26 April 2011

Breaking Local News

Filed under: Reflections — ktismatics @ 10:45 am

Did you happen to read about the failed pipe bomb planted last week at a shopping mall in suburban Denver, near Columbine High School, on the anniversary of the massacre? And that the prime suspect had recently been released from jail, present whereabouts unknown? Well, this morning he got arrested here in Boulder, about a mile down the road, at the grocery store where we regularly shop. “It is unclear what connection, if any, he has to Boulder,” says the news story.

Two years ago, on the tenth anniversary of Columbine, the bomb squad evacuated and swept our daughter’s high school. A couple driving a van with out-of-state plates had been seen attempting to place a parcel at the base of the flagpole in front of the school. Turned out the suspects were looking for a geocache planted there at least a year earlier by one of the teachers at the school.

Besides being the anniversary of Columbine, 4/20 is also international smoke weed in public day. Every year the University of Colorado in Boulder hosts an enthusiastic celebration.



  1. Yes, I think it was an AP report I read last week, thought about you, then realized no, it was Denver. Hadn’t seen about the arrest yet, though. International smoke weed day sounds better than geocaching, both of which I had to look up, or would if I didn’t have such a bad reaction to pot. I definitely remember when the ‘in word’ was ‘grass’, which always sounded cooler than ‘pot’, but pot has remained the gold standard, as it were. Too bad, I used to love smoking it before it got stronger and stronger. It’s very strange that it’s a Schedule I narcotic, though. This week I picked up the paper copy of the Village Voice for the first time in years, and it’s maybe 10% the size it was 3 years ago, no political writing AT ALL. No names like Barrett or Hentoff, even, much less all the others that got fired since 2004, when the paper still actually existed. But this was about some NY heroin dealers who sell by using craigslist, and was pretty good of their old sort of journalism about this sort of local thing, whether hustlers or whatever. Or rather, about half as good, those stories used to be very exhaustive. I think the paper will disappear. I may take a look at craigslist to see if I can figure it out, but sounds like a waste of time. Reminds me a little of William Gibson’s Spook Country, except his is more icy and makes it sound even more ‘panic in needle park’ kind of thing. Obviously, if they’re using craigslist to sell heroin, ‘where there’s a will there’s a way’. I know craigslist has become notorious for any numbers of kinds of things, though.


    Comment by illegal dances of new york city — 26 April 2011 @ 12:22 pm

  2. I haven’t smoked marijuana in many years, mostly from having gotten out of the social loop of smokers and dealers. If the grocery started selling it in the produce section I might buy some, though I’m sure it’s gotten far too expensive to sell in bulk. I’ve not visited any of the several medical marijuana dispensaries in town — I wonder if they offer varieties based on growing location. Probably it’s more chemically sophisticated packaging based on varying percentages of THC. I bet the mark-up is even higher in these legal pot stores than buying it on the street. It’s probably a sign of being a loser if you have to buy your stuff at one of these regulated outlets.


    Comment by ktismatics — 26 April 2011 @ 1:53 pm

    • Just saw he was 65, hadn’t picked that up. I guess any age, but we get associations with Columbine, and others for presidential assassins, but I think they were usually younger too. I had just assumed this was some teen or twenties guy.


      Comment by illegal dances of new york city — 26 April 2011 @ 3:24 pm

  3. “Smokeout Snuffed,” reads the headline of this morning’s newspaper:

    The University of Colorado took a major step forward Friday in nipping its 4/20 smokeout in the marijuana bud: The Norlin Quad, which has in the past been the stage for 10,000 revelers, was empty as roughly 700 people gathered instead on a smaller campus field. This year’s 4/20 crackdown included several unprecedented tactics, including closing the campus to visitors, shutting down the Norlin Quad altogether and holding a free hip-hop concert for CU students in an attempt to draw them away from the smokeout that has grown in size over the past decade. CU also applied a fishy-smelling fertilizer to the lawn of the quad…

    Protesters of the closure began their march at Central Park on Friday afternoon, parading through downtown Boulder and the University Hill area and strengthening in numbers before moving onto the campus at about 3:40 p.m. As they marched through the campus, they chanted: “Whose school? Our school!” The group approached the Norlin Quad but, encountering police, instead moved to the lawn between Duane Physics and Baker Hall, where the countdown to the smokeout ensued…

    Police officers and sheriff’s deputies were posted at every entrance to the Boulder campus Friday. Officers closed Norlin Quad with yellow police tape, and signs on every lamppost around the quad warned that the area was closed and “violators are subject to criminal prosecution.” Highway signs greeted commuters as they entered Boulder, warning that CU was closed to visitors. Campus officials declined to say how many police officers were deployed Friday, other than to note that 50 to 60 officers were used last year and that number was “larger” this year. Hilliard said CU spent $55,000 dealing with 4/20 last year and expected to at least double that number this year.

    The university admin also spent $150K for a Wyclef Jean concert, presented as an alternative entertainment to the smokeout. Less than a thousand people showed up for the free concert, held on campus at, yes, the Coors Event Center. It was not a big hit:

    The agreement also directed Jean to avoid “making direct references to marijuana and other illegal drugs or make 4/20 related remarks as this is a university sponsored event.” Yet Jean mentioned marijuana during his first song — and even called out student leaders for including that language in his contract. “They told me I’m not supposed to talk about marijuana,” Jean said. “But I’m about one thing — freedom of speech.” Jean continued discussing marijuana and 4/20 throughout the show, including chanting “legalize it” during his second song…

    During the show, Jean mentioned the lack of energy in the crowd, telling students, “Weed in Boulder isn’t supposed to sedate you, it’s supposed to make you crazy like me.” The students agreed that while they were unhappy with Friday’s campus closure, the increased security efforts by the university were successful in scaring students away from Norlin Quad. Yet the smell of marijuana still drifted through the Coors Event Center around 4:20 p.m.


    Comment by ktismatics — 21 April 2012 @ 9:19 am

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