From the week of May 7, 2009

"Secret Garden," Joel Warner, April 30

Hoe, Hoe, Hoe

I enjoyed Joel Warner's piece about urban homesteading.  My wife also read The Omnivore's Dilemma, and I'm bearing the brunt of that now, currently taking a break from building a couple of beehives.  We also anticipate getting several chickens in the next month after the garden is planted.  We tore up our bricked-in back yard last month and have been undergoing a homesteader transformation.  We've also joined the Urban Homesteader Meetup group, and they have some excellent meetings that are really educational to help recapture all the skills our great grandparents used to practice as a way of life. 

Derec Shuler


urban homesteading


Denver's chicken rules are so ridiculous, it ain't funny. Other Colorado cities' rules are pro-chicken (no roosters, though!), so why the heck are Denver's rules so ridiculous? People, write your Denver City Council overlords and let them know that while you don't want to be blasted by orbital bombardment as a result of making the smallest request of them, you would like the chicken rules changed. Make sure you put the word "green" in your request, as that one single word has more influence than the word "Jesus" or the even more important word, "Obama."

Make your voice heard!

Arian Smith


I very much enjoyed Joel Warner's article. It's good to see young people today taking positive steps toward sustainable living. As I understand it, Denver is presently undergoing a massive code revision, and one aspect is how to accommodate the urban farmer in a metropolitan setting.

Patrick D. Williams


I'm also involved in the urban farming movement here in Denver...we plant next weekend. Have you thought of writing a piece on some of the underlying motivations for why people are doing this? Among other things, I run a 2012 info site ( I lot of people are turning their attention to developing local resources because they think the times we're in are a period of major transition that humanity has been in store for, as told about in various indigenous prophecies around the world.

As "out there" as it seems, there is definitely something going on here.

Manny Otto


Editor's note: Joel Warner will be adding a new chapter to the "Urbavore's Dilemma" every Tuesday on the Latest Word blog at The first installment describes an 8,000-square-foot mega-garden being planned in the heart of downtown. This week: the Grow Local campaign's ambitious goal to sprout 2,009 new Colorado gardens this summer.

"The Return of Hummers," Kenny Be, April 30

Law and Disorder

Although I loved all of Kenny Be's pictures of the legislators (if only the actual sessions were as entertaining as his art), my favorite drawing was the "Feelgood Finale," which summed up just how callous our legislators were when they denied in-state tuition. One picture is definitely worth a thousand words.

Erica Vigil


Want another example of Governor Ritter and the legislature's incompetence? University of Colorado president Bruce Benson has announced that 54 faculty members are to be let go, others to get pay cuts, and the school administration newspaper to be closed. Benson, an ultra-conservative Republican banker, says there isn't enough stimulus money to avoid the cuts.

Really? Anybody remember when the legislature denied in-state tuition to the sons and daughters of illegal immigrants? These students, by birthright, are citizens of this country and state. Even if only $1 was charged to these students, it would help. As I've stated in Westword before, this state is being dumbed down.

Richard Weber


This would be funnier than most of the Hummers held in recent years (the practice was discontinued after the Midnight Gerrymander). The only problem is that if May is doing it, he won't be poking fun at any of his Republican colleagues...although I could see him going after Marostica and Al White.

Name withheld

Posted at

"Power Play," by Joel Warner, April 16

Carbon Copy

Stan Lewandowski is to utilities what Dick Cheney is to public service: obsessively secretive, dictatorial (just look at his quotes about board participation in this article!), and ultimately on the wrong side of history. While he might very well be commended for keeping rates low during his time at IREA, utilities have to worry about much more than just that anymore.

Completely aside from the global warming issue, the Comanche 3 plant — and most new coal plants, for that matter — will be white elephants long before the end of their useful lives. The long-held view of America having a "200-year supply" of coal has never been proven decisively. China's new status as a financial superpower and coal importer will make that supply last much less than 200 years. And with the Chinese bringing one new coal-fired power plant on-line every week, it will dwindle even more quickly.

The Comanche 3 plant is also out in the arid plains of southeastern Colorado. Whatever water rights the plant may have can also be expected to dwindle as temperatures climb and rainfall patterns shift (even further to that area's detriment).

And returning to the policies being considered to combat global warming: Lewandowski himself has admitted that the profit-loss projections for Comanche 3 have never accounted for the prices on carbon emissions that are sure to be enacted within the next decade or so, whether through cap-and-trade or simpler carbon taxes. Of course, he'll be dead and gone before the worst of these effects arrive. Regardless of what happens over the next decade or two, Stan Lewandowski — and Dick Cheney, for that matter — will most likely go to his grave "knowing" that he was right all along...even though he won't be.

Phil von Hake


As Stan Lewandoski says so pithily: "It takes a skilled carpenter a month to build a fine barn, and any jackass can knock it down in two hours."

Too bad so many donkeys moved into the IREA neighborhood.

Larry Turner



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