A Timely Obscenity

The only difference, of course, is intent.

My entry just prior to this, Denver’s Parks – A Killing Field, spoke to evidence that sewage water effluent containing toxic and radioactive waste is being re-routed to Denver’s Park’s lakes, where it is killing hundreds of ducks and–if it is killing ducks–surely other species of fowl that migrate to or live year-round in Denver are being affected.

Now comes the story out of St. Paul, Minnesota that a twenty-six year old Denverite, Scott Clark, ripped [off] the head of a live, tame duck that resided in a hotel lobby’s ornamental pond. (This information from the Associated Press.) “According to a police report, Scott D. Clark, a guest at the Embassy Suites Hotel in St. Paul, cornered the duck early Saturday morning, grabbed the bird and ‘ripped its head from it body’ while a hotel security guard and others watched.” Turning to onlookers, Clark said, “I’m hungry. I’m gonna eat it.”

Yeah, that’s Clark. The AP story said Clark is a “businessman,” in St. Paul, presumably, for business purposes. Wonder what genius hired this guy to work for them? Wonder if that genius might give a second thought to keeping the guy on, given that, when shitfaced, he rips heads off ducks?

And, they weren’t your ordinary ducks. Maybe ordinary to some folks, but not seen that often here. From a picture in one of the dailies, the ducks are clearly Wood Ducks (or Mandarins, which look quite similar). I took this shot of Wood Ducks at Berkeley Lake this past May:

Now, we know what’s in store for Mister Clark. He has been jailed, charged with felony animal cruelty and faces two years in jail and a $5,000.00 fine.

But, what about here? What about Denver’s Metro Wastewater’s alleged complicity in the fouling of Denver’s Park’s lakes? And, who else is complicit? Surely Denver Parks and Recreation knew of the decision to reroute contaminated water to those lakes. And–benefit of the doubt here–surely both those agencies did not intend for hundreds of ducks to be killed from their apparently unstudied, albeit deliberate decision to flood those lakes with sewage water effluent. But, shouldn’t someone be held accountable?

This timely obscenity sickens and enrages. But, only silence from the City; from those elected to serve the best interests of the City and County of Denver which, by the way, is you and me and streets and buildings and sidewalks and parks and, yes, those precious lives which inhabit those parks.

The silence, too, sickens and enrages.

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4 Responses to A Timely Obscenity

  1. George, your argument is logical and cannot be rebutted. To build on your comparison between the two cases (i.e. the Minnesota case and the Denver case), I would recommend that you ask either the city attorney (if we ever get a new one) or the district attrorney to file animal abuse charges in the Denver case.

  2. Corrected:

    Records obtained under the Colorado Open Records Act in September reveal that:

    1) the city’s own personnel in 2004-2005 attributed the decline in water quality in City Park’s Ferril Lake to the 1984 switch to sewage effluent water (so-called “recycled water”).

    2) Ferril Lake, according to the city’s own tests, did not meet state standards for lake water, and had elevated levels of several dissolved metals.

    3) at the height of the duck deaths around Labor Day in 2007, the city, despite recommendations from its own staff, decided not to collect a water sample from the lake.

    4) duck deaths at City Park’s Ferril lake were occurring “daily” during a period in 2005, prompting complaints that City Councilwoman Marcia Johnson advanced to the city’s Environmental Health division for response. At the time, the sole source of water to the lake was “recycled water” and this was in the same period, records show, that the lake did not meet water quality standards, as a result, the city staffers suggested, of the switch to the sewage effluent water.

    5) e-mails among city officials revealed that they had extensive discussions about what to do about Claudia Cragg, an international investigative journalist who was pursuing the story for KGNU radio. The content of these e-mails, 100% of it, was blacked out. So much for the public’s “right to know.”

    6) The City and County of Denver had a conflict of interest over this, as the owner of the Lowry Landfill Superfund Site, where they are the EPA-designated top liable party, along with the company Denver hired to manage it, the nefarious Waste Management, Inc. of reported mafia fame.

    7) It wasn’t alleged by the public interest group conducting an independent investigation of the duck deaths that it was the radiation in the water that killed the ducks. There are hundreds of toxic and radioactive compounds at Lowry Landfill that are being released to the Metro sewage system that would not be treatable by the processes in place. The release of radioactive substances, including water miscible ones, is just the most outrageous aspect of the deal, that even plutonium is considered an “acceptable” element for release under the permit issued, and now going down in our town. Pick your poison(s). The city doesn’t bother to text for the full range of compounds in the effluent going to Metro Wastewater, or in the lakes now receiving the non-potable sewage effluent water. Neither does Denver Water. And if they do, they refused to release it pursuant to a Colorado Open Records Act request. Denver Water also attempted to refuse release of records awhile back claiming “Homeland Security” exemptions. Doesn’t that make you feel safer?

    8) No test results have been released to date, now over 8 months later, of the duck carcasses reportedly collected for testing by the Division of Wildlife and US Fish and Wildlife Service when nearly 1,000 ducks drowned after floating int Metro Wastewater’s ponds, reported by wildlife rehabbers to be coated with a sticky slick substance “contaminants on their feathers” which caused the destripping of natural oils of the ducks feathers which allow them to float. Radiation in the water wouldn’t do that, but certain Lowry Landfill semi-volatile toxic substances would. Repeated calls to the agency get no response on the point and they all contradict one another about why no test results have been produced over the deaths of nearly 1,000 ducks at Metro Wastewater’s sewage ponds last winter.

    9) Mass bird die-offs at numerous sites around the world have been attributed to sewage waste-contaminated water.

    If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck…

    Adrienne Anderson

  3. Oops, put a wrong date in my post. The switch to recycled water was in 2004 (not 1984, as my fingers mistakenly typed). Sorry for the boo boo.

    Adrienne Anderson

  4. …and about the incidence of mass bird die-offs at several locations studied elsewhere in the world, the cause was attributed to botulism-related sewage contaminated water.

    Adrienne Anderson

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