Category Archives: Petitions

Judge Stern enters judgment for Defendants

Dear Friends,

On Friday May 2 Judge Stern granted judgment for the Defendants City and County of Denver and Denver Public Schools.  A copy of Judge Stern’s Order is attached. 

There will be no jury trial on May 19.  All witnesses are released from their subpoenas. DPS will continue to build the new school in what used to be Hampden Heights North Park.

First, I want to thank everyone who supported the effort to save this beautiful open space park.  Hundreds of people contributed their time, talent, and treasure, and there is not space to personally thank everyone.  I want to specially acknowledge the plaintiffs Steve Waldstein, Zelda Hawkins, and the board members of Friends of Denver Parks, Inc., Renee Lewis, David Hill, Shawn Smith, and Judy Case, who never gave up; Maggie Price, who created and manages the Friends Website; KC Keefer, who donated the film “Hampden Heist;” witnesses Wellington Webb, Susan Barnes-Gelt, John Bennett, Neil Sperandeo, Susan Baird, Jim Kellner, Amy Laugesen, Dave Longbrake, Dawn Mayo, Dave Norden, Joan Biggs, Sandy Dennehy, Charlie Gallagher, Willis Carpenter, and Tom Noel,; my law partners and faithful staff at Benson & Case; Bob and Nancy Stocker, Kathleen Wells, Dave Felice, Brad Cameron, Joe Halpern, Mary Ewing, and all the volunteers who gathered signatures for the referendum petitions that the city refused to count; Larry Ambrose and the dedicated members of INC who supported and honored our efforts; Wendy Warner and Ed Hall, chairpersons of the Denver Republican and Democratic parties, who passed resolutions condemning the city’s actions; Chuck Bonniwell, who provided expert testimony about Denver’s acquisition of land for recreation along Cherry Creek in the 1930’s, and gave our effort media coverage in the Cherry Creek Chronicle; Jennifer Doran and Pam Quigley, who researched and copied newspaper articles about the flood of 1933 and the city’s acquisition of parcels of land along Cherry Creek at the Denver Public Library and Colorado History Museum; Joe Marisco, who spent six days at the clerk and recorder and assessor’s offices in Arapahoe county, copying deeds to parcels of land along Cherry Creek that the city acquired in the 1930’s; Richard Hentzell, Bill Stanfill, Dick Laugesen, Laura and Linda Gravina, and all of the financial donors who so generously provided funds for petitions and court costs.

Second, I am pleased to announce that Friends of Denver Parks will appeal Judge Stern’s decision, because we believe it is an injustice that the people of Denver were not allowed to vote before their park land was taken.  We will post news of the appeal on the website.

Third, in the near future Friends of Denver Parks will launch a ballot initiative to protect all remaining Denver parks from sale. We want to make sure that what happened here does not happen again.

Thanks again to all of you for your generous help and support.

John Case

BENSON & CASE, LLP

Court Document can be found here

 

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Friends of Denver Parks v. City of Denver, Debra Johnson, and Denver Public Schools – Update

Friends of Denver Parks plaintiffs, Zelda Hawkins, left, John Case, and Steve Waldstein, right, take about their court case against the City of Denver standing inside Hentzell Park along the Cherry Creek bike path near Hampden Ave on June 01, 2013. (THE DENVER POST | Andy Cross)

Dear Friends,
All of us continue to be inspired by the sacrifices of each other to prevent the destruction of Hampden Heights North Park.  We continue to make progress in the fight against city hall.
On Monday August 19, 2013 Friends of Denver Parks filed 25 more petition sections at the clerk and recorder’s office, totaling 1,297 signatures. A copy of the letter to the clerk and recorder with a list of the petition sections and circulators is attached.  Thanks to all of you who circulated petitions successfully. Please go here to see letter to Clerk and Recorder
Also on August 19 Judge Stern signed an order allowing the plaintiffs to proceed on their revised third amended complaint.  A copy of the order is attached here.
The revised third amended complaint makes the claims set forth below.  These claims are scheduled for a seven day trial in Judge Stern’s courtroom (courtroom 376, Denver District Court) starting May 19, 2014. We have requested trial by jury because the issue in dispute involves title to real property, for which Colorado allows trial by jury.  The city opposes trial by jury.  The city wants judge Stern to hear the evidence and decide the case without a jury.

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Current news about our progress

We still need about 50 more petition circulators.  David and I are available for petition pickups during the week.  Arrangements for weekends can be made.  Otherwise, we are out getting signatures on the weekends, so not as available.  Deadline will be August 19, 2013.  Call 303-337-2947 for directions.

John Case will be giving a brief update this Saturday concerning the progress of our Friends of Denver Parks court cases.  He will be available for questions.
When: 9am, Saturday 7/27/13
Where: Calvary Baptist Church
(North Corner of Hampden and Monaco about one block off I-25)

Anyone want to join me?  I think we could just walk around – no booth needed.
Shawn Smith wants to know if anyone would like to join with her for petitioning at the Dragon Boat Festival this weekend at Sloan Lake?  I volunteered for the Andrew Romanoff booth there four years ago and voter registration last year to great success.  Call her at 303-758-2754.
2013 Colorado Dragon Boat Festival
July 27-28, Sloan’s Lake Park
You can park at Sports Authority Field @ Mile High & take shuttle buses to the festival!

More great opportunity for petition circulators
Cheesman Park Art Fest  – Free Admission
Saturday, Jul 27 10:00a to 8:00p , Sun 10-5

Last two Sundays for  Jazz in the Park free event in City Park
July 26, 6-8pm, rain or shine
August 4, 6-8pm, rain or shine
The concert staff prefers that you not gather petitions near the pavilion and will ask you to go across the nearby road.

Thanks to everyone for your enthusiasm and support
Renee – President
Friends of Denver Parks