Volume 6 Issue 18



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By Stacey Rogers
        I listened to your comments after the unscheduled comments portion of the meeting last night. It was my impression that you believe, based on yesterday's shooting in northern Colorado, the earthquake in Nepal, and the rioting and events in Baltimore, this referendum issue in Castle Rock is "small potatoes' in the grand scheme of things. While two of those may be considered significant world events, they are irrelevant to the smaller scheme of things in Castle Rock. You may not be aware, but there are shootings in Colorado at least weekly...sadly, it is no longer shocking news.
        How did Forbes find out about the "secret" that is Castle Rock? Who spilled those beans?
        From my "outsider" perspective, there is a very prevalent "gun culture" in Colorado. Does this lend to the seemingly regular occurrence of shootings here?  Arapahoe High School, Century 16 theater, even Columbine. (I lived in Virginia at the time of the Virginia Tech shootings, one of the worst fatalities in the history of mass shootings; a very rare occurrence in Virginia) In fact, look at the number of school shootings alone? From my outside perspective, Colorado is in many ways still the "Wild West". Sure, we have a Second Amendment right and allowed to exercise it. In fact it appears that many Coloradoans are far more concerned with their Second Amendment rights than our First! In both cases, we are free to exercise those rights, but not free from the repercussions of those rights. I have said things I regretted and issued apologies to those who deserved them. Case in point: mine to Mayor Donahue last week. It is important to reflect on actions and words in order to grow...as a human being, as a community, and as a society.
        I was born and raised in the Washington DC metropolitan area and lived in Northern Virginia until four years ago when I moved to Castle Rock. I have many friends who live in Baltimore who are directly affected by newsworthy events taking place currently. I see the news and recognize neighborhoods, so the dire circumstances are not lost on me. There have been protests and riots in Baltimore. What is the purpose of the protests? It could be that some citizens feel they are not being heard by the "powers that be"? What is the purpose of the rioters? I cannot even begin to venture a guess, but destruction, looting, and assault never solve anything. It could be that some protesters have stepped over the line into becoming rioters because they are still being ignored; I do not know because I am not a protester/rioter. It could be that individuals wanted an excuse to be a part of something bigger than themselves. It could be that they are looting a 7-11 because they want a Slurpee and don't have $1.69! Like I said: I do not know each individual's motivation. These should not be points to minimize what some Castle Rock, Douglas County, and Colorado citizens are seeing/feeling...in fact, it should tell the council that people want to be heard! That is the purpose of the petition.
        Speaking of "in the scheme of things", the difference between a ride to Red Lobster in The Promenade versus a Red Lobster in Lone Tree is small. A drive to shopping in Park Meadows versus The Promenade also small...yes, these are just MY opinions, but MY opinions count as much (or little) as anyone else's. Yes, I get the sales tax factor, but that is a different aspect of this subject. If funding is a concern, perhaps Castle Rock should not grant the $4.45M permit rebates to the developer (Mr. Detweiler has explained this rebate process to me). Perhaps Castle Rock should allow marijuana dispensaries for the sales tax; raise taxes on cigarettes, gasoline, restaurants, and/or other "luxury" items, increase the town's portion of personal property tax. I liken these conveniences, above, to this scenario: I am in Barnes and Noble. I want a coffee. There is a Starbucks within the shopping center. Hmm, but I want (not need) my overpriced, overcaloried drink now! So, Barnes and Noble puts a Starbucks inside the store! My goodness...my lazy quotient just skyrocketed! I am one person, but I am not alone. The petition and resulting referendum will answer the question of "who wants this change?". And like I said in the meeting last night: that land WILL be developed! The question is "how"? Last week, I asked: "Did council members read Ordinance 2015-09 before approval?" This question was not answered this week nor last. So, my task for next week is to complete my comparison chart of the differences between Ordinance 94-42 as is or along with the 2015-09 amendment.
        Upscale shopping? This term has been stated numerous times. What is "upscale shopping"? How is that measured? Is Aspen Grove upscale? Is Park Meadows upscale? Is Cherry Creek Mall upscale? In Virginia, My dad worked for Merrill Lynch. Their offices were in a building that contained an Elizabeth Arden Day Spa, Tiffany & Co, Morton's, Hermes, etc http://www.theshopsatfairfaxsquare.com/ While I never shopped there (other than getting my hair done for a wedding once), it was definitely considered "upscale". Across the road, sits Tyson's Corner Center "where the stores are" http://www.tysonscornercenter.com/. Across a different road, sits Tyson's Galleria: http://www.tysonsgalleria.com/...the epitome of "upscale shopping". You want to talk malls? I know malls! I owned a home in Reston, Virginia, (http://www.reston.org/) a shining example of  a planned community, for 12 years; I worked in that same community for most of that time. I lived five minutes from Reston Town Center: http://www.restontowncenter.com/index.php If a developer needs a good example of the "live, work, play" model, they should look in RTC! Will The Promenade resemble RTC? Based on what I read, absolutely not. So, you may ask, why did I move here? Open spaces, wildlife, and the opportunity to breathe without a concrete jungle bearing down on me. There must be a balance! I am not absolutely convinced that this project does or does not contribute to that balance. I am still trying to figure that out. But I have time. The referendum is at least a few months off.
        "Civil unrest". What is that? Is that when citizens want to be heard but are not? When a citizen is frustrated because they are not granted the same consideration, safety, protection, voice, and influence that a representative of a development company receives? It is biased when a developer from outside our town appears to receive preferential treatment over that that of citizens. A police escort from burrow to burrow as a exterminator applies Fumitoxin? A minimum of eight officers on the site during the extermination at any given time? A rare diversion from the standard order of the unscheduled comments, which every other time allow Castle Rock citizens before non-citizens. Those are just a few examples.
        According to a few people who remained inside the meeting, when I followed Mr. Cudlip and Ms. Haselden out last night, Mayor Donahue seemed distraught and concerned for my safety so apparently sent all the officers after us to observe for my protection. He also checked through the windows and doors to personally verify my safety. Thank you. In the recent past when I was harassed, I had to make the calls myself or just bear it. I left the room to approach Mr. Cudlip asking if I could speak with him. He directed me down the hall so we may have more privacy; Ms. Haselden joined us and we had a  respectful conversation. Police officers circled and would light nearby to observe and listen. Officers Lyons and Morrissey were close by in the event Mr. Cudlip or Ms. Haselden harassed me as the petition blockers did. They were both polite, respectful, and responsive, as was I.
        Instead of undermining the petition and potential referendum (Ms. Green, I am not saying you specifically are doing that, but it certainly appears that some are), allow the process to unfold. Information dissemination is one thing; using power to influence, encourage, and discourage is another.
        Thank you for your time.

This email of April 29 by Stacey Rogers was sent to Jennifer Green which cc.ed Paul Donahue, Chip Wilson, Mark Heath, and Renee Valentine, the members present at the April 28 meeting; none have responded. Please note that Mayor Paul Donahue has been courteous and responsive to emails in the past. George Teal and Brett Ford were not present at the April 28 and April 21 town council meetings. 


By Gary Green - - - What teaparty jackasses never knew is that school lunch programs were started on the recommendation of THE MILITARY after WW I because of the general ill-health of the recruits (most of the pool of draftees used in WW I probably could not have fought WW I given the greater physical demands because of the advances in weapons.)


By Aaron Brachfeld - - - We are a multicultural nation; always have been. We hold election day on thursday to accommodate Jews and Muslims. We are also a nation of universal suffrage - we grant women the right to hold property independent of their husbands. It seems fitting that we should permit our diverse population the right to associate by marriage according to the dictates of their religion. Or lack thereof.
        In most places of the world, marriage is not between one man and one woman; it is between a man and many women, or a woman and multiple men, or multiple men and multiple women. In fact, we have several cultural groups in this nation which are polygamous. There is an infringement upon these religions when a limitation is established on one man and one woman.

        But three exists a civil right that no one person may ever be brought to serve another, or belong to another.  As a nation, we must now be brave enough to get rid of the legal concept of marriage entirely, replacing it with a concept similar to civil union. This would not nor could not end religious, social or spiritual bonding between people, only alter the rights to property during and after marriage – which is not properly the affair of a government.


Aaron Brachfeld - - - It is my opinion that the phrase "war of Northern aggression" needs to stop being used - the South fired the first shots, the South declared the war, and the South precipitated it. The South rejected peace multiple times, and invaded territories upon the sole argument of the right of conquest.
        The Yankees did not invade at first - the strategy was to simply hold the border. It was after the South invaded the North that the North invaded the South.  The fact is, the South was crippled because they fought without honor: impressed soldiers and slave soldiers simply will never beat free volunteers. Slave labor and confiscated goods will never outcompete free laborers and goods paid for at fair market prices. It was the stubbornness of the South which ultimately convinced Lincoln that they had to be conquered and occupied - otherwise there would be another war of *Southern aggression.*
        Yes, General Sherman’s zeal resulted in the destruction of Southern industrial infrastructure and major urban centers.  However, he evacuated these of civilians before destroying them – unlike Southern armies, which would typically capture and impress civilians into their armies or simply murder them.  Yes, reparations were ordered for the civil rights violations undertaken by the South – but since the Civil War, even to the present day, relief has been granted to Southern whites and blacks alike to recover from the damage caused during the war.  The North received no such aid, nor does today.

        I have heard arguments made – upon sound reasoning – that the South should attempt secession again.  And I encourage this.  The UN Charter of Human Rights permits them that right.  They should secede – but peacefully.  But they should also be very aware that if they resume human rights violations, they will face the fate of any nation which does so.


Loka Hatha Yoga - - - Saving worms after a rain may not seem like such a big deal - but it is an excellent opportunity to share with children and family members.
        As you pick up the worms, examine them. Can you see their eyes hidden under their skin? They hear you and see you, too. Why did they leave the flooding grass? Their eyes are not very good, and they can't find their way back home now that the rain has stopped - and can get stepped on or run over by cars. It is a very stressful day!
        They were born, they have children, they grow big, they sometimes get sick and die. Just like we do. But they are much simpler creatures. They are unable to think like we do. They must obeying their instinct to flee what is painful and seek what is pleasurable. All beings suffer from stress, all beings suffer. All beings have the instinct to flee what is painful and seek what is pleasurable - but these instincts do not always serve our best interests. These worms stumbled into trouble - because they cannot see well, and cannot think.
        People like us eat foods which are pleasurable instead of healthy, we avoid necessary civic and family duties because they are painful. Seeking pleasure and avoiding pain, we find ourselves always in more suffering: pleasure cannot be sustained, and seeking it leads to distress of many kinds. Pain does not last and fleeing from it leads to great distress.

        Consider that we must do our duty, we must do what is right - regardless of what is painful or pleasurable. The worms have bad eyes and can't see the trouble they are getting into by following their instincts - what is our excuse?


By Aaron Brachfeld - - - Robert Rowland has not paid the fine ordered by the Administrative Court.  The Secretary of State is not attempting to enforce the judgement awarded to the People of Colorado for Rowland’s elections violations.  And Jill Duvall, who is the only private citizen who can, has not responded to requests for comment as to whether she will attempt to require compliance by complaining to the Court of Rowland’s disregard. 
        The fine is accruing interest.

        Elected officials must face consequences for violating the law of the People if they may be expected to respect and obey the law of the People - but increasingly do not.  It is absolutely fundamental to Democracy that those in power cannot use taxpayer resources to perpetuate their term in office, or their agenda.  Such abuse of power, whether through elections violations as Rowland committed, or in any other form threatens the People themselves with tyranny.


Jill Duvall wrote in a few minutes after publication: "My attorney is working on it....believe me, we are attempting to enforce this. Rowland refuses to accept the papers being served upon him, so we are working on other angles. He is also using the county attorney, paid for by the taxpayers, to defend him."


Bold Visions Conservation - - - We were attacked in a coordinated effort and we never name called or anything else the WLD operatives did.  Sorry, too difficult to limit this explanation to 300 words. We feel that the bumper-sticker statements of the past have become the source of disinformation that has hurt us all so much.
        It isn't the lawsuit itself that is dangerous. You have to understand why prairie dogs are killed in Colorado and across the West in the first place:
        Western states were very sparsely populated before the dust bowl. The biggest industries in the West were ranching and farming. Around the turn of the century, when rules and departments controlling wildlife were formed in states across the West, it was ranchers and farmers who set the rules. Since then, the oil and gas industry has also gained great influence in wildlife management, because wildlife and habitat protection can really screw up drilling plans.
        Colorado Parks and Wildlife isn't mandated by science; like their peers across the West, it's wholly controlled by these special interests.
        That lobbying power hasn't waned since the 1900, but strengthened: In recent years, the Colorado Legislation mandated that all wildlife Bills must pass before the Agriculture Committee in the Colorado House (New Mexico’s Republican-controlled House successfully passed a similar rule through to signing just this year.)
        Let’s pause and think about that.
        No legislation protecting or managing wildlife in Colorado can even be CONSIDERED for a VOTE without rancher and farmer’s approval!
        Colorado's Legislature could have an overwhelming majority of conservation-minded legislators, but they can’t cast a single vote for prairie dogs, because the Ag Committee tables those Bills before they can ever see the light of day.
        Colorado ranchers and farmers also recently lobbied to create legislation that bans transportation of prairie dogs between Colorado’s counties without that county’s Commission approval, as if prairie dogs were an invasive species or something. The composition of these commissions is almost an absolute guarantee of rejection of any such request, in all but Arapaho and Boulder Counties.
        Ask yourself, what possible expertise can an Ag Committee bring to wildlife management? The answer is, of course, NONE; it's purely about the power of Ranching, Farming and ‘dirty’ Energy lobbies.
        These special interests aren't limited to local and state politics; it's believed that the 2008 US Fish and Wildlife Service's ruling on the Endangered Status of black-tailed prairie dogs was heavily influenced by these very same lobbies.
        So we come to this shopping center development in Castle Rock question: Is the killing of prairie dogs due to the shopping center?
        Well, literally yes, but functionally no. The shopping center is a symptom of a century of very poor wildlife management through political corruption and influence pandering: habitat, evolution, ecology and biological science are virtually banned from this system of wildlife management in the West. State agencies like CPW have a goal of creating statewide Game Parks for hunting, not for the peer-reviewed scientific implementation of wildlife management.
        When this referendum does finally come to a vote, it opens a venue for conservative politicians to create a pseudo-confrontation scenario that demonizes prairie dog advocates as "THEM," meaning those who would harm "America's Job Creators," like Alberta Development Partners. They will point to the USFGS Ruling and scream: 'See, even the government says prairie dogs aren't in danger!'
        Of course we’re not as creative as the forces that work for Koch, Inc., who have a very big stake in the current wildlife management quid pro quo; their entire fortune is based on extracting natural resources. They will most certainly see this lawsuit’s success as potentially a very dangerous precedent, and so will have no problem tossing a few hundred thousand dollars at it from their $880 million war chest.
        After the referendum and recall are soundly defeated, the first act of your Town Council could very well be the same as in the city of Clovis, New Mexico: to make prairie dogs illegal in Castle Rock.
        In Clovis, the City can kill prairie dogs on private land and charge property owners for the ‘damages’ caused by any prairie dogs that wander off their property and dig a burrow on City land.
        Clovis’ City Commission made this very ruling while activists cried, begged and pleaded with them…and they smiled all the while they did it…after all, these so-and-so’s had the AUDACITY to question OUR AUTHORITY. If you think such a thing cannot happen in Castle Rock, reexamine those previously-mentioned laws passed in a Blue State, made even before the Senate was ceded to the right. From our experience, the more wildlife welfare logic-defying it is, the better the chance it will happen: they’ll probably even call it the ‘Prairie Dog Protection Initiative.’
        Castle Rock is every bit as conservative as Clovis, NM. If this referendum were taking place in Denver or Boulder, it might stand a chance, but let’s face the fact that you wouldn’t be reading these words if that were the case. From our very real, very sobering personal and professional experiences, this is a very dangerous path to take in a conservative community such as Castle Rock.
        So, let’s look at the so-called “Blood Money” path we recommended. What would Bold Visions Conservation imagine being done with all that ill-gotten cash from the developer, as we marched over the corpses of the dead prairie dogs to deliver it?
        This group of Castle Rock activists is VERY special; their actions were nothing short of amazing. They didn’t have a lot of experience and made a few mistakes, but they were activism SUPERSTARS. At their very peak, when the dogs had been killed and their ‘whole world is watching’ moment was there, when their political goodwill and gravitas was at its apex, they could’ve Declared Victory and taken the Blood Money, and done a whole world of good with it.
        Right then, these activists would have been the most powerful political group in Colorado. At that moment, they could have Declared War on CPW’s and Colorado State’s draconian policy on prairie dogs.
        They could’ve marched right into the Colorado Legislature (which was in session) and demanded that all special rules for prairie dogs be rescinded. They could’ve gotten meetings almost at-will with the Governor. Everywhere they went; this spunky little group of CITIZENS could’ve had cameras following them. They could’ve changed the entire game for all of Colorado’s prairie dogs, permanently.
        The amount of Blood Money offered was significant; $175,000 in total. They could’ve used the $15K tagged for ‘future relocation’ as seed money for a fund dedicated to saving development-endangered prairie dogs, while they protested and lobbied for legislative and procedural change in the Capitol. That fund could’ve been their activist fundraising venue and tripled or quadrupled in just a few months.
        The $160K earmarked for land purchase and education could’ve been used to create The Colorado Prairie Dog Educational Center, with an office for their powerful new group. They could’ve incorporated and registered as a 501(c)3 with the IRS and become ‘Prairie Dogs Colorado’ (or whatever.)
        Their political capital, popularity and public prowess would’ve literally gotten them hundreds of thousands of dollars more from charitable foundations around the country that could have catapulted them into the cosmos of conservation.
        Could have. What a waste.
        Not only would they have become the preeminent prairie dog advocates in Colorado, they could’ve changed the way prairie dogs are managed nationally, forever. This is a huge loss for conservation, just huge; their potential as an activist conservation group was huge.
        Are you beginning to see the true lost opportunity here?
        All gone, not because of Blood Money, but because of Blood Lust. Punishing ONE developer ONE time to seek revenge, when they could’ve stopped ALL developers for ALL time from displacing and killing prairie dogs.
        This silly “Blood Money” label was counter-productive from the beginning and harmful to the big picture cause of saving prairie dogs. We think it would’ve been most excellent that a developer’s own money could have screwed all developers (including themselves) out of the prairie dog displacement business forever…ironic, no?
        Yes, there is a slim chance that the Activists could win and realize these very same successes and even more. If ANYONE can pull it off, it’s these people. But in our opinion, their chosen path is so wrought with political landmines, it’s far more likely they’ll  become a prairie dog equivalent of Brando’s ‘Terry’ in “On the Waterfront”, lamenting how they "coulda been somebody.”

Volume 6 Issue 17



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By (name withheld, inside source) - - - Here's the followup to what happened with me: CPW arrived at the volunteer's home and began seizing the prairie dogs. One of the volunteers texted Eco Solutions about what was happening, and they called and asked to talk to officer Olson. After he told them about the security concerns, the CPW left. That is the last I ever heard from CPW.  Apparently, Sandy/Deanna applied for a new permit, it was granted after the 11th hour media blitz, and CPW transported Eco Solution’s prairie dogs to Deanna's property and handed them over.   They never discontinued Eco Solution’s permit, notified Eco Solutions, nothing. Meanwhile, they have a spokesperson on TV telling straight up lies about how its illegal to have wild animals in your home, that Eco Solutions didn't have a permit, etc. and  telling others (activists) that an investigation is going on, when apparently there wasn't but it did scare a lot of people.   That's very old school for a government agency to act like such a bully in this day and age.  That's the kind of stuff 19th century western sheriff's do, not modern wildlife management agencies (or as they describe themselves, a game management agency).    It kind of made me think that Eco Solutions was going to be hearing from a lawyer or receive a warrant, but the law (SB-99111) is extremely clear  that Eco Solutions wasn't violating any laws, though I suppose they could attempt to cite Eco Solutions for being out of compliance with the permit for 3 days, but I think that would be a stretch. 

35-7-203.  Release of destructive rodent pests - definitions. (1)  No person shall release destructive rodent pests into a county unless such person has complied with all requirements for such release imposed by the wildlife commission and obtained both the prior approval of the commission and the prior approval, by resolution duly adopted, of the board of county commissioners of such county. A person need not obtain such prior approval before:

  (a)  Transporting destructive rodent pests through a county without releasing such destructive rodent pests; or
  (b)  Confining destructive rodent pests indoors or in cages or similar enclosures and using such destructive rodent pests for scientific purposes or as food for human or animal consumption; or
  (c)  Keeping destructive rodent pests indoors or in cages or similar enclosures as pets; or

  (d)  Releasing destructive rodent pests into the county in which such destructive rodent pests were originally taken into captivity.