Deliverance

Time's a-wastin' at Rocky Flats.

Even though the Rockwell case was officially closed ten years ago.

"The half-life of plutonium is what, a million years?" asks Haddon.

"It lasts for 24,000 years," responds McKinley, now back at his ranch. "There's no getting rid of plutonium. It's all a shell game."


Allard and Udall aren't counting on the threat of fines to do the trick. If the plutonium shipments to Savannah River haven't started by July 1 of this year, their legislation calls for the DOE to look for alternative sites.

Texas, for example, which also campaigned for the MOX plant and has more than twenty tons of plutonium at its Pantex facility scheduled for transport to South Carolina.

The Colorado politicians don't care where it goes -- as long as it's gone. "This is a Colorado-focused insurance policy that the DOE will keep its commitment to Colorado," Pacheco says. Four hours after Allard and Udall introduced their bills, the DOE agreed to push back the transport date to June 15 -- and South Carolina agreed to an expedited schedule on its lawsuit.

"If the court case goes against us on the 13th," Conway asks, "why not just reopen the issue? Why are we wasting all our time with South Carolina when we have other alternatives?"


War and Peace

Those political types fretting over the plutonium still stashed at Rocky Flats are missing an obvious solution: They could simply wish it away.

This week, a group of wishful thinkers will start circulating petitions asking that their proposal for the City and County of Denver to add a division devoted to the "Initiative for Safety Through Peace -- Creating Permanent Peace and Preventing Terrorism Worldwide to Help Ensure Public Safety" be put before the city's voters come November.

Thanks to an unusually low turnout at the last mayoral election, the group needs only 2,458 legitimate signatures to make it so. (That count represents 5 percent of the people who voted for the office of mayor in the 1999 election, the percentage required by city charter to put an initiative before Denver voters.) And a personable petition-bearer should be able to snag that many John Hancocks in only a few hours at the People's Fair.

The primary force behind the movement, Jeff Peckman, has been "thinking about world peace for thirty years," he says. But while thinking globally, he decided to act locally only after last summer, when a congressman's call for a Cabinet-level Secretary of Peace was passed over. After September 11, the need to "attempt to create a peace-creating device at the local level" became overwhelming.

Or, as the argument for the proposed ordinance states: "The People of the City and County of Denver hereby declare that safe cities and safe citizens are possible only in a safe and peaceful world. Terrorism is the most critical problem facing our world today. However, political negotiations, treaties and the use of destructive weaponry have hopelessly failed to create lasting peace or prevent terrorism or war. We urgently need a more fundamental approach that neutralizes the very basis of terrorism; preventing terrorist attacks before they begin.The 'Initiative for Safety Through Peace' would implement such an approach -- by requiring the use of proven, preventive, peace-creating technologies."

The only technology specifically listed, however, is "Super Radiance" (otherwise known as Transcendental Meditation®), which, according to the petition, has been "tested successfully in all parts of the world. More than 600 scientific studies...confirm a wide range of physiological, psychological and sociological benefits resulting from this fundamental experience of transcendental consciousness."

There's more, of course, lots more, and you can find it on the group's Web site, at www.bigg-alliance.org. But in the meantime, Peckman adds this: "We're presented with a completely new paradigm about how things work in the world...that you could actually achieve some prevention of terrorism through a local ordinance." And, of course, a city department devoted to transcendental meditation.

What does he think this is, Boulder?

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