Dave Perry: Preoccupations
Editor of the Aurora Sentinel
Here’s your big chance to hit the high note, Aurora. Ray Rinaldi of the Denver Post is reporting today that it looks like rumors about Denver wanting to oust the Colorado Symphony Orchestra from its home at the Boettcher Concert Hall at the Denver Center for Performing Arts looks are true. The Post reports that the leading idea for the space is to tear it down and build an outdoor amphitheater. The symphony would have to suck eggs or shack up with Opera Colorado and the Colorado Ballet at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House.
Sad. Very sad. Denver already has an outdoor amphitheater, Red Rocks. A smaller one at Civic Center Park is nothing to sneeze at. If the complaint is that the aging Boettcher Hall doesn’t get enough use, just wait until a Downtown Denver outdoor theater sits vacant 6-9 months a year.
Oh well. Their loss could be Aurora’s big gain. Here’s what we should do. Let’s build the CSO a new home right here. Right at City Center, where the new light-rail line will stop. We can show Colorado that Aurora has the class and classics and classes that Denver’s so anxious to snub. The beloved symphony is just getting started with plans to make what they do more accessible and available to everyone in the metro area. Realize, of course, that the minute the CSO moves into new Aurora digs, they bring with them Tier II status dollars from the Science and Cultural Facilities District. Funding, folks, real funding. In addition to that, the symphony has a loyal following that wants to see the CSO get the respect it deserves. This symphony is innovative, talented and world class. An Aurora center could underscore that instead of sniff at it.
That money and influence could help offset operating expenses for a cultural arts complex in Aurora that has a concert hall as its focal point, complete with other theaters studios and venues that permit a wide range of classical and contemporary concerts, theater, dance and comedy. The complex could house the Aurora History Museum and art studios or even a museum.
This is your chance, Aurora, to make good on decades of ignoring City Center and cultural facilities needs. The site is perfect for a facility like this. It’s near at RTD bus hub. It will be connected to the rest of the region’s RTD light-rail line, allowing easy light-rail access from everywhere. And the site at East Alameda and Sable Boulevard is minutes from Lowry and is easily accessible from I-225.
Best of all, an Aurora cultural arts facility with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra as the centerpiece would finally define what City Center, hundreds of prime acres, will be. Aurora and developers have been struggling to figure out just what to do with a giant chunk of valuable, empty real estate that’s going to have excellent commuter access and a light-rail line. This is it. Instead of a smattering of chain restaurants and ho-hum shops, Aurora can makes this an arts Mecca. This is where the metro area will come for their kids’ dance classes, choir practice, violin lessons. This is where endless summer camps are held and ballet recitals occur. The metro area spends hundreds of millions of dollars on the arts and arts education and everything associated with them. Aurora can parlay this site, some cash, its growing influence, a prime piece of real estate and the goodwill of thousands of CSO supporters into something its been missing for decades.
Don’t sneer. Just think about. The Aurora Center for Colorado Arts. Sounds good.
— Editor Dave Perry
You can’t hum while holding your nose closed.
You knew you thought you could. It’s so odd, illogical and stupid, that you can’t believe it’s true. Just as implausible? Half of Colorado backs the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision allowing Hobby Lobby owners to prevent its health insurance company from offering some forms of birth control — because of the company owners’ religious preferences.
When I read the results of that recent Quinnipiac poll this morning, I flashed back to the day Sen. John McCain introduced Sarah Palin as his presidential running mate. It was just too odd, too illogical to fathom.
Why? Why would anyone think it’s a good idea to let employers dictate what health care services are and aren’t offered to employees based on the religious beliefs of the employer?
But sure as chickens dream, half of adults in Colorado think it’s a good idea to let bosses decide which form of birth control their insurance plan can and cannot offer. This became an issue because Hobby Lobby owner David Green is serious about his extreme Oklahoma religion. Leaders of his church have told him some forms of modern birth control are sinful. Green objects that under federal healthcare laws, birth control prescribed by doctors is considered a medical issue and must be treated that way by insurance companies.
Here’s what you may not know. Green is a Pentecost. You know, the people who gather on Sundays for some serious praising and sometimes end up speaking in “tongues” and writhing with the spirit. This is a religion that believes in faith healing, where you put your hands on cancer victims and draw the “holy spirit” into a body to do what doctors can’t or even haven’t had the opportunity to try.
That’s Green’s religion. That’s what’s driving the health-care decisions for Hobby Lobby employees.
As U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg pointed out, this extraordinary decision could allow companies to dictate to insurance companies what health services are not covered, based on the religious preference of company owners. Since this same court has ruled that corporations are people, just about any corporation can assume a religious doctrine dictating what the company health plan will or won’t pay for. While Justice Samuel Alito said this ruling affects only birth control, it opens the doors for states sympathetic to such nonsense to write laws allowing greater leeway into shaping employee health benefits. Under a likely Texas law, if your boss’s religion doesn’t allow for blood transfusions or blood-based treatments, such as those often used for leukemia, you’re on your own. If that means you hemorrhage and die on the operating table because you can’t afford to pay for such services, and the courts haven’t sorted all this out, well, then it’s because the Lord decided it was time to call you home.
I guess a lot of Colorado residents think, “it’s just birth control — no big deal.” But don’t think for a second that people who believe God will keep you well if you’re bitten by a poisonous snake or drink poison, or that your holy underwear can keep you safe from fire and Satan, would be unable to wreak untold havoc in your personal life. I think this is a good place to point out that almost every deadly skirmish on the planet these days stems from disagreements about religion.
We’re not talking about casserole-carrying Lutherans from the Midwest here. The special undies and snake dancing faithful are the kinds of religious disciples motivated to decide what your health insurance should and shouldn’t cover, or what you should or shouldn’t wear to work. Since corporations are people, and you really have no idea who or what runs the corporations these days, Saudi Muslim money unhappy with the way American women dress at work could easily dictate head coverings and modest, full-length dresses. The Supreme Court said that when serious religious convictions are at stake, they must be appreciated.
This has all shocked me. What conservative thinks it’s a good idea for anyone to impose their religion on another American? If any one offense seems to be agreed upon here, it’s that one. The Baptists don’t want the Jews or the Catholics telling them what to do, ever. Forcing anyone’s religion on another person is about as un-American as you can get without snatching their guns.
All I can think of is that too many Colorado residents are misled about the decision, or they’re just not paying attention. It was a bad call that opens a door to all kinds of bizarre problems, and if you don’t think someone will try and run with this, think again, long and hard. In what way have the majority of employers not consistently looked for ways to get more from their employees and pay less for it? What religion, other than your own, do you think should be advising health insurance companies and doctors about meting out care? Honestly, do you even trust your own religion’s leaders to make health-care decisions for you?
I didn’t think so. While we may be cavalier about the dilemma’s of others, when it comes to our own lives, we want science to call the shots for science, not politicians, lawyers or religious leaders.
It’s unclear how Americans are going to be able to protect themselves from their employer’s religious convictions. But there’s little doubt that some brave lawmakers in Colorado or Congress with give it a shot. And when they do, they’re going to need your support. If we permit the country’s employers to make even some health-care decisions for some employees on some religious principles, none of us will have a prayer.
Dear fellow employees:
The noble Supreme Court decision this morning, ensuring that the Creator and not the Obamanator dictate your health care plan, brings good news — to us.
I’m sure you’re aware that the better-than-average-people who own the Hobby Lobby women’s emporium were saddened and dismayed that Obamanation Care forced them to offer birth control to female employees, who have graciously been offered positions there. They, like the rest of us who not only read the Good Book but live it, know that birth control for womenfolk means two things: wanton tarts doing salacious things when they’re not at work, and uppity wives empowered to decide when the brood should arrive, rather than the man of the house or the Man Upstairs.
It’s not that Hobby Lobby, nor I, would dare to intervene in your personal lives, because as devout-ees, we’re rugged individualists. In respect for my religion, however, I must thank the five, clear-thinking Supreme Court Justices who get it — the religious thing. They understand that things like ulcers, alopecia, Saturday night headaches and erectile dysfunction are medical problems that warrant real medical care. And they understand that a little pill that interrupts Aunt Rosie visits or casual uterine implants have nothing to do with medicine, any more so than does a woman who just can’t handle her monthlies and keep them to herself. The Good Book makes it clear that it was women’s original sin that brought cramps and endometriosis upon their kind, not The Company.
Thanks to Justice Scalia et al, I think you’ll understand now that it isn’t The Supervisors who need to intervene in what is and isn’t covered in health care, it’s The Guy.
So I’m sure you’ll all agree with me that nothing but good will come from our decision to require our health-care provider to drop coverage for any drinking-related ailments, as well as any treatment for sexually transmitted diseases. Likewise, any treatment needed for smoking or tobacco-related issues is not covered by our medical plan. If you have been smite with lung cancer or COPD for your irresponsible and evil ways, we suggest you repent rather than undergo costly chemotherapy. Clearly, medical attention for those vices and sins is offensive to even tepid believers. The Supreme Court understands why The Company shouldn’t have to pay for the loose morals of employees, so should you. On a related note, you might not previously have been aware of the Sin of Sloth. You will be soon, because our insurance company has been instructed to deny claims for anyone whose maladies include or are related to being fat and lazy. If your body mass index is above 22, you need to pray for strength or good genetics.
Similarly, we have instructed our insurance company to not pay claims for non-church-related injuries that occur on the Lord’s Day. If you choose to ski or bike on Sundays rather than repent your evil ways, as instructed throughout the Good Book, then you can either wait until Monday to get your twisted knee looked at or pay out of pocket. There are no exceptions for Jews and their erroneous sabbath. They are, however, not excluded entirely from the plan in ways other than are all heathens.
Rest assured, however, that good men injured in the acts of The Truth, such as stoning their adulterous wives or trying to wrestle Satan from the naked bodies of homosexuals, will certainly be eligible for proper treatment.
We thank the high court for understanding that when corporations are people, and when companies are people, all the right things happen, and they will soon be happening to you.
— Aurora Sentinel Editor Dave Perry
AURORA | Legalized pot and Focus on the Family. World-class skiing and cattle drives. Colorado is a land of stark contrasts. Aurora is no exception. Behind an office park is a field full of deserty prickly pear nestled among delicate, cold-loving wild lupine — both in bloom at the same time. You gotta love this state.
— Dave Perry, editor
I’m all weepy over a reader’s call this morning thanking us here at the Aurora Sentinel for the “incredible public service” we provide — not only to the community, but the world at large.
He went on to say that his “pipe has been clogged up for three days.” He takes a copy of the Aurora Sentinel into the can, starts reading this week’s Dave Perry column and, voila!, “better than any laxative in the whole world.”
Feeling the love and glad to know that at least one reader is no longer full of it.
— Dave Perry, editor
Few things say, “Oh, God, I love staring at my naval,” as does writing a column about somebody else’s column about getting high.
But I can’t let New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd’s public drug-overdose confession smolder any longer. Dowd came to Denver a few weeks ago to get a firsthand feel for the hedonist life we’ve permitted ourselves starting in January when it became legal to buy dope.
Dowd hooked up with folks from one of the state’s ganja-tourism services, My 420 Tours, who told her what’s what and took her around to some pot shops, according to Dowd and the Denver Post’s Cannabist website. She bought a juiced-up candy bar, didn’t follow the directions, ate too much, saw Jesus or something during an uncomfortable eight-hour trip and ended up riding Mary Jane around her hotel room while never leaving her bed.
I know a lot of us have been there, but we were just starting college in the ‘70s.
Some days later, she penned an amusing column, essentially admonishing folks here for not taking our rocky mountain high life seriously. She more than implied that she waltzed in and out of a pot shop and was left to her own devices on how to dose herself to a higher plain. Since then, the people she actually spent time with have made it clear they told Dowd, repeatedly, about the dangers of eating too much dope. And despite what she wrote, there really are instructions and warnings on all edible pot products in Colorado. Whether through naivete or forgetfulness, this child of the ‘60s forgot Rule No. 1 when it comes to inserting mind-altering substances in the ol’ pie hole: wait.
If you’ve forgotten, too, eating the right amount of hash in your browns, orange in your sunshine, mush in your rooms or mescaleez in your quick is tricky business. The temptation is always to eat a little more because, “I don’t feel anything yet.” This of course leads to the sensation of a sudden and violent increase in Earth’s gravity, obscenely self-conscious mouth breathing and a lot of “oh-my-god’s.”
In one memorable moment of my youth, I didn’t wait for Pot Brownie No. 2 and about two hours on the floor of the Ogden Theater, laughing uncontrollably, watching my equally stupid pal instead of the weekly midnight antics of the “Rocky Horror Picture Show,” and then wandering around Colfax for what must have been weeks. In Dowd’s case, she got clobbered by the kush fairy after not waiting for Dose No. 1 to kick in before eating way too much dope.
“… I felt a scary shudder go through my body and brain. I barely made it from the desk to the bed, where I lay curled up in a hallucinatory state for the next eight hours. I was thirsty but couldn’t move to get water. Or even turn off the lights. I was panting and paranoid, sure that when the room-service waiter knocked and I didn’t answer, he’d call the police and have me arrested for being unable to handle my candy.
“I strained to remember where I was or even what I was wearing, touching my green corduroy jeans and staring at the exposed-brick wall. As my paranoia deepened, I became convinced that I had died and no one was telling me.”
Immediately, a country full of people who have no idea how much they’d hate her if they knew she was Public Liberal Media Hack Enemy No. 1, and all the people who do hate her because she’s Public Liberal Media Hack Enemy No. 1, were siding with her and quoting her and clucking their tongues about “See? See how real reefer madness really is? See?”
I have to admit, while reading Dowd’s column I raced toward the end to see at what point she joined an orgy in the hotel elevator or found herself handcuffed in the back of a cattle car on the way to eastern Europe to be a sex slave. As it turns out, she spent the night trying to wish herself out of her high.
The parallels to reality Dowd and others overlook are painful: booze. The back of my favorite beer bottles admonish me to “drink responsibly” and not at all if I’m pregnant. I painfully remember my first encounter with Boone’s Farm Strawberry Hill and thinking, “Wow. This shit tastes great.”
What harm could come from another little glass? Or four? I didn’t see Jesus that night, but, man, did I see stars when me and my date fell in an old mining hole on the Rooney Ridge as we were “flying” across the hill in the dark. I had dry heaves for three days. To this day, I won’t even make eye contact with anyone named Boone. Shudder.
Guess what I learned at age 17? Soda-pop wine packs a wallop. Southern Comfort really smells awful when your expelling it through your nose. Wait before you have a little more, and just don’t have a lot. Just don’t.
Now I’m in my fifties. Guess what? I so vividly remember the nausea from too much booze and the “oh-my-god’s” from too much dope, that I make a concerted effort to never, ever, go there again.
Now don’t mistake me here. I’m by no means telling out-of-towners that they’re just fun crushers by not endorsing our newfound high-life here in Colorado, or that the edible pot industry doesn’t need to make a host of changes to ensure we’re all going to be OK with this newfound fun-distry. I’ve considered that Dowd comes from a part of the world where the city tells people when to stop drinking soda pop and everyone works hard to not know or see each other in public. So maybe we should have different rules for people who even in their sixties might be at risk of waking up on the bathroom floor, snuggled up to an empty Annie Green Springs pillow, or eating the entire jar of salted peanuts at one sitting, or getting stuck on the top of a totem pole after sampling a few too many shrooms on a gorgeous summer night. Clearly, I would advise Dowd and her sympathizers to avoid many other Colorado offerings, such as skiing, rafting, ice-climbing, fourteening, mountain biking, backpacking and the like. You get pretty high, but if you don’t pay attention to what you’re doing, the consequences can be much more tragic.
Enough already. I’m a lifelong fan of Dowd, and I sympathetically suggest she and others follow my lead in just licking the kushy candy bars instead of actually eating them and finding endless wonders in where their umbilical cords used to be.
— Editor Dave Perry
How stupid of me. It wasn’t until today’s school shooting — No. 72 since the horrific Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre — that it finally dawned on me how to prevent all this needless bloodshed.
It’s not the guns that we need to go after, despite all of my previous rants on the matter. The National Rifle is dead right, folks. Guns don’t kill people: Sickos illegally and inappropriately hurling small metal projectiles at others too cowardly or inept to shoot first kill people — in schools.
Close the freaking schools, America. Problem solved.
I can’t believe the obvious answer to the never-ending wave of school massacres and shooting deaths has escaped us so long. Clearly, these cesspools of liberalism and black holes for your tax dollars are worse than we ever imagined, and what you remember. They’re essentially killing our kids. Just close the schools.
They cost a freaking fortune. We spend about $650 billion a year on schools, and we can’t even post the Ten Commandments there. And what do we get? More than 30 shootings at public schools and colleges since the day most of Congress spent their NRA donation money on Christmas campaign greetings at the very end of last year.
It’s not crazy people to blame for all these schools shootings. Even President Barack Obama admitted that today after another couple of kids were shot to death at an Oregon high school.
“The United States does not have a monopoly on crazy people. It’s not the only country that has psychosis,” he said. “And yet we kill each other in these mass shootings at rates that are exponentially higher than any place else. Well, what’s the difference? The difference is that these guys can stack up a bunch of ammunition in their houses and that’s sort of par for the course.”
Oh, sure. Blame the guns. Blame the bullets. Blame the patriots and our beloved forefathers who knew enough to give rights to guns but not blacks or kids needing an education, because what good has come from that? This is what Preznit Obummer had to say about the people trying to return our country to the way it was before immigrants and gays and minorities started asking what you wanted from the dollar menu in an accent so strong you can’t even understand ‘em.
“Most members of Congress — and to some degree this is bipartisan — are terrified of the NRA,” Obama said, implying that the NRA essentially bullies lawmakers into opposing any type of gun control.
“My biggest frustration so far is the fact that this society has not been willing to take some basic steps to keep guns out of the hands of people who can do just unbelievable damage,” Obama said. No developed nation on Earth would put up with mass shootings that happen now once a week and disappear from the news within a day, Obama said — no nation except America.
No, dude. It’s the schools, plain and simple. Ain’t nobody getting gunned down at an NRA meeting, or a noodling contest, or tractor pull. It’s the union-loving, MSNBC-plagued schools and teachers who only work nine months a year where the gunmen go wild.
This is where kids wet their pants. This is where evolution is taught and creationism is scoffed at. This is where holidays are happy and Christmas can’t be merry. This is what has to go.
Close the schools and keep the women folk at home, where they should be, to home school our kids the way that God, the NRA and some of our more colorful forefathers intended. Folks who feel this way are smart enough to get all they need to know from Fox News, the New Testament and Ted Nugent newsletters. Who needs the Canterbury Tales and socialist-study tests?
You want school? Go to Germany or Japan where they push that sort of thing. You want guns and Sarah Palin? Close the schools here in ‘Murica, where we already know it all.
— Dave Perry, Aurora Sentinel Editor
Well, well, well. Yet another righteous righty-tighty at the foot of Pike’s Peak exposed as loving the naughty side of life.
This week, El Paso Sheriff Terry Maketa was caught with his pants down and shirtless-selfie on by the CS Gazette. Yup, that Terry Maketa. The guy who just loves guns and conservative values and guns and Republicans and guns and three women in his office and using public funds for stuff he, um, needs. Did I mention guns and refusing to uphold state law regarding gun registration because Maketa thought it was — immoral?
This is the guy who couldn’t say enough bad about our immoral Colorado community and how liberals were the problem and gun-grabbers were from hell and, well, this missive from the El Paso Sheriff’s Office homepage pretty much sums it all up:
We also need to be focusing on our children and the influences they are exposed to and who and what is shaping their conceptual and analytical skills. (Whatever the hell that means — DP) They should be exposed to positive role models that increase their respect and appreciation for human life. They should not be consumed with influences or activities that devalue a human life….Instead of the Federal Government, mainly Congress, continuing to engage in activities of which they have no authority and erodes our constitutional rights, we should focus on criminals and those who are most likely to commit acts of violence and not target the law abiding patriots of our nation.
Read Gazette reporter Dave Phillips very long and very damning story here. then decide whether Maketa is the kind of role model he had in mind. Pretty easy to see why Maketa is so interested in making sure he’s always armed, because clearly, he’s dangerous.
— Dave Perry, editor
Aurora police say they’ve taken a new tact in their drive as illegal-party poopers.
Cops broke up a party last week organized on Facebook that resulted in 55 juveniles and one adult getting ticketed from breaking into a new, vacant house in northeast Aurora.
Police say such vacant-house parties are a thing and are asking residents living in new developments to watch for these break-in bashes and call police.
The Facebook group page is called “Colorado Parties.” Police said the group page is not public, but the list of members is. Even if you’re not part of the group, people can watch the pages of friends and group members to see where parties are.
The Facebook page shows it’s run by Aaron Turn ‘Up Motta and has 1,231 members. Aaron has 4,997 Facebook friends and says he works at Arby’s, according to his Facebook page. Information on the public part of the Colorado Party page says:
“!!!ONLY ADD PEOPLE THAT PARTY INTO THE GROUP!!!
This is a group where you can find “Parties and Kickback addresses. Either you post the address or don’t bother posting at all! -NOBODY can see your post only the members in the group can. Page is (SECRET)>>>RULE<<<-Only post Party/Kickback addresses in this group! Nobodies (sic) gonna hit you up for no address JUST POST IT!
Police are urging parents to see if their children are members of this group or if they monitor it. It could mean criminal charges, police said.
During the May 17 party at 137 Kellerman St., police discovered more than 50 people inside the vacant home partying. Everyone there was ticketed for trespassing, curfew and some for alcohol possession charges. An adult at the party was arrested.
Kids at the Aurora party were from all over the metro area, police said, and learned about the event from the Facebook party site.
Police said some of the parties have resulted in thousands of dollars of damage to new, vacant homes.
To report suspicious activity in Aurora call 303-627-3100
— Dave Perry, Sentinel Editor
Hail fire all this rough weather in the metro Aurora area is causing a storm of words. Namely, what word should you use to compare the size of hail stones?
This critical subject came to the forefront in the newsroom yesterday when I became the laughingstock of quickly aging twenty- and thirty-somethings who scoffed, nay, guffawed at my lede on a weather story where I compared the size of Monday’s hail stones to that of shooter-marbles.
“Man, you’re really dating yourself,” quipped on reporter, who will be surprised to find soon that all the tires on his car need air.
“Grapes,” he told all of us yesterday in defense of his bent against marbles. “Hail stones that size are like grapes.” I’m sure you can see where this is going. Which grapes: Concord? Chardonnay? Thompson Seedless?, you young little wiseacre. Shooters, or bowlers for those even older than I, are a uniform constant. Grapes can be anything from June peas, those grown too late in the season, to an Italian prune, the ones that plump up in wet years.
All this may seem like overkill, but we’re talking weather here, and Coloradans take their weather very seriously. Besides needing a good standard for clarity, with so much goddam hail around here, we really need to be able to mix up a little running what is essentially the same story just about every day.
So when today’s hail stones arrive, as we all hope/dread, I’ve created what I’m sure will soon become the worldwide uniformity standard for the measurement of hail stones in artless stories.Hail Stoners:
1. Booger-sized hail stones: About the size of a grain of Perlite. Old timers call this sleet, but weather people have ratings to worry about.
2. Car mat pebbles: You know, the ones under the gas peddle that don’t vacuum up very well. Smaller than what was formerly known as pea-sized hail.
3. Viagra tablet: Formerly, “pea-sized” hail. Slightly irregular, about the size of a pea.
4. Dingleberry: Those little balls of poop that get stuck in the fur of your dog’s rear end. Formerly known as “marble sized” hail. No, not shooters.
5. Malted milk ball: Truly a world standard.
6. Rocky Mountain Oyster: These are the ones you wanna run from.
7. Sheep eyeball: Look it up. Formerly, “shooter-marble-sized” hail stone.
8. Key lime: Formerly known as “ping-pong-ball-sized.” About the size of a ping-pong ball
9. Meatball: Italian, not Swedish. From a neighborhood joint that still makes its own homemade noodles and sauce from premium tomatoes. Maybe a little fresh grated Regiano on top.
10. Cupcake: Not the ones with so much frosting that it’s just stupid, but a little frosting. Formerly, “baseball-sized-hail-stones.”
11. Dollar Store Water Balloon: Only because we’re getting too many food references here. About the size of a grapefruit.
12. Cantaloupe: How visually cool is it to say this even in jest? “The city was besieged by cantaloupe-sized hail stones.”
13. Wrecking ball: One size fits all.
— Editor Dave Perry