Archive for March, 2009

New ways to advertise!

New ways to advertise Arizona

New ways to advertise Arizona

Hubby and I were walking home from work the other day and came across this piece of impromptu art advertisement!

I just had to jump in and be part of it!!

Colorado Death Penalty On Death Row

The Colorado legislature is considering the elimination of the death penalty in Colorado.  House Bill 1274, proposed by Colorado House Majority Leader Paul Weissman, would eliminate the death penalty in Colorado in order to save money.  Some of the money saved may be used to solve and prosecute cold cases.

Almost identical legislation narrowly failed in 2007, but may have a better chance of passage this year given the budget challenges and the fact that the Democrats are the majority party in both houses of the Colorado legislature and we have a Democratic Governor.

Colorado currently has only two people on death row and has only executed one person since 1967.

Both the Denver Post and the New York Times have written articles documenting the fact that in addition to Colorado a number of other states (including Kansas, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Maryland, Montana and New Mexico) are considering repealing the death penalty to save money at a time when states are facing enourmous budgetary pressure as a result of the recession.  These articles document the fact that death penalty cases cost as much as ten times what it costs to prosecute criminals and keep them in prison for the rest of their lives.  According to California’s Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice, California spends an additional $63 Million each year just to imprison its death row inmates.  That expense does not even include the cost of trials and appeals which can be up to ten times as expensive as trials where the penalty being sought by the state is life imprisonment.

The Daily Sentinel reported:

The money spent on prosecuting death-penalty cases and subsequent appeals, according to Weissman, is a drain on state law enforcement resources. “We spend about $2 million from the state, and about $2 million locally on a death penalty that we never use,” Weissman says.

Add to this the facts that very few death sentences are carried out each year and that a number of death row inmates have subsequently been exonerated through DNA evidence, and there appears to be a strong argument to repeal the death penalty this year when state budgets are so tight.

I have mixed emotions about the death penalty.  As a general matter, I am opposed to the idea of killing anyone.  However, I am a husband and a father and I have read news accounts over the years about gruesome murders by criminals who are so repugnant that I can see where an eye for an eye has an appeal.

I know that many family members of victims disagree, but I have to believe that Colorado can find better ways to spend the money it will save by repealing the death penalty – especially during this recession when all of us have to make difficult choices.

Things To Do, March 13-27: See "ink". Laugh. Cry. Feel uplifted.

I had the extreme good fortune last night to attend a prescreening of “Ink”, a locally produced urban fantasy film that opens next week Friday at the Starz Filmcenter in Denver

Ink is the latest offering from indy producer Double Edge Films. Previous films include “Spin” and “11:59”, which I haven’t yet had the pleasure to see. This movie sounded designed to hit me right where I live. As I said to friends beforehand, “It sounds like it’s about Good and Evil having epic battles for your soul inside of your dreams.” What’s not to like? I’m there, man.

So I was not surprised that I loved every minute of it. What I wasn’t prepared for was how breathtakingly beautiful this movie was. From start to finish, it was a thing of exquisite loveliness. It made me happy, heart and soul.

As the movie opens, we meet the little girl Emma: playful, imaginative, full of demands (as children are). Her father, John, is a high-powered executive trying to keep his company ahead of the competition. We’re not sure at first which opening scenes are present and which are flashbacks, but we get a sense that John’s life is a little empty, a little too corporate, that he’s uncomfortably distant from his family.

We are also soon introduced to the Storytellers and the Incubi. Up and down the suburban neighborhood where Emma lives with her grandparents, we watch lights going out and people falling asleep… and strange beings not quite of our world approaching their bedsides. As the Storytellers touch a sleeper’s forehead, beautiful dreams are born to uplift the spirit and soothe the soul. As the Incubi send shadows oozing over their victims, nightmares erupt to steal the dreamer’s peace, self-confidence, and sense of worth.

Incubus haunting your sleep

And someone else slips into Emma’s bedroom–the shaggy-cloaked, mishapen character known as “ink,” who steals the dreaming Emma away. In the waking world, her body remains in a coma. In the world of dreams, ink is taking her to the Incubi as a sacrificial offering, that they will condescend to lift him out of his suffering and into their ranks.

The Storytellers mobilize for a rescue. Emma’s life is at stake. So are questions of love and loss, despair and redemption, bravery and courage, for Emma and for her father and for ink himself.

Emma and Liev

Throughout, the movie does an incredible job of reproducing the distinctive sense of being in a dream: the way dreams repeat incidents with variations, the way they open hidden compartments and unfamiliar passageways in familiar houses, the way shapes and places change. When the Storytellers fight with ink in Emma’s grandmother’s house, smashed furniture puts itself back together and characters leap over walls that in waking life meet the ceiling. The fight itself proceeds according to an altered sense of time, as though partially a matter of stop-motion photography–watch the trailers to get a sense of it. I found particularly delightful how ink and the Storytellers traveled from one dream locale to another, the way they opened doorways of light or traveled through moving pictures by playing on small finger-drums that hung from their clothing like charms.

It was also fun to play “spot that location”. The entire movie was filmed in the Denver area, complete with RTD buses and trains, downtown highrises, aspen forests near Kebler Pass, and art buffalo lining the 16th Street Mall. During the Q&A session after the movie, someone asked about the hospital scenes; apparently these were filmed … I’m going to get this wrong … thanks to a fortuitous move in Brighton, I think it was? Staff were moving out of one hospital and into another, and Double Edge Films had about a week to use the just-abandoned building and what was left of its equipment.

Those of you who have seen “Spin” may recognize the earlier production’s spirit in a gorgeously choreographed scene midway through the movie, where a single wind-blown dollar is the first step in a complex chain reaction that brings Emma’s father to a life-changing crisis point. Music combines with rapidly alternating shots of the different players in the scene–and in the middle of it all, one of our main characters blissfully engineering it like an orchestra conductor–and this is the point when I started weeping for the sheer beauty of it all. I’m not sure I can explain it better than that. Just go see it.

Jacob, the Pathfinder

I was reminded strongly of City of the Lost Children and Mirrormask what with the potential of dream reality to affect waking life. But the stakes are higher in ink. This movie doesn’t proceed according to fairy tale logic, for all that it borrows fairy tale elements.

And yet, though the story’s conflicts are of life-and-death importance, hope is stronger than despair, and no failure is forever. The blurb at the Starz FilmCenter tickets purchase page (go there, right now, buy tickets!) likens ink to, among other things, It’s A Wonderful Life; that’s not far off the mark, considering that a strong theme in the movie is that it’s never too late for redemption.

“This is who you’ve become,” the Storytellers whisper in the dreams of the broken. “This isn’t who you have to be.”

Have I mentioned that you need to go see this? You really, really do. And if you like it, go see it again with friends in tow. Double Edge Films is following an unorthodox path, compared to other indy productions. Instead of focusing on the film festival circuit, they’ve followed up their Santa Barbara debut with this two-week run at Starz FilmCenter (which is a wonderful venue, by the way, one of a seemingly dying breed of independent theaters with no before-show ads, lots of excellent indy films, and Mighty Leaf tea and bottles of microbrew at the concession stand). The better it performs here in Denver, the better distribution it’ll get worldwide in the megaplexes with the comfy seats and overpriced popcorn.

So. Support your local film artists and give your soul a tonic! Go see ink on its opening weekend, and tell everyone you know about it! And if you go to the Saturday March 14th 7:00 showing, say hi–my husband and I and a couple of friends will be coming down from Boulder for another viewing. We’ll be the ones bouncing in our seats and making little happy excited squeee noises.

Local Internet Marketing Company Recognized by the EPA

I am very happy to announce that my company – Page 1 Solutions, an Internet marketing company in Golden – was just recognized by the EPA’s Green Power Partnership for our efforts to protect the environment through the use of alternative energy.  The EPA has listed Page 1 as a Green Power Partner.

Page 1 has made a number of changes to try to reduce its carbon footprint.  These include:

  • Planting trees and preserving rainforest acreage each time we complete a client’s website
  • Hosting all of our websites and email accounts on green servers that use significantly less energy and that purchase carbon offsets for the energy that they do use
  • Joining joining the Windsource® from Xcel Energy® plan.  This means that 100% of our electricity comes from Colorado wind farms.
  • Supporting green education through
  • Increasing conservation and recycling in the office.

Click to learn more about Page 1’s Green Initiative.

Page 1 also recently announced the completion of three new client websites (which means more trees planted and more rainforest saved!).  These include:

Page 1 is proud to encourage the use of alternative energy and very happy with the steady flow of website development and marketing work.  This little company currently employs about sixty people in the Denver metro area and has been growing steadily since its inception in early 2001.

Stimulus Money Hits Denver

A good friend of mine who is a realtor in the Denver area told me that one of his clients received an $8,000 check from the Federal Government only two weeks after closing on his new house.

I believe that the Stimulus and Recovery package that President Obama recently signed provides for $8,000 to be paid to any first-time home buyer. Apparently, the Federal Government is getting that money out pretty quickly.

Hiking at Meyer Ranch Park – JeffCo Open Space

We went for an awesome hike today at Meyer Ranch Park – Jefferson County Open Space – in Aspen Park near Conifer.  The weather was beautiful – mid 50’s, the sky was blue, and there was just a soft breeze. The scenery was gorgeous – Colorado at its finest.  Unfortunately, we didn’t see any wildlife this time.

We hiked all three loops including the loop at the top.  The hike took about 2 hours.

The trail was icy in some spots and a little muddy in others – where the ice was melting.  It was easy to manage, however.  Nothing was impassable.

We started at about 2:30 in the afternoon and only passed a few other people on the trail.

This is a trail that is well worth hiking.  It does get crowded at times, so it is good to check the parking lot at the bottom to make sure it is not too busy.  Late afternoons or early mornings are best on the weekend.  If you can get up there during the week, you will have the trail to yourself.  Check it out.  Enjoy!

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