Archive for May, 2008

Denver and Bathrooms: The Throwdown

Let me first clarify my stand before I link to the article.  I am a Christian. I am a Republican. There were days when I stridently agreed with Focus on the Family and followed every thing that came out of the campus up in Colorado Springs.

Those days are long gone.  James Dobson does not speak for me but he is an interesting figure to listen to at times.  Just like the Re-Create ’68 crowd (seriously, the convention should be a terrible train wreck), he’s got a right to say and believe in certain things I might vehemently disagree with.

But this…this makes me listen a little harder.  9news brings us, Unisex Bathrooms In Colorado’s Future?

I’m all for equal rights and tolerance in regards to what people believe and practice (to certain points…those polygamy cults are starting to concern me) and making the USA a little more welcoming and understanding.

Senate Bill 200, quietly signed by Gov. Bill Ritter (D-Colorado) with little fanfare on Thursday, prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or identity. It protects those who identify themselves as gay, bisexual or transgender from discrimination in areas including housing, business and education.

The law also prohibits discrimination in “public accommodations.” That is where the debate took a turn toward the toilet.

But I’m with opponents on this one.  First of all, Bill Ritter hasn’t been on my list of people I’m terribly fond of this year.  It started with the whole labor union crockup that he slipped a mickey to us with and did it all on his own.  And this little fact,

The governor signed the bill privately. When reached for a comment Friday afternoon, his spokesman said Ritter would be available for a public comment on Monday.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m outnumbered here on the blog and in my city as a Christian Republican…but I don’t like this whole signing bills privately and quietly.  It’s unnerving to me at best (not a “BATTLESTATIONS” cry mind you) and leaves me continually questioning Ritter.  If I’m alone in this, so be it.

But the concern that Focus has is this,

“It is now legal in the state of Colorado for a grown man to walk into a girl’s restroom in an elementary school for whatever purpose, and it is illegal for the school to say you can’t do that,” said Schneeberger. “What we’re really concerned about is sexual predators … who want to prey on young boys or young girls in particular, who would use the confusion caused by this law to victimize our children.”

The law’s proponents dismiss Focus on the Family’s argument as a narrowly-tailored scare tactic that ignores the greater purpose of the law.

“This is an important step forward for the state to make the state’s laws of fairness and justice applicable to everyone who lives here,” said Bruce DeBoskey, executive director of the Anti-Defamation League’s Rocky Mountain chapter.

And yet the question remains unanswered.  What is to prevent some guy from standing in a girls restroom?  What if he just stands there and does nothing?  The article is lean on those details (if anyone has some better reporting, link in the comments) and leads me to believe that this issue was pushed through with little fanfare, aside from Focus’s campaign against it.

Focus on the Family launched an ad campaign in an attempt to convince Ritter not to sign the bill. The effort failed.

Anybody got an opinion on this? I ask already knowing the answer. I’ve got my flak jacket on and ready.  :)

Quest for scenery

I’m an avid photographer, and in the past few days I have booked a few weddings, high school senior and family portraits – that will span over the next few months. I’m looking for scenery, something different but unique for background shots. Besides the beautiful scenery of downtown Denver… where is some of your favorite places that you like visit that says to you “photographic scenery”?

L O V E

Taken at Washington Park, for Becky Young Photography

Network for a Cause

A favorite local fundraiser of mine is Network for a Cause. This charitable event isn’t presented by a nonprofit organization or sponsored by large corporations. Network for a Cause is planned and presented by Colleen Flynn–one lady with a big heart. Colleen launched Network for a Cause back in 2005, and with the help of a few volunteers and a multitude of generous donors, she has been organizing the event three times a year ever since.

Colleen started Network for a Cause because, as she notes on her website, “Networking is a great way to make new business contacts and social acquaintances. What a better way to do it while giving back to the community.” And she does exactly that, providing a fun and entertaining environment for both networking and giving. For a $20.00 entry fee, guests receive one free drink and appetizers. The event typically has live entertainment and a raffle with tickets for $2.00 each.

All proceeds collected at the Network for a Cause events go to a featured charity, typically a small local nonprofit. To date, thousands of dollars have been raised for local charities such as the Andre Center, Josh & Gus’s Run for a Reason, Community Shares, The Chanda Plan Foundation and many more.

The second Network for a Cause of 2008 is next week and will benefit Art Street, a Denver youth program that creates opportunities for local youth. All the event details are provided below:

Date: Wednesday, June 4th.
Time: 5:30 PM to 8:00 PM
Location: The Hornet
Address: 76 Broadway, Denver 80203
Phone: 303-777-7676
Entry: $20.00
Raffle: $2.00
RSVP: cmflynn@eye2design.com

**Purchase tickets online through Blacktie-Colorado in advance.

Colleen is still accepting donations for the raffle. Email her if you have an item to donate.

The final event this year is on Wednesday, September 10th and benefits Home Aid Colorado. Colleen manages invitations to Network for a Cause events through an email list. Email her at cmflynn@eye2design.com to get on her list and receive information about future events.

Boulder Creek Cam

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The city just announced the new Boulder Creek Cam on the New Britain Building downtown.

Great for people watching and for monitoring the flood gauge.

Lakeside Adventures

I went to Lakeside Amusement Park last weekend. The park is celebrating its 100 year anniversary this year and I was with some native Denverites (Denveranos?) hoping to revisit their childhood. (Seriously, we were this close to eating at Casa Bonita afterwards.)

Five dollars $2.50 gets you in the door, and tickets to ride the rides are 50 cents each (most rides cost 2-3 tickets). I think there is the option of getting a wristband for unlimited rides, but, in my case, five dollars worth of tickets was more than enough.

We rode one roller coaster when we first got there – the wild chipmunk. I’ve always been a roller coaster person, but this tested my limits. There was no seatbelt, no safety bar, it was rickety (according to Wikipedia it’s been open since 1955!), it had to be operated manually, and had a series of quick, sharp turns that left my head spinning. After that, we pretty much stuck to the easy rides. There is a train that goes around the lake and the park lights up at night making the views from the Ferris wheel kind of cool. We got glares from staff when we asked if they served beer, but we did eat some funnel cake that was pretty good. The highlight of the night, however, was that we were all able to master the arcade game with the joystick and the claw that grabs for stuffed animals. After years of being traumatized and feeding millions of quarters into those things to no avail, I was vindicated! I went home with a little stuffed chick and so did each of my friends.

We debated whether this would be a good first date place (like in the movies, boy wins girl giant teddy bear for feat of strength, etc.) and ultimately settled on “No.” But, if you’re up for a so-lame-it’s-cool experience for around $10 a person, it’s not a bad option for four chicks out on the town.

Helping Windsor

The National Voluntary Organizations in Disaster website has a list for people interested in supporting disaster relief efforts:

1. Financial contributions are often the best kind of donation to make.
2. Used clothing is rarely a useful item to collect for disaster relief. (mounds of clothing take up valuable warehouse space and frequently end up being discarded)
3. Confirm the need before beginning a collection of donated goods.
4. Transportation must be planned in advance (don’t assume that unsolicited relief supplies will be transported at no charge or at gov’t expense).
5. Donated goods must be well packed and labeled. (put yourself in the shoes of the person on the receiving end)
6. Volunteers are encouraged to affiliate with a voluntary agency involved in disaster response and recovery. (before the next one strikes, get some disaster training)

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BolderBoulder Photoblogging

I am sorry to say I pretty much didn’t get out of bed this year for the BolderBoulder. I was neither in the race nor out of town nor even at the Boulder Creek Festival. I didn’t even go visit my friends who were belly-dancing in the rain out on Folsom on the hill between Valmont and Pine. I was a lump.

However, the bedroom I pretty much didn’t leave happens to be pretty much at the starting line. The turning on of the public address system at 30th and Iris at 6:45 AM (or earlier?) was my alarm clock, and for the next three hours the cats and I would periodically peer out the windows at participants doing warm-up jogs and stretches on my street. Or I’d just sit up in bed now and again and tell my husband, “The NA wave is going by!”

At risk of revealing my physical address to the all the internets (like you couldn’t find it if you tried, you voyeurs, you), I bring you photos!

During…

BolderBoulder ‘08: During

…and After…

BolderBoulder ‘08: After

…and Way After.

BolderBoulder ‘08: WAY After

You may of course click the thumbnails for full-sized JPG goodness.

Today everything is back to normal: all the fences and Port-a-Potties have been removed from the scene. The efficiency of the organization that is BolderBoulder is truly stunning.

Good News Bad News

So, let’s do the bad news first.  All those videos and photos from the Indy midnight event?  Gone.  My error in hitting the wrong blasted button on my camera and hitting the next “ok” button.  Doh!

Good news?  For the first time in five years, Monday Night Raw/WWE hosted a live televised event in the Pepsi Center.  And guess who was in section 126, row 6, seat 4?  That would be me, the eternal WWE wrestling fan.

You ever been in Pepsi Center when the Avalanche play?  Pepsi Center doesn’t shake…it’s roars and thunders.  Same story tonight.  I would say that Denver fans tend to be gigantic energy machines when we’re into what’s going on either on the ice, stage or as it was tonight, the ring.

Tonight at 5,280 feet we rocked the house.  We were on Live television.  We got Randy Orton to yell “Shut up!” at us when the whole stadium was yelling “YOU SUCK!”.  We cheered, we booed and we had way too much fun.  All the superstars were amazing to watch in person and it was a rousing version of The National Anthem from Lillian Garcia that opened the show.  It was pure silence as a tribute to the troops played on the trinitron followed by pounding round of applause and cheers for our men and women in uniform.  We had Vince McMahon at the end of the yelling at us ’cause we kept saying, “WHAT?” as a crowd.

It was an amazing sold out show.  The house was packed to the rafters and each person that was there…wanted to be there.  Thanks to WWE for coming to Denver after such a drought…and here’s to hoping you come back.

Colorado Springs plays host to ECW and Smackdown tomorrow night.  You can check ticketswest.com to see if they have any seats left.

And if you’re not down with that…I got two words for ya…

Solitary Bees

Yesterday I kept my Yard Man busy with a lot of household projects including making a nesting area for solitary bees. I think most people know that honey bees are suffering from some kind of disease that isn’t fully understood. If you can’t help with a hive, you can foster the solitaries, who are also great pollinators. Lisa Mahnke, a local landscape designer at Dry Ideas was the source of inspiration. If you have some wood, a drill and some nails, you can help the bees! Ours aren’t as fabulous as Lisa’s, but it gives the neighbors something to wonder about
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Movie Disclaimer

Sex and the City: The Movie is being released next Friday night. So I will date myself and look like a dork when I post here… I want to see it. I will go see it. And to make matters worst in my dating myself… I want to see Madonna in November too. Back to SATC.

I have been listening to the local radio stations offer their coverage of the movie and what you could win if you play their contests to earn free tickets to the movie. They all sound like fun, but I’m not about to spend 20 frantic minutes trying to call in, to play a game online or live my life next to the speakers waiting to hear a song to be played so I can be caller 1,451. I plan on seeing the movie, not carrying so much if it’s opening night or not – but I will see it.

Then enters an online newspaper that sends me weekly updates. There on the front page is a “Win tickets – write an essay” contest. I think – “what they hey, what could I lose?” So I fill out the form, write down in 500 words or less what character I relate to of SATC and clicked “SUBMIT”. (Carrie Bradshaw if you are wondering).

Yesterday I received an email saying I won 2 tickets to the special advance screening of the movie. It releases on Friday – this is on Tuesday. This is better then the radio contests… because I would see it before anyone else. SCORE! I picked carefully who I wanted to go with me and we are set to go. We are geared up and ready to go for next Tuesday, but after sitting down and really reading the email, I discovered this on the website of where the promotion was originated from:

Please note: Passes received through this promotion do not guarantee you a seat at the theatre. Seating is on a first-come, first-serve basis, except for members of the reviewing press. Theatre is overbooked to ensure a full house. No admittance once screening has begun.

Now I shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth – but why do they do this? Over-book? It’s like the airlines revisited again. I will be there. Why else would I bare my soul online and post my characteristics that were like Carrie? I’m sure they know this will be a sell out in most theaters on Friday night, winning tickets for a Tuesday night would make it no different. I don’t see why they have to over-book. Is this necessary? I don’t think so. If you look at this from the economy side? I won 2 tickets. But I will have to pay gas to get down town. Pay for parking. Pay for dinner, pop-corn and a coke. I may have won, but I’m still paying. Why the need for over-booking? Especially if I have to pay for the gas and parking?

I relayed this to my husband and he said we had gone through this before. I can’t remember who won the tickets or the name of the movie, but we went to the designated spot – and we missed the cut off time. People had been standing in line for 2 hours for this early release and they said about 100 people were turned away when the theater was full.

So in a nutshell… I will be there. Early. Extra-early. And if I miss out? I will wait till Saturday or Sunday of next week to see it, because after all – I will be seeing this movie.

Update: My friend and I did get in. There was 463 seats, and from what 9 News said – everyone was able to get a seat that showed up. We were in the early 100’s of the crowd so we also got great seats. For those interested in going and wondering if it will translate to the screen… you will not be disappointed.

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