Posts tagged Ken Wilson
Below, council member Ken Wilson openly confesses to the “liberal” use of de-icing material — or “salt.”
Regardless of the brand or quality of the product, this behavior can lead to consequences on several levels — here’s a quote from a standard reference:
Deicing salts such as sodium chloride or calcium chloride leach into the soils, where the ions (especially the cations) may accumulate and eventually become toxic to the organisms and plants growing in these soils. The chemicals could also reach water bodies in concentrations that are toxic to the ecosystems. Organic compounds are biodegraded and may cause oxygen-depletion issues. Small creeks and ponds with long turnover time are especially vulnerable.
Propylene glycol used to de-ice aircraft can contaminate drinking water supplies and harm aquatic life. Some airports are now capturing and treating de-icing runoff before allowing it to enter waterways.”
Certainly there’s a range of possible impacts — council members, particularly ones who claim a “science” background, as Ken Wilson most certainly has on many occasions, should be AWARE of what they are doing and promoting as it affects the surrounding community.
A response is always welcome.
BY THE WAY…. there are recommended alternatives — one that I personally prefer are an add-on to shoes (sometimes called “crampons”) that are available at shoe, department stores, and running stores here in Boulder and online. They provide excellent help for situations where you can’t predict the snow or ice shoveling proficiency of neighbors.
Happy snow day. Cheers!
City Council Barb
Sender: Brautigam, Jane
Thanks for your email, Ken. I spoke with Chief Beckner and learned that we do not have Code Enforcement officers assigned to work weekends. Code enforcement
will begin again on Monday. Our code enforcement team does an excellent job of addressing issues and will do all they can within the strictures of the ordinance to handle snow removal calls.
From: Wilson, Ken
Sent: Friday, February 22, 2013 9:49 AM
Subject: Snow shoveling enforcement
I am wondering if we will have snow shoveling enforcement tomorrow (Saturday). We have a situation which I was concerned about when Matt made a motion to change the ordinance from
a “morning after” requirement to a 24 hour requirement as we were doing second reading several years ago. Because of the way this snow fell, enforcement won’t begin today (Friday) as there were a few flakes falling late yesterday. Will there be any enforcement
over the weekend? If not, then it would begin on Monday. Of course, more snow is expected Monday, which would reset the clock on all the offenders. We could have slippery sidewalks for a week.
I thought of this all the way to the bus stop this morning as I was trying not to slip and fall on all the uncleared sidewalks. I don’t heal like I used to and it was almost enough
to make me want to turn around and drive instead. Fortunately I didn’t fall – yet.
My sidewalk is clean and dry – which the Camera can verify if they like. We shoveled twice as it was coming down and used salt liberally.
Rob smoke is a sometime columnist for Boulder Channel 1
You wouldn’t think a sleepy little burg like Boulder would routinely spend $200 million-plus annually to fund its endeavors, but that’s the long and the short of our city budget. Each year the city manager presents something resembling a “rationale” for council’s consideration, which helps to subtly alter portions of the budget in accord with Boulder’s political winds. For instance, Boulder’s economic vitality budget increased by $200k this past year in spite of the fact that many questioned the efficacy of giving away public tax dollars as “incentive” money to companies like IBM or Ball Aerospace. (To be fair, a chocolate factory, a music venue and other diverse businesses also benefitted this year.)
During a budget crunch, with the City waving if not wielding its budget axe at all departments, you’d think the ‘economic vitality’ gift horse would be sent to its stall. Maybe, but not with people like Ken Wilson on council, who has championed the ‘vitality’ program at every opportunity, generally by offering some factor by which the city benefits as gospel truth. Depending on whom Wilson addresses and on what day of the week, the benefits to the city could equal an “8-to-1″ return, a “15-to-1 return” or even a “20-to-1″ return on investment. The spread in these figures tells you all you need to know about them — that they are, in essence, figments of Wilson’s imagination. For instance, although the city has given money to IBM to help retain jobs — and Wilson campaigned on the point that those jobs would have gone to Virginia if the city didn’t contribute — it’s still a fact that IBM reduced its total workforce in Boulder over the past several years.
They may have kept a division here that would have gone to one of its other plants in another state; however, that action probably had about zero to do with the money the city gave them, which might pay the annual bonus of the person filing the necessary application for the dough, plus a little left over for Christmas party entertainment (Suzy Ageton in naughty-Santa lingerie jumping out of a cake?) Just the same, people like Wilson make this type of weird little governmental expenditure seem perfectly normal, even though the effect he pronounced was in essence a pile of horse hockey — with Boulder still experiencing more downsizing than upsizing regards IBM’s operations.
Recently, City Manager Jane Brautigam hauled out a (surprise, surprise) new set of analyses for the insane 2011 budget decisions the City will invariably seek to approve this year. Hardly anyone ever looks at this material, and I don’t want to cause anyone to reach for their air-sickness bag by quoting it; however, a smattering to give you the birds-eye view of how it works may be found athttp://www.bouldercolorado.gov/files/Finance/Budget/Priority-based_Budgeting/Result_Definitions_Summary.pdf .
This document says, for instance, that :”If the City of Boulder…fosters regional and public/private collaboration with key institutions and organizations that contribute to economic sustainability AND encourages sustainable development supported by reliable and affordable city services AND invests in primary economic generators and businesses” … “THEN it will have provided/achieved a (an)…ECONOMICALLY VITAL COMMUNITY.” I’ve printed this for you here so no one has to speculate how brain-dead the whole process actually is.
It could have been summarized as “good government means giving away tax dollars to those who need it the least” — instead, by a fortuitous summation of idiot logic and hyper-rational thinking, giving tax dollars away to big businesses equals an ‘ECONOMICALLY VITAL COMMUNITY.” People might sit at home asking themselves whose brain tissue splattered an Iphone to make this bit of power-point pseudo-science something that would actually be submitted to and then gain the approval of our Boulder city council. No need to guess…we have staffers paid hundreds of thousands of dollars annually to come up with something, anything, that maybe could fool a moron into thinking the economic vitality program is something Boulder desperately needs, when the fact is, it’s simply a corrupt method for people like Ken Wilson to pander to their campaign-contributing friends in the business community — all of whom JUST LOVE the economic vitality program, not to mention Wilson, who gets treated like someone’s adorable puppy if he ever happens to visit with IBM or Ball or the Chamber of Commerce, another driving political force behind the program.
New lies to maintain the same old budget priority, which ignores real needs, such as solving the issues related to the increasing numbers of homeless on Boulder’s streets, many of whom survive only on food stamps and whatever Ken Wilson charmingly tosses out of his car window when he pulls up at a traffic light to face one of those less-fed constituents. (Wouldn’t it be fun, as a prank, to wait for Ken holding a cardboard sign that reads “thank you for climbing over the backs of the least fortunate among us on your way up the political ladder.”)
By the way, as a footnote, when you hear a city council speaker (such as a scantily clad Seth Brigham) throw the term “fascist” around when talking about the city council, and think such protest ill-informed, guess again. Fascism exists when the interests of corporations and governments merge; and although Boulder’s economic vitality program may be only a slight example, it’s ‘microphone diddlers’ like Ken Wilson who lead us — in plain truth — down that path.
(Watch for more on city spending in future Rob Smoke articles.)
Rob Smoke is a former Commissioner of Human Relations for the City of Boulder.
Whoop-dee do……..Now…what?? so what.
Xcel Energy yesterday lost its battle to add Boulder to its list of patsy/pushover franchise communities, and “so what?” would be the big question, because it will still be the only provider of electric power for Boulder, will still be generating some of that power with coal, and will still be figuring out how to smooth over the lumps in its “natural resource” gravy to secure a new franchise agreement some time in the next five years — plenty of time for Boulder voters, who’ve become increasingly conservative over the past decade, to vote in a team that agrees with the three members of council who strongly supported getting Xcel’s franchise deal on this year’s ballot. (Suzy Ageton, Suzy’s “adorable little monkey” Ken Wilson, and George Karakehian.) It should be remembered that Suzy was the top vote-getter in last year’s council election, indicating there might be a lot of room for people who think as she does.
Assuming that Xcel does eventually get its deal on the ballot, we know they’ll stop at nothing to win it. The local enviros might have a lot of cache with the elite local pols, some of whom click on chandeliers when they click on a light bulb; however, when push comes to shove in the political arena, the pushers — the people spending the big bucks to win — usually do win. Xcel merely has to figure out a way to present its ongoing renewable energy efforts as a little more potent, a little more on track, a little more “oomphy” when it comes to wind and solar power. To do that, they’re likely to install a couple of cute little wind farms (watch out Gilpin County) — and maybe even partner on a solar-array battery-powered automobile facility. (Such facilities, which have solarized carports for a fleet of lithium-battery-powered vehicles, are included as part of “decarbonization” programs in a number of cities, although not yet in Boulder.)
Some history is worth noting: in 2000, with natural gas prices busting through all prior ceilings, and seniors on fixed incomes going without food to keep their heat on, Xcel went on an advertising rampage, presenting itself via a very hi-tech and suspiciously subliminal ad scheme. The central ad had marching bands, bouquets of flowers, and an adult woman with cherry-red lipstick and a short, “little girl” pleated skirt offering lollipops. People wrote to the company asking about those lollipops — the official word back from their independent communications contractor was that the ads were to help Coloradans get to know Xcel. As what, though? A supplier of lollipops or of advertising aimed to sexually arouse male rate payers? Sexual themes are probably the standard subliminal tool for all sophisticated print and video media campaigns — somehow, it makes you want to accept a company that otherwise might be regarded as a rapacious predator reaching into everyone’s pockets. With the sex theme, they’re sending the message that they only reach into your pockets for a quick rubdown of your privates. It’s irrational, but that’s probably why it works.
The profit and loss statements for Xcel show that they presently make substantially more money per individual Colorado home than they do in Minnesota, their base location. This fact was part of the documented presentation made by former council member Steve Pomerance and others working with him to help shoot down Xcel’s bid. The facts are, this is a company that makes all it can wherever and whenever it can. If they do get a franchise agreement on the ballot, they’ll likely win, as they have proven themselves to spend, spend and spend some more on advertising.
That’s what makes them tick. They manufacture not simply electric power…they also manufacture consent.
Enviros were shouting outside the August 4th city council meeting, but the Boulder city council is not really the shouting zone for this one. The shouting zone regarding energy issues is in D.C., or maybe at the state capitol building in Denver. The Xcel CEO may have walked away empty-handed after meeting privately with individual city council members, but he only “slinked” away if you think the Cheshire Cat is slinking when it sits on its tree limb smiling, smiling and smiling some more.
Rob Smoke has no energy to speak of, but is wired for sound. See his news stories here daily.
Preeminent Las Vegas oddsmaker and wagering expert Michael “Roxy” Roxborough, noted for picking 11 of the last 13 Super Bowl winners in addition to what is widely regarded as the most accurate weekly betting line for regular season NFL games, today released a betting line on the Boulder city council’s decorum initiative, set to play out this September.
“I think the Boulder city council is a little over the top with their effort here,” Roxborough
was quoted by telephone from his poolside office at the Bellagio. “It’s hard to say how much money the offshore bookmakers will take on this one. Certainly more than all the sports books in Nevada, which handled action on the Brigham arrest last winter,” referring to noted activist-raconteur Seth Brigham, whose disrobing at a city council meeting led to a brief incarceration and notice nationally in February. “Still, the doings in Boulder have become a popular ‘prop’ (proposition bet) and people now seem accustomed to going against the grain and making council the underdog…even against a character like the Captain.” (Referring to Seth Brigham’s moniker as Captain Underpants.)
“You wouldn’t think a burg like Boulder would make it into the betting lines, but everyone’s following this one,” he summed up. “Thus we had to come up with a line, we had no choice.”
So what are the chances of council succeeding with their plan to legislate behavior at council meetings that will get a tighter rein on public speakers? “I make council a straight 100-to-1 underdog on this, particularly with people like Pam White, Jann Scott and the ACLU coming out against their position.”
In other words, according to Roxy, it’s nearly an impossibility that council will succeed with the measure, which includes barring speakers from jeering, wearing a mask or being “impertinent” at the microphone. “These days, everyone, including most of the council members qualify as being impertinent, particularly with wacky measures like ’smart regs’…and of course, now this.”
The odds are just slightly lower than the standing odds on whether Jon Benet Ramsey’s murderer will ever be caught and convicted. “Of course, there you have a long-term rubric — the time factor puts the Ramsey murder higher up in odds value at something closer to 500-to-1.”
Still, 100-to-1 shots do come in. “Yeah, we saw the Florida Marlins hit a few years ago at odds in that neighborhood; and, of course, the Kentucky Derby typically produces a winner whose odds are 200-to-1 or better as a futures bet.” Roxborough acknowledged the difference “…probably very few city council members could compete against even the sorriest thoroughbred racehorse.”
Which way to go with the action? “I’d stick with Brigham this time. The casinos are only going to give you odds-on action, but you have to assume he’s the winner here. The only way to bet on the council would be if they look especially good warming up — for instance, if George Karakehian takes off his shirt at the September 21st meeting, that could spell trouble, and you always want to check Ken Wilson to see if his jockey, the petite but hard-riding Suzy Ageton, has a buzzer up her sleeve.”
“If form holds true, Ken Wilson could take the early lead on this one, even though he typically wilts in the stretch. However, you never say never with this council — Wilson could open up, diddle the microphone, and before you know it they’ve got a crazy new ordinance. I don’t think that’ll happen, but that’s why they call it horse racing.”
(Former Boulder Commissioner of Human Relations, Rob Smoke, assisted with this story.)
SPECIAL, JUST IN: The council, on a tight five-to-four vote, tonight (July 20) voted to approve a toned down version of the proposed “council decorum” ordinance, opting instead for a “Be Nice” campaign that will, if nothing else, perhaps turn the tide in council’s favor with regard to public approval ratings.
Under the new rules, signs will be posted at all council chamber entrances, as well as inside council chambers, with the standard “smiley face” emoticon and the words “BE NICE” underneath. Additionally, council voted to spend $100,000 on a Boulder-wide “JUST BE NICE” ad campaign, improving slightly on the simpler “BE NICE”, but still using the ubiquitous smiley face. George Karakehian received praise from other council members for his initiative in organizing the media campaign, which will feature a highly kinetic kickoff event– a big “JUST BE NICE” banner pulled by a woman skiing on Boulder reservoir (a woman Karakehian apparently knows personally.)
“BE NICE” flags will be flown outside of the municipal building; city employees will be required to wear “BE NICE” buttons, presumably to improve working relations with the many companies and business non-profits the city supports with its “economic vitality” program; which, incidentally, Ken Wilson volunteered to have renamed the “BE NICE VITALITY PROGRAM”. The council decided that change was a little too radical; as Susan Osborne put it, “I think it’s a little much for one evening, Ken.” (Whereupon council member Crystal Gray was heard to mutter, “yes, you mean he’s had a bit too much,” which drew a chuckle from the rest of council.)
The new rules give the mayor permission to defenestrate anyone council determines to have failed to “just be nice” after being given fair warning; warning that includes a blast in the face with a pocket air horn from the sargent-at-arms.
It should be noted that in separate news, local activist and occasional “trouble maker” at city hall, Seth Brigham, settled his legal complaint with the City. At a private meeting with the city attorney and council members he agreed to “Be Nice” unconditionally, provided Ken Wilson would admit, once and for all, that he did in fact appear at the 4/20 event in 2009…and since Ken was asleep in his chair at this meeting, drooling onto his tie-dye t-shirt and clutching a bong, Susan Osborne approved the deal.
Rob Smoke is a former Commissioner of Human Relations for the City of Boulder.