Tag Archives: Boulder

Outrageous Conduct verdict against Thomas Wierdsma, Sr. V.P., GEO Group, Inc.

Back in September S&R pointed everyone to the story of Thomas Wierdsma. We began that piece this way:

Let’s see, what have we here? Private prison corporation executives: check. Abusive husband: check. Witness tampering: check. Threats to use political clout to have abused spouse deported if she doesn’t keep her mouth shut about being slapped around: check.

We’re used to hearing stories of appalling corruption and thuggery all the time, but this one was especially galling (especially considering the plight of his abused wife).

Review that story, then watch this video.

What a piece of work, huh?

Forget hardened prisoners and corrupt guards; the real thugs in the penal system are the corporate executives

Let’s see, what have we here? Private prison corporation executives: check. Abusive husband: check. Witness tampering: check. Threats to use political clout to have abused spouse deported if she doesn’t keep her mouth shut about being slapped around: check.

Wow. Some highlights.

Boulder County jury finds high-level prison exec engaged in ‘outrageous conduct’

– Verdict against GEO Group senior VP Thomas Wierdsma stems from domestic abuse case involving son, daughter-in-law

Beatrix Szeremi just wanted the abuse to stop.

For more than a year, Szeremi said she had endured multiple drunken beatings, a near drowning in a bathtub, and an attempted suffocation with a pillow — all at the hands of her husband, Charles Wierdsma. Read more

TunesDay: What the hell is going on in Boulder?

When I first moved to Boulder, Colorado in 1993 there were three big local bands: Big Head Todd & the Monsters, The Samples and The Reejers. BHTM were and still are an outstanding blues/rock band. The Samples were an alt act that reminded me at times of The Police and at other times of Johnny Clegg & Savuka (although both comparisons are misleading – Sean Kelly’s voice had a sort of Stingish quality about it and the Savuka reference is mainly about Jeep MacNichol’s drumming). The Reejers were a hard, noisy industrial-edged grunge act, I guess you’d say. All three of these were, in my view, outstanding bands, and they represented a broad diversity of sound. I was in heaven.

But then Boulder went 100% hippie on us and has since been defined by bands like Leftover Salmon, The String Cheese Incident and Yonder Mountain String Band.  Read more

ArtSaturday Video Roundup: Momix in Boulder

We went to see Momix at the University of Colorado’s Mackey Auditorium last night. They’re currently doing a “Best of Momix” tour, and the show was wonderful. I’d never seen them before, and the inventive mix of dance, visual illusion and humor left me looking forward to their return.

Here’s one they didn’t do last night.

Read more

Ward Churchill v. CU v. the people: knee-deep in the muck

In years to come, it seems likely that the ongoing civil suit brought against the University of Colorado by former professor Ward Churchill will provide students in many law classes with a lively case study to debate. If you aren’t already familiar with the details of the clusterfuck story, you can catch up at the NY Times and Boulder Daily Camera. If, at that point, you still haven’t slaked your thirst for data on all things Ward, you can keep on Googling here.

Buff U is pointing to all manner of irregularities in Churchill’s scholarship, asserting that he was fired for plagiarism. Ward’s attorneys have another theory: Read more

TuneSunday Video Roundup: The Killers and M83 live in Denver

We went to see The Killers at DU last night. A few stray thoughts, in no particular order of importance.

1: There are air raid shelters with better acoustics than Magness Arena. I’m guessing it makes for a suitably noisy hockey barn, but let’s just say that it’s sub-optimal for a concert. Still, the crew managed to make the band sound pretty darned good, all things considered. So a tip of the hat to the sound guys.

2: M83, the opening band, is good. Really good. Read more

The Scrogue’s Guide to Denver and the DNC: worthwhile miscellany

And now, a few more things that didn’t quite fit into other articles, or that arrived late, or that we forgot, or whatever. The fact that these are all being lumped under a miscellaneous category doesn’t mean they’re not well worth the time and effort. So here are some scattered thoughts about food, neighborhoods, recreation, sports, shopping and more. Read more

The Scrogue’s Guide to Denver and the DNC: gelato

So. You had a great dinner. Or you’re out relaxing and enjoying the evening. Or maybe you read this post and promised yourself to seek out something cold and obscenely creamy. One way or another, though, it’s time for dessert.

How about some gelato? If you aren’t familiar with gelato, it’s Italy’s version of ice cream. And it’s like ice cream, except it has about half the fat and twice the flavor. Not sure exactly how they do that, but there it is.

We’ll start with the place that’s going to be closest at hand – Gelazzi. Since it’s located at 1411 Larimer, conventioneers will probably wander past it once or twice a day. By all means, wander in, because the gelato is wonderful.

Now, let’s talk about the best dessert experience in town. Read more

The Scrogue’s Guide to Denver and the DNC: sushi

When you think of cities with great sushi, you probably think of places on the West Coast – Seattle, San Francisco, LA, and so on. You probably don’t think of Denver. However, despite standing some 1000 miles from the nearest ocean, our fair city is home to some not-bad-at-all sushi. I don’t know all the places in town, but I can say for sure that there’s at least one pretty good spot and one outstanding place to get your wasabi on.

Read more

The Scrogue’s Guide to Denver and the DNC: beer and brewpubs

Colorado has, over the past 15 years or so, established itself as a genuine microbrew mecca, and just about every place you walk into either makes their own or is serving up something produced by one of our many local breweries. We host the Great American Beer Festival every fall, and while we tip our caps to all the great micros in other places around the country, most of us around here are convinced that Denver is the best city for beer in the country.

Before I dive in, let me offer a caveat. I love beer and have tasted just about everything I’m going to mention below (and a lot more), but I have my blind spots. I’m all about the malts and aside from wheats in the warm months I rarely drink anything lighter than an amber. If you’re a hophead or love things like blondes and pilsners, I’m not an ideal source of wisdom. So, a couple suggestions. First, ask the bartender and request a taster when you see something that looks to have potential. Second, we recommend you investigate what Beer Advocate has to say. They have reviews for just about every beer in the world and those reviewers are serious brews connoisseurs.

Now, pull up a stool. Read more

The Scrogue’s Guide to Denver and the DNC: steak!

In the coming weeks we’ll be posting a series of recommendations about things to do and places to visit, dine and get likkered up for DNC visitors to Denver, which is home to a number of S&R writers. The Scrogues Guide is not intended as a comprehensive list – frankly, there’s way too much to see and do in Denver for us to cover it all. Instead, think of it as a series of insider recommendations from the locals. If you’re coming in for the festivities and we haven’t written about something you’d like to do, let us know – we do take requests. Up first: steak houses!

Denver has long struggled against a reputation as a cow town. However, one thing you can always count on in a cow town is a good steak. Read more

CU, Max Karson, JonBenét Ramsey and a sad case of catfight journalism: Westword ought to be ashamed

The header on the story reads this way: CU’s Campus Press Fights for Independence.

The subhead is equally on-point: A contentious faculty meeting points to independence for CU-Boulder’s student newspaper — but at what cost?

But at that point the journalism train jumps the tracks, because the first couple grafs eschew any consideration of the alleged story itself in favor of a gratuitous drive-by snarking from reporter Michael Roberts.

University of Colorado at Boulder journalism professor Michael Tracey has never previously suffered from camera shyness. Read more

Misguided University of Colorado response to campus stabbing: is it about safety or is it about litigation and the media?

On Monday, an incoming freshman at the University of Colorado was injured in a knife attack by a mentally ill former university employee. The student is fine, fortunately, and the assailant is in custody.

As the Denver Post story notes, there are some disturbing issues where the attacker is concerned.

The suspect, identified as 39-year-old Kenton Drew Astin, worked at CU last year as a cashier at the Alferd Packer Grill at the student center. He was arrested and hospitalized Monday with serious stab wounds, the school said.

Astin was sent to a state mental hospital in 2001 after being accused of stabbing a 21-year-old Longmont man. Court records show Astin pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity on charges including attempted first-degree murder in that case.

Read more

CU and the Churchill Affair: how did this happen in the first place?

The wait is over and the inevitable has happened: the University of Colorado yesterday formally dismissed Professor Ward Churchill. Interim President Hank Brown explained, in an open letter to the school’s donors:

To help ensure that accountability, we cannot abide academic misconduct. More than 20 faculty members (from CU and other universities) on three separate panels conducted a thorough review of Professor Churchill’s work and unanimously agreed that the evidence showed he engaged in research misconduct, which required serious sanction. The record of the case his faculty peers developed shows a pattern of serious, repeated and deliberate research misconduct that fell below the minimum standard of professional integrity, including fabrication, falsification, improper citation and plagiarism. Read more