The Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Plant has been out of the business of producing plutonium-triggers for atomic bombs for two decades now; after a $7 billion cleanup, it was transferred to the Department of Fish & Wildlife, which one day will reopen the property sixteen miles upwind of Denver as a wildlife refuge. Reopen most of it, anyway: Some of the area is so contaminated that it's still off limits. As the song says, plutonium lasts forever -- and so do the secrets of Rocky Flats.. But slowly, the truth has been seeping out over the years.
Tomorrow night, the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center will celebrate thirty years of working for nonviolent social change -- and fighting Rocky Flats -- at the Peacemaker of the Year Award Ceremony. Special Peacemaker Awards will be presented to three people who have continued to work on the lingering contamination problems at Rocky Flats and were intrinsic to making sure at least some of the truth leaked out:
Former FBI agent Jon Lipsky, who led the June 1989 raid that halted production of nuclear triggers at Rocky Flats -- and ultimately was transferred to the FBI's L.A office to work on gang issues as thanks for his efforts.
Former Colorado state representative Wes McKinley, a rancher from Walsh who served as the foreman of Colorado's first-ever special grand jury, convened in 1989 to examine the evidence seized in that raid on Rocky Flats. Ultimately, the grand jurors wanted to indict eight individuals from the Department of Energy and Rockwell International, which ran the plant for the DOE, for environmental crimes; instead, the Department of Justice signed a deal with Rockwell, fining the company less than it received in annual bonuses.
And finally, "a mystery person who made a difference at Rocky Flats."
Want to solve that mystery? Head to the Fellowship Hall at Boulder Unity Church, 2855 Folsom Street, at 5 p.m. Saturday, November 16 for the awards program, as well as a vegan dinner provided by Boulder Food Rescue, music by the RMPJC Solidarity Singers (we hear Lipsky is a hell of a singer) and a silent auction. A Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Nancy Sullo and Tom Moore for their many years of activism with Left Hand Books, RMPJC and other organizations, and an Award for Peace and Justice through Youth Organizing to New Era Colorado.
The suggested admission price is $30, but RMPJC says that no one will be turned away. For more information, click here or call 303-444-6981.
Have a tip? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.