Posts tagged legal

Boulder Channel 1

Jonbenet Ramsey murdered in Boulder Christmas 1996: Unsolved?

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Jjonbenet 6onBenét Ramsey, was murdered here in Boulder December 26, 1996. This is a case and a story we all know well. Perhaps now with a DA and a police department working together, there may be justice for JonBenet. You can find everything you will ever need to know about the case here: Jonbenet Ramsey Murder Case .

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John and Patsy Ramsey

Boulder Police believe John and Patsy Ramsey killed their daughter Christmas night 1996. In a fit of rage, Patsy Ramsey who had just returned from a party, grabbed her daughter and smashed her head against the bath tub. The child had wet her bed. But she was killed instantly.  Throughout the night  Patsy and her husband John created an elaborate scenario right out of the movies of how a group of Arabs had come into their home , left a ransom note, strangled and raped their daughter and left her body in the basement.

As soon as the first cop and detective arrived on the scene, they saw through the story.  By nightfall the Ramseys were on their private jet to Atlanta. Surrounded by a team of lawyers and PR people they went into hiding and on CNN to proclaim their innocence. They created a media frenzy the like of which Boulder nor America had ever seen. There was no way these rich freak were going to be charged with their daughters murder. First of all it would upset their social setting. Secondly it would ruin their image as a family of beauty queen socialites. Murder does not have a place there.

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Burke Ramsey age 27 and his girlfriend.. ( striking resemblance to Jonbenet)

Burke Ramsey who was 9 years old at the time was whisked away. He has never been heard from since.  Police believe he witnessed the murder and was told by Patsy and John that if he planned on living he better shut up for the rest of his life.  Then district attorney Alex Hunter believe that to this day.  The hope is now that Burke Ramsey has come of age (27) he will come forward and tell what he knows.

That’s not likely. But current Boulder DA Stan Garnet could arrest John Ramsey for the murder of is daughter and he could arrest Burke Ramsey too.  That is not completely out of the question, but there is this legal issue ” beyond reasonable doubt”

Garnet gave the case back to Boulder Police department who reopened it. It is not a cold case.

One celebrated Boulder criminal defense attorney Skip Wollrab told us now that Burke Ramsey is of age”he could be subpoenaed to appear before a Grand jury to tell about what he knew , saw and heard the night of the murder. Just the facts. Some of it might be privileged” but this would give Burke a chance to tell his story.   Attorney Wollrab  told Boulder Channel 1 the “DA has got to be able to prove his case to a jury of 12 unanimously beyond a reasonable doubt. Knowing they did it is one thing , proving they did it is something else” he said.

There was also some level of semen found in Jonbenets body and police have not revealed whether they think it is Burkes.  At one point Burke Ramsey was himself a suspect and  police theorized that he might have killed his sister out of Jealousy.

The question is will the DA move this case forward this Christmas.

 

Hot_Earth

Climate Protection: The New Insurgency

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Faced with the failure of conventional lobbying, the climate protection movement is now turning to mass civil disobedience—but we can take it further still.

By , December 10, 2013.

Protecting our climate requires more than lobbying and more than “civil disobedience.” It requires a new understanding of how we relate to the law–and how can enforce it ourselves when governments fail. (Photo: Ben Schumin / Flickr)

This article is a joint publication of Foreign Policy In Focus and TruthOut. For a longer presentation, see the Foreign Policy In Focus report, “A Nonviolent Insurgency for Climate Protection?

When 30 climate protestors from 18 countries protested drilling at an Arctic oil platform operated by Gazprom, they represented the people of the world taking a symbolic stand against climate destruction, the corporate climate destroyers, and the governments that back them. But the action of the Arctic 30 may be prophetic of something more: The emergence of a global insurgency that challenges the very legitimacy of those who are destroying our planet.

Time to take it to the streets?

Time to take it to the streets?

The 2013 Fifth Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change confirmed that humans are destroying the earth’s climate. But it also revealed something even more alarming: Twenty-five years of human effort to protect the climate have failed even to slow the forces that are destroying it. On the contrary, the rate of increase in carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels tripled between the release of the first IPCC report in 1988 and today.

Scientists and climate protection advocates once expected that rational leaders and institutions would respond appropriately to the common threat of climate change. As Bill McKibben said of Jim Hansen and himself, “I think he thought, as did I, if we get this set of facts out in front of everybody, they’re so powerful — overwhelming — that people will do what needs to be done.”

It didn’t work. Those who are fighting to save the climate need a new strategy. One such strategy to consider is a global nonviolent law-enforcing insurgency.

A nonviolent insurgency

Insurgencies are social movements, but movements of a special type: They reject current rulers’ claims to legitimate authority. Insurgencies often develop from movements that initially make no direct challenge to established authority but eventually conclude that one is necessary to realize their objectives. To effectively protect the earth’s climate and our species’ future, the climate protection movement may have to become such an insurgency.

The term “insurgency” is generally associated with an armed rebellion against an established government. Its aim may be to overthrow the existing government, but it may also aim to change it or simply to protect people against it. Whatever its means and ends, the hallmark of such an insurgency is to deny the legitimacy of established state authority and to assert the legitimacy of its own actions.

A nonviolent insurgency pursues similar objectives by different means. Like an armed insurgency, it does not accept the limits on its action imposed by the powers-that-be. But unlike an armed insurgency, it eschews violence and instead expresses power by mobilizing people for various forms of nonviolent mass action.

After closely following the massive strikes, general strikes, street battles, peasant revolts, and military mutinies of the Russian Revolution of 1905 that forced the czar to grant a constitution, Mohandas (not yet dubbed “Mahatma”) Gandhi concluded, “Even the most powerful cannot rule without the cooperation of the ruled.” Shortly thereafter he launched his first civil disobedience campaign, proclaiming “We too can resort to the Russian remedy against tyranny.”

The powers responsible for climate change could not rule for a day without the acquiescence of those whose lives and future they are destroying. They are only able to continue their destructive course because others enable or acquiesce in it. It is the ordinary activity of people — going to work, paying taxes, buying products, obeying government officials, staying off private property — that continually re-creates the power of the powerful. A nonviolent climate insurgency can be powerful if it withdraws that cooperation from the powers-that-be.

Why a law-enforcing insurgency?

Faced with the failure of conventional lobbying and political “pressure group” activity, much of the climate protection movement is now turning to mass civil disobedience, as witnessed by the campaigns against the Keystone XL pipeline, mountaintop removal coal mining, coal-fired power plants, and Arctic oil drilling. Such civil disobedience, while generally recognizing the legitimacy of the law, refuses to obey it in specific instances.

Civil disobedience represents moral protest, but it does not in itself challenge the legal validity of the government or other institutions against which it is directed. Rather, it claims that the obligation to oppose their immoral actions — whether discriminating against a class of people or conducting an immoral war or destroying the climate — is more binding on individuals than the normal duty to obey the law.

A law-enforcing insurgency goes a step further. It declares a set of laws and policies themselves illegal and sets out to establish law through nonviolent self-help. Such insurgents view those who they are disobeying as merely persons claiming to represent legitimate authority — but who are themselves violating the law under what’s known as “color of law,” or the false pretense of authority. So “civil disobedience” is actually obedience to law and a form of law enforcement.

Social movements that engage in civil disobedience often draw strength from the claim that their actions are not only moral, but that they represent an effort to enforce fundamental legal and constitutional principles flouted by the authorities they are disobeying. And they strengthen a movement’s appeal to the public by presenting its action not as wanton law breaking but as an effort to rectify governments and institutions that are themselves in violation of the law.

For the civil rights movement, the constitution’s guarantee of equal rights meant that sit-inners and freedom riders were not criminals but rather upholders of constitutional law. For the struggle against apartheid, racism was a violation of internationally guaranteed human rights. For war resisters from Vietnam to Iraq, the national and international laws forbidding war crimes defined civil disobedience not as interference with legal, democratic governments but rather as a legal obligation of citizens. For the activists of Solidarity, the nonviolent revolution that overthrew Communism in Poland was not criminal sedition but an effort to implement the international human and labor rights law ratified by their own government.

These examples seem paradoxical. On the one hand, the movement participants appear to be resisting the constituted law and the officials charged with implementing it. On the other, they are claiming to act on the basis of law — in fact to be implementing the law themselves against the opposition of lawless states.

Law professor and historian James Gray Pope has developed a concept of “constitutional insurgency” to understand such cases. A constitutional insurgency, or what might be called a “law-enforcing insurgency,” is a social movement that rejects current constitutional doctrine but that “rather than repudiating the Constitution altogether, draws on it for inspiration and justification.” Pope detailed how the American labor movement long insisted that the right to strike was protected by the 13th amendment to the constitution, which forbade any form of “involuntary servitude.” Injunctions to limit strikes were therefore unconstitutional. Although courts disregarded this claim, the radical Industrial Workers of the World told its members to “disobey and treat with contempt all judicial injunctions,” and the “normally staid” American Federation of Labor maintained that a worker confronted with an unconstitutional injunction had an imperative duty to “refuse obedience and to take whatever consequences may ensue.”

Why climate destruction is illegal

The Justinian Code, issued by the Roman Emperor in 535 A.D., defined the concept of res communes (common things): “By the law of nature these things are common to mankind — the air, running water, the sea and consequently the shores of the sea.” The right of fishing in the sea from the shore “belongs to all men.”

Based on the Justinian Code’s protection of res communes, governments around the world have long served as trustees for rights held in common by the people. In U.S. law this role is defined by the public trust doctrine, under which the government serves as public trustee on behalf of present and future generations. Even if the state holds title, the public is the “beneficial owner.” As trustee, the state has a “fiduciary duty” to the owner — a legal duty to act solely in the owners’ interest with “the highest duty of care.” The principle is recognized today in both common law and civil law systems in countries ranging from South Africa to the Philippines and from the United States to India.

On Mother’s Day, 2011, the youth organization Kids vs. Global Warming organized the “iMatter March” of young people in 160 communities in 45 countries, including the United States, Russia, Brazil, New Zealand, and Great Britain. Concurrently, the Atmospheric Trust Litigation Project brought suits and petitions on behalf of young people in all 50 U.S. states to require the federal and state governments to fulfill their obligation to protect the atmosphere as a common property. Speaking to one of the rallies, 16-year-old Alec Loorz, founder of Kids v. Global Warming and lead plaintiff in the Federal lawsuit, said:

Today, I and other fellow young people are suing the government, for handing over our future to unjust fossil fuel industries, and ignoring the right of our children to inherit the planet that has sustained all of civilization. The government has a legal responsibility to protect the future for our children. So we are demanding that they recognize the atmosphere as a commons that needs to be preserved, and commit to a plan to reduce emissions to a safe level.

Loorz concluded: “The plaintiffs and petitioners on all the cases are young people. We are standing up for our future.”

A trustee has “an active duty of vigilance to ‘prevent decay or waste’ to the asset,” according to University of Oregon law professor Mary Christina Wood, whose new book Nature’s Trust: Environmental Law for a New Age lays out the legal basis for the suits. “Waste” means “permanently damage.” If the asset is wasted in the interest of one generation of beneficiaries over future generations, it is in effect an act of “generational theft.”

Although so far the courts have turned down most of these atmospheric public trust suits, the decisions are being appealed. On October 3, 2013, the Supreme Court of Alaska became the first state supreme court to hear such an appeal.

A global climate insurgency

Compelling as the logic of the atmospheric public trust argument may be, it is easy to imagine that many U.S. courts will refuse to force governments to meet such obligations. In a brief to dismiss the Kansas suit, lawyers called the claim “a child’s wish for a better world,” which is not something a court can do much about.

The sad fact is that virtually all the governments on earth — and their legal systems — are deeply corrupted by the very forces that gain from destroying the global commons. They exercise illegitimate power without regard to their obligations to those they claim to represent, let alone to the common rights beneficiaries of other lands and future generations to whom they also owe “the highest duty of care.”

But protecting the atmosphere is not just a matter for governments. Indeed, it is the failure of governments to protect the public trust that is currently prompting the climate-protection movement to turn to mass civil disobedience. Looked at from the perspective of the public trust doctrine, these actions are far from lawless. Indeed, they embody the effort of people around the world to assert their right and responsibility to protect the public trust. They represent people stepping in to provide law enforcement where corrupt and illegitimate governments have failed to meet their responsibility to do so.

When the climate protection movement uses nonviolent direct action to protect the public trust, it is often confronted by government officials acting under color of law to perpetuate climate destruction. The Arctic 30 were held at gunpoint, for example, and charged with piracy. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said, “Concern for the environment must not cover up unlawful actions.” A law-enforcing climate insurgency will answer: Concern for oil company profits must not cover up unlawful government complicity in destroying the atmospheric public trust.

Jeremy Brecher is co-founder and core team member of the Labor Network for Sustainability. He is the author of more than a dozen books on labor and social movements and has received five regional Emmy awards for his documentary film work. An updated edition of his labor history Strike! (PM Press 2014) will include a new chapter on the working class mini-revolts of the 21st century.

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Cloud on the electric utility horizon?

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City requests reconsideration of state commission ruling on acquisition process for possible local electric utility

The City of Boulder this afternoon asked the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to reconsider an Oct. 29 decision that would delay the city’s efforts to acquire Xcel Energy’s equipment and facilities for the purpose of creating a local electric utility.

The application for rehearing makes clear that Boulder concurs with many of the findings the PUC made on Oct. 29. The city remains 100 percent committed, for example, to working with the PUC on issues that are within the Commission’s jurisdiction and making sure that Boulder’s efforts do not negatively impact service or reliability for Xcel’s remaining customers.

Modern electric turbine

Modern electric turbine

However, there are some issues with which the city does not agree. In its filing today, the city asserts that the Commission transcended the questions it was asked to consider and issued an overly broad ruling that overlooked the powers granted to the city by the constitution.  More specifically, the city argues that there are practical and legal reasons for the Commission to reconsider its conclusion that it has the authority to decide what assets Boulder can acquire. The city also explains more fully why it would be premature for the Commission to evaluate any transition plans until a condemnation proceeding has been initiated and discovery has been completed by the city.

“Boulder has no objection to, and in fact is eager to work with Commission staff to prepare the various plans necessary to make Boulder’s acquisition of the Public Service (Xcel) system that serves Boulder as cost-effective as possible, and to ensure that the electric system, both inside and outside of Boulder, is at least as safe and reliable as the current Public Service system,” Senior Assistant City Attorney Deb Kalish said in the filing. “However, Boulder has the constitutional and statutory right to determine which assets it will acquire and the timing of any condemnation action that may be filed.”

Heather Bailey, the city’s executive director for Energy Strategy and Electric Utility Development, said Monday that the PUC’s ruling with regard to these questions could have important implications.

“Boulder voters on Nov. 5 reaffirmed their desire to move forward with the creation of a local electric utility, provided that certain conditions can be met,” Bailey said. “Determining the order of the required proceedings – and the scope of authority for each deciding body – is essential to charting out both the timeline and necessary work plan for moving forward. We are hopeful that the PUC will consider the city’s arguments and help us gain clarity around these questions in a way that is consistent with Colorado law. We look forward to working with PUC staff and commissioners to address any concerns they have.”

The complete filing is attached to this press release.

–CITY–

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PUC rules for Boulder’s electrification plans

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Boulder City Attorney Tom Carr issued the following statement this afternoon in response to the Public Utility Commission’s written ruling about whether a city electric utility would have the right to serve out-of-city customers:

“Today, the PUC acknowledged that the City of Boulder has authority to condemn facilities outside of the city. The PUC also recognized that joint use of the system may be appropriate. The commission granted only the first three requests for declaratory orders – all of which were issues with which the city agreed. With respect to the final two orders sought by Xcel Energy, the commission directed that there needs to be further proceedings.

 

The city is continuing to evaluate the ruling and explore its options. While the ruling may have some practical and legal implications in terms of the process the city would take to create its own electric utility, the decision affirms the city’s right to municipalize.”

 

For more information about the city’s exploration of municipalization, please visit boulderenergyfuture.com.

 

–CITY–

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Oil and gas exploration (fracking) moratorium till health studies in

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Boulder County Commissioners extend temporary moratorium on oil & gas development in unincorporated Boulder County for 18 months

Citing a changing regulatory environment and the need for more public health studies to assess the health impacts of oil and gas development, the County Commissioners voted unanimously to extend the moratorium until the end of 2014

 

Boulder County, Colo. – By unanimous decision, the Board of County Commissioners today voted to extend the temporary moratorium on oil and gas development in unincorporated Boulder County for 18 months to expire at the end of 2014.

 

Citing the need for further health and safety studies to test the impacts of oil and gas development on air and water quality, the commissioners stated that the county is not yet prepared – in terms of inspection and monitoring staff, health data, baseline testing and technical expertise – to process new applications for oil and gas development in unincorporated Boulder County.

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The commissioners also noted that with a dynamic regulatory environment around the issue, new rulemaking could affect how the county regulates oil and gas under its own authority in the future.

 

“We are living in a regulatory environment where regulations and rules are changing rapidly,” said County Commissioner Deb Gardner. “A short delay in extraction is legal, necessary and appropriate when balanced against our fundamental duty as elected officials to protect public health, safety, welfare and the environment from potential adverse impacts of oil and gas exploration and development, and to minimize potential land use conflicts between those activities and current or planned land uses.”

 

Gardner’s sentiments were supported and confirmed by her fellow commissioners, Cindy Domenico and Elise Jones.
Extensive feedback on the moratorium was received from members of the public over a period of 16 months from February 2012 to the present. Over 1,100 comments were submitted this week alone by the time of the June 18 public hearing, all but about a dozen of which stated a preference for extending the moratorium.

 

In general, public comments have overwhelmingly supported extending the moratorium to assess health and safety impacts of oil and gas drilling to area residents. In addition, on June 5th the Boulder County Planning Commission, by a vote of 7-0, recommended that the Board of County Commissioners extend the current temporary moratorium.

 

Today’s public hearing also included a decision to table indefinitely Docket DC-12-0003 “Proposed Amendments to Article 12 of the Boulder County Land Use Code (oil and gas regulations), to include a phasing plan.” With the extended temporary moratorium in place, Land Use staff will to continue to work on developing an inspection and implementation plan for permitting oil and gas applications.

 

A taped archive of the hearing is available at: www.bouldercounty.org/gov/meetings/pages/hearings.aspx.

 

For more information about the county’s role in oil and gas development, please visit the county’s Oil and Gas Development webpage.

 

-BoulderCounty.org-

 

4-22

CU continues clampdown on 4/20 activities

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4-20

“We are committed to ending the unwelcome 4/20 gathering on the CU-Boulder campus, and this year’s approach represents the continuance of a multi-year plan to achieve that end,” said CU-Boulder Chancellor Philip P. DiStefano. “What’s important here is the protection of CU’s missions of research, teaching and service. This isn’t about marijuana or drug laws. It’s about not disrupting the important work of a world-class university.”

DiStefano noted that the passage of Amendment 64 by Colorado voters last year does not make marijuana legal on the CU-Boulder campus. Amendment 64 doesn’t legalize pot smoking in public or possession of marijuana by those under 21. Marijuana is still prohibited by campus policy.

DiStefano noted that the passage of Amendment 64 by Colorado voters last year does not make marijuana legal on the CU-Boulder campus. Amendment 64 doesn’t legalize pot smoking in public or possession of marijuana by those under 21. Marijuana is still prohibited by campus policy.

Last year, the university’s closure to non-affiliates on April 20 resulted in the reduction of a 4/20 crowd of about 10,000 to 12,000 people in 2011 to a crowd of several hundred. A Boulder judge upheld the university’s right to take reasonable steps to avoid disruption of the university’s missions of teaching, research and service.

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This year on Saturday, April 20, CU-Boulder’s normal academic and cultural activities will continue as scheduled, but the following measures will be in place:

  • Students, faculty and staff are all welcome on campus and invited to attend all official university functions and make use of university facilities as they always do.
  • Students, faculty and staff will be asked to present their Buff OneCard IDs at campus entrances and other areas.
  • Consistent with last year’s protocol, law enforcement officers will politely and professionally engage those wishing to enter the campus to ascertain if they are affiliates or approved visitors. This will involve checking Buff OneCards for students, faculty and staff and credentials for registered visitors.
  • Those unaffiliated with CU-Boulder, or who are not approved visitors, will not be permitted on campus.  Those who trespass risk citations, which can mean punishment of up to six months in jail and a $750 fine.
  • Law enforcement, including the Colorado State Patrol, will conduct additional enforcement on highways surrounding Boulder, looking for drivers under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.
  • Visitors who have official business, meetings or other officially sanctioned activities on the CU-Boulder campus will need to obtain a visitors’ pass by visiting the following link and filling out the form at http://www.colorado.edu/april20/campusaccess. Forms for visitors must be completed and submitted to CU-Boulder by 10 p.m. on Sunday, April 14.
    Affiliates are encouraged to use alternative methods of transportation to get to and from campus. Bus routes that normally travel through core campus on 18th Street and Colorado Avenue – including the HOP and Buff Bus – will be detoured down Regent Drive. Please see for additional information.
  • All campus performances and events are on as scheduled for the evening of April 20 and the campus is expected to be fully open again at 6 p.m.

CU-Boulder officials this year agreed with CU student leaders on several new measures and adaptations in closing the campus:

  • Officers will carry and distribute information cards explaining the university’s security actions and protocols for the day and providing a contact point for reporting concerns about the day’s procedures or police conduct.
  • The university will not place any fish fertilizer on the Norlin Quad.
  • The Student Government will not host a concert this year on 4/20 in an effort to save student funds and in response to student feedback.

Funding for the campus security measures comes from insurance rebates to the campus, not from tuition or student fees. As a reminder, per campus policies and the federal Drug Free Schools and Communities Act with which the university must comply, marijuana is not permitted on the campus.

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Demand for Shelter Soars in Boulder

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As of January 8, BOHO has provided safe, warm, legal sleeping to almost 5,500 guests on 57 nights of operation, an average of almost 97 guests per night. As of the same date a year ago, BOHO’s Emergency Warming Centers (EWC) had provided shelter from severe and stormy weather to fewer than 5,000 guests on 67 nights of operation, for an average of 75 guests per night.

Although our Fall weather was mild at times this year, we have had an unbroken sequence of severely cold and even stormy nights for over a month. BOHO’s EWC guests, homeless residents of Boulder, would not have had safe, warm and legal sleeping, as the Boulder Shelter for the Homeless has operated at or near capacity so far this season.

As we look ahead, we expect to provide EWCs virtually every night for another nine or ten weeks of harsh Winter weather. We have honed and polished our practices, and built up our reserves, trained our volunteers, and worked with the many congregations who provide facilities and support. We’ll still need your help as this time goes forward, providing a shelter safety net for the safety net to Boulder’s homeless residents.

Your support and donations have provided safe, warm and legal sleeping to BOHO’s EWC guests. There are more guests being served every night this year; the needs of the poor are increasing. Thank you for helping us to provide the fundamental human need of a safe, warm shelter for sleeping.
From BOHO BUZZ

WW2veterans

CU-Boulder to honor vets through Veterans Week events Nov. 9-17

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The University of Colorado Boulder will honor the nation’s veterans, including CU-Boulder’s own faculty, staff and student veterans, through Veterans Week, beginning with a Nov. 9 Veterans Day ceremony at 11 a.m. in the University Memorial Center’s Glenn Miller Ballroom.

The free, public ceremony will feature guest speaker Michael Dakduk, executive director of the national organization Student Veterans of America. A reception will follow in the UMC Veterans Lounge.

In the Marine Corps, Dakduk was deployed to Iraq in 2005 and to Afghanistan in 2007, where he earned military decorations for distinguished service in combat. He left active duty in 2008 and completed his bachelor’s degree at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, where he organized student veterans on campus as a chapter of Student Veterans of America.

“We take this time to acknowledge and express gratitude for the sacrifices of those still serving and those who have served so gallantly and selflessly in our armed forces,” said CU-Boulder Chancellor Philip P. DiStefano. “This weekend, we can each take a moment to reflect on how much we owe the silent heroes in our midst and reach out and thank a vet for this outstanding service. The University of Colorado Boulder joins the nation on this one day of the year our country has set aside to honor our veterans and acknowledge the legacy of their steadfast defense of our American ideals, principles and liberties.”

Also on Nov. 9, CU-Boulder will host Military Student Day to assist military service members interested in transitioning from military service to life as a college student.

CU-Boulder is home to about 650 student veterans and 250 faculty and staff vets, according to Michael Roberts, program manager of CU-Boulder’s Veteran Services office on campus.

“The Office of Veteran Services here at CU-Boulder continues to build a robust program supporting our veterans transitioning from the military to college and ultimately to the work force,” Roberts said. “We have a group of committed staff and faculty leaders who are eager to support our student veterans.”

Student veterans can visit the Student Veterans Center in the Center for Community building, room S482. The center serves as a one-stop shop to support student veterans.

One of the most sought-after services is help with the GI Bill, Roberts said.

“Most veterans are taking advantage of this great opportunity they earned while serving our nation,” he said. “The Post 9/11 GI Bill covers all in-state tuition and fees as well as providing a monthly living allowance. In Boulder, it is quite substantial — $1,500 per month while they are in school.”

The CU-Boulder Law School also recently opened the Veteran’s Legal Clinic to help unite the Colorado legal community and students at CU as they work together to develop a support system for veterans across the state.

Mark Fogg, president of the Colorado Bar Association and a Colorado Law alumnus, recognized the need for pro bono legal services in the veteran’s community in Colorado, said Andy Hartman, an adjunct professor and director of the experiential learning program at Colorado Law.

“The bar wanted to have veteran’s clinics in different cities throughout Colorado including Denver, Fort Collins, Colorado Springs, Pueblo and Grand Junction, and they wanted a program at CU-Boulder and the University of Denver to serve their student veterans and their families,” Hartman said.

Attorneys from the Colorado Bar Association work with student volunteers from Colorado Law to meet with veterans and address some of their legal questions. Neither party is financially compensated for their work, although it affords practicing attorneys and students the opportunity to fulfill their public service pledge to provide legal services that benefit the community.

Kevin Brown, a third-year law student at CU-Boulder and a former attack pilot for the Marines, has a vivid memory of the Veterans Legal Clinic’s first client.

“The very first person that walked into the clinic last November on Veterans Day was a homeless veteran that needed many different kinds of help,” said Brown. “To see a veteran who was homeless and in need and to watch the Colorado Bar Association and the volunteer attorneys come together and work to provide assistance and help to him was inspiring.”

 

Other campus observances for Veterans Day include:

Nov. 9, at 6 p.m., in Old Main Chapel
The CU-Boulder Veteran Services office will have a public viewing of the documentary “Veterans Day 11.11.11.” The feature-length documentary examines what it means to be a veteran in America through the stories of several men and women vets who served during times of peace and war.

Pat Woodard, the documentary’s co-executive producer and writer; Richard Deki, one of the veterans featured in the documentary; and Suzanne Popovich Chandler, a photographer whose work is featured in the documentary, will be present to interact with the audience during and after the film.

Nov. 14, 6-9 p.m., Old Main Chapel
A public showing of the documentary “The Welcome,” an award-winning film that offers a “fiercely intimate view of life after war: the fear, anger and isolation of post-traumatic stress that affects vets and family members alike.”

Nov. 17, 9 a.m., UMC Glenn Miller Ballroom
The annual veterans pre-game party honors CU’s military families as well as members of the military across the Front Range community. For more information contact the Veteran Services office at 303-492-7322.

 

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occupy_denver

Heavily armed police force evict Idaho Springs woman, 63, from her home

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(Photos by Ambrose Cruz)

Yesterday a highly militarized police force arrived at the home of 63 year old Sahara Donahue to evict her from her residence of 24 years. She was petitioning US Bank for an additional 60 days to remain in her home, so she could have some time to find a new place to live, secure her belongings and leave her home with dignity. She came to the Colorado Foreclosure Resistance Coalition and Occupy Denver General Assembly to ask for our help. She knew no one in Occupy Denver  prior to reaching out. We immediately started mobilizing to try to get her the assistance she needed and a group went up to her house for the first rumored eviction on Thursday 10/25.  When that eviction didn’t happen, we planned an in-town action at US Bank on Monday for Sahara to try to find someone to speak with about her situation, with carpools up to her house later that day as the eviction was said to be scheduled for Tuesday 10/30.   Occupiers laid barricades from fallen trees to prevent moving trucks and workers from entering the property and were able to stave off the eviction for a few hours.  At 2:45pm ten or more truckloads of police in full combat gear armed with  live-ammo AR-15’s, and grenade launchers arrived on the scene &  forced occupiers to the ground at gun point. Police then made their way to the house, broke down the front door, threw Sahara to the ground in her own kitchen and pointed their guns at the heads of a mother and son who were in the house with Sahara along with others. They continued to break items in the house as they searched it. They unplugged the modem, which was the only mode of communication as there was no cell phone coverage in the area, in order to stop the livestream and all communications.  After the livestream cut out, the occupy denver legal team spent a harrowing hour in communication blackout wondering if they would be receiving calls from the hospital instead of the jail this time. This psychological violence did not stop one brave activist from jumping into the bucket of the bulldozer that was going to tear through the barricades and forced the operator to stop for several minutes. Three arrests were made, two activists were assaulted and all have been released.   Many of the people on the ground have survived multiple occupations and riot cop lines but all agree that this was the most surreal and violent state repression they have experienced protesting.  There has been overwhelming community support as other activists and concerned people watched the unnecessary militarized drama unfold online. Everyone is asking “Seriously, why are they in military gear?” All captions for the following photographs are actual comments made on the Occupy Denver Facebook Page.

Sheriffs, SWAT, and Assault Rifles – A Foreclosure Story by Michael Steadman

Idaho Springs, Colorado may seem like a quiet, peaceful, and even quaint little town off I-70 in the mountains west of Denver. However, in the early afternoon of October 30, 2012, the Clear Creek County Sheriff’s office proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that looks can be extremely deceiving. Make no mistake; this is not a kind hearted Mayberry RFD type of law enforcement. This was a tactical, military style assault against unarmed, peaceful protesters.
But first, let’s go back a bit in order to give you a little better understanding of the events leading up to, as well as during their demonstration of excessive use of force.
Sahara Donahue has lived in her home for over 20 years, has been a volunteer in her community, and was a decent law abiding citizen. She suffered injuries from a near-fatal accident, including a head injury that was not properly diagnosed until over a year after the accident. She could no longer perform the duties of her job, and therefore was forced to rely on the generosity of friends to help pay her mortgage for several years. She made every attempt to communicate and work with the banks, and even retained the services of an attorney, in the hopes of finding some resolution to keep her home. However, the banks (as well as a corrupt realtor) apparently had different plans.


After she was given a run-around by US Bank, several of us made our way up the canyon to stand with her and support her in case the eviction went through the following day. Later in the day we were informed that the only compromise offered to Sahara involved her immediate eviction – BUT – they would be magnanimous enough to store her things for 30 days. Those of us at the house began planning our course of action for the remainder of the night as well as for Eviction Day.
We barricaded the driveway with fallen trees in order to limit access to the house, and held several impromptu meetings in order to discuss our tactics. Sahara’s wishes were for us to be respectful when the Sheriff arrived, since she has a history with this community. We agreed that we would all respect her wishes and approach the situation in a peaceful manner. We were led to believe that the realtor would be arriving with a crew of workers to remove items from the house, and the Sheriff would be there to “keep the peace.” Sahara had also asked one of the group’s members to be a spokesman. He would speak directly with those who arrived and deliver legal letters to the Sheriff. This way things would proceed smoothly and help eliminate any unnecessary escalation.
As night closed in we shared stories, discussed ideas, and enjoyed each other’s company in a very peaceful positive environment. Eventually people began to settle down for the night. Most were sleeping in the house on couches or on the floor, while I and another went out to sleep in our tents beside the barricade in case of any unexpected late night surprises.
The following morning we all began to stir as coffee was brewing. There seemed to be an overall sense of optimism among the group. We received word of some more people coming up to join us, and we had another meeting to determine tactics regarding the expected arrivals for the eviction. Several of us collected more timber to fortify the barricades, others were making food, and everyone was ready for whatever was coming (or so we thought).
The first arrival of the day was a truck hauling a dumpster that was apparently to be left there for the workers to put her things in. Seeing the barricades, he got out and spoke with us. He was very friendly and supportive towards us, and then called his supervisor who after several minutes instructed him to bring the dumpster back. We had our first victory of the day and the excitement filled the air.
A while later a white van filled with workers from a “day labor” company pulled up and stopped. These were the men who were supposed to remove her belongings from the house. They needed to wait for the Sheriff to arrive, and since there is no cell phone service in the area, they just relaxed and spoke with us for a while. We even tried to recruit a few of them to stand with us, but to no avail. Finally they decided to leave in order to go back down the mountain to find a place with better reception to make calls. We all began a second celebration as we filled the air with singing, “Na na na na, hey hey hey, GOOD-BYE!”
Things were really starting to look up for us. We felt we had made some incredible progress. Then we heard a vehicle coming. Around the corner I saw a Sheriff’s vehicle through the trees as it was approaching. Then I saw behind it another, and another, and another. About 10 vehicles filled with men in what appeared to be full battle gear (and assault weapons already in hand) began to fill the road in front of the house. In all our planning and meetings, we never expected this kind of response. After all, we were led to believe that the Sheriff was only going to be there to “keep the peace.” And don’t forget to keep in mind that we were unarmed, peaceful demonstrators.
The spokesman of our group got on the megaphone and began trying to get everyone to converge up at the house, but it was already too late. The Tactical Response Team had already reacted. As we were rushing up the driveway, we were cut-off by several men gripping their assault rifles as they began shouting at us to get on the ground on our knees. To my left, the spokesman was coming up, shouting on the megaphone, attempting to discern who was in charge since he had the letters to deliver. The officers didn’t care, in fact as the spokesman was telling them he had letters, one of the officers shouted back, “No, you don’t have letters!” and they continued ordering us to get on our knees. We remained standing and continued trying to open up some kind of conversation.
At this point, I was standing there with the spokesman, and a few others. Mind you, I am about 6’2” tall and about 200 lbs. The others standing with me were as big, if not bigger, with the exception of an older gentleman to my left. Since none of us would get on our knees, these fully armed, militarized officers decided to arrest the smallest and oldest person there. With all their firepower and intimidation techniques, they targeted the least imposing person there. They put him face down in the dirt and gravel, and cuffed his hands behind him with their zip-tie handcuffs.
Finally, the man in charge came forward, but when he was presented with the letters, he informed us that he would take them but it didn’t matter. He then folded them up without even really looking at them. It was obvious that those with the money and the guns couldn’t have cared less about the injustice taking place, and they were ready and willing to do whatever was necessary to shut us down.
I was offered a ride by one of the activists, since the Sheriff was so gracious to let some of us go without further incident. As we made our way down the private drive, we saw at the bottom of the hill; the bulldozer that was just waiting to tear through our barricades, and the van of day labor workers ready to fulfill their job descriptions. After a couple turns down Hwy 103 another realization occurred to me. There on the shoulder of the road was an ambulance waiting on stand-by. Maybe I am mistaken, but it would appear that the Sheriff’s Department was prepared to do, and had every intention of doing, whatever was necessary to obey their bank’s wishes.
We pulled into a local convenience store after making it into town. As we sat collecting our thoughts, and trying to decompress after the events that had transpired, I was struck by something else. I watched the people of the town as they nonchalantly passed by and it occurred to me that this was a sort of metaphor about our entire society today. Just up the hill, innocent people were having guns shoved in their faces, people were being evicted from their homes, and much more. At the same time, the rest of the town went about its daily routine, completely oblivious as to what was going on just around the corner. – M.S.

Later around 6:45pm Occupiers and other residents returned with Sahara to help her sift through her things which were now thrown in piles on the outskirts of the property.  Many of her possessions were destroyed by the movers.  One Occupier who was there for the armed raid, and stayed to help said, “Seeing these things that represented a large cross-section of this woman’s life strewn across the front yard  was one of the worst things I have ever had to witness in my life. Why is the general population letting the big banks do this to us?”  As the temperature started to drop as night set in, the only thing people could do was to cover her piles of belongings with tarps, as there was nowhere for her to take her things.  Sahara was only able to take her two dogs, Rodeo and French Fry, and what ever she could fit in her small vehicle.  She is currently staying in a motel, and is uncertain as to where she will be able to live next.  Occupiers will continue to assist her until her living situation has stabilized.

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Sheriff’s Office Accepting Expired/Unused Prescription Drugs for Destruction

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Public drop-off available in Boulder, Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

 

Boulder County, Colo. – Sheriff Joe Pelle is pleased to announce that the Sheriff’s Office can now accept expired or unused prescription drugs from the public for destruction.

 

The prescription drug drop box has been installed in the vestibule of the Sheriff’s Office Headquarters, 5600 Flatiron Parkway, Boulder, and will be available to the public during normal business hours (Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.).   

 

The Sheriff’s Office has participated in periodic “prescription drug drop-off” programs coordinated in conjunction with Boulder County Public Health and the Drug Enforcement Administration. Unfortunately, these events only occur once or twice a year and typically at two or three sites countywide.

 

However, in cooperation with the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators, Inc. (NADDI) and Endo Pharmaceuticals, the Sheriff’s Office recently obtained a grant-funded secure drug drop box that will allow the public to safely dispose of unwanted or unused prescription drugs at their convenience.

 

NoteThe Sheriff’s Office cannot accept liquids, hypodermic needles or other “sharps”, or any bio-hazardous materials.  

 

The Sheriff’s Office will accumulate the materials and arrange for their safe and legal destruction in conjunction with the Drug Enforcement Administration. Questions may be directed to Technician Debbie Trever or Technician Rachel Day in the Sheriff’s Office’s Property and Evidence Section at 303-441-3629.

 

The Sheriff’s Office plans to also continue its participation in the periodic “prescription drug drop-off” programs sponsored by Boulder County Public Health and the DEA.

-BoulderSheriff.org-

 

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