The Talk of Boulder (older items)

| Feb 6, 2011

SNOW DROUGHT: On still-snowless January day, two joggers run in late-afternoon light on Eagle Trail north of Boulder. (Reporter photo)

TUESDAY, DEC. 27, 2011

The High Cost of Free Parking in Boulder

Zane Selvans, writing in The Blue Line, envisions a future Boulder that’s a lot less dependent on cars. Great piece.

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 14, 2011

Hogan-Pancost development heads to the Planning Board

A more-than-routine land use debate affecting southeast Boulder, and wildlife. Article from a neighborhood association, by way of The Blue Line.

TUESDAY, DEC. 6, 2011

Boulder plots way forward following municipalization vote

Laura Snider’s Camera hints at the drama going on behind the scenes as Boulder, at least, takes climate change seriously.


Colorado’s Marijuana ‘Green Rush’

Interesting Bloomberg Business Week article. Out of 16 states with some form of medical marijuana, Colorado’s the only state where dispensaries can be for-profit operations. Despite more than 125,000 paying customers, dispensary operators say it’s hard to make money, the article reports.

My own reportage: It appears that once someone gets The Card, they can shop at multiple dispensaries with nobody keeping score. This tends to make them popular with their friends.

WEDNESDAY, NOV. 16, 2011

Matt Appelbaum elected Boulder mayor by divided City Council

Heath Urie’s Camera account depicts a harsher tone to Council’s long-existent ideological split. Question: To what degree is this deepening polarization a local symptom of the freak show we’ve been witnessing in Washington? (See also a euphemized account in The Blue Line.)


Boulder Issues 2B, 2C: Municipalization, related tax narrowly approved

Both pro-municipalization measures win. Progressives Lisa Morzel and Tim Plass outpoll pro-business incumbents Ken Wilson and George Karakehian. New entrant Suzanne Jones, a strong environmentalist, outpolls everyone. Council’s progressive majority maintained. Oh glorious snowy morning!

TUESDAY, OCT. 19, 2011

Xcel continues to outspend Pro-2B & Pro-2C Groups

Now up over $600,000, and still outspending the “pro” advocates 10 to 1.


Anti-municipalization campaign outspends supporters 10 to 1

Camera‘s front pager is a huge boost for proponents. We’re not dumb.

City drops membership in Boulder Chamber

Take that.

MONDAY, OCT. 3, 2011

Top 10 Lies about Municipalization

Steve Fenberg dissects Xcel’s lies in a New Era News article. I’m worried, worried. Xcel’s spending blitz and lying mean the election could be lost. The Xcel camp’s latest tactic is removing the “pro” yard signs by the dozens. Lotsa profit at stake.



More choice for Boulder

This brief Camera op-ed presents some of the argument for municipalization.

My take on it: Xcel’s spending a bundle to try to hold onto to their Boulder money machine, which I’m told gets them $200 million of revenue a year. I’ve had City Council members tell me privately how absolutely horrible (unenvironmental) Xcel has been to deal with over the years. If Ft. Collins and Longmont can run an electrical grid successfully, I have a feeling that PhD-laden Boulder can. Municipalization yes!


FRIDAY, SEPT 16, 2011

A Response to Xcel’s Latest False Statements About Ballot Issues 2B & 2C

I worry that the alternate message — which I view as the truthful one — is not getting out amid Xcel’s propaganda. Macon Cowles nailed the liars in this Blue Line article.



CU-Boulder: Student, 21, died after night drinking with friends

Sad story in Camera. It’s alleged he died binge drinking and was also trying to buy Adderal (prescription speed) that sorry night. 

Hiring Now!!!

Alert folks at The Blue Line found a posting on Craigslist outing Excel’s anti-municipalization campaign hiring door-to-door canvassers. The big spenders offered a princely sum of $10 per hour. The PR people masterminding the campaign are probably paid 15 times that.

MONDAY, AUG 30, 2011

Boulder Chamber to endorse for the first time

Are business interests intent on ending the City Council’s 5-4 progressive majority? Liz Payton, writing in The Blue Line, was astute to alert people.

Between utility municipalization and the Council’s fragile balance, this election is going to be huge.

POSTSCRIPT: Chamber officials say their decision to endorse is not related to the municipalization vote.


Clear winners in the municipalization debate

The Blue Line‘s report on an Aug. 22 public debate bears reading. It said the “pro” side won on the facts. Tidbit:

When quantitative issues become he-said, she-said, all you can do is get someone to go look at the calculations or data. In this sense, I think the proponents of municipalization have a big advantage. Their models are all public. They’re willing to have you examine their assumptions and check their work. Xcel, on the other hand, has been very cagey with their data, and unwilling to give detailed background on where their estimates are coming from …

The author’s glum conclusion:

Based on their overall performance, it seemed pretty clear to me that the proponents of municipalization can win if they’re given a fair forum. It’s less clear to me how they will fare in the decidedly unfair landscape of full page newspaper ads, push polling, semi-anonymous glossy mailers, radio sound bites and yard signs. In those fora, money talks much louder than good information, and Xcel has a lot more money at their disposal.

But: Two pro-municipalization groups are mobilizing. They’re smart, and they can spend money too.


Boulder bans dogs on Boy Scout Trail

There went one of the few shaded trails available for hiking with your dog on a hot day. We hiked Boy Scout Trail with our dog just last week. But note an even bigger change:

Council members also voted to ban dogs on the road leading to the summit of Flagstaff Mountain — and the start of the Boy Scout Trail — during the winter, when the road is closed to vehicle traffic.

That seems a mistake. This will affect a lot more people than closing lightly used Boy Scout Trail. In the winter, people park by the closed gate and walk on the wide, flat road with their dogs. Now we’re consigned to the adjacent trails, which have hills and rocks that can be quite hard to navigate in snow.

Read older Talk of Boulder items


Boulder police: Bike-riding gunman robs woman; 3rd robbery in week

This one certainly has everybody’s attention. Scary guy.


Boulder approves final ‘energy future’ ballot measures

Opposition is surprisingly strong, even among Boulder’s liberals, who fret about raising all that bond money. Let’s see … getting 8% interest funded by revenues from electrical utility bills in affluent Boulder? Sounds like a good investment to me.

Know Your Power

A pithy brochure on the municipalization issue prepared by the City (PDF file)

A city divided over power

Michael Davidson in August 5 Boulder County Business Report on business community’s mixed feelings on municipalization