Washington Park alcohol ban meeting: Freedom and responsibility versus urine and vomit

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Over a hundred residents of Washington Park and beyond made their way to the Denver Baha'i Center last night to debate whether or not the park should put a temporary ban on alcoholic beverages -- specifically 3.2 beer, the only liquor allowed there.

The crowd seemed evenly divided, with half of those in attendance agreeing that a ban should be put in place to solve some of the problems in the park and surrounding areas, while the other half argued that the ban wasn't the right fix.

Councilman Chris Nevitt, who proposed the ban, and Denver Department of Parks and Recreation director Lauri Dannemiller presented their rationale for why alcohol should be temporarily prohibited from the park. In his initial letter to Parks and Rec suggesting a ban, Nevitt said that his constituents are constantly complaining about unruly drunkards.

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Melanie Moccia
Councilman Chris Nevitt mediates the Wash Park meeting.
After he made his arguments, Nevitt acted as a mediator. "Let the games begin!" he shouted, before letting people come to the front to speak into a microphone. He held a stopwatch to make sure that each speaker kept to the prescribed time of two minutes.

Many people in the crowd who live within a couple of blocks of the park complained of people urinating, tossing trash, defecating and throwing up in their yards. One woman described feeling like a prisoner in her own house.

To help alleviate these issues, Parks and Rec had put more portable toilets in the park and also hired more park rangers to control the area. But according to many nearby residents, those efforts are no longer cutting it.

People on the opposing side of the issue, though, argued that banning alcohol isn't going to get people to stop drinking, a favorite activity in the summer. The city needs to do a better job of policing the park, some said. One gentleman suggested having Wash Park sell its own beer in order to better regulate consumption.

During the discussion, other concerns came up -- and there was one on which almost everyone could agree: There's not enough parking in the area. Nevitt pointed out that people headed for Wash Park can park at South High School on the weekends. When one person complained that the school's parking lot was too far from the park, Nevitt responded that it was "pathetic" a park-goer couldn't walk a few blocks.

The debate went on for about ninety minutes. Next week, Dannemiller is expected to announce whether the temporary ban will be put in place.

More from our News archive: "Washington Park alcohol ban pushed to address "belligerent drunken behavior"."

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40 comments
David Judd
David Judd

Being able to enjoy a beer or play some keg laden kickball games in wash park is part of Denver's culture and has been around for years.. little things like that add up to make Denver the great and fun city that it is.

Dee Bee
Dee Bee

Hey look, the rich people who own the houses around a CITY park want to keep you from enjoying your weekend... How about DpD and the P&R enforce the laws we have. Every complaint seems to already have an applicable law on the books. Why do we need more restrictions if we can enforce our current laws?

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

If pot's too dangerous to have in public alcohol sure the hell is--LOL!

John Schilling
John Schilling

And can't you weirdos spell, or were you drunk when you posted. Some of you sound like paint-chip babies...

Lynn Stiles
Lynn Stiles

Why not in force the laws we have. Like you can drink in the park but it is unlawful to be intoxicated in public....

Stacey Rogers
Stacey Rogers

Ban drinking in the park? I can understand that because it is a public place. How about they ban urinating in public? Oh, that's right...they already do!! Adding more patrols would probably be cheaper than trying to change the law.

Justin Stoner
Justin Stoner

i think they should bull dose the park ....this guy is a communist if he wants to ban something then he should just move....or get rid of the park..because it is not right to say these people are the ones this jerk is crying about...i want this guy fired ...i dont even go to that park ..i live in Thornton we a have plenty of nice parks...but it is another communistic issue brought forth buy the government...this soccer mommy (chis Nevitt) ..Ok let be real we all go to east Colfax ..for concerts, bars etc. ( and i mean not passed Colorado bvld.) it just smells like piss every were in that part of town ...thousands of people descend on that neighbor hood after a concert or movie in the middle of the night ...this guy is a typical traitor to this community what a BITCH.....O ONE MORE THING IF YOU LIVE THEIR WITH KIDS THATS YOUR FAULT TAKE YOUR KIDS TO A KID PARK....OR THE MOUNTAINS... DONT TEACH THEM TO BE CRY BABY COMMUNISTIC DEMOCRATS.....!!!!!!!!!! just bull dose the park...fuck this guy....O and i dont even drink ..completely dry..just sick of this communist government....!!!!

Aj Gillman
Aj Gillman

Don't take away my right to drink pbr in cheeseman

Bruce Nunnally
Bruce Nunnally

Alright, let's see. Probably none of the neighborhood kids drinking 3.2. And, councilman, you say it's not you either. Oh-and I can only assume you don't go out in the morning and take a giant sh*t on your front lawn, and your wife doesn't either. Hmmm... I'm thinking....vomit.... hmm *camping ban* ding. Where exactly did you vote to send the homeless to keep from being criminalized and safe from DPD police brutality? You don't know? Huh? Don't know? Can't help you then.

Annalise Ackelson
Annalise Ackelson

I think its ridiculous to ban drinking at any park, especially wash park.

Colleen Lopinto- Wicks
Colleen Lopinto- Wicks

I am laughing but it is crude and disrespectful! I dislike the peeing on the property. Find a toilet!!!!!!

Colleen Lopinto- Wicks
Colleen Lopinto- Wicks

Sounds like New Orleans during Mardi Gras. We always sprayed the perpetrators with the hose but you have to be awake to do it. You could also employ a guard dog! Lol!

Leah Ryan
Leah Ryan

I support it. If I lived down there and my house/property was being urinated or vomited on... Oh, I would be in trouble for what I would do to these idiots.

Kevin A. Mahmalji
Kevin A. Mahmalji

I support Councilman Nevitt's attempt at regulating alcohol like cannabis in our city parks. Seems fair.

powell014
powell014

I'm a prisoner inside my million dollar house!  Help!!!!!

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

Probably the way it should be for more than one substance.

muhutdafuga
muhutdafuga topcommenter

Surely your post is a joke, you couldn't be that much of an idiot.  Unless you are a conservative.

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

@powell014  I feel for the rich. No matter what politicians they put in their pockets, no matter how much they donate to private organizations to hide their kids from the public, no matter how much money the spend on their homes, they just can't get away from us little people!

cool_dad
cool_dad

@powell014  must be hard living in the most dangerous neighborhood in denver. 

fishingblues
fishingblues topcommenter

@Cognitive_Dissident @powell014  Your "littleness" is self-imposed and generally caused by laziness, illiteracy, making bad choices and just plain stupidity.


Glad I could help.  


Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

@fishingblues  I'm pretty sure my sarcasm should have been obvious--almost as obvious as where your message began with "@Cognitive_Dissident."

muhutdafuga
muhutdafuga topcommenter

@fishingblues @muhutdafugaI have difficulty with about 5% of what you spew...my difficulty has to do with understanding why anyone would post such crap.


You continue to have fantasies about me.  How odd that I am that important to you.  To me, you are just a little gnat that is fun to ridicule.  


"Fat, lazy, stupid" is not a sentence.  Are you getting so frustrated from losing every argument that you can no longer compose a sentence, or is that your new handle?

fishingblues
fishingblues topcommenter

@muhutdafuga   


You seem to be deteriorating rapidly.  Fortunately for you, you don't have far to fall.  


(I know you have difficulty following about 95% of what I say.  Just ask one of your imaginary students to explain it to you.)


Fat, lazy, stupid! 

fishingblues
fishingblues topcommenter

@Cognitive_Dissident @fishingblues @powell014

Okay, although your sarcasm  was not clearly stated, I'll accept your rebuttal.  Let us just say that my reply was non specific as to recipient and meant for the "class envy" masses.  Better?

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