Wednesday, October 31, 2007

From the 1976 movie Network:

Howard Beale: I don't have to tell you things are bad. Everybody knows things are bad. It's a depression. Everybody's out of work or scared of losing their job. The dollar buys a nickel's work, banks are going bust, shopkeepers keep a gun under the counter. Punks are running wild in the street and there's nobody anywhere who seems to know what to do, and there's no end to it. We know the air is unfit to breathe and our food is unfit to eat, and we sit watching our TV's while some local newscaster tells us that today we had fifteen homicides and sixty-three violent crimes, as if that's the way it's supposed to be. We know things are bad - worse than bad. They're crazy. It's like everything everywhere is going crazy, so we don't go out anymore. We sit in the house, and slowly the world we are living in is getting smaller, and all we say is, 'Please, at least leave us alone in our living rooms. Let me have my toaster and my TV and my steel-belted radials and I won't say anything. Just leave us alone.' Well, I'm not gonna leave you alone. I want you to get mad! I don't want you to protest. I don't want you to riot - I don't want you to write to your congressman because I wouldn't know what to tell you to write. I don't know what to do about the depression and the inflation and the Russians and the crime in the street. All I know is that first you've got to get mad.

Howard Beale: [shouting] You've got to say, 'I'm a HUMAN BEING, Goddamnit! My life has VALUE!' So I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window. Open it, and stick your head out, and yell,

Howard Beale: 'I'M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!' I want you to get up right now, sit up, go to your windows, open them and stick your head out and yell - 'I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore!' Things have got to change. But first, you've gotta get mad!... You've got to say, 'I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!' Then we'll figure out what to do about the depression and the inflation and the oil crisis. But first get up out of your chairs, open the window, stick your head out, and yell, and say it:

Howard Beale: [screaming at the top of his lungs] "I'M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!"
Denver voters: Just vote NO on A thru I!!!
Where to drop off your ballot?
See bottom of this entry.

It's not enough to just vote NO. Many discourage voters are not returning their ballots. Send emails and make phone calls to your friends, encouraging them to vote, and to just vote NO. This election may be closer than is generally thought, taking a couple of hours of your time now could make the difference.

Read over my posts here the last few weeks, then take action TODAY!!!
Here's a recap of some points you might want to make in your emails and phone calls:


It wasn't a face-to-face town-hall meeting, but a 21st century "virtual" version in which Mayor John Hickenlooper fielded voters' questions about his plan to create "a better Denver" by raising property taxes.
A week before Election Day, Hickenlooper connected with more than 2,000 voters Tuesday in a conference call.

"It's much more difficult than talking to a room of 300 people," Hickenlooper said of his third such event in recent weeks.

I wasn't invited to this, were you? Is the Mayor afraid of a live face-to-face meeting with the voters? He says it's more difficult online, then why not call an open meeting to answer questions?

We've invited the Mayor to the Denver Grassroots Rally, but he's declined.


Click here: Rocky Mountain News series on A thur I

My letters to the editor put online, never printed in the paper:

Vote no on A through I
John Wren of Denver writes:

Denver voters should send a clear message with the ballots now being received in the mail.

Just like the hippies put women & kids up front in confrontations with the police in demonstrations in the 60’s, Mayor J-Hic forms , staffs, and then marches behind “citizen committees” which stifle any organized opposition from forming.
Preschool kids, the arts, Denver teachers, a new jail, have all been subject to J-Hic’s “women & children up front” campaigning. Is Denver better? No.

How well has J-Hic’s “citizen committee” worked with the homeless problem in Denver? Take a walk through civic center park and decide for yourself.

$1 million has been amassed from those who will get the $550 million from what has been called by one concerned leader, “an alphabet soup grab for cash.” The million dollars is being called “a good investment.” This is an end-run around representative democracy. It is Enron-style politics.

Wake up Denver! Stop the insanity! Just vote no on A thru I.

This letter has not been edited.
Posted by denver-admin at 02:09 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

And this, which I'd sent as an individual, the News added
the GOP info, clearly to try and minimize the impact:

Anti-bond issues comments diluted

Did the city pay for the series the Rocky Mountain News ran about the upcoming Denver election — what Denver GOP chair Mary Smith has told reporters is “an alphabet-soup grab for cash”?

I spoke with a reporter several times and made it clear that the election should be seen as a referendum on Mayor John Hickenlooper’s poor performance and people should just vote “no” and that perhaps it was time to Kick Hick.

My comments were watered down dramatically (“A backlog of upkeep/Mayor says mill levy hike offers ongoing fix, but foe questions past maintenance efforts,” Sept. 29), and Smith’s comments were not reported at all!

What has happened to the idea that our newspapers are watchdogs on city government? Ever since the Rocky-Post joint operating agreement came into being, it has become just one dysfunctional family — the newspapers, Denver city government and the bonding companies, contractors and others who end up with the cash.

Denver voters who want to send a message should just vote no.
John Wren
House District 5
Republican chairman
Posted by denver-admin at 12:01 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

There were no comments to my letters BECAUSE COMMENTS WERE NOT ALLOWED!!! And neither letter was actually printed in the paper. The search engine on the Rocky Mountain News website doesn’t bring up the letters when searching on DENVER ELECTIONS or any other term I try. The News is clearly using their website to further spin the story in favor of the mayor.


Click here: Reasons to vote NO on A thur I.

Denver voters can now drop their ballots off at one of 16 drop-off sites.
The drop-off locations below will be open:
Through Friday, Nov. 2, 2007 (10 a.m. to 7 p.m.)
Monday, Nov. 5, 2007 (10 a.m. to 7 p.m.)
Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2007 (7 a.m. to 7 p.m.)

1. Athmar Recreation Center, 2680 W. Mexico Ave.
2. Barnum Recreation Center, 360 Hooker St.
3. District 3 Police Station, 1625 S. University Blvd.
4. Eisenhower Recreation Center, 4300 E. Dartmouth Ave.
5. Glenarm Recreation Center, 2800 Glenarm Pl.
6. Green Valley Ranch Recreation Center, 4890 Argonne Way
7. Harvey Park Recreation Center, 2120 S. Tennyson St.
8. Hiawatha Davis Recreation Center, 3334 Holly St.
9. Montbello Recreation Center, 15555 E. 53rd Ave.
10. Montclair Recreation Center, 729 Ulster Way
11. Scheitler Recreation Center, 5031 W. 46th Ave.
12. Tattered Cover BookStore, 1628 16th St.
13. Tattered Cover Book Store, 2526 E. Colfax Ave.
14. Wellington Webb Municipal Office Building, 201 W. Colfax Ave.
15. Westerly Creek Elementary School, 8800 E. 28th Ave.
16. Elections Division Office Lobby 303 W. Colfax Ave. (Colfax & Court Place)
(The Elections Division Office will be open at 8 a.m. on the above dates and drive-thru ballot drop-off is available beginning at 7 a.m. on Election Day on Court Place between Colfax and 14th St.)

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Is the Denver GOP dead?

Sunday (Oct 28) I sent out an email to hundreds of political activists and GOP leaders encouraging them to go to the Denver Post endorsement of A thru I, make a comment there, and then email their friends in Colorado encouraging them to do the same. (See copy of my email on Oct 28 posted here below.)

How many did it? None. There were NO additional comments on the Post website this morning.

I sent a personal email to one of my most politically active friends, encouraging him to join the fight against A thru I. The result? He sent out an email this morning supporting Ron Paul.

Long time GOP activist friends of mine refuse to put up a “Vote No on A thru I” yard sign when I tried to give it to them. “Of course we voted no, but this is a sensitive issue with our neighbors.”

I sent out 200 letters thru the mail asking for help and got 2 volunteers.
Based on all this, I predict a big, big victory for J-Hic’s A thru I. Denver looses again.

WAKE UP DENVER!!! YOUR EMAIL NOW TO YOUR FRIENDS ON A THRU I WILL ENCOURAGE THEM TO VOTE NO AND RETURN THEIR BALLOTS!!! Go to the Post endorsement at, post your comment there, and then email your friends encouraging them to do the same!

Maybe the Denver GOP is not dead, but just in need of a good nap!

The evidence is mounting that a short afternoon nap, for an otherwise well-rested, healthy person, is good for the heart.
A recent large study of 23,000 people in Greece, published in the Feb. 12 Archives of Internal Medicine, showed a 37 percent reduction in heart attacks among people who napped at least three times a week for a minimum of 30 minutes. That study was the first to weed out sick and sedentary nappers and control for physical activity and diet, which might have colored results of other studies showing no benefit.

"I love to nap," says Dr. Robert Downey III, chief of sleep medicine at Loma Linda University Medical Center in Southern California. "I recommend napping."
But he cautions that for a nap to result in increased alertness, it probably should last 20 to 30 minutes.

"With a light nap, you get that soothing, biological benefit, but you don't have to fight your way back to consciousness," he says.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Since 1994? I've been holding a weekly meeting I now call the Denver IDEA Cafe for people who want help as they start a new career, a new project, a new campaign or a new business. It's not meant to become a weekly habit for anyone, just a boost when looking for a new direction.

I just sent this to Denver the media in Denver, so if you want to be at the brainstorming table (the first 12 to RSVP each week sit at the "inner circle" and brainstorm) RSVP now!

November 2, 2 p.m. Denver IDEA Café_ Jim Saylor and Mary Jo Claussen, Las Brisas de Mexico will speak. Meeting is free and open to those starting a new career, a new project, a new business, or a new campaign. Startup experience is shared and there is brainstorming. RSVP at or (303)861-1447.

Location: Panera Bread, 1350 Grant St., Denver, in the community room.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Many, many Denver voters will be casting their ballot after taking a look at the today's daily newspapers. Your email to your friends could make a difference.

Go to the Denver Post endorsement, post YOUR comment, then forward it to your friends, like I'm forwarding this to you right now!

Then Just Vote NO on A thur I!

They brought down the Soviet Union with fax messages, surely we can defeat A thru I with emails!

John Wren

Saturday, October 27, 2007

On this day in 1964, Ronald Reagan launched his political career with "A Time for Choosing"

You and I are told increasingly that we have to choose between a left or right, but I would like to suggest that there is no such thing as a left or right. There is only an up or down -- up to man's age-old dream, the ultimate in Individual freedom consistent with law and order -- or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism.

What Regan called "ant heap of totalitarianism" is what I call Borg (see below)

Do we need a grassroots lobby for the common man to fight Borg at it's constant push for higher taxes?
The Rocky Mountain News letter to the Editor section is still not allowing debate on letters concerning A thru I (see my letter to them earlier today at the bottom of this post.)

So I just made a 2nd call to their newsroom and left a 2nd voice mail message, followed by this second email, and copied several other newspapers:

Boettcher letter by Tom Jensen still allows no comments,
I can't even read the full text.

I'd sent you a letter several hours about this, and I left voice mail in
the newsroom then, too.

I'm posting about this obvious manipulation of the news and stifling of
debate on A thru I on my blog
Business Week’s America's Best Young Entrepreneurs 2007 Most finalists are banking on the Web, but some have broken into more traditional sectors such as publishing, manufacturing, and investment banking.

And what happened to our 25 finalists from last year's Best Entrepreneurs Under 25 roundup? Growth is the consistent theme, and highlights range from landing partnerships and securing rounds of venture capital funding, to fending off job offers from Wall Street hedge funds and other businesses.


Albert Ellis, who in the 1950s founded cognitive therapy in the US, died July 25 (2007) at home in New York. He was 93. He gave his last interview to Jules Evans, whose portrait of Ellis in Prospect Magazine described a man who remained dedicated to the Stoic values that underpinned his system and to the teaching to which he devoted his life. In his later years, Ellis fell out with the trustees of the institute he founded, who tried to eject him from the board—yet he remained stoical about even this, describing the board members as “fucked-up, fallible human beings, just like everyone else.”

Below is what Jules Evans said about Ellis’s impact on politics in that article (edited for brevity and clarity), which throws light on why so few in Denver are willing to stand up to Mayor J-Hic’s tax/spend proposals on the current Denver ballot:

(Note: This explanation of Ellis’s approach below should be read with this warning in mind, posted as a comment to the Evans article in Prospect Magazine: There are large social forces encouraging us to be victims, and lots of profits being made. BUT what I don’t like about short therapies is that the alteration in our habits of perception can take a long time, and Diogenes et al saw it as a lifetime’s work, a way of being, rather than a quick fix. Satori may be instantaneous… but there is a path of learning involved, rather than a mere act of consumption. I call these large forces encouraging us to be victims Borg, from the Star Trek cyborg characters. It appears our Denver Mayor J-Hic has become Borg —is it too late to save him?  John Wren)

The assumption of both the psychoanalytic and the neuropsychological approaches is that your mental suffering is beyond your conscious control; it is the fault of your screwed-up neurotransmitters, or your dirty id. Albert Ellis's cognitive-behavioral approach is more humanistic. He declared that emotional disorders are often of our own making, the consequence of our conscious and semi-conscious thoughts and mental habits. We construct our own prisons, and we can free ourselves from them. And we can do it quite quickly.

Ellis said the heart of his cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) was a comment of the Stoic philosopher Epictetus: "It's not events, but our opinions about them, which cause us suffering." We can train ourselves, as Stoics and Cynics did, to change our opinions, our mental habits, so that we become robust and self-accepting enough to withstand external events that used to cause us suffering, such as getting rejected by a woman, or getting fired.

What CBT does is update stoicism and apply it to specific mental disorders, like depression or social anxiety. This is, perhaps, its greatest achievement. In an era of postmodernism and neuropsychology, it has managed to put Greek philosophy back at the heart of western society—CBT has persuaded millions to follow the principles first discovered by Diogenes 2,400 years ago.

It is possible to say of CBT, as you can of stoicism, that it can lead to political quietism. You learn to accept and tolerate everything around you, and never get angry about the injustices you encounter. But actually, if you look at Stoics or Cynics through the ages, they have a distinguished history of standing up to tyrants, precisely because they are not afraid to let go, not afraid to die.
I just sent this email to the Rocky Mountain News (see my Sunday, Oct 21 post here on the same problem at the News):

Online Manipulation of the News?

Having online letters to the editor that allow readers to post comments gives the appearance of full, open community dialog.

Is that really the case?

It is my opinion that Denver voters should just vote NO on A thru I.

When I tried to comment on a relevant online letter to the editor last week, I was not allowed to do so. My email and phone calls to your paper questioning this were not returned.

Now another letter appears supporting one of the elements of A thru I and I'm not allowed to even read the full text! (Boettcher does need the remodeling)

Are the people in charge of the online version of the Rocky Mountain News selectively censoring debate on the A thru I issue? Debate is allowed on prostitution, but not A thru I. Has the massive ad budget of the Pro A thru I forces influenced those overseeing the online version of the paper to look the other way on this outrageous manipulation of the discussion about A thru I?

John Wren
960 Grant Street
Denver, CO 80203

Maybe the News will answer this letter and my phone call to their newsroom about the same problem. They have been ignoring me about this problem since last week. See my post here last Sunday, Oct 21.

Yesterday I requested that a GOP leader I've known for years allow me to put up a "Vote No on A thur I" yardsign in her front yard. "Of course we've voted no. But we really don't want to upset our neighbors. This is a sensitive issue."

The Independence Insitute sent out it's online newsletter yesterday with no mention of A thru I. My suggestion they send a 2nd email addendum has not been answered.

Republicans I talk with are against A thru I, but they are not willing to speak out against it.

So far as we are human, what we do must be either evil or good: so far as we do evil or good, we are human: and it is better, in a paradoxical way, to do evil than to do nothing: at least we exist. T.S. Eliot

Friday, October 26, 2007

Just vote NO on A thru I! Why? Read my entries here for the last few weeks!

My brother Randy called this morning with the very bad news that my friend Phil Hanson had died in California, his obituary is in the morning paper. Phil and I spent hours playing together from elementary school years and Cub Scouts and then Boy Scouts until we were on Denver’s Thomas Jefferson high school sophomore football team (I remember talking with Phil sitting at the counter at the Dolly Madison in University Hills shopping center about quitting the cross country team and joining him on the football team) and then we went in different directions. I’m grateful for the final time I saw Phil some 20 years ago, we had lunch and talked about how things had been for us, and how happy he was in his marriage and his business partnership with his dad. He was on my mind yesterday, as he often is. Good bye for now Phil, God bless and keep you.

And then I got this just now from my friend Dr. Robert Langs:

Dear John:

I am sending you the last blurb prepared by my publisher on the book--feel free to edit it if need be. I've asked that you be sent a copy and look forward to your reaction to it. In the meantime, I will appreciate your sending out the word on this book--it is I think a good book on the good book.

With best regards,


Beyond Yahweh and Jesus:
Bringing Death's Wisdom to Faith, Spirituality, and Psychoanalysis
Robert Langs, M.D.
Latham, MD: Jason Aronson, October 2007.

Jason Aronson, Inc. is proud to announce the publication of one of the most exceptional books ever written about religion, its wide range of influence on human life, and its illuminating interactions with the fields of human psychology and psychoanalysis. Grounded in his new, adaptive approach to the human mind, in Beyond Yahweh and Jesus Langs has penned the first truly comprehensive psychoanalytic study of the Old (Hebrew) and New Testaments. Filled with surprising conjectures and unforeseen revelations, the book is remarkable in its insights and miraculous in the way it unifies religious and secular thinking, bringing wisdom to both believers and non-believers, the laity and mental health professionals alike.
The book is centered on God's role in enabling humans to cope with the fundamental problem of life—death and the three forms of death anxiety it evokes, predatory, predator, and existential. The stage for this exploration is set with a comprehensive study of the story of Adam, Eve, the serpent, and the Lord God in Eden, a tale that Langs deftly reexamines in order to arrive at fresh insights into the emotion-related archetypes that are as much at the heart of Genesis as they are of life today. Yahweh is seen as tending to increase rather than diminish human death anxieties, while Christ is shown to have offered near-perfect solutions to each of its three types. The question arises as to why Christ has failed to bring peace to the world. Langs’ answer is focused on the absence of the psychological wisdom that religion needs to supplement its numinescent, spiritual wisdom—a void bemoaned by the Archbishop Temple of London as early as the mid-1800s and by Carl Jung in the 20th century.
The journey on which Langs' embarks takes the reader through an examination of the related topics of knowledge acquisition and divine wisdom, with its archetypal link to the explicit human awareness of death; fresh portraits of Yahweh and Jesus; the failure of psychoanalysis to provide religion with the depth psychology it needs to fulfill its mission; a set of propositions that are intended to bring this missing psychological wisdom to religion; and the conjecture that this effort will help to initiate the third chapter in the history of the Western God in which refashioned morality and divine wisdom will play notable roles.
The book also offers a foundation for secular forms of spirituality and morality, as well as for the broad human effort to cope with death and its incumbent anxieties, with or without religion. In addition to enhancing secular approaches to the archetypal challenges of life and death, Langs' primary mission in this book is a lofty but necessary one: to bring fresh dimensions and insights to religion so as to enable it to at long last contribute effectively to the human effort to bring peace to the world on both the personal and global levels.

Table of Contents

Author’s Note
Prologue: My Appointment in Samara
Chapter One. The First Question: God’s Answer
Chapter Two. The First Question: Eve’s Answer
Chapter Three. Death Anxiety and Divine Wisdom
Chapter Four. Augustine’s Version of Adam’s Sin
Chapter Five. Eve’s Motives
Chapter Six. Cain and Abel
Chapter Seven: Augustine’s Reliving of the Sin of Cain
Chapter Eight. The Failure to Master Death Anxiety: Yahweh
Chapter Nine. Resolving Death Anxiety: Jesus Christ
Chapter Ten. The Failure of Religious Beliefs
Chapter Eleven. Why Psychoanalysis Failed Religion
Chapter Twelve. The Future of Religious and Secular Spirituality

Robert Langs, M.D. is the author of 45 books and some 170 journal papers on issues pertaining to the vicissitudes of human emotional life.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

As Denver tries to decide whether to hand the Mayor a blank check for up to $550 million (plus all the private money from fundraising and increases in staff salaries to operate the new facilities that will be built that will be trigger by it’s passage--for the concert hall ($55 million), the libraries ($8 million), etc. etc. I have just one question:

Where is the Mayor?

He seems to be around to sign his clean air plan, to announce the belt-tightening in yet another poor neighborhood, etc.

But he is no where to be seen when it comes to answering questions on A thru I.

For example, here is a perfectly valid set of questions on A thru I. Mayor J-Hic has had over a week to give an answer. WHY HASN’T HE RESPONDED!

Whoa, Whoa! Just a Minute There, Big Fella!By: Joshua Sharf

I've written here before about the proposed Denver property tax hikes. Here's a list of 9 questions - plus follow-ups - that those proposing this increase should have to answer before we vote for any of these bonds, and certainly before we vote for the mill levy increase...

When J-Hic is invited to events, his handler says he will be out of town (see my exchange of emails with her regarding the Denver Grassroots Rally tomorrow (Oct 25) on

Why is he hiding? Because A thru I is a do-over!

If you care about Denver, take action NOW!

Email your friends, encouraging them to email their friends, encouraging them to email their friends, etc. etc. It’s like doing a wave at the Broco or Rockies game. Here’s the message: JUST VOTE NO ON A THRU I.

Put it in your own words, be creative! Cc: me at and I’ll post your email on my blog and give the most creative a prize—coffee at Panera Bread.


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Mayor J-Hic's Million Dollar Campaign for A thru I.
Has Mayor J-Hic’s Pro-Comp incentive plan for Denver teachers worked? Are Denver students better off today? If you thinks schools are getting worse in Denver, send a message to the Mayor and just vote NO on A thru I.

This is in the New York Times today about a similar “incentive” plan being proposed for New York teachers:
The insult New York Yankee’s coach (Joe Torre) feels for being offered a bonus ($1 million if he won the World Series) for doing something few baseball managers can do is nothing compared with the insult that New York City teachers should be feeling right now. At the same time Torre was being given the offer he couldn’t accept, the city announced that it will start offering bonuses to teachers whose students perform well on standardized tests. In other words, teachers can’t be trusted to do their jobs without bonuses. How insulting can you get?

And beyond the insult, such an incentive scheme is an effort to fix a structural problem on the cheap. If teachers are thwarted by their working conditions, then we need to fix the conditions, and not try to paper over them with bonuses. There are settings in which bonuses may make sense — if the work offers no opportunity to find satisfaction, for instance, or if it really is all about the money. And yes, there should be public acknowledgment of extraordinary performance. But that acknowledgment needn’t be financial, and it certainly shouldn’t be contractual.

The more society embraces the idea that nobody will do anything right unless it pays, the more true it will become that nobody does anything right unless it pays. And this is no way to run a ballclub, a school system, or a country.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Just vote NO on A thru I!
Why? Look back over what has been
posted here for the last few weeks.

If you agree, send an email today to
your friends, call them, and call into
radio talk shows.

People will be voting now, every one's
received their ballots in the mail.

And the Mayor is out of town! I just got this
from his scheduler! (below is my email to her):

He is out of town both this Friday and next Friday. I am sorry John.

From: []
Sent: Tuesday, October 23, 2007 10:23 AM
To: Moore, Suzan - Mayor's Office
Subject: Grassroots Rally Fridays at 4 p.m.

Hi Suzan,

Following up my voice mail just now,
would the Mayor be able to attend to
help us get this started this week or
next? (see attached flier.)

I'd spoken with Roxane White about it
last week.

The Statesman Newspaper made my letter to editor into a half-page advertisement against A thru I, be sure to pick up a copy this week. Thanks, Jody!


I just sent these items to the Associated Press, Dan tells me the first will run in their day book, the 2nd is too general and won't be listed yet.

Oct 26, 2 p.m. IDEA Café_ Entrepreneur and community activist John Wren will discuss his no-cost campaign to defeat Denver’s tax/bond A thru I proposals, and Matthew Wartell will tell how he started his business ML Wartell & Associates. Free to people who are starting a new career, a new project, a new business, or a new campaign. Startup experience is shared and there is brainstorming.

Location: Panera Bread, 1350 Grant St., Denver, in the community room.

Contacts: John Wren (720)495-4949
Matthew Wartell (303)759-1596

Oct 26, 4 p.m. DENVER GRASSROOTS RALLY_ Community activist John Wren will discuss why he is starting this new, free weekly networking meeting for people with passion who want to make a difference. Everyone is invited to share what is on their mind at an open microphone; it’s like a poetry reading for politics. Sign-ups to speak open at 3:30 p.m.

Location: Panera Bread, 1350 Grant St., Denver, in the community room.

Contacts: John Wren (720)495-4949

If you'd be willing to speak at either of these meetings on future Friday's (IDEA Cafe, share your startup experience; at the Denver Grassroots Rally share on a political issue or candidate) let me know and I'll list you as the featured speaker.

Monday, October 22, 2007

On this day in 1928 Republican presidential nominee Herbert Hoover spoke of the "American system of rugged individualism" in a speech at New York's Madison Square Garden; and in 1968 Apollo 7, with astronauts Wally Schirra, Donn Fulton Eisele and R. Walter Cunningham aboard, returned to Earth.

Today is Annette Funicello’s 65th birthday. Years ago I was in love with her. We’d meet nearly every afternoon after school. Maybe those Mickey Mouse Club rendezvous are what helped me see the value of small groups. My brother Jay says my tomb-stone will say, "He never saw a group he didn't like."

Several major research libraries have rebuffed offers from Google and Microsoft to scan their books into computer databases, saying they are put off by restrictions these companies want to place on the new digital collections.

The research libraries, including a large consortium in the Boston area, are instead signing on with the Open Content Alliance, a nonprofit effort aimed at making their materials broadly available.

I just discovered a free, public resource where people find their geographic neighborhoods online and form corresponding digital communities. The results of recent research suggest that for some communities a service like encourages neighborhood participation, helps people form local social ties, connects people to their local communities and creates neighborhoods that are safer, better informed, more trusting, and better equipped to deal with local issues. I-neighbors supports nearly 5,000 neighborhoods in the United States and Canada. Users of have established I-neighborhoods in all 50 states of the United State, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. In Canada there are neighborhoods based in all ten provinces and two territories. The size of I-neighbors communities range from a couple hundred users spread over a few hundred homes in a single geographic community, to one or two users in newly established I-neighborhoods.

I just started an i-Neighborhood for here where I live, the Colburn Apartments. Hi neighbors! What do you think of this?

Sunday, October 21, 2007

The busy man is never wise, the wise man is never busy.
Lin Yutang

Mary and I went to the Colorado Symphony last night, wonderful concert for the few of us who were there to hear it. I went a couple of weeks ago, same thing, a more than half-empty hall. Even the concert reviews are starting to mention how few people are attending.

Doug Adams, the CSO president introduced the night, he did not say one word about his vision to raise $100 million to take a wrecking ball to the hall, he would have felt foolish bringing it up to such a small crowd, I’m sure.

Did you see Adams’s letter in the Rocky Mountain News. He makes it sound like the Symphony could write a check for $30 million to match the city “contribution” to recycling the almost new Boettcher Concert Hall, while at the same time raising another $25 million for the CSO rainy day fund. If it’s so easy to raise money, why isn’t he selling more tickets?

I’m sure Adams is a very busy man.

I tried to post this comment on the Online Rocky Mountain News a couple of days ago, I got a message I'm not allowed to post. Yesterday, same thing happened when I tried to post a correction to my letter (see yesterday's entry here.) I've contacted the News repeatedly, they refuse to return my calls or email. I'll post what they tell me when I do talk with someone.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Here my letter in today's Rocky Mountain News and here is my post that was just rejected:

I emailed this letter to the Rocky Mountain News and posted it on my blog October 4. You can see the original version there.

As you can see, I sent this speaking only for myself. The News added “GOP Chairman for House District 5.” Why? To encourage Democrats not to pay attention to what I'm saying. When speaking to the reporter for the paper I’ve made it clear I was speaking as a private individual, and as you can see on I did not sign the letter as GOP District Chair.

Powerful forces use this divide and conquer technique to control the grassroots majority. Democrats, Republicans, and independent voters unite! Just vote no on the insanity of A thru I! And email, telephone, and write letters encouraging your friends to do the same!

I just tried to post a comment about my letter to the editor published today in the Rocky Mountain News and got this message:

Comment Submission Error
Your comment submission failed for the following reasons:

You are not allowed to post comments.

What an outrage!

This also happened when I tried to post a response to the letter to the editor in Rocky Mountain News from Doug Adams from the Colorado Symphony. I immediately emailed the newspaper asking why I was not allowed to post; there has been no answer.

So much the illusion of interactive dialog with the Rocky Mountain News Online!

The paper is using technology not to increase dialog, but to further bias the news and manipulate public opinion.

Those who are concerned about the direction of Denver are invited to join us each Friday at 4 p.m. for Ben’s TGIF Grassroots Rally at Panera Bread, 13th & Grant near the Capitol. For more info, see

7:27 a.m. I just called the newsroom at the Rocky Mountain News asking them to correct the letter online and run a correction in the paper. I'll let you know how they respond.

Friday, October 19, 2007

On Oct. 19, 1987, the stock market crashed as the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 508 points, or 22.6 percent in value - its second biggest percentage drop. I was working for Merrill Lynch at the time here in Denver. We got the problem accounts: "Congratulations, your account has been assigned to me here at the National Sales Center in an attempt to give you better service."

Coincidence? On Oct. 19, 1885, Charles E. Merrill, who helped create the Merrill Lynch, at one time the largest brokerage firm in the United States, was born. Following his death on Oct. 6, 1956, his obituary appeared in The Times.

Have you noticed the “Honk if you are for A thru I” sign wavers around town? What they are saying is “Honk if you are for higher taxes.” VERY FEW ARE HONKING! We can beat this! Just vote NO on A thru I.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I just got this email from my friend Johnny:

okay, John.

In reading the exchange you had on your blog, I agree with you about A-I... This is a job for professionals, and not for mobocracy. I'll send my emails and vote "no."

Thank you for taking the time to post this, and making a difference. It's mighty alluring to fall into the illusion of control with ballot initiatives. I seem to remember that there was an initiative of this type that created the need for so many more of these initiatives... ugh.

I just read Colorado Confidential's response to my report of not being able to find Jim Spencer's very interesting and informative article on A thru I. Their response in full is in the comments to my original post (see below). They seem to think an appology is necessary; if anything it seems to me they should be a bit humble about making the article next to impossible to find. Read Spencer's article now if you haven't already, here's how:

It can... be accessed via a search on Colorado Confidential by selecting "diary" and typing "Hickenlooper" as the keyword.
This is an email exchange I had last night and this morning with a friend of mine from Socrates Cafe. Maybe we can continue the discussion there this Thursday. We meet at 7 pm at Trinity Church, 18th & Broadway, it's free and open to all. RSVP at

My friend had asked me why I was against the Denver Tax/Bond proposals, I'd responded that there were some worthwhile projects, but that the way they were being promoted giving the illusion of choice was deceptive. This was his response and the rest of our exchange:


Please explain, John. What's the deception? If I have the flexibility to choose which of the 8 bond issues I want passed (as opposed to it all lumped together), that sounds like a better form of self governance than putting it all in the hands of a legislature that is similarly bombarded with lobbyists and all or nothing measures full of pork barrel stuff, written in complex legislative formats.


Here is the deception:

1. Forming a committee of the "best & brightest" to develop the plan. We elect representatives to fulfill that responsibility. This is a PR trick, why can't you see that? And the Mayor claims the recommendation of the committee was unanimous, which is a lie. Mary Smith, Denver GOP Chair, tells me she was on the committee and did not agree with the recommendations.

2. Raising $1 million for those who will receive the cash to advertise the proposals. No one is hurt enough by this to take the time to oppose it in a significant way. Newspapers in the past would have taken this on, but they are no longer the watchdogs of the public they were in the past.


I understand your critique and find some merit in it, but I don't find the legislature approach necessarily any better. Legislatures have to deal with lobbyists (your PR campaign) and campaign funding, so they are also influenced by people who have a vested interest in certain bills being passed too. At least with the Bond issues up for public vote, it's all out in the open and not just argued within the marble chambers of the capitol.

The fact, as I pointed out, that you have a kind of "line item veto" over this Bond issues makes it compelling to me. I like that flexibility as some of the proposals, like Boettcher Hall seem a bit spurious. Under the legislative approach, all 550 million dollars worth would be bundled in a bill most likely and legislators would be seduced to pass it since more of the measures seem worthy.

No, John, simply saying that's it's better to leave it in the hands of elected officials, isn't necessarily a better way. Also, since you stated you like things going from the bottom up, doesn't putting these spending issues up for a direct vote empower the little guy to make a direct statement on what he wants funded in this matter?


Direct democracy was not at all what the founders of this country had in mind, and
with good reason. We are a republic, not a democracy. Why? Because mobocracy is just a tool for tyrants. The mob is easily manipulated, as we are seeing with the Denver tax/bond issue.

The little guy is not helped at all, except for the illusion of being a good citizen when he cast his ballot or blows hot air with his friends. The real power is with the tyrant, or the small group that backs someone like Hickenlooper, and then manipulates the mob.


I generally sympathize with the mobocracy concerns but with our representatives being swayed by big money interests, campaign funding and lobbyists, one can also be concerned about oligarchical pressures as well.

And this is what makes political philosophy and theory so interesting. There are so many double edged swords out there to the issues. I see problems both ways, John.


Yes, I agree, there are other real concerns. The price of liberty is eternal vigilance! Are you planning on attending your precinct caucus Feb 5?

(Denver voters must be registered with the party of their choice by December 5 to vote in the wonderful Colorado caucus-assembly system for nominating to the primary ballot. The neighborhood caucus system is where the average citizen’s voice can be heard most clearly and have the most impact.)
This is why you need to email your friends in Denver to encourage them to just vote NO on A thru I:

The mayor is eluding voters
By Jessica Peck Corry
Denver Post

Where in the world is Mayor John Hickenlooper? You likely saw him on a TV commercial last night or maybe marching down the 16th Street Mall accompanied by giant red letters last week, but catching him — or any of his fellow city officials — in person these days has been about as likely as getting a World Series ticket at face value.

As Denver voters consider multiple ballot initiatives that could have an important impact on life here, Hickenlooper, members of the City Council, and high-ranking city staffers appear only willing to connect with the public through canned media appearances...

Where did Jim Spencer's column on this same topic go? Here is what Spencer wrote October 10 on Colorado Confidential, today it's no where to be seen on that website:

Jim Spencer :: Hickenlooper's Bond "Magic" Appears to be Working Judging from the TV ads, it's going to be don't ask, don't tell in the run up to the November ballot on eight bond issues and a tax increase in Denver.

All we, the voters, will get is grinning Mayor John Hickenlooper standing in front of a bunch of oversized dancing red foam letters A to I.
Numbers? We don't need no stinking numbers.

If Hizzoner says vote for A to I without telling Denver how much it will cost, we voters should do it - just like lemmings.

A few weeks ago, on the PBS television show Colorado Inside Out, I predicted that we wouldn't.

Today, I'd say the odds are, the majority of us will.

No organized opposition has arisen to oppose the lock-step, numberless approach to marketing $550 million in bond debt and a $27 million property tax increase that will add $63 a year to the bill for a $255,000 home.

The only sticking point right now is that voters will have to mark their ballots nine times, not once. This might cause some confusion, but apparently no sense of outrage or manipulation...

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

From today's Rocky Mountain News, another good reason to just vote NO on A thru I, the work of the pushy righteous that would override individual dreams:

Once a pushy, righteous majority starts overriding individual dreams in the name of the greater good — in other words, communal values — you can pretty much kiss liberty as we know it goodbye. Vince Carrol

The whole state is watching this election, Denver. Just vote NO, and forward this along to your friends who live in Denver encouraging them to vote NO. Now is the time to stand up to the pushy righteous, ballots are being received in the mail now. With your help on the Internet, it can be defeated. ACT NOW!

Monday, October 15, 2007

I just sent this to the Post & News:

Just vote NO on A thru I.

What Denver is doing with this election is being watched closely across the state. If A thru I passes, you can expect to see similar efforts multiply in future elections.

I went to hear the Colorado Symphony concert recently one Sunday afternoon. It was a very exciting program, a very accessible work that had never before been performed in Denver. The hall was nearly empty. The review of the Friday night performance had praised the music and commented on the embarrassment of such a small audience.

More rehearsal space, a bigger lobby, and a new Speer entrance will not solve this problem.

As a former Director of Marketing and Public Relations for the Denver Symphony Orchestra (we had more sell-outs during my tenure than ever before or since) I say that the Symphony proposal is a mistake. It would reward bad management with big money. That’s why I’ve called it Enron-style politics.

Voters should use this opportunity to wake up Denver city government and stop the Hickenlooper’s citizen study approach to government.

It has been said that the mayor likes this approach because he is a geologist, and this is how a geologist thinks.

Really? Would anyone invest in an oil project that was the result of a citizen's committee?

And how well has it worked here in Denver?

It has been used to address our crisis with the homeless. If you want to see how well that has worked, take a walk through Civic Center park.

It has been used in Denver education. The result? Denver Public schools are on the verge of collapse.

Send a clear message: A thru I is a do-over: just vote no. And use your email to encourage your friends to do the same.

For more reasons why, see
The Post has posted my response (see below) to their endorsement of A thru I:

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The Denver Post today endorsed J-Hic’s cash grab. The so called “Better Denver” ad appears at the top of the Internet editorial page! Wow. I posted my letter to the editor the daily newspapers have refused to print as my comment, why don’t you go there now and post your thoughts on A thru I.

My friend Bob Cropp send me this email about my TV “interview” on A thru I, and he gave me permission to share it here with you:


It appears that Hizzoner's campaign manager edited your interview on Ch. 7. I wasn't sure, from what was on the interview, if you were opposing the bond issue or not. The impression I got was that you were just objecting to the packaging of the issues without adequate understanding of what was being asked of the taxpayers. While that is likely true, it isn't the whole story.

Unfortunately, I agree with Spencer that all the issues will pass. Never overestimate the understanding of the urban voter. My daughter and her husband will vote against.

When I was a kid my Dad, an ardent Democrat, told me that ever since the Supreme Court struck down some of FDR's projects it became the policy of the Democrat party to stuff the judiciary with judges that were as Liberal as possible. Up until the Reagan administration the Republicans didn't seem to care. During the Vietnam war Lyndon Johnson gave draft exemptions to teachers. Seems innocent enough but it served to greatly accelerate the Left's penetration and dominance in education. The entertainment media was already far left for reasons that are politically incorrect to mention and the news media soon followed because the journalists were being taught by these leftist professors.

It all reminds me of the dictum of Heinrich Himmler, "tell the people something long enough and they will believe it!" Like Gore who, when presented with some inconvenient facts on Global Warming, bellowed back that this (GW) was an accepted fact by the scientific community and not subject to debate.

By the way I am sponsoring a talk by Dan Spicer, Ph.D. a retired NASA scientist entitled "Religion and Science; Friends or Foes?" You and anyone you know who might be interested are cordially invited.

You won't find many with more credibility than Dr. Dan. Here are the details:

Religion and Science: Friends or Foes?

We’ve heard that religion is incompatible with science but is that true?
Are scientists atheists?

Has science disproved the existence of God?

Come and hear Dan Spicer Ph.D. discuss these issues and more. There will be a question and answer period following the presentation.

Some of the positions Doctor Spicer has held include:
Research Professor of Physics, Drexel University, Philadelphia
Emeritus Scientist, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Senior Scientist, Laboratory for Space Physics, NASA/GSFC
Chief, NASA Center for Computational Sciences, NASA/GSFC
Senior Research Physicist, Plasma Physics Division, U. S. Naval Research Laboratory,
Visiting Professor, Institut für Astronomie, ETH-Zentrum, Zürich,Switzerland
Regular Lecturer, Culham Summer School on Plasma Physics, Oxford University, UK

St. Thomas More Church
Dessert with Deacons
Saint Francis Hall
October 24
7:00 – 8:30 PM
Free and open to all.
Join us!

Friday, October 12, 2007

This photo says it all"

The Republican Party has abandoned…the working-class dreamer who longs to make good. David Brooks

27 percent of children and 29 percent of adults had cavities going untreated. The level of untreated decay was the highest since the late 1980s… Since 1990, the number of dentists in the United States has been roughly flat, about 150,000 to 160,000, while the population has risen about 22 percent. In addition, more dentists are working part time...

Dentists’ incomes have grown faster than that of the typical American and the incomes of medical doctors. Formerly poor relations to physicians, American dentists in general practice made an average salary of $185,000 in 2004, the most recent data available. That figure is similar to what non-specialist doctors make, but dentists work far fewer hours. Dental surgeons and orthodontists average more than $300,000 annually.

“Dentists make more than doctors,” said Morris M. Kleiner, a University of Minnesota economist. “If I had a kid going into the sciences, I’d tell them to become a dentist.”

My dad wanted me to become a dentist. It seems like they make a lot of money, until you realize that the high end of their pay scale is less than what a rookie playing on any major league sports team can expect.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

KGMC Ch7 TV posted their news story online. As you can see in the video, they call it a battle between David and Goliath. Forward this page along to your friends, encourage them to forward it along. Remember, David won!

Steve Saunders just interviewd me for KMGH Ch7. He tells me it will air today (Oct 11)at 4 p.m. in it's long version, a shorter version at 5 p.m., and then possibly again at 10 p.m. On it I encourage people to attend our Ben's Chamber TGIF tomorrow (Oct 12) at 4 p.m. We hope to make this the #1 weekly networking event in metro-Denver, it's free and open to everyone, this should help us get off to a good start! RSVP if you haven't already at, OK? RSVP Yes/No/or Maybe for tomorrow, and you'll get a notice each week about special guests. Do you think Mayor Hickenlooper would join us next week?

Also, check out the Jim Spencer interview on Colorado Confidential. He's very negative about the Denver Tax/Bond proposal, it would be a great piece to forward along to your friends. If we all email our friends, we can defeat J-Hic's cash grab!

Have you spoken out? What do you think of this letter
I just sent to Denver newspapers:

Denver voters should send a clear message
with the ballots now being received in the mail.

Just like the hippies put women & kids up front in
confrontations with the police in demonstrations
in the 60's, Mayor J-Hic forms , staffs, and then
marches behind "citizen committees" which stifle
any organized opposition from forming.

Preschool kids, the arts, Denver teachers, a new jail,
have all been subject to J-Hic's "women & children up
front" campaigning. Is Denver better? No.

How well has J-Hic's "citizen committee" worked with the
homeless problem in Denver? Take a walk through civic
center park and decide for yourself.

$1 million has been amassed from those who will
get the $550 million from what has been called by
one concerned leader, "an alphabet soup grab for
cash." The million dollars is being called "a good
investment." This is an end-run around representative
democracy. It is Enron-style politics. (See article
from Denver Post, below.)

Wake up Denver! Stop the insanity! Just vote no on A thru I.

John Wren
960 Grant Street #727
Denver, CO 80203

The campaign to pass a $550 million bond package and tax increase in Denver has raised $1 million in less than a month, mostly in large chunks from groups that stand to gain the most.

Financial reports filed today show the Better Denver campaign received donations of at least $100,000 from the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, the Colorado Symphony Association, the Denver Botanic Gardens, homebuilder MDC Holdings Inc. and Hensel Phelps Construction Co.

Of that group, the museum gave the most: $300,000…

Better Denver also received $25,000 each from Mayor John Hickenlooper's re-election campaign, Xcel Energy, Stapleton developer Forest City, the Denver Center for the Performing Arts and the Downtown Denver Partnership.

Various members of the Anschutz Corp. gave the campaign a total of $22,000.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

New ideas, speakers and seminars, along with some competitive entrepreneurial pitching, are all on the agenda at the third annual Naturally Boulder Days 2007: Building Sales, Brands and Authenticity, October 25-26, at the St. Julien Hotel, with the Naturally Boulder Task Force and the City of Boulder hosting the conference.

Medical research terrorism? Papers today are full of a research study that purportedly shows that a stressful relationship leads to a bad heart. Study itself is no where to be found on line, and Roberto De Vogle who did the research lists a string of other suspiciously propaganda looking research for the World Bank and others on topics like the relationship of income inequality and health. Did any of the reporters read the actual study? How do I get a copy?

Monday, October 08, 2007

Today over the lunch hour on KGNU AM1390 I went into the studio to give the reasons to vote NO on the so called "Better Denver" proposals, what Mary Smith our GOP Denver chair has called the Mayor's alphabet-soup cash grab.

A lawyer who was on the committee of "Denver's best and brightest" (her words, not mine) went on and on about what a wonderful thing the tax hike and increase in City debt will be.

I pointed out that "the best and the brightest" hadn't served us very well in the past: the Edsel automobile, Viet Nam War, etc. etc. The gave the reasons to vote NO:

1. Plan not well thought out. Lots of instances where plan only goes part way, voters will be left to pay more later. An example: the 3 new library buildings. Not enough money to finish the buildings, plan calls for more hand outs later, AND THERE IS NO PROVISION AT ALL FOR STAFFING THE 3 LIBRARIES!!!

2. The city doesn't do a good job now with the money they have. I'd intened to mention the park work in South West Denver that's been funded for nearly two years and the city just can get around to it!

3. Taking the wrecking ball to Boetcher Concert Hall is absurd. Build the same year as McNichols Arena, WHICH HAS ALREADY BEEN TORN DOWN. 30 years for building that should last centuries! The Rocky Mountain News Building on Colfax torn down to build the new justice center, they want us to save paper sacks and rubber bands and they tearn down good buildings left and right.

It's time to wake up Denver city government. Kick Hick, just vote NO!!

So it went something like this. Far as I could tell all the callers agreed with me.

I took Rick Nevin's "Vote NO" yard signs by the Denver Daily News and the Statesman Newspaper.

If KGNU posts the show on their website, I'll let you know.

Now, back to work. Forming the next Franklin Circle. Would you be interested? Email me at

Let's get started!

Friday, October 05, 2007

On this date in 1921 The World Series was broadcast on radio for the first time. In 1947 President Harry S. Truman delivered the first televised address from the White House.

And Ray Kroc, founder of McDonald’s, was born on this day in 1903. He started his first McDonald's in Chicago in 1955 and when he died January 15, 1984 the chain ad 7,500 outlets in the United States and 31 other countries and territories. The total systemwide sales of its restaurants were more than $8 billion in 1983.

What made Mr. Kroc so successful was the variety of virtuoso refinements he brought to fast-food retailing. He carefully chose the recipients of his McDonald's franchises, seeking managers who were skilled at personal relations; he relentlessly stressed quality, banning from his hamburgers such filler materials as soybeans.

Mr. Kroc also made extensive, innovative use of part-time teen-age help; he struggled to keep operating costs down to make McDonald's perennially low prices possible, and he applied complex team techniques to food perparation that were reminiscent of professional football.

"I guess to be an entrepreneur you have to have a large ego, enormous pride and an ability to inspire others to follow your lead," he once said.

But his leadership entailed a wish that his followers be, like him, driven by an unending urge to build and to excel.

"Some people reach their level of expectations pretty quickly," he once observed. "We want someone who will get totally involved in the business. If his ambition is to reach the point where he can play golf four days a week or play gin rummy for a cent a point, instead of a tenth, we don't want him in a McDonald's restaurant."

Understandably, many McDonald's executives decorated their offices with scrolls inscribed with his favorite inspirational dictum:

Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.

I think Ray Kroc would have agreed with this:

American conservatism is only successful when it’s in tension — when the ambition of its creeds is retrained by the caution of its Burkean roots. David Brooks

So in today's world of rapidly changing technology and innovation, the new economy that is driving the stock market to record highs and giving a handfull of people the power to terrify the world, what do we do?

We can each only do the little that is possible today to move in the direction of our dreams and trust that with God's help it is enough. Let's get started!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

I’m getting positive feedback about my emailed letter to the Rocky Mountain New$ earlier today about Mayor J-Hic’s cash grab (see below). It will be interested to see if the New$ publishes the letter.

A well written letter, and a well-reasoned argument, John. Thanks for all you are doing.
Best regards,
Ryan R. Call, Esq.
(Denver GOP Vice-Chair)

Great letter, John. I think this Denver vote could be a lot closer than they want it to be.
(From a top GOP leader who wants to remain anonymous)
9:15 a.m. I'm glad the Rocky Mountain News finally pulled the Denver election story up to the front page after they received my letter.

Did the city pay for the series you are now running about the
upcoming Denver election, what Denver GOP chair Mary Smith
has told reporters is "an alphabet-soup grab for cash"?

I spoke with a reporter several times and made it clear that
the election should be seen as a referendum on Mayor J-Hic's
poor performance and people should just vote "no" and that
perhaps it was time to Kick Hic.

My comments were watered down dramatically, and Mary Smith's
comments were not reported at all!

Each morning I've looked for the series on line, and it has
been hidden in the web version of your paper. This is an
obvious manipulation of the story, it deserves at least equal
treatment with the other front page stories this week.

What has happened to the idea that our newspapers are
watchdogs on city government? Since the Join Operating
Agreement, it has become just one dysfunctional family,
the newspapers, Denver city government, and the bonding
companies, contractors and others who end up with the cash.

Denver voters who want to send a message should just vote NO.

John Wren
960 Grant St. #727
Denver, CO 80203

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

On this day in 1955 - Captain Kangaroo debuts on CBS and The Mickey Mouse Club debuts on ABC. In 1962 - Project Mercury: Sigma 7 launched from Cape Canaveral, with Astronaut Wally Schirra aboard for a six-orbit, nine-hour flight.


TODAY at 2 p.m. KC Truby will be my guest on the Online IDEA Cafe.
KC is an expert on finding new customers. Join us! Just click on the icon to
the left and either call into the show or listen through your computer.


The Rocky Mountain News continues it’s series supporting Mayor J-Hic’s bond proposals. Mary Smith, Chair of the Denver GOP has spoken out publicly and spoken with reporters about her opposition to what she calls “this alphabet-soup grab for cash.” Her comments and that of other well know opponents to the bond proposals is no where to be found in the series. Ballots are scheduled to be mailed to voters October 12.


A routine budget briefing unexpectedly turned into a scolding Monday for Mayor John Hickenlooper's stunned chief of staff.
Several Denver City Council members chided Kelly Brough about the administration's failure to give them a heads-up about proposed reductions in hours next year at 11 recreation centers, some of which are in Denver's poorest neighborhoods.

"I don't know what we've done to earn that level of disrespect," said Councilwoman Judy Montero.


I just sent this email to J-Hic:

Dear Mayor Hickenlooper,

I see your website has been taken down,
so I'm contacting your directly. (Why has the website that was
created to support your bond proposals been killed?)

I'm President of the Denver South Optimists Club. We meet each
Wednesday for lunch at Perkin's at Buchtel & S. Colorado Blvd.

Next week we will be discussing your bond proposals. We have someone
who will be speaking against them, would you or someone else be able
to join us?


I just got this back from Mayor's office:

Dear Mr. Wren,

On behalf of Mayor Hickenlooper, thank you for writing. I’m thinking that maybe you typed in the wrong web address. The website that you may be referring to is Please let us know if you have any further questions.

Best regards,
Mary Crosswright
Executive Assistant
Office of Mayor John W. Hickenlooper

When the .com address didn't work, I did a Google search, couldn't find
this .org address, and there is no link on the Denver City Website that
I could see. And I wonder why they aren't encouraging online discussion
on the site?

Monday, October 01, 2007

On this day in 1896 The U.S. Post Office established Rural Free Delivery. In 1908 Henry Ford introduced the Model T automobile to the market; each car cost $825.

I was quoted again in the Rocky Mountain News today. Same quote as yesterday. Guess it's part of the paper's effort to make Denver green:

Some GOP foot soldiers are grumbling, however.

John Wren, the House District 5 Republican chairman, said city officials should have done a better job of maintaining public buildings with past tax increases.
"I think they better be better stewards of the money they've already been given before they do these sob stories and create hysteria," Wren said. "Taxes going up is a bad thing, and I don't think the mayor has any conception of that."


With graffiti concerns surging in Denver, a city councilwoman is hoping to erase a new ad campaign by the Wendy's fast-food restaurant chain that she contends glorifies graffiti.

Councilwoman Jeanne Faatz sent a letter Tuesday to the company asking it to stop running the ad. She saw the commercial at a movie theater.
The ad features a graffiti artist named "Siloette" spray-painting the iconic Wendy's girl image on a wall.


I got this email from my friend Denver Councilperson Jeannie Faatz about my post here a few days ago about her opposition to J-Hic's teacher pay plan:


I noticed on your website a reference to a Post article about a proclamation city council considered re: employee pay. Unfortunately the reporter misunderstood one of my points. I did not say I would support a system where every employee got the same amount of raise. I said I believe there are ways to restructure compensation to have greater employee satisfaction, yet not have to increase the total amount for compensation. In other words, a different distribution of the same total appropriation we now have to achieve greater employee satisfaction.

As you said, not likely that everyone will get the exact same raise. I wouldn't advocate for that either.

The REAL point of my comments was to advocate for greater and more meaningful employee input earlier in the process. I don't want their frustrations to escalate until the only recourse they'd consider would be collective bargaining for Career Service Employees.

Jeanne Faatz