This forum is a sounding board for a range of issues facing eastern Boulder County. I will prompt discussions with my posts and elected officials can tap into the concerns of citizens here, and explain their rationale on decisions. Follow along with the latest discussion by checking the list of recent comments on the right. You can comment with your name, a nickname or anonymously if you wish. You can become a contributor as well. Thank you for your comments!
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Friday, March 30, 2007

Parking Spot-Grabbing Losers

Just a little slice of life in EastBoCo: For April I wrote about the losers who choose to park illegally in disabled parking spaces and how Longmont has a volunteer patrol to help ticket these losers. Did I mention they're losers?

An excerpt:

Violators often return while the ticket is being written. Excuses run the gamut, says Scruggs, who volunteers four hours a week. “’I didn’t realize it was illegal,’ ‘I wasn’t hurting anybody,’ ‘I was only in there a few minutes;’ those are the big ones,” he says. He’s also heard that “this business doesn’t have handicapped customers;” “I’m running errands for my disabled sister/father/aunt/friend;” or “they bought it from someone who said they could use it.”

“I even had one guy just tell me ‘It’s worth the risk, it’s better than valet parking’,” says Scruggs.

Now that’s a bonehead deserving a ticket.

Read the article at TheYellowScene.com.

Propping Up The Schools

I wrote about the Erie High School Education Foundation this month for the Yellow Scene and their vision to provide additional academic programming to augment what the St. Vrain Valley School District can provide. The District has launched a new website to promote 50 ways individuals, businesses and groups can partner with the schools and sponsor/help/donate/etc.

Does this mean the school district needs more money? The level of outreach appears to be based on staunch financial need, not just a desire to get more parents and the public involved in activities. Of course, given the District's budget scandal a few years ago from a mixture of arguably criminal mismanagement and lax Board oversight, the District still has a lot of ground in the trust department to make up before more school bonding will pass.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Yet Another Wal-Mart

Longmont has approved their third Wal-Mart development, this one at the southeast corner of Hwy 119 and County Line Road. “It’s exactly what we envisioned when we decided we needed regional commercial at this corner,” Longmont Mayor Julia Pirnack is quoted as saying in the Daily Times-Call. I'm not sure if the context of her comment literally meant Wal-Mart over any other commercial development, but the blanket endorsement of their proposal is disappointing. More about this in the Daily Camera too.

I've written about my issues with Wal-Mart along with other folks' comments on this blog, plus a Yellow Scene article about why I don't shop there. I'm not a front-line advocate against them, just a person who has not shopped at their stores for years based on their operational philosophies. They always cause an interesting discussion, and their impacts on communities' budgets make them impossible to ignore. Do you shop at Wal-Mart? Do you take into account various social/economic/labor/environmental philosophies when choosing a vendor of things or services to buy?

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Anonymous Posts - What Do You Think?

I've been questioned as to the integrity of the blog given that people can post anonymously. The anonymous posts have always been allowed; as many of you know I initially verified all posts with a second direct contact before posting them. This became too clunky for a flow of banter that you can see gets going around topics.

Unfortunately the reality of blog posts and comments is that people can choose a name (or not) to ascribe to submitted comments; mandating people create and verify a Blogger profile just takes time and only results in a moniker (or perhaps their real name if they choose). People who "get" blogs understand that using your name or some moniker is what leads to some credibility and rapport with other readers over time - for example, on this blog when Spicoli, Cyclorado or Alex says something it adds to their online persona amongst the regular readers. For what its worth, anonymous posts are taken with a grain of salt and don't have the weight or respect of those that have a name.

In my case everything I post has my name on it, so you know where I'm coming from. Bottom line this is an aspect of digital communication that can't be overcome - it's an online forum for all comments, regardless of source or attribution.

I intend the blog to facilitate discussion and the majority of comments have been good for debate. The "regulars" set a mature tone for comments and the anonymous readers are just part of the territory of the digital world.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Longmont, Erie and Weld County - Planning Troubles

Last fall I wrote about the dysfunctional planning processes in Weld County that were causing spiteful interactions between the communities and the County Commissioners. Consultants who identified this reality were mocked and quit. Then a group of Weld County area officials formed a group to try and hash out their problems and set some kind of tone for future growth decisions.

Erie and Longmont belong to the Positive Weld County Partnerships committee, and much of those communities future growth will occur in or be affected by adjacent growth in Weld County.

In January Longmont City Council passed a resolution of support for the Partnership, noting that "Weld County one of the fastest growing areas in the nation with a projection that its population will grow to 250,000 by the year 2020." They also highlighted the need for the group to address these concerns: 1) meaningful intergovernmental agreements that respect municipal planning area; 2) Land use vision and execution, and 3) Compatibility of municipal land use with county and adjacent development.

Following a meeting Thursday the group may disband, as the sentiment of "agree to disagree" seems to have taken hold. Unfortunately the challenges of regional planning have burnt out the majority of people at the table.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Merge Superior With Broomfield?

So what about folding Superior into Broomfield and that way their costs and income would be more manageable, spread out and less duplicative? This is the idea of Paul Everitt, a 6-month resident of Superior.

I've heard of a few people who want Erie to secede from Boulder County or Niwot should annex into Longmont. What do you think of this one?

Saturday, March 24, 2007

State Officials Meeting In Superior (Superfield?)

Hey future Superfield residents! Sorry, I mean Superior...

Mark your calendars for April 14th, 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., to meet with your State elected representatives. Representative Dianne Primavera, along with Senate President Joan Fitz-Gerald, have scheduled a Town Hall meeting to speak with the public and local officials regarding local and state issues. The meeting will be held in the Boardroom at Superior Town Hall, 124 E. Coal Creek Dr.

Fitz-Gerald could be replacing Rep. Mark Udall this fall, who plans to run for Sen. Wayne Allard's US Senate seat.

Ask them why they think raising small group health insurance rates is a good idea, as they are contemplating with HB 1355. Or better yet tell them to support SB 203 which will require mortgage brokers to be licensed in Colorado. Looking around Rock Creek at the for sale signs should help raise this issue to the top.

Dialogues on Immigrant Integration

Heads up: In Longmont Dialogues on Immigrant Integration will be facilitating five-week Dialogue Groups of 8 to 14 people who meet once a week from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. starting April 11. Community members are invited to participate in this unique opportunity to share their perspectives about immigrant integration, and seek to understand and respond to our community's challenges and opportunities.

Dialogues are free and professionally facilitated. All views are welcome! To register or for more information, contact Leslie Irwin, Coordinator, at 303-443-0419, ext. 117 or email: info@immigrant-integration.org.

The insights possible in this kind of running workshop can really change stereotypes you may not even know you have. In a similar vein, my involvement with Intercambio de Comunidades has given me a wider perspective than I had growing up and is helping me connect with people I wouldn't have otherwise met. Consider it.

Growth Cap Vote

The Daily Camera quotes several Lafayette officials talking about the residential housing growth cap of 200 units per year which will be up for re-approval at the ballot box in November. Also part of the discussion will be the additional 50 units per year allowed for affordable housing.

While the pace of development may be slowed by such caps, I will be curious to see how many times a developer has been turned away because we were already at the limit. And cap or no cap, I'm really curious to know if the affordable units being built at Eagle Place will be rented to current struggling Lafayette residents (first choice), struggling Lafayette employees who would save on transportation costs if they could live in town (second choice) or if they are open to everybody in which case Lafayette is just a magnet for other town's economically unfortunate.

Back in April of last year, when Eagle Place was going through final approval, Councilors Frank Phillips and Kerry Bensman supported requiring Eagle Place to prioritize an ongoing preference to Lafayette residents according to the Community Housing Guidelines and provide compliance reports to the Administrator of Lafayette’s Affordable Housing Program on a semiannual basis for reporting to Council.

This motion failed with five other Councilors voting against it. Such a frequency of analysis was deemed unacceptable to the majority of Council. Great.

Instead a motion passed unanimously that “one year from the issuance of the final certificate of occupancy the applicant shall submit a report to the City Council detailing the status of occupant’s relative to the Lafayette preference requirement of Section III. B of the Community Housing Guidelines.”

So we'll see, long after the election, who is truly being served by this particular affordable housing project.

Erie's Next Supermarket

There could actually be a noticeable bit of commercial development in Erie if a second Safeway off of Hwy 7 continues to gather momentum. However, Safeway is only interested in doing so if a link to the north can be made so there's easier traffic access to the center of town. This of course has some residents upset. Predictably, additional traffic concerns are raised. More convenient groceries? Sales tax for Erie's laundry list of projects? Jobs? None of these are good enough reasons for a handful of folks around the Erie AirPark.

You can read more about it in the Erie Review.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Longmont Public NOT Invited To Be Heard

There was no love coming from the City Council on Valentines Day '06. Here is the document limiting your access to locally elected officials. The normally accepted procedure was to have 5 minutes at the beginning and end of each meeting for "Public Invited To Be Heard". As an occasional speaker, it took time to whittle it down to fit that time frame in some meaningful way. Then somewhere along the line they decided to cut that time. My personal opinion is that this came about from all the Walmart protesters that would go one after another for quite some time, usually repeating each other, and may have pushed the limits of what the councilmember's would tolerate. I waited for it seemed about 30 speakers, all about Walmart, just to get my airport issue addressed. I could've gone between them but didn't want my point lost in a subject that the city had already made their mind up about.

So down came the hammer. The first step was a 5 minute limit on the first 12 speakers, but #13 on only had 3 minutes, so much for planning out your comments to fit the time allowed. Now you get 3 minutes, period, 1st, 10th, 20th, doesn't matter. In the old days you didn't have to put your name on the sign-up sheet, now if you don't you don't get your turn until the end of the meeting (regular session only, study session there is no public invited to be heard at the end). Here's my problem with this: I usually did not put my name on the list for one reason, if someone else already spoke to my issue, I didn't waste councils time and repeat them. If no one else did, then I'd raise my hand and speak, usually last. But now, if the only way I or anyone can be heard is to sign up, then we all will and possibly waste more of council's time that could've been saved by avoiding duplication.

The bone thrown out by council was this 30 minute chitchat with a couple members of council before the session. This was to be done on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month. You have to sign up for it, and the member may spend 1 minute listening to you, or 29 minutes listening to someone else, in no order and at the discretion of the council member. Recently they cancelled a meeting, cutting these 30 minute get-togethers down to ONCE in March. They point to the possibility of contacting members via phone or email, I've done that plenty in the past, results are spotty. Try it for yourself.

I usually agree with Mayor Pirnack on most issues, but this is one I've never agreed with. One of her main goals was more public involvement in city issues, something I took to heart, hence this blog/site, etc etc. But this change in procedures (technically known as R-2006-12) goes totally against the Mayors stated goal, which I believe is a worthy goal.
I share that goal with my encouraging people to get involved and follow what goes on in their community. Instead of trying to have all the answers, I'd rather nudge you to ask more questions. You're paying for it in one form or another, get your moneys worth.

Clay Evans Leaving the Camera

As a writer and someone who enjoys opining on the government, authority and policy issues in general, I've always respected the style and language of the Daily Camera's Clay Evans. He is leaving the paper for other pursuits after a long career with that paper. Last week his editorial touched on the kind of concern over growing governmental authority that is either outright supported or simply observed with indifference that I've often alluded to in my writings.

As a great local writer prepares to take leave, here is a link to the article. An excerpt:

Perhaps more than any other Soviet bloc nation, East Germany devolved into
a frightening, oppressive police state. The dreaded secret police, or Stasi,
made it its mission to "know everything" about its citizenry. By 1989, when the
Berlin Wall came down, it was estimated that the Stasi had as many as 91,000
full-time employees and a terrifying 300,000 citizen "informants."

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Voluntary Fees Mitigates Growth in Longmont

Colorado Courts have ruled in the past that developer of new homes cannot be forced to contribute to the local school district, even when the new families of their developments will push the local schools' capacity over their limits.

East of Longmont, the LifeBridge development approved by Weld County would include over 300 homes. In this case, LifeBridge worked out a voluntary deal with the St. Vrain Valley School District to pay $1400 per home to the District to cover some of the future costs of the anticipated new students the development will house. Now the Longmont City Council has been asked to annex the development into the City. However Longmont doesn't allow such fees to be paid and the City Council is thinking of changing their rules to allow this.

Some of the rationale in the past against such voluntary fees is that they can't truly match the costs, however such direct compensation is appropriate if you're going to approve a developemnt in th first place. This is a great tool to have developers assume more of the the true cost of their project - of course, these costs end up being passed on to the new homebuyers. Fair enough. The homeowners/parents of the kids should be paying into the school district, not simply the person building a home for sale.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

It Won't End....

Tuesday Coloradans for Voting Integrity announced its plans to formally request records from the Lafayette's recent election. A spokesman for the Denver-based organization said that because of interest from numerous other groups, a Lafayette Election Task Force is forming and likely will make an announcement about its plans next week instead.

Read more - if you can stand it - here.

So I was eager to continue the discussion immediately following the election. Now it shall go off tangentially into the realm of niche watchdogs. I applaud their interest, as someone should do it, however the EastBoCo readers have made it clear this is a dead horse whose beatings have become irritating. So long, annexation debate.

Next steps: Gigantic protests during the site plan review and demands to involve the Army Corps of Engineers to do wetlands analysis. Woo hoo!

County/Church Lawsuit Will Move Forward

From The Daily Camera:

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by Boulder County against Rocky Mountain Christian Church in Niwot that sought legal clarification of the county's authority to quash the church's expansion plans. The county asked for a declaratory judgment at the time it issued its denial in February 2006, requesting a determination from the court as to whether its decision was in keeping with the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act.

The act prohibits governments from enacting land-use regulations that place a "substantial burden" on the free exercise of religion.

In dismissing Boulder County's suit late last week, the court said the dispute between Rocky Mountain Christian Church and the county is already being handled in federal court as part of a separate and more comprehensive suit filed by the church against the county after its request to more than double the size of its facilities at the corner of 95th Street and Niwot Road was denied.

That lawsuit, in which the church claims that the county's decision violated the federal religious protection law, goes to trial in September.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

John Cody on Longmont's Economy

The Daily Camera's online chat yesterday with Longmont Area Economic Council Director John Cody is brief but still offers clear insight into his strategy for retaining and encouraging the growth of primary employers in Longmont. Anyone not familiar with that term should know their community is more beholden to such companies than they may wish to believe.

John discussed the role of economic incentives: they aren't the be-all lure, just the final deal maker to bring companies over the tipping point:

There is often a a perception that incentives play a huge role in economic development. This is typically untrue. Incentives usually act as a tie breaker on a deal. But the advice I would give is to focus incentives on the type of activity you want too encourage. For example, in Longmont we focus on higher paying jobs and R&D activity. In addition to expressing the community's interest in a given company, targeted incentives help to grow your economy in the way you want it to grow.

Read the full transcript of his chat here.

Monday, March 19, 2007

County Commissioners In Lafayette Tuesday

Tomorrow night the Lafayette City Council will have a joint dinner meeting with the Boulder County Commissioners before their regular Council meeting. What topics should they bring up to our regional leaders? Here's a few thoughts:
  • The current efforts to curtail meth-related crimes (forget fines for pot with the destructive impacts meth has)
  • What is the next step for when the current IGAs expire?
  • Increase the protection/support for agland production on undeveloped land
  • Facilitate a shared-sales tax commercial development somewhere to have a test case to analyze
  • What is the latest on the Rocky Mountain Christian Church?
  • Is it possible to create IGA-like relationships re: minimum stream flow?
  • Comp Plan changes - see my comments below
What else?

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Boulder County Sustainability Plans

On Wednesday I went to the public meeting re: the County's proposed changes to the Comprehensive Plan that would institute new language and polices regarding sustainability. Previously I had characterized this as a swipe at property rights and I've been challenged to provide details to this nefarious plan.

Back in 2005 the County made a resolution based on a series of concepts (support of Kyoto, vehicular pollution, support of Amendment 37, etc.) to address sustainability within the land use code. This has led to the details of the current proposals which have three main tenets (by my description): increase the use of green building materials, offer transferable development rights and protect the neighborhood character of given areas from inappropriate development. (The County refers to this as Structure Size.)

What I heard at the meeting was a rationale and acceptable concern for the impact of pollution-caused climate change. I agree with the premise and the building materials requirements are not necessarily onerous; that's worth debate though. The TDR concept has skeptics based on how the County's ownership of much of the potential land used in such a system skews the reality of market-based decisions. Yet another long conversation can be had there. But the concept is valid.

It's the third area that moves into the more subjective realm and I felt came across as flat out anti-growth. Not balanced, slow, responsible, green, or any other such growth sentiment. Just plain "no more period." People who already live in unincorporated Boulder County will love the philosophy implied in the new rules of searching for the appropriate kind of development that in actuality I believe will never be found. With this foundation setting the tone for the County's approval processes, I believe it will be increasingly more convoluted and expensive to meet the standards of "neighborhood character". Under the guise of this type of potential appropriateness being attainable, the sentiment of absolutely no more growth will stifle the reasonable development rights of property owners.

This is a gut feeling opinion, I was shown how this is not the case by County planners. Still, the gist of what I read at the meeting makes me feel like an absolute anti-growth sentiment is at the root of the new rules. Hence my attack on property rights assertion.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Issue 2A Challenges Continue

Karen Norback has found more irregularities that have been confirmed by the City. In the Daily Camera today: "We want to see the signatures; the city didn't verify the signatures," said Karen Norback, who led the opposition to Issue A. Thursday, Norback requested access to the city's poll books, as well as the ballot envelopes in an attempt to verify voters' signatures. "We're deciding whether to file a lawsuit."

I'm checking with Karen and this is a public request for LDT (Lafayette Deep Throat) to contact me.

Leaky Lafayette Part 2 - Whoops!

In the Daily Camera: "Conflicting reports from two Lafayette police officers who interviewed Tess Damm may never be straightened out — leaving potential holes in the state's prosecution in the slaying of her mother, Linda Damm.

That's because the "record" button on a recorder set up to document the 15-year-old girl's interview was never pushed, according to sources close to the case."

Could this source also be the Lafayette Deep Throat? Or are there more leakers? I'm sure the DA and the police were not anxious for this news to hit the papers...

Free Water Audits in Superior

All the snow during the holidays won't really make any difference come this summer in terms of water restrictions. Depending on what happens re: precipitation over the next two months, restrictions could still be need this summer. And anyway, efficient use of water less expensive.

Notwithstanding my remarks about residential efficiency being a threat to riparian corridors (see my Yellow Scene article "Wasteful Watering Not All That Bad" from July 2006) it's still a good idea to avoid watering the sidewalk for 2 hours or losing half your mid-day sprinkler spray to evaporation.

To that end, Superior has announced the following Free Irrigation Audits for residents:

The Town of Superior is partnering with the Center for Resource Conservation this summer to bring our customers the "Slow the Flow Colorado" program. This is a FREE irrigation inspection program available to Town of Superior water customers who have automatic sprinkler systems watering turf. The program is designed to reduce your water consumption while maintaining an attractive landscape. A trained specialist will evaluate your system for irrigation efficiency, identify and list repair items, formulate a watering schedule, and give you valuable information on how to irrigate more efficiently for your specific landscape.

To qualify you must be a Town of Superior water customer, have an automatic sprinkler system and must be present at the time of the audit. Contact the Center for Resource Conservation at 303-441-3278 ext 17 to put your name on the wait list or visit www.conservationcenter.org to schedule online.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Leaky Lafayette

Lafayette Police Spokesman Commander Rick Bashor says they are looking for the source of information being leaked to the media in the unfortunate Damm case. How many people could have access to the kind of information that makes for more detailed and sensational news stories? Given the small circle of people who should have such access, it sure seems likely Lafayette's Deep Throat will be found.

Read why this is a problem for the Boulder County District Attorney.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Erie Education Champions

A vanguard in the support of public education is rising in Erie, as the Erie High School Education Foundation is reaching out and gathering momentum in this town known for championing its schools. Parents, educators and business owners are raising cash to ensure that no child is left behind, and they can reach their vision of boosting the value of Erie High’s education well beyond what the school district can provide.

Read the rest of my March Yellow Scene article here.

Any thoughts for such an organization in Louisville? Lafayette? Superior?

Question to Ponder

It won't matter which community you're in to answer this question - What is the single best effort or policy being championed by your collective elected representatives right now, early spring 2007?

I know this forum gains steam when we're griping and challenging each other. How about letting me know something that working or could work? I hope the answers don't take too long to surface.

If you're an elected official, point out something a fellow representative is championing you respect.

To make it easy, you can even mention something restrictive you think is a good idea, i.e. fines for pot.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Superior's Library Funding

The Louisville/Superior library funding debate will continue tonight when Superior Trustees consider Louisville's latest negotiation request: that the fledgling intergovernmental agreement between the two retain a firm commitment by Superior to chip in $105,000 for their citizens' use of Louisville's library in 2008.

Superior wants to have more flexible language to reduce the payment in case analysis shows a lesser level of usage. Their comments tonight will reveal the level of confidence they have in Louisville's previous analyses. The IGA could fall apart on Superior's resistence to an absolutely firm invoice from Louisville. Superior's new Town Manager Scott Randall will get to hit the ground running with this on his plate.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

This Is The %!@$? I'm Talking About....

Today I read about two issues that reinforce my distrust of the government in general. Local, State, Federal, its all the same. When you read my sweeping skepticisms and worries about motives, these two examples are the sort of things that feed my concerns.

First is the FBI admitting they illegally monitored thousands of Americans. And they insult us with claims of unintentional human error and computer gliches. This happens because I believe there simply are people who are nosy, who like digging around just to see what they will find out. Under the auspices of national security or looking for some particular type of crime, there are people who get satisfaction and a sense of power from getting to look at people who don't know they're looking. After all apologies and claims of accountability, no one will actually be punished. If I saw more accountability I would be slightly less cynical.

Chose your rationale for government authority. On balance I will take the risks associated with privacy and freedom over the fuzzy hodge-podge of well-meaning and nefarious motives for governtmental nannyism.

Second example - the details to Jefferson County officials' alleged theft of files kept on the personal details to an outspoken County critic and the subsequent publishing of those details plus their contradictory explanations.

These things happen even though we're paying attention. This is why my skepticism runs deep.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Okay, Okay, They Put it Up

This morning I made a remark about the City of Lafayette not having any detail about the Issue A recount on their website. Something just popped up - and the results haven't changed.

It says:
On February 27, an unidentified problem with the Diebold Company’s equipment prevented the election scanning machine from printing the election tape. Because of this and to reassure the public that the vote count was accurate, Lafayette’s City Clerk called for a recount. This recount was performed on March 8 and March 9 and the results are as follows:
  • Number of Precincts - 1
  • Precincts Reporting - 1 (100%)
  • Times Counted - 6,426
  • Total Votes - 6,424
  • Times Over Voted - 0
  • Number Of Under Votes - 2

Yes - 3,512 (54.67%)
No - 2,912 (45.33%)

Erie's Economic Outlook

From Mayor Andrew Moore:

Our efforts to bring a grocery-anchored retail shopping center to County Line Road and
Leon Wurl Parkway should payoff in the near future. Independent market analysis suggests
Highway 7 retail and commercial development near Vista Ridge will mature in the next
three to five years.

Though the timing of significant commercial activity along I-25 and Highway 52 is more difficult to predict, the Board will continue to provide the leadership to realize our economic development goals and the patience to ensure the quality as well.

Simply put -the Board will not lower our quality standards for retail and commercial
development in exchange for a quick fix.

Can Erie have patience and continue to thrive? Absolutely.

Read the full statement in the Erie Edition newsletter.

What Do Colorado Boomers Think?

In January 2006, the front end of the baby boom generation began turning 60 at the rate of one every eight seconds, and will continue to do so until the end of 2024.

Will the 78.2 million baby boomers drain the federal budget? Will they settle down and retire? Or will they continue to be active contributors to their communities and to society? How will the baby boom generation change the way Americans and Coloradans grow older?

Two Colorado foundations want to know. The Colorado Trust and Rose Community Foundation are conducting the Colorado Boomer Survey to understand what the baby boomers want and need to live healthy, fulfilling and useful lives their 60s, 70s, 80s and beyond.

The Colorado Boomer Survey will provide the two foundations with information to help them, their grantees and their philanthropic partners plan future efforts that consider not only what baby boomers need to remain actively engaged in their communities, but also what they have to offer.

The Colorado Boomer Survey is open to any Coloradan aged 55 to 65. It takes about 10 minutes to complete.

The Recount Continues

(Been working on taxes this week; thanks to all the readers keeping it going with comments!)

Today the results of the recount in Lafayette's special election should be known. Nothing on the City's website about this; we'll rely on the newspapers apparently. I hope to find out sooner directly. Wouldn't this be a great issue to hear directly from the Mayor, Chris Berry, or maybe the City Administrator - some paragraph of explanation?

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Recount on Issue A in Lafayette

That's right, its not over yet. Read it here. Karen Norback has gotten the city to admit there were protocol and equipment failures in the tallying of the votes. What's going on here? One word - Diebold. Even though the vote apparently turned out how I wanted, I am totally in support of looking into the equipment concerns she has raised.

Search Diebold and "fraud" or "flaws" and you'll find plenty to raise eyebrows.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Louisville Hunting for a New Top Admin

Louisville's City Council is working on a national search to replace Bill Simmons as City Manager. Simmons' last day was last Wednesday; look to see a couple of the folks who came in second in Superior's hunt for a town Manager to eye the spot in Louisville.

Will Louisville's known challenges with stagnant retail growth limit their prospects? Or will Hwy 42 Revitalization and FasTracks lure more ambitious and visionary leaders? And what of the StorageTek property? So many possibilities. Pontificate if you will...

Monday, March 05, 2007

Longmont to Brainstorm on School Improvements - Plus: Shift Happens!

There is a consistent concern that kids are not leaving high school prepared appropriately for the working world. City officials and business leaders from Longmont, the St. Vrain Valley School District, Front Range Community College as well as parents, educators, and really anyone is invited to an upcoming education summit, “Learn Today, Change Your World Tomorrow.” The summit, which is free and open to the public, is scheduled from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, March 17, at the Radisson Hotel and Conference Center, 1850 Industrial Circle. Read more in the Daily Times Call.

In this month's Yellow Scene I have written about the newly created Erie High School Education Foundation, an organization hoping to improve the academic offerings to the students - and graduates - of Erie H.S. Seems educational improvements are surging in interest, at least in some places.

A scary, compelling and fascinating excerpt of a powerpoint program from a futurist called "Shift Happens" is making its way around the internet. There are powerful statistics and projections made in this 6-minute program that should make everyone over 15 years old realize just how fast and exponential change is happening. Just watch it.

Check it out here. This topic is worth way more comments than we've all had on Lowe's or pot possession.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Boulder County Taking Your Input Next Week

There will be three open houses when citizens can check out the proposed Boulder County Comprehensive Plan (BCCP) Sustainability Element. County Land Use Dept. staff would like to discuss with everybody these topics:

  • Expansion of the Transferable Development Rights (TDR) Program
  • Trends and Possible Limits to Structure Size
  • “Green Building” Concepts

The proposed new rules impact development in unincorporated parts of Boulder County. Dates:
Tuesday, March 6, 2007: 5:30 PM-8:00 PM
Where: Third Floor Hearing Room - Courthouse
Thursday, March 8, 2007: 5:30 PM-8:00 PM
Where: Third Floor Hearing Room - Courthouse
Wednesday, March 14, 2007: 5:30 PM-8:00 PM
Where: Third Floor Hearing Room - Courthouse

I've made my concerns about property rights known before; I'll be reading through the documents they have provided before making more assertions. Alex - "I'll be back..."

Thursday, March 01, 2007

County Reveals Long Time Open Space Negotiation

The County has been negotiating for a real buffer parcel acquisition on Lafayette's eastern border known informally as the "egg farm". I'm sure we will speak/hear about it tonight at the Lafayette Open Space Advisory Committee meeting. This has been a scenario pursued with a lot of discretion; to read about it in the Daily Camera is unfortunate - I would guess Lafayette's leadership didn't realize the County was going to speak to a reporter about this.

What's the quote in yesterday's Daily Camera by Jeremy Gregory all about? "This isn't the only avenue to stop this".