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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Thursday, May 31, 2007

Downtown Longmont May Get More Parking

The Longmont City Council has voted informally to support the pleading of the downtown merchants regarding a redevelopment of a parcel on the 300 block of Main Street into a parking garage - at a minimum. The wish/pipe dream/best case scenario is for an involved mixed use development however the cost of a more involved building hasn't proven to be feasible, and a vote to extend a TIF for several years to fund the construction is a debatable factor in all this.

Last year a study of potential locations identified the 300 block as a priority if the premise was overall downtown economic development. The public financing part has been the sticking point for the last year or so. Then in October last year another study recommended the 400 block with a few condos. Last night they reviewed priced-out options and the public financing part is still up in the air.

Look for more details in two months. In the meantime, carpool downtown.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Kingsley Management Under Scrutiny in Lafayette

The article in today's Lafayette News about the Arbordale Acres Mobile Home Park describes allegedly poor property management efforts and onerous requirements on elderly residents of the neighborhood. It appears that mismanagement of the wastewater fees charged to the residents is a crucial issue the out-of-state management company, Kingsley Management, is going to have to answer to. The Camera wrote about this last week too.

In 2003, Kingsley Management told a resident of the Carefree Country Mobile Home Park they managed in Utah that he couldn't use the swimming pool because he had a "communicable disease" - AIDS. The fact that water isn't the method of transmission didn't occur to their lawyers who threatened eviction if he jumped in the water.

Also in 2003, residents of Kingsley-managed El Granada (CA) Manufactured Home Community claimed they "have slapped on extra fees for water and garbage, enforce the rules inconsistently, aren't keeping the park up, and are unresponsive to the residents' concerns....We have out-of-state greedy owners that haven't cooperated. The condition and maintenance of the park have been appalling." The San Mateo County Commissioners voted to institute rent control on the properties in response to the poor management. (See the build up in 2002 here.) The Taylorsville, Utah City Council issued subpoenas to the HOA of a Kingsley-managed property in 2003 over election complaints.

I couldn't find a website for Kingsley directly, but I did find their sales force recruitment site.

What caught my eye was the last sentence in the Lafayette News: "[Lafayette City Councilor Frank] Phillips wants to explore the possibility of municipal regulations for leases." Seems Lafayette won't be the first community to address such needs based on Kingsley's management style.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Erie Neighborhood Votes Against Its Own HOA's Empowerment

Last week there was a vote in the Northridge neighborhood in Erie regarding the potential creation of a Board of Directors. Those in opposition were a slight majority (a 78 to 75 vote victory) - a surprise to the folks there who want to see a laundry list of issues addressed in the more formal way.

The unattributed Northridge HOA blog has this comment:
I'm going to be very interested in how the majority will handle the first real
crisis that comes upon us all as a community. I figure that since
they have rejected the one solution that has been proposed, it
will fall to them to find the solution and provide the
leadership necessary.
Problems contemplated include:
Will some group of neighbors get so vexed by the condition of some
other neighbor's property that they will band together and sue that neighbor
under the legal and binding provisions of the contract know as the covenants?
Reading between the lines I'm guessing there are a few homeowners letting their landscape fade, piling subjectively ugly amounts of random items in their yards , or maybe there are a few Darfur-related yards signs like the ones causing an HOA showdown in Boulder. And, they're in the majority and want to keep the meddling of a stereotypical HOA out. Pity, as the legal liability issues are compelling.

The background to the vote is the "failure" of the developer of Northridge and the town to formally create an empowered HOA; there is now a legal limbo of an entity to handle enforcement and liability questions. In light of such limbo, the town is holding onto a couple hundred thousand dollars meant for Northridge neighborhood improvements.

This is a mess. Check out the PowerPoints from the meetings and the vote results on the Northridge website.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Longmont Skatepunks May Have To Pay Up

The City has closed a popular skatepark overnight and is considering charging a fee for users based on the amount of security and maintenance necessary to keep the Sandstone Ranch Skatepark in usable condition. The few punks who litter the place overnight and the frequency of trouble between users requires this extra step. Apparently the construction of a free place to hang out and be a punk is being taken for granted. But where will the punks go if they're asked to shell out a couple bucks to use the park? Solution: charge the graffiti artists $10 to have a 2-week placement of art on walls or the ground around the park. Use the funds to pay for security and trash cleanup. Jail time for littering past 11:00 PM.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Rational Thought Prevails - Another Champion of Context in the World of Wopburgers

I read another editorial column about the Wopburger's survival on the Blue Parrot's menu that "gets it", as far as I'm concerned. It's all about the context of the word, which more deeply means the intention behind its use. David Harsanyi of the Denver Post says:

"A wise person recently asked me: As a Jew, would you be offended if the work "kike" was part of a name for food? Kike-fish instead gefilte fish, for instance? Depends on the context, of course. If Moshe Greenstein served it to me at my favorite Jewish deli - with horseradish - probably not. If a guy with a swastika tattoo plated it up for me, probably.

And Blue Parrot is owned and operated by Italians. If they're not offended, why should I be offended for them?"

He continues with some background on the decison to keep it:

And for a while there, it looked as if the Wopburger would be yanked off the menu after 80-some-odd years as the kerfuffle erupted around the name. But then, an avalanche of support arrived - and a call from the family's patriarch, Joseph Colacci, made things right.

"Dad called me and said, 'Let it be. I want the Wop back on the menu,"' Riggins says. "It's not just him. People have been outraged by this. And it is terribly silly. ... This is our heritage and something we've lived with all our lives. I'm elated it stays."

Read the rest of hie article here.

Lafayette's Immigration Resolution Fails to Resonate

Immigration hasn't caused a tidal wave of contacts to the Lafayette City Councilors, according to comments in the Camera today. The other topics mentioned by City Administrator Gary Klaphake as being more controversial to residents - at least as measured by Council contacts - include the proposed pit bull ban, water programs and marijuana fines.

Councilor Frank Phillips voted against the Immigration resolution with a rationale that such national issues are outside the purview and influence of City Council. It appears many Lafayette residents agree, as their silence on the resolution reveals an apathy at least, and perhaps more so an ambivalence towards the current status.

It is worth noting the issues that bring out the most public comment. While Boulder is known for making policy directives (i.e. their Climate Action Plan based on Kyoto goals) and resolutions on global issues, I don't perceive Lafayette's populace as desiring such principled, symbolic stances by their Council. Part of the oft-quoted "small-town feel" that is proudly mentioned here would by design include a focus on local issues with tangible impacts on residents. The immigration issue is either too global to consider - or too painfully local, too painful to even bring up to leaders. Beware the "I" word...

Friday, May 25, 2007

A Fantastic New Addition to Boulder County

Folks, my three-day delay in posting ends with a proud announcement that our first child, Kyla Powers, was born Wednesday afternoon. I will return tomorrow with more typical EastBoco commentary.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Name Shall Remain At The Blue Parrot

Thanks anonymous - it appears the national media attention has caused the Blue Parrot to reconsider: From the Scripps-Howard News Service:

"We've had so many people coming in and calling us, telling us, 'I can't
believe you're changing the name. Please don't change the name,'" said Joan
Riggins, who owns the restaurant with her father, Joseph Colacci, and brother
Richard Colacci.
The Rocky Mountain News has some other related links to the story. Plus Mike Littwin editorialized about it.

Now it's a battle of wills. Any chance Mr. Gambino will sue? The spotlight is on, and people looking for a fight never refuse that opportunity. Larry King, O'Reilly and Hollywood can't be too far off.

To Kerry's point, the Rocky's food critic gave the wopburger a C+ for taste.

Lowe's: The Battle Continues - Plus More Road Studies!

Tonight the Lafayette Planning Comission will review the sketch plan for Lowe's at a public hearing. There may not be many fireworks; it may be too soon for opposition to comment in any detail other than re-hashing the general sentiment of inappropriateness heard during the February election. An April 9 neighborhood meeting and subsequent public notices of this meeting have not elicited any comments so far.

A related story to this is the recent outline of the study to re-route Hwy 7 to the north, such that the traffic heading west on that road from Broomfield and Erie could be re-routed north on a new section of road up to Arapahoe near Hwy 287. This would deflect a lot of traffic away from the north end of Lafayette's old town, decreasing the traffic on Baseline Rd.

In theory.

Some details from Lafayette.

Voting Against Your Own Ethics Investigation

It's from last week, but it's interesting anyway: Erie Trustee Tom Van Lone is being accused of voting for unjustifiably restrictive land use regulations on a parcel owned by a friend with whom he's had a falling out. The dubious claim is that the restrictions are vindictive, not simply regular ol' growth management.

What's interesting is the Board of Trustees voted last week to spend up to $900 for a private investigator to look into the matter. There's nothing in the town's ethics ordinance saying such expenditures are required , so Van Lone voted against it. The stipend passed 6 - 1.

As opposed to abstaining, voting against further investigation of ethics complaints against yourself just adds more fuel to the fire. It's unfortunate that the Board couldn't just look at the issue at face value and determine if Van Lone crossed a line or not. Given the vagueness of ethics ordinances, he is not likely to be found in violation of anything.

The long background of the issue is in the Camera.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Technorati Now Part of The Blog

More blogging updates, this time with Technorati. Technorati Profile

Junior Writers Nail Some Funny Topics

I was having a coffee at Dragonfly in Louisville this morning and I grabbed the Centaurus Odyssey, the high school newspaper. The May 1 issue was done in the spirit of the Onion; that is a complete issue of satire and parody. articles that made me laugh included "Steve Irwin's Zombie Caught Harassing Koala Bear", "Cell Phones Found to Cure Cancer", and an overview of the Morbidly Obese Olympics (MOO)".

There was a sharp commentary by Anna Nicole Smith's ghost on the misplaced focus by American media on irrelevant topics, a dismissal of Republican-bashing political cartoons and an interview with Jesus Christ regarding random songs on his iPhone.

I was impressed with the cleverness, awareness and often the cynicism found in the articles. Check out the online and print versions of your local high school. They are a great source of information on the concerns and mindsets of the next batch of leaders.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Shop Here! No, Here! No Here!

Longmont is pursuing a formalized Shop Local campaign just like Louisville. Everyone's snapping to the realities of sales-tax based budgeting and understanding how local businesses maybe aren't all bad, and commercial development actually pays the bills. OHHH, NOW we get it. Maybe approving that Lowe's or Ethan Allen or Safeway on Hwy 7 means we'll have MONEY to PAY for things... Ahhh, it's all so clear now....

Whoop It Up Erie-Style

The Erie Town Fair is tomorrow and I encourage you all to drop by the offices of the Yellow Scene on Briggs Street and put faces to the names you've been reading. At least pick up a free copy. Read all the details, starting with the 6:00 AM balloon launch at Vista Ridge.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Burger Menu Censor Backlash

Check out the Letters to the Editor today in the Camera regarding the Blue Parrot's wopburger. Three letters out of seven; they must have gotten even more to print that many. And all are appalled at the P-C transplant who took offense.

Big arguments over this one. Friends have told me offense is in the eye of the beholder and removing offensive language from society is a good thing. Just because nobody called them on it before doesn't make the wopburger acceptable.

I say that the general standard needs to be an emphasis on intent, and if the person wasn't trying to offend, you have no case. If there is a gray area of determining intent, then I side with those who felt offended because it wasn't clear. In this case, the lack of insulting intent appears clear to me. The guy should have complained, stormed out, and eaten somewhere else.

Also: With Out Papers - is this reference credible?

Louisville Annexes For A Little More Commercial Development

Tuesday the Louisville City Council approved the annexation and rezoning of a 32-acre parcel on the west side of Hwy 42. Called Takoda Village, residential and commercial development is planned, which could lead to enough critical mass of traffic to add a stoplight to that section of 95th Street. Years away, but it will happen. Read about this in the Louisville Times.

The annexation ordinance says: The subject parcel is an enclave parcel located on the west side of State Highway 42 with approximately 377 linear feet of frontage on Highway 42. The subject property is currently zoned Boulder County Rural Residential. Contiguous parcels to the north and south of the subject parcel are within the City of Louisville and are zoned as Planned Community Zoned District (PCZD).

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Lafayette's Proclamation on Immigration

"The city of Lafayette acknowledges the importance of immigrants to the city economy and its cultural life" and that "Lafayette calls upon both the President of the United States and the Congress to pursue a course towards immigration reform that is realistic and comprehensive, that provides a path to citizenship, addresses the immigration backlog, unifies families, and provides a safe, legal and orderly avenue for migrant workers to enter the United States."
Tuesday night Lafayette City Council passed the above statement, 5-2, with Councilors Bensman and Phillips opposing. Their reasons and other comments are found in this Camera article.

I support the sentiment that urges nation (federal-level) immigration reform. I don't know what "unifies families" implies, and I'll reserve skeptical judgement until I speak to the sponsors of the language.

Just for some context, check out the requirements for anyone wishing to move INTO Mexico and reside there. Other countries have similar expectations and requirements.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Just What Louisville Hates To See

Superior announced another great shopping draw to the Superior Marketplace: Ethan Allen will be another lure for spending to that side of US36.

Monday, May 14, 2007

One Person Really Can Make A Difference

The Rocky Mountain News reports on how one person's offense can change the business practice of an iconic Louisville eatery. The Blue Parrot, a fourth-generation Italian restaurant in Old Town, was visited last month by an east coast transplant who decided that the "wopburger", on the menu since 1918, needed to be removed. He demanded and involved Washington DC organizations and then alerted the Boulder Valley School District that their sauce vendor was insulting Italian-Americans.

When the District threatened to drop the Blue Parrot's sauce for insensitivity, the wopburger was history. All within a month.

One person, one opinion, one private business' family recipe and name erased.


Saturday, May 12, 2007

One Step For Capitalism, One Giant Leap For Erie

From Erie Mayor Andrew Moore: The First Commercial Development on Hwy 7 Approved

I'm pleased to let you know 13.6 acres of commercial property on Highway 7 was approved by the the Board of Trustees on Tuesday evening. This site in Vista Ridge is located at the northwest comer of State Highway 7 and Mountain View Boulevard and consists of 6 commercial lots, and one tract for private road access.

The developer told the Board the first businesses have signed leases for the anticipated November 2007 opening. According to the developers Walgreens has also entered into an agreement build on an adjoining lot.

I also can confirm the major grocer interested in building a store at Bonanza and Highway 7 is continuing discussions with the developer who owns the land at this intersection. Both projects will help meet our adopted town economic goals while providing needed services to Erie and Broomfield residents.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Louisville Ballot Initiative to Challenge Revitatization Authority

Louisville's Revitalization Commission opponents have filed for a ballot initiative this fall to rescind the authority granted to the Commission last December and put it in the hands of the City Council. John Leary, a former Louisville councilman, and Louisville resident Don Atwood filed the petition on behalf of the citizens' group PreserveLouisville.org.

We've commented on that before here and here.

They're asking for more direct accountability to the way the City will handle millions of TIF funds. Supporters argue the oversight is already built in and having Council involvement will scare off investors/developers.

All Politics Is Local

This axiom from Tip O'Neil is a challenge to the broad national and world issues City Councils sometimes address. Cities have passed resolutions on Iraq troop withdrawal, including Boulder. In 2000 Aspen passed a resolution to request the feds create "legislation appropriate to stabilize the population of the United States and insure sustainability".

The Lafayette News reports on the disagreement with the City Council's potential resolution stating, in part, “The City of Lafayette and its citizens encourage a moratorium on federal immigration raids until fair and humane immigration reform is passed in Washington.”

While such a statement is by design symbolic, is it worth bringing national legislation debates into local Council rooms? If we can't agree on where to place a hardware store without a ballot issue, is it worth creating a forum for debate on a national issue that ultimately we have no direct influence over? I'm just asking...

As a side note, near-term federal immmigration reform is unlikely given the disparate stands taken by the House and Senate.

Plenty Of Boulder County Property Values Flat, Says Assessor

We all have until June 1, 2007 to challenge the Boulder County Assessor's valuation of our property; although the dip I saw in my Lafayette property means slightly less taxes. I'm not looking to sell, so I will not get too worked up. It is interesting to see how the County determines your property's value vs what the market can offer.

County Assessor Cindy Domenico issued a press release about the valuation notices that points out : "On the residential side, general findings indicate that the majority of residential property values across the county increased in the range of 0-10%, with some notable exceptions, namely: Longmont, Lafayette, Louisville and Erie vicinity experienced a lesser increase (and in some cases, a decrease) in market-based value. "

Read more about the County's property values and how to challenge your assessment.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

'Shop Louisville' Campaign Proposed

The new WalMart and Target and Lowe's going into Lafayette won't be pulling any customers from Louisville if the City Council there can help it - the buy local concept is getting real specific in Louisville. Check out Council's Tuesday discussion in the Camera.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

From Colors to Staff Relations...

Okay, I'm just starting this post so it will be easier to follow. To get all the nuances as to how we got here, read the 27 comments under I Now Know the True Meaning Of Eye Sore.

As Doktorbombay asked, that post is ostensibly about the appeal of the colors at Eagle Place; out of curiosity I'm intrigued at any planning direction they were given regarding the choice. To continue that subjective debate, please return to that post.

THIS POST: The Nature of City Council and Staff relations: who is in charge, who answers to who? Kerry Bensman said: "Finding out what is going on in city government is like peeling the onion and putting large puzzles together. Over the years, I have been amazed at what comes to light and how long it takes to get at the information."

Frank Phillips said: "I suggest he speak up at council and make motions to fix what he, as a member of council and therefore one of the leaders of the city, is responsible for. Banging away at staff is like punching yourself in the face."

Alex Schatz said: "it really grates on me that we actually have some discussion of it now when there was deafening silence on making that policy choice iron-clad back in 2005."

Chris Cameron said: "I'm not sure why Councilor Bensman remembers the sole focus of his orientation being on the appropriate way to communicate with staff. It was certainly mentioned in our orientation, but the vast majority of our time was spent learning about the operations and issues critical to the city."

I say staff in any community wields the true power! They all know this! Exhibits A & B: Not having the Rec Center's budget line itemed for analysis in Lafayette; Boulder Utilities Dept. "unable" to detail where an additional $1 million in revenue has come from (not counting the $1 million accidental overcharge to one customer); that's just two off the top of my head...

Lafayette In Vegas, Baby!

The International Council of Shopping Centers' annual convention in Las Vegas will be the site of a marketing campaign by WalMart's brokers that includes details to the tremendous opportunities awaiting buyers of WalMart's soon-to-be-vacant big box on South Boulder Road.

Check out the bee-yoo-tee-full aerial photo of Lafayette's Walmart with sweeping western views on the cover of the Vegas marketing brochure. Check out the page 4 photo too.

The City sent out details saying Wal-Mart has contracted with DTZ Rockwood LLC to arrange the sale of a number of their properties, including their soon-to-be vacant store in Lafayette. Wal-Mart is also willing to pay a 2% commission to any commercial broker who arranges for the sale of the property.

And then it will sit empty for years. Maybe that's too cynical. But the lack of response to the City's RFP for redevelopment was not a good start to the revamping we'd all like to see.

Read more in the Camera.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Times-Call Graffiti Backpedaling

Over the last month, the Longmont Daily Times-Call has had a few front page stories about graffiti in the city. These included large color pictures of the "artwork" and bio's of the "artists". There has also been no shortage of Open Forum letters and TC-Line comments about their coverage, mostly negative. I'm going to have to stand on the side of the people claiming that the Times-Call has glamorized this behavior and the people who do it.

What was May 6, 2007's editorial? " Vandalism does not make you glamorous." Really? You don't say. But wait, you did say, in so many words the opposite with your earlier coverage. So which is it, and why the change of heart? A little heat from the police? Getting the message from your readers? Has graffiti increased since your exposé's hit the stands?

I don't have a lot of sympathy here for a couple of reasons. First, these huge front page stories were not necessarily on slow news days. These seemed like pieces put together earlier sitting around waiting for a dull time to throw out there. Second, after numerous negative letters pointing out the obvious (except to the paper apparently), they put out another story making these graffiti artists seem like misunderstood saints. More negative letters followed.

Now they start their latest editorial blaming vandalism on the weather! It starts out with vandalism at a construction site, but also mentions spray paint and graffiti. It puts the "onus" on law abiding citizens to try to make vandalism harder on the criminals that commit it. How about a little onus on the criminals? How about some more onus on you, the Times-Call, to be a little more responsible with your reporting and commentary?

It gets really rich with the editorial staff asking that these "vandals should take a little pride in their community". Among other things, isn't that what makes them criminals and vandals, a lack of pride in their community? Before you point your finger at law abiding citizens, and even the vandals you've essentially glamorized, take a look in the mirror. You're part of the problem.

New Feature - Most Comments

Check out on the right under the Recent Comments list, I've added a feature that lists the posts with the most comments. While I'd like to think my posts are the absolutely most compelling, thought-provoking and insightful groups of words on the blog, you may want to see what others have said. My job is to get the ball rolling - and the readers take it from there. Chime in - you know you want to.

Sustainability - Setting the Foundation

I enjoy debating the various aspects of growth policy and there are several issues on this blog that touch on the role government should play in directing, restricting and visioning growth. My comments on the County's Sustainability regulations have been a good source for argument; it has made me reflect on how this got started at the County level. Of course, when Will Toor went from Boulder City Council to County Commissioner in 2005, he knew he had a bigger stage to work on with ideas from Boulder. But in general such ideas were evolving anyway.

Back in 2005 the County did a survey that was a vanguard of data that could support various County level policy changes. I wrote back then about how language in that survey was skewed to help certain results give weight to new policies. If you want my subjective description of the County's assessment of public support for these green building mandates, check out GoArticles.com. To see the full survey results check out the Boulder County website.

An excerpt to give you the gist:

Continuing in the we'll-tell-you-what-you-can-do mode, people said they favored regulations to strengthen historical preservation requirements (75%) and promote energy efficiency and use of renewable energy (89%). The County is hearing loud and clear that people support restrictive guidelines - when people are thinking about others.

When asked a question that turns the thought process back towards themselves, the message Commissioners hear is the opposite. 72% said more emphasis should be placed on individual property rights. This response rate blows a big hole in the integrity of the previous answers. How can the County create policy based on such conflicting sentiments?

Comment Listing - You Get What You Pay For

You'll notice the Recent Comments list on the right shows comments dated in June. Something about the widget that collects and lists recent comments messed up over the past weekend; it appears that comments made to posts since last Saturday appear under the respective post topics but aren't listed here. As this is a free program I use, I don't have much technical understanding of its capacities. In the past the folks running this feature have fixed the problem. I'm working with them on this one too.

I bring it up because some posts continue to be commented on, please check them out individually.

Lafayette to Map Historic Properties

The state is giving Lafayette $8000 to pay for a survey of property around town to determine where any historically significant structures may be. This will help the town be proactive in protecting any structures from demolition that are deemed historically valuable.

This is a great idea to inventory all the possible properties and then a master list of prioritization can be vetted and the current owners can be notified they have something of value (to some.) We are in the process of doing the same thing regarding open space options. The next step will have to be a funding mechanism for purchase or protection of the structures deemed historically significant. Or the City just tells property owners they're stuck preserving something whether they want to or not.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

An Incentives-Based Approach to County Green Building

In today's Camera, architect Jerry Van Sickle addresses the looming Boulder County green building mandates with a guest column that suggests a reasonable alternatives to those on the table. He says in part:
An easy way to invite these constant improvements will be for local appeal boards to keep adding effective solutions to our codes and allow owners to assign their own points based on their own preferences. Products that repay their costs in the shortest time will earn the most points. Owners of new and existing buildings will do the most good for mankind by saving the most money — without any need for mandates.
and he continues:

Most valuable of all, Boulder County will reverse a dangerous habit of imposing and accepting mandates. Our democracy will then strengthen its ability to resist more tyrannical majorities and leaders during times of crisis or widespread fears.

Read the rest here. The next Commissioners meeting on this is May 16.

Superior Visioning

On Monday May 7, 7:00 PM the Superior Board of Trustees will have a work session to discuss the Superior Town Center Vision. This completely new construction will be bounded by McCaslin Blvd. on the west, the Rock Creek subdivision on the south and US 36 on the north and east. See more info on how to be involved with helping to shape this vision on the Town of Superior's website. You can print off an aerial photo of the area, draw your ideas on it and give it to town hall.

Also at this same meeting will be a discussion of the results of a community survey on recreation center needs/desires. Perhaps if they build something so spectacular they could work out a no-cost sharing agreement with Louisville. Our Rec Center for your library.

Friday, May 04, 2007

I Now Know the True Meaning of Eye-Sore

Has anyone else seen - and felt the pain of - the colors they're using on the WWII-barracks-style apartments at Eagle Place on South Boulder Road in Lafayette? What are they thinking?

Doughnuts and Teen Punks - Front Page News?

Alright I'm stepping out to complain about the news story choices of one of the news sources I rely on for East BoCo information. While the following two stories don't involve East BoCo communities, I just have to comment. Plus, I'm sure my headline got you to read at least this far. That must be the same mentality the Camera (formerly the Daily Camera) used today and yesterday.

On the front page of the Local News section yesterday is the headline - not kidding - "Woman pelted with powdered doughnut." Today there's a big photo of an 18-year old being led away handcuffed from a lacrosse field with the headline "MHS senior attacks lacrosse player."

The doughnut story reads like something from The Onion, with a vagrant admitting to throwing the stale, "hardened confection" while he was drunk and "just trying to feed squirrels". The student arrested ran onto the field at the end of a lacrosse game to confront another guy he learned had been intimate with his girlfriend. Monarch's principal Barb Spelman regretted such "dishonor."

This sort of news selection for the town's main newspaper is laughable, and not in a good way.

Superior's Library Payments Means Reading on Sundays Again

The $75,ooo payment Superior has agreed to pay for their residents' use of Louisville's public library will allow the library to open up on Sundays again starting in August.

This is a positive compromise compared to the initial reaction from Superior which told Louisville to pound sand when they requested a contribution. When Superior voters defeated a ballot issue last November to fund their own library it made the situation more tense, as Louisville perceived they were being taken advantage of with their brand new public library.

Next year Superior has tentatively agreed to pay $150,000; that could be altered by a task force looking at longer-term solutions.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Toll Lanes on US 36?

The U.S. 36 Mayors and Commissioners Coalition - Westminster, Broomfield, Louisville, Superior, Boulder and Denver - submitted an application to the federal government Monday that proposes construction of one HOT lane in each direction between Interstate 25 and Foothills Parkway in Boulder for a total cost of $234 million.

Carpools and buses ride in them free; otherwise it's pay to ride. If the amount of use the carpool lanes get now are any indication, the request might as well go towards bike paths. They'll be almost as many commuters on each. The US 36 Commuting Solutions Group already is working on the draft EIS of various corridor projects. Which transportation method will you choose to sit in gridlock? Cars, buses, vanpools?

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Failure to Dialogue

It appears there aren't as many people willing to talk about immigrant issues as there was a few months ago. The Dialogues on Immigration meeting set for last Saturday in Lafayette was cancelled because of a disappointing number of RSVPs.

From a description of the purpose of the Dialogues last fall:
Dialogues for Immigrant Integration is funded by The Colorado Trust and is part of an ongoing 15-community initiative within the state. In Boulder County, the 20-member steering committee includes the components of the Boulder County Immigrant Collaborative (El Comité of Longmont, El Centro Amistad, and Boulder County Community Action Programs) as well as the cities of Boulder, Longmont, and Lafayette, the St. Vrain and Boulder Valley School districts, and an eclectic mixture of other non-profit organizations, local businesses, and individuals. According to Leslie Irwin, the committee is very active and extremely involved in the initiative because all members believe that it is a necessary and valuable project that will give dividends over its four-year funding period.

Read more in the Colorado Daily.

Forget the war, health care funding or global warming. At least we're arguing about the details and solutions to those things. Immigration is the elephant in the room that has either apathy or demagoguery as its impact. Perhaps because the economic underpinnings of the issues immigration raises are so sweeping, so deeply a part of our preferred quality of life that just considering the issue is too painful, hence total emotional meltdowns or contrived indifference.