Colorado Dragon Boat Festival:
Celebrating Colorado’s Asian Pacific American Communities for 10 Years
The Colorado Dragon Boat Festival (CDBF) has become, in 10 years, the most recognized and celebrated Asian American/Pacific Islander cultural event in the Rocky Mountain region. From an audience of 15,000 in its first year, 2001, the Festival has grown to over 100,000 spectators from throughout the region. Since inception, it has received many accolades and awards. For example, Westword anointed the Festival “Best New Festival” of 2001. The Rocky Mountain News called it the “Best City Festival” in 2003. And, in 2007, 5280 magazine describes Dragon Boat as “One of Colorado’s greatest festivals…”
There have been other Asian Pacific American events in the Denver metro area, but none with the scope and scale of CDBF. The Aurora Asian/Pacific Community Partnership with partners Denver Film Society and the City of Aurora hosted the Aurora Asian Film Festival, a showcase for recent theatrical films with Asian themes for many years. The film festival is currently on hiatus. The Asian Pacific Development Center mounted Passport to Asia which included Asian American entertainments and vendors. At its peak, Passport to Asia drew 10,000 The Cherry Blossom Festival at Sakura Square has been a Denver tradition for over 35 years. Sponsored by Tri-State/Denver Buddhist Temple, the still-thriving Cherry Blossom Festival draws 25,000 spectators to celebrate Japanese-American culture, food, music, dance, arts and crafts.
Planning for a dragon boat festival began in 2000. Ding Wen Hsu, then president of the Chinese American Council of Colorado, had heard that John Chin, then president of the Denver Chapter of the Organization of Chinese Americans, was working with Howie Solow, founder and chief instructor of the Shaolin Hung Mei Kung Fu Association, on developing a dragon boat festival in Denver. She contacted John Chin to discuss collaboration as she was interested in doing such a festival
When the three festival founders met, they found that they shared a common festival vision. All three believed that the festival should be a Pan-Asian event celebrating all of Colorado’s Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. Moreover, they felt that the festival needed to be “community-owned” with local AAPI communities guiding the goals and direction of the festival. They also envisioned three key elements as fundamental to the success of the festival: dragon boat racing using traditional dragon boats; an entertainment stage featuring local Asian Pacific American groups; and a marketplace with the foods, crafts and other merchandise of local AAPI businesses. read more from the CDBF Official Website
One of the ongoing highlights of each year’s Colorado Dragon Boat Festival has been the opportunity to eat your way across Asia and the Pacific Islands — bite by bite. Over the years, Taste of Asia has featured vendors serving up the cuisines of China, Korea, Vietnam, Philippines, India, Japan, Hawai’i, Laos, Thailand and oh yes, the good ol’ USA (and Mexico!).
The following image is a screen shot of a generic, music sound file. It is not the Mel Gibson vocal, audio file for the tape that has been in the media for the past several days. A vocal file has clusters of peaks and valleys with more white space in between “sounds.”
I’m not a bona fide audio engineer, however I’ve been way down in the bottoms of audio files and I know what can be done with a few strokes of a computer keyboard or mouse. I’m going to weigh in on the Mel Gibson tapes.
When I first heard the tapes I thought that he sounded like an animal in a trap, screaming in vain, not fully cognizant of the fact that he is trapped in the futility of trying to best a vindictive? woman.
Now I’m wondering (after hearing more of the tape) if the tape was edited. I’m thinking: is it possible that someone removed Oksana Grigoriev’s dialogue from the tape (either by erasure or by just lowering the volume handles,) re-recorded her “part” then mixed it into the original audio file containing gibson’s voice? In other words “a mixed overdub.”
Is it also possible that Grigoriev’s words were provocative on a (the original) sound track which was later altered to present a softer speaking voice (and words) which were more defensive than provocative?
It’s not that tough to do. Nor would it be that tough to find someone who could do it, especially in Hollywood. There seems to be just too much difference in the sound quality of the two voices. I realize that the difference could be due to the microphone’s close proximity to Grigoriev.
There’s just something about the woman’s (too) calm, collected, easy manner of speaking that doesn’t ring true. If I’m totally wrong I apologize to the woman.
Apparently the Riviera, Black Hawk Casino in the Colorado (made over) gaming town of Black Hawk is filing for Chapter 11 backruptcy along with it’s older sibling, The Riviera Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas Nevada. The parent company is Riviera Holdings.
Here’s a story from Associated Press 07.13.10, 02:58 PM EDT
LAS VEGAS — Las Vegas and Colorado casino owner Riviera Holdings Corp. has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization.
Company subsidiaries Riviera Operating Corp. and Riviera Black Hawk Inc. also filed Monday for reorganization in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Las Vegas. They own the 2,075-room Riviera hotel-casino on the Las Vegas Strip and the Riviera Black Hawk in Colorado.
The filings say the planned restructuring is supported by holders of more than two-thirds of nearly $248 million in debt under a June 2007 senior credit facility.
That could let Riviera Las Vegas and Riviera Black Hawk continue to operate during the bankruptcy process.
The company reported to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission late last year that it was trying to restructure debt to avoid filing for bankruptcy.
Yea, probably a Chapter 11 Bankruptsy for the RIV. (YAWN)
Casinos rise and fall, make a lot of money, go bankrupt then miraculously reappear, feeling all better now.
In the meantime the small investors loose all their money, the employees get screwed and the fat cats at the top meet at steak houses and smoke cigars after dinner. Nothing wrong with steak houses or cigars (other than the obligatory PC reasons, like this) it’s just in the way they do it.
The RIV ain’t going anywhere unless it’s just to roll the properties over for new construction, or a fatter cat buys them out.
The following story was culled from a Zimbio.com post. Written by Jake on Mar-29-10 1:21pm
Maria Conchita Alonso, an actress best known for her work in movies such as The Running Man, has written an open letter to Sean Penn, asking Penn to stop supporting Hugo Chavez. Alonso, who is Venezuelan, castigates Penn for supporting a man she considers to be a dictator.
She brings up a number of points, including elections she considers rigged, Chavez’s cult of personality, and Chavez’s nationalization of many industries.
The full letter can be read below:
Dear Sean, WHY?
Even though I have great respect for your artistic talent, I was appalled by a recent television interview where you vigorously showed support for the regime of Hugo Chavez. Therefore, I’ve decided to set the record straight for you regarding the Chavez regime, supporting my case based not only on my political ideologies, but on proven facts you choose to ignore. Otherwise, I believe your position would be different.
Being born in Cuba, a country where freedom of speech is non-existent, it’s startling to observe how Venezuela, where I was happily raised, is fast becoming Cuba’s mirror image: Dismantling of fundamental democratic rights deserved by its people and citizens of the world.
For example, you said that all Chavez-winning elections in Venezuela were “transparent.”
Then WHY didn’t the government allow a manual recount of the votes and computer information when doubt set in? After all, how do you explain how these votes that were strongly favoring the opposition mysteriously reflected the opposite results the morning after, thus permitting Chavez to continue on? On what are you basing your conclusions? I strongly recommend that you read a report by the U.S. State Department written in 2009 entitled “The Fraudulent Elections in Venezuela”.
We live in a Republic comprised of three autonomous branches of government: Supreme Court, Congress and Executive, thus, a true democracy. Then WHY do you accept violations by part of the government of Venezuela to ignore its Constitution whereby one man, military-educated Chavez, controls all branches of government? His military background is revealed by his philosophy: “I order, you obey and if you disagree you’re a traitor to the country.” And your voice is silenced along with the ability of freethinking. Did you know solely the government controls 92% of media communications?
You’ve strongly criticized your own governments’ overspending and corruption, whereby the budget for We the people never ends up in the hands of those who need it most. Then WHY do you support a government with over $100 million in oil revenue that has 71% poverty? Or don’t you know that corruption is so rampant that the rightfully deserving poor never sees a “red cent”? In addition, the fact is that Chavez gives away millions of dollars; belonging to the Venezuelan people, to other countries in order to build a false sense of philanthropy of a man whose self-proclaiming ego is blinded by power behind a communist Cuban-style revolution, expanding such regime.
We live in the U.S.A., the land of opportunity to do and say what we desire, respecting dissenting points of view, of course and without reprisals. Then WHY do you defend a government whose stronghold upon its people is so oppressive that a big price is paid for exercising freedom of speech: Persecutions, closing of radio and television stations, jail…and even death?
You are fortunate enough to live in a country where you can buy property and claim it as your own to do whatever you want with it. Then WHY do you promote the interests of a government that violates the Constitution by hindering the possibility of development: Land, industries, commerce, communications companies, foreign investment opportunities, financial institutions and private property? This is an everyday scenario in Venezuela.
Then WHY haven’t you informed yourself on these facts by reading Venezuelan and international newspapers exposing thousands of cases?
Given your sense of community and respect for all people, I think you would defend the security of the citizens in your country. Then WHY do you validate a government that has converted Venezuela into the second most dangerous country in the world, where impunity is above 90% and its people live in a constant state of stress and fear of getting killed? Many wonder if this situation isn’t but a diabolic strategy by the part of the government, something to think about. Do you know that the weekend of March 13th there were 67 counted homicides only in Caracas? Furthermore, in the first 50 days of this year, there have been 140 express kidnappings for fast money (a 50% increase in 2009 versus previous years). After 11 years of the Chavez government, more than 16,000 people has been murdered by armed gangs and we’re not even at war like in the Middle East.
In the U.S.A. the arm of the law comes down hard on government or private sector where cases of fraud and corruption are discovered. Then WHY do you defend a politician who promised to sweep corruption, but has ended up sponsoring illicit enrichment by part of his closest allies and civil servants, placing Venezuela as the most corrupt country in the Americas and in its political history? Corruption has increased 68% and inflation 31% in 2009. What a coincidence, Sean that the majority of those “corruptors” are members of the government you have chosen to embrace.
You’ve demonstrated admirable assistance to those in need, due to natural disasters or poverty, those with desperate pleas to get their misfortune exposed for the whole world to see.
Then WHY do you applaud the efforts of a government that has notoriously increased poverty (65% to 71%), produced scarcity of staple products and created an energy and water shortage crisis never seen in Venezuela? Not to mention the numbers of children begging in the streets. You may have missed it because the government tends to take the scenic routes for its guests. I invite you see the real Venezuela, stay for a couple of weeks without the logistics the government of said country organizes for you and you’ll be amazed with the results in your unaided observations.
Sean, you live in a country where your parents had the freedom to teach you principles and respect for entities and human beings, where education hasn’t been manipulated by political agendas of those in power. Then WHY are you in favor of a country where day after day education isn’t plural by obligating a single-minded agenda and lack of respect for family structure? Did you know Sean that in Venezuela there is political indoctrination at a very early age, better known as “brainwashing”? And let me tell you that if parents don’t agree, they will lose custody of their children, just like in Cuba, a country you’ve placed on a pedestal.You are a product of a Jewish father.
Then WHY is your fascination with a government that has overtly stated its hatred against the Jewish community worldwide, to the extent that the State of Israel condemned anti-Semitic attacks in Venezuela? Do you think it’s fair that many Jewish-Venezuelan families have emigrated because the Chavez government robbed their personal files when their temples and offices were under attacked in 2008?
I don’t think so, Sean, that you would support violence as a means to impose your agenda.
Then WHY do you support a government with close relationships with FARC, ETA, Cuban G-2, Government of Iran, Al-Qaeda and Hezbollah, among others, which are the most feared terrorist movements in the world?
You have said that you applaud the actions that Chavez has instituted for his “pueblo”.
Then WHY do you back him up when he himself has recently publicly recognized his failure for effective social programs (missions) in the areas of education, social service and hospitals; where each day the number of the uncared rises for lack of appropriate facilities and respective upkeep, and a country where the mothers give birth in the streets? This you can see on YouTube in investigative programs run on German, Swedish, Italian and Spanish television stations.
Sean, have you considered researching the existence of the growing list of political prisoners, including journalists, on your own? For your information Chile, Peru and Costa Rica has that data. Furthermore, many of these prisoners are tortured and their families persecuted and threatened, just like the Cuba you stand up for.
Is that what you support when you publicly declare that all those that say that Chavez is a dictator should go to jail?
Sean, you have the right to say what you want, but as far as I know, your statements are contradictory to “Freedom of Speech”, the same one you enjoy in this country; by coincidence, “The First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America.”
My intention isn’t to convince you, but to let you know what is truly happening in this beautiful country of noble people, Venezuela. I would encourage you to investigate in depth the “inside story” and realize for yourself the dark side behind the person you choose to idolize.
Agreed, Chavez did win his first elections, but like Hitler, he betrayed what the country gave him: The vote of confidence. Read this story, and more from Maria Conchita Alonzo on the web
Celebrating a birthday, four of us went up to Central City/Black Hawk to do a buffet and try our luck at the machines. On the drive up I-70, just before entering Central City – on Central City Parkway – we noticed that the *Gambler’s Edge RV Park was open for business after a year+ closure. Is this a small indicater that business is coming back to the mountain casinos? We’ll wait and see. I called the office and confirmed the reopening of the RV Park. The park reopened May 1, 2010. *It is now called the Denver West / Central City KOA RV Park.
First let me back up for a second. Last week I had an Asian Chicken Salad (a fav) at the Red Coral restaurant on So. Colorado Blvd. in Denver. I saw some coupons in an Asian magazine at the restaurant. One of the coupons was a two-for-one buffet coupon for The Isle Hotel/Casino’s Calypso’s Buffet. I got a couple of coupons for a trip to the mountains.
Yesterday we drove up at around three o’ clock in the afternoon. First I wanted to check out The Ameristar Hotel Casino to see if I had any comps coming so we parked at the free Ameristar Casino Hotel’s covered parking garage and went in. The ladies sat in front of a fireplace and had a cocktail, I went to check for comps and Gregg went to the machines. Three of us were back in front of the fireplace when a very animated Gregg rushed up waving a slot ticket. He had a ticket for $198.00. Not bad for small-time gamers. Working off a very small budget, *I also played “his” machine and stopped when I was around $75.00 up. Not bad at all considering that my “bankroll” was a $5.00 comp I got from Ameristar. I parlayed that five dollar bill into gambling money which I used for the rest of the night. Krissy also was ahead at Ameristar. This sounds like hype, but this was one of the best gambling nights any of us has ever had in Black Hawk. The crowd was lively, the band was hot and the casino was hoppin’. We were several hundred bucks ahead and the night was just starting.
After a bit more gambling we were all getting hungry so we moved the car to the Riviera’s parking garage, walked across the street to The Isle Hotel, refreshed our Player cards, put in a couple of bucks, then moved over to Calypso’s Buffet. I had seen this room before but had never eaten there. The basic design is “Island” with thached-roofs and bamboo, and some other stuff that doesn’t quite work, but that’s another post. Basically it’s a comfortable room. We took a booth against a wall on the oposite side of the buffet tables.
We were all somewhat surprised with the buffet. It was pretty decent, especially with the all-you-can-eat King Crab Legs (7 days.) My favorite – the peel and eat shrimp – were cold, firm and tasty. Also at the buffet tables: an (average) salad-bar with breads, soups and fruit, a build-your-own taco bar, an Asian food station, a carnivor station with roast beef, chicken etc. Some of the other tasty items were: risotto with sun-dried tomatoes, pizza, Swedish meatballs, Tuna Steaks, Bar-B-Que pork, Chicken Piccata, and of course the dessert station with gooey pies, cakes, ice cream and more.
Usually we do the buffet at The Ameristar or The Lodge Casino. We had coupons for The Isle, coupons rule…
After dinner we tasted a few machines at The ISLE then moved on over to The RIV, tried a few machines there then headed back to the city. It was indeed a good night.
Isle Casino Hotel Black Hawk
401 Main Street
Black Hawk, CO 80422
*I debated whether or not to divulge the following information. I guess I decided to do just that. The killer machine was a [$0.01 – information was deleted august 10, 2010.]
*This information is for professional gamblers and not intended to entice persons to gamble. Although we did ok playing this machine, it could have been a fluke. We are not advising anyone to play this machine or any other gambling machine.
Help Us Stop the Tuscarora Roundup
Young foals will be run in high heat over rugged, rocky ground without public oversight
Please read the following press release and share with your local news station and any major news outlet you’d like to cover this story- this is yet another example of the cruel mismanagement of the BLM and it is unacceptable. Call on your Senators to pass your concerns onto Senators Reid and Ensign of Nevada. Thank you.
BLM Helicopter Roundup To Begin Despite Presence of Vulnerable Young Foals
BLM violates protocol designed to protect wild horse babies
Elko, NV (July 8, 2010)— Over 1,400 federally-protected wild mustangs are to be rounded up beginning tomorrow, July 9, in the Tuscarora area of Elko County Nevada during the hottest month of the year. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is violating their own set-protocol for waiting six weeks after the main foaling season, defined as March 1-June 30, so that young foals can escape the inherent danger of a high-heat summer roundup. BLM will dispatch privately contracted choppers to run the Tuscarora mustangs over miles of rugged terrain in a taxpayer-funded roundup expected to last three weeks and result in the removal of some 1,100 mustangs. Only last month, Oregon BLM wild horse managers postponed a planned roundup that would have started the day after foaling season—opting to begin instead in mid-August for the horses’ safety.
“If allowed to go forward this will be a massacre,” states Anne-Marie Pinter who rode the Pony Express Race through the area on her Spanish Mustang and saw small foals. “It is covered with razor-sharp, volcanic rock that will rip up the feet of these poor foals. Before riding the area, our event veterinarian strongly recommended that we put thick rubber boots over the metal shoes of our horses—the rocks are that treacherous. We experienced triple digit temperatures and had to constantly work at keeping our horses hydrated. I can’t even imagine the toll on terrified small foals and even the adult animals at the hottest time of the year. This amounts to horrible animal cruelty and no one will know what is going on because BLM has closed the area, even the roads.”
Last winter, during the deadliest BLM roundup in memory in the Calico Mountains of Northwestern Nevada, at least two 6-9 month foals suffered a horrible death. Their hooves literally separated from their leg bones after running over similar terrain. Yet, BLM justified the dead-of-winter roundup by stating in their Environment Assessment: “Fall and winter time-frames are much less stressful to foals than summer gathers. Not only are young foals in summer months more prone to dehydration and complications from heat stress, the handling, sorting and transport is a stress to the young animals and increases the chance for them to be rejected by their mothers. By gathering wild horses during the winter, stress associated with summer gathers can be avoided.”
“Let’s be honest. What is driving these roundups has very little to do with concern for vulnerable foals and everything to do with contractor availability and using up taxpayer money before the end of fiscal year 2010,” states Cloud Foundation Director, Ginger Kathrens, who has spent over 16 years documenting the lives of wild horse families. “With only two helicopter contractors available to round up the horses, scheduling becomes tricky, especially when the goal is the removal of 6,000 wild horses before the end of September. So, the rush to rid the land of mustangs trumps humane treatment. Disgusting.”
The Cloud Foundation is asking that humane observers and the public be allowed to document the roundup and any injuries and deaths which occur. Currently BLM has arranged for a near total lockdown of roundup activities, including a widespread closure of public roads around the area. Access will be extremely limited despite promises made by top BLM officials to the contrary.
“Having a ‘media day’ during the operation is certainly not the same as having humane observers on site at all times during the operation,” says Elyse Gardner, who has documented the Pryor and Calico roundups. “A sanitized version of BLM activities is not transparency in dealing with the public’s horses. If anything, rather than transparency, BLM is closing the door on public observation because of what our cameras have already revealed about these roundups.”
If allowed to proceed, the Tuscarora roundup will decimate three herds, Owyhee, Little Humboldt and Rock Creek, living in a vast 455,000-acre area about 90 miles northwest of Elko, Nevada. Over 4,000 cattle are allowed to graze on the Tuscarora designated wild horse herd management area while only 337-561 mustangs are welcome. In 1990 the Government Accountability Office (GAO) Report underscored that wild horse removals did not significantly improve range conditions and pointed to cattle as the culprit for public lands damage. Despite GAO noting the lack of data provided by BLM back 20 years ago, the public has seen no improvement in the piecemeal management of an agency that favors welfare cattle over legally protected mustangs and burros. Herd areas containing 10 to 30 times more livestock than horses are the norm rather than the exception.
“Damage to livestock fences is cited as a reason to remove the horses in Tuscarora. Give me a break,” states Craig Downer, wildlife ecologist, former BLM employee, and 3rd generation Nevadan. “How about removing the fences, reducing the number of cattle and starting to manage wild horses as principal members of their ecosystems, as well as celebrated symbols of the American West? BLM’s habit of operating behind a veil of enforced secrecy is completely unacceptable.”
The Cloud Foundation opposes the further manipulation of the Tuscarora mustangs through the use of experimental infertility drugs in combination with skewed sex ratios. The result will be increased turmoil among the highly social wild horse family bands. Given the disastrous management and the lack of accurate range censuses and the presence of over 37,000 wild horses in government holding at enormous taxpayer expense, advocates continue to call for an immediate freeze on the costly roundups. Congressional hearings are needed to discuss the shortcomings of an out-of-control program that threaten the future existence of wild horses and burros on lands set aside for their use.
“BLM has responded with its classic bunker mentality, abandoning any transparency efforts and placing at risk the lives of these small foals that have never even had a chance at life with their families,” states Kathrens. “We pray that BLM will show some compassion and ground the helicopters. With all the uncontrollable disasters in the world, why is BLM determined to create one in Tuscarora?”
The 20th Anniversary Cherry Creek Art Festival takes place July 4th weekend on July 3,4,5, 2010 at Cherry Creek North (First Avenue and University Boulevard) in Denver, Colorado
Another year has passed and another Cherry Creek Arts Festival is under way, another wave of artists and vendors. New art, old art, good art, better art but not much rain-art, at least not by 3:00 P.M. yesterday.
That is to say that it always rains opening day of the CCAF. We left around 3:00 and at that time it had not rained yet.
All n’ all it was a perfect day for an art festival and though I’ve only seen about half of the artists, I’ll add to the following list after the end of this day.
The paintings in the booth of Bradford J. Salamon of California (above) left a very strong impression. The luxuriously rich oils had a dessert-like icing-on-the-cake finish. Salamon’s impressionistic technique creates areas of photo-realism in paintings of gorgeous faces in salon-like settings.
Vibrant, glossy colors meld into backgrounds of muted browns and golds, at least that’s what’s stuck in my memory.
Other work that I really enjoyed, not necessarily in any particular order include paintings by Loretta Petraitis who paints rust and stuff in city-scapes of rusted bridges with rivets, bolts and other industrial trapings. Hard, cold realism is nailed and riveted to the canvas. [This is too esotaric, but “all molecules have equal value.”] Loretta Petraitis works can be seen on the web here
Cézanne inspired (I’m sure) oils in oranges and yellows, of oranges and yellows, that’s lemons and oranges to the little people, are executed beautifully by Kelley Somer of Alpine Utah. The colorful, yet stark oils are powerfully vibrant – some suggestive of those chewey, sugar-coated-citrus candy wedges. Glass vessels and silver utensils complement the fruits (in contrast.) Kelly Somer’s work can be seen on her website www.kellysomer.com
Thomas Wargin must have ridden down Hell’s main highway on a motorcycle in order to be able to conjure up the images, in sculpture, of his wild cycle-creatures: part human – part machine, rolling down a road of imagination. Other Bosch-like sculpture includes two (fused) topless women sharing a dress of golden breasts. Thomas Wargin’s website is choc full of sculpture.
These are just a few of the artists that really engaged me. They as well as many other artists can be found on the CCAF website.
I know this is pretentious, it’s just my opinion. You can also have an opinion.
Monday July 5, 2010
Well I went back to the show; it was pretty much rained out last night. Today was a beautiful sunshiny day. I went back but didn’t really find anything that knocked me out. Maybe one or two of the following.
I’m still trying to figure out the “Best of Show.” Best I can figure is that it’s an entire installation piece that won “Best of Show” – in the “Painting” catagory. It’s a hand crafted shipping-crate-type structure (98″ x 78″ x 113″) which is like a little gallery with framed paintings on the walls. Here’s the link, you go figure it out: www.joachimknill.com/national-treasure/crate.html Maybe it could be a dwelling for a homeless family. They would need Street Supplies.