.
In order to comply with the Affordable Care Act insurance companies have had to cancel millions of policies, forcing people to find new, and in many cases, more expensive coverage on the exchange.
The Colorado Division of Insurance says 250,000 people in Colorado alone have lost their policies in the last few months.
Cathy Wagner says she isn’t political and has never written a lawmaker, much less the president, but with Obamacare she felt compelled.
“I really just wanted him to know … I was so hopeful that this plan was going to move us forward, but in fact I think it’s moving us backward,” Wagner said.
Wagner and her husband retired early. She was a nurse for 35 years and championed Obamacare, until she received a letter from her insurance company saying it was canceling her policy.
“I was really shocked … all of my hopes were sort of dashed,” Wagner said. “’Oh my gosh President Obama, this is not what we hoped for, it’s not what we were told.’ “
She was shocked further to learn that for the same coverage she would pay 35 percent more and have a higher deductible.
“Our premium for next year is going up to over $1,000 a month for two of us and we’re two fairly healthy individuals,” Wagner said.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Govt Shutdown May Have Pulled Plug on Solar-Development Bids

The nation’s first federally run auction for a chance to develop solar power projects on public lands was a bust – no one showed up for the bidding, and one expert speculated the government shutdown could have been to blame.

“We did not have any bidders come to the sale and we did not receive any sealed bids on the sale,” BLM spokeswoman Vanessa Lacavo told the Denver Business Journal Thursday.

She insisted the cold shoulder at the Lakeland, Colo., auction doesn’t spell the end of solar development on the land, however.

The auction offered private companies the first chance to bid on the opportunity to file development plans for solar power plants in Colorado’s “Solar Energy Zones” in Conejos and Saguache counties in San Luis Valley.

The parcels total 3,705 acres. If fully developed, the land could produce 400 megawatts of power, enough to support the needs of an estimated 125,000 homes, the business journal said.

“The BLM had received interest in developing the sites, that’s why we moved forward,” Lacavo said. “It’s hard to say why we didn’t have any bidders."

The agency said it scheduled the auction because, after trying to gauge interest from the private sector in March, it got nine applications and 27 inquiries and expressions of interest, the business journal reported.

"We will evaluate today's auction as we look at future opportunities to offer lands in Solar Energy Zones for development, both in Colorado and other Western states," the BLM said.

Alex Daue, the renewable energy associate in the Denver office of the Wilderness Society, told the business journal the 16-day government shutdown could have created enough uncertainty among companies that they didn’t submit bids for the parcels.

The shutdown began Oct. 1.

Via: Newsmax

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Friday, September 13, 2013

Colorado flood: "Wall of water" flattens out in Boulder

BOULDER, CO. - September 12: Kyle Schuler trudges through the water and mud as Cheryl Schuler is carried from her home by her husband Kim after being at their home on Upland Ave to salvage what they can when heavy overnight rains flooded 4 Mile Creek in Boulder September 12, 2013 Boulder, Colorado. (Photo By Joe Amon/The Denver Post)A "wall of water," predicted by the National Weather Service flattened out early Friday morning.
But the flash flood warning for Boulder County continues until 6 a.m. and more rain is expected during the night.
Separately, the NWS has also issued a flood emergency for the Big Thompson Canyon and the town of Loveland, as rain continued to fall there as well. NOAA reported that the Big Thompson River at Drake is more than 4 feet above its flood stage of 6 feet.
Larimer County officials, including Sheriff Justin Smith, warned residents of the Big Thompson Canyon on Twitter and other social media to seek higher ground and the weather service extended the flash flood warning until 8 a.m.
The NWS said in a statement that the floodwaters will continue to rise until sunrise. At 10.55 feet, the Big Thompson was running higher than it did during its deadly flood in 1976 — 9.3 feet.
Meanwhile, Fort Collins city officials closed bridges after a late-night surge on the Poudre River, after water began topping Seaman Reservoir in the Poudre Canyon. The city warned residents to stay clear of the river.
In Boulder, officials announced before midnight that they were tracking a large "wall of water, containing debris and vehicles," as it made its way down Emerson Gulch from the Fourmile burn area .
Gabi Boerkircher, a Boulder spokeswoman, said a drainage gulch at the edge of the Four Mile burn scar that was holding a large amount of water has burst, and released a 30-foot wall of water carrying debris including vehicles.
At 12:30 a.m. Boerkircher said the surge of water seemed to have flattened to between 6 and 7 feet deep. Shortly after that, spokeswoman Sarah Huntley told 7News that the flow in the creek had started to slow.
The surge of water knocked out area sensors monitoring the creek.
She said it is unknown if anybody has been trapped in that debris as it makes its way down to Boulder Canyon.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Obama Campaign Tries To Hold “Catholics For Obama” Rally In Colorado . . . Only 45 People Show Up…

.- The Obama campaign attempted to schedule a rally-like event on a Catholic university campus in the key swing state of Colorado before settling on a dialogue with a co-chair of Catholics for Obama.

“Their original intent was to have more of a rally element to it,” said Paul Alexander, director of Regis University's Institute for the Common Good, which hosted the event.

“We just felt we couldn’t do a rally, but we felt a healthy dialogue among Catholics was important.”

About 45 people attended the Oct. 25 dialogue and small group discussion with Catholics for Obama national co-chair Nicholas P. Cafardi, a law professor and dean emeritus of Duquesne University School of Law.

The event was titled “Catholic Social Teaching: The Intersection of Faith and Politics.” Although it was hosted by the Jesuit university’s institute, it took place because of outreach from the Obama campaign.

Alexander told CNA Oct 26 that another Catholics for Obama national co-chair by the name of Victoria Kovari, the “main point of contact,” had sought out the university and asked if it would be willing to host an event.

Kovari is a former national field director and former interim president of the Democrat-leaning group Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good.

She attended the Denver event along with Broderick Johnson, a senior advisor to the Obama campaign.

At the Thursday evening gathering, Alexander said that the campaign had reached out to schedule the event, but had set no conditions on the talk.

“There was a strict adherence to bring a message that is totally non-political,” he said.

Via: Catholic News Agency

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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Obama's Failed 2012 Campaign Strategy

It was all going so perfectly for President Barack Obama.
He had painted his opponent, former Gov. Mitt Romney, as an out-of-touch rich guy with elevators for his wife's multiple Cadillacs and bank accounts throughout the Caribbean. Romney had no plan—or at least none he was willing to discuss with voters. He was bellicose and callow on foreign policy. And The Groups—women, Hispanics, African-Americans, union members, public employees— were lined up so solidly behind the president he absolutely could not lose.
And then, on October 3 at about 9:04 p.m., Romney took to the stage in Denver and reset the campaign. He was not out of touch at all. He made sense. He had solid ideas, a sense of hope. He connected. He laughed. He seemed confident. The president looked down at his notes. He came across as not wanting to be there. He offered little reason to give him another term.
That night was followed closely by Vice President Joe Biden's neighing, braying debate performance—an effort only a deeply partisan Democrat could've loved. Then there was the Al Smith Dinner, where Romney seemed uncommonly gracious, sensible, and downright funny.
The cascade of cognitive dissonance these Romney appearances unleashed on the nation were like the waves slashing the coast because of Hurricane Sandy. They destroyed the landscape in their path and left something decidedly different, something Democrats now recognize as a true and serious threat to the president's re-election hopes. He can lose, and they know it.
And if Obama does, if he becomes only the sixth president in the last 100 years to lose re-election, he will have no one to blame but himself. He created a Romney so far removed from the real Romney that when voters saw the real Romney they realized they had been had. And voters don't like to be had.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Colorado “Democrat Of The Year” Convicted Of Stealing From Elderly Blind Woman With Cerebral Palsy…

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)- The woman named “Democrat of The Year” this year by the Jefferson County Democratic Party has been convicted of felony theft by a Jefferson County jury for stealing from a developmentally disabled 71-year-old woman.
“The jury did right,” said Cindy Maxwell, an advocate for the victim.
On Thursday, a jury convicted 66-year-old Estelle Carson of felony identify theft and felony theft from an at risk adult for stealing checks from the woman and using them to pay her own cable, cell phone and internet bills.
The victim is partially blind, developmentally disabled, has cerebral palsy and is confined to a wheelchair. She is on a fixed income of $596 per month according to the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office.
Nearly as bothersome as the theft itself to Maxwell and other supporters of the victim, is the fact the Jefferson County Democratic Party was made aware of the ongoing criminal investigation and honored Carson anyway.
According to documents obtained by CBS4, in November of 2011, the Jeffco Democratic Party announced it planned to honor Carson for her activism on behalf of Democratic causes and her efforts to register voters.
But three days before the January 8 gala, advocates for the victim contacted the party via email and phone informing them of the criminal investigation.
One wrote “I am completely appalled,” to learn of the planned honor. The woman suggested the Democratic Party should “un-invite Estelle and not follow through with this honor.”
Cindy Maxwell told CBS4 she informed Democratic Party officials that Carson had already confessed to the theft as part of the investigation.
But Chris Kennedy, chairman of the Jefferson County Democratic party, dismissed the concerns saying there was not a conviction and bestowed the “Democrat Of The Year” honor on Carson.
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