About Town with LaVern Johnson - May 28, 2015

All turned out well at the Lyons High School graduation last Saturday morning with thirty-nine seniors receiving their diplomas. Although the ceremony was held in the gym due to soggy conditions on the football field, they made it. Five of the twelve Co-Valedictorians ((Jeanna Anderson, Kate Berreman, Zach Chaney, Matthew Dillon, Savannah Drotar, Brian Flynn, Alyson Lhungay, Faith Myers, Mikayla

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Art On The Green And In The Home

By Druscilla Dowding
June will be an exciting month for the Lyons Area Chamber of Commerce. On the weekend of June 20 and 21, Lyons will welcome back “Art on the Green.” Taking place in Sandstone Park, Rick and Nancy Hammans are expecting a significantly larger crowd this year. There will be more than eighty contributing artists as well as four food trucks, a wine festival, and a public art activity.

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Revivalists & Sixty Craft Breweries

By David McIntyre, Lyons Bluesologist

The country’s first-ever active beer festival combines bikes and beats, with craft beer. Oskar Blues’ Burning Can Festival returns to celebrate canned craft beers in the brewery’s original hometown of Lyons on May 30.

More than sixty craft breweries from around the country will be serving up everything that craft beer-in-a-CAN offers: fresh, easily

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Lyons New Trees, One Hundred Percent Living!

By Ron Gosnell
The new trees planted by volunteers last spring have broken dormancy. In spite of a harsh early freeze last fall that caused some damage, all the new trees are growing.  Way to go, Volunteers!

The first winter after transplant is critical for new tree survival. The top-notch planting care given by the planting teams, and follow-up maintenance by Public Works, Parks and others, helped achieve this welcome result.

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Emerald Ash Borer Management Open House

Boulder County is working on an Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) Management Plan, which will provide county staff and departments with guidance on how to manage ash trees on county-maintained properties and road rights-of-way.

The public is invited to learn about EAB, and give their input on the management plan for ash trees at an open house on Thursday, May 28, from 5 to 7 p.m., in the Houston Room at the Boulder County Clerk & Recorder building (1750 33rd Street) in Boulder.

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Flood Stories, Music, And Recovery Updates Close History Month

By Kathleen Spring
What seemed like a low-key way to end May History Month turned out to be a powerful event. A standing-room crowd filled the Lyons Redstone Museum, including both locals and out-of-towners. They heard heart-felt stories about the damages caused during the 2013 Flood and reports on the Town’s recovery progress. Some thought they had heard it all before, but everyone seemed to leave commenting on how much they had learned and how deeply they were affected.
The “Flood Recovery” event began with Dr. Joe Meckle speaking about his minute-by-minute experiences while the flood hit his home. He lives in the Confluence area, where the North and South St. Vrain Rivers meet. He concluded with an explanation of how his house was lifted and secured eight feet off the ground to avoid future floodwaters.
Ken Singer spoke about another hard hit area in town, Apple Valley Road. He and his wife had just retired to the new home ten weeks prior to the flood. The day of the flood, he saw fruit trees collapse into the nearby river, never having felt the joy of seeing them bloom. Even the old deep-rooted willow tree succumbed to the river’s force. He did not return to his home for five hundred and seventy-four days.
Local musicians Sally Truitt and Sally VanMeter experienced the sadness of the flood first hand. Truitt penned a song about her experience called, “Little Rain.” A person can protect their heart from words, but the music pulled the strings too hard, and tears were seen across the room.
Next, the focus was on the repairs needed around town, and an update was given by Mayor John O’Brien. Town Administrator Victoria Simonsen provided written statistics. The Wastewater treatment plant project is on schedule and under budget. The Parks and Open Space Master Plan will be up for approval on June 1, by the Board of Trustees. Construction on the McConnell Bridge will hopefully start in July. The Main Street Extension was interrupted by the Flood of 2013, and it is now scheduled to start in August. The new Town Hall Plaza is almost complete, and it will include barrier walls and attractive sandstone sitting areas. The Mayor said that it looks like it will take $100 million to repair and recover from the flood’s damages, and at least another three years to do it.
A written comprehensive report from Dave Cosgrove, of Lyons Parks and Recreation, was summarized by Kathleen Spring. The Lyons parks system was decimated. Out of the eighty acres of parkland, thirty-nine acres were severely impacted. Unfortunately, those acres are the ones that house all the park facilities. Out of five miles of trails, only one mile was unaffected. The infrastructure to the parks, such as water, sewer, and electricity was washed away. The athletic fields were buried under piles of river cobble and debris. The park shelters and features were badly damaged or lost; including, whitewater features, bridges, sport courts, dog park, camping facilities, and more.
While Lyons’ population is small, the people taking advantage of the outdoor recreational opportunities number into the tens of thousands. This includes individuals and groups from Lyons and outside who walk, hike, kayak, bike, camp, have classes, fish, and more. Of the approximately $400,000 in revenue that is generated annually by the Parks Department, nearly $300,000 of that is gone for 2014 and 2015. The Parks Department has a six-part plan to recover its park system. Project one, clearing the debris and disposing of it from the Lyons Corridor Trail is the only one completed. No others are scheduled for completion this year.
Trustee LaVern Johnson gave an overview of the Town’s losses and recovery plan. She briefly described the sad flood-related death of Gerald Boland, the recovery plan of the Depot Library, the irrigation ditches, the goal to build low-income housing, and the search for buildable land. All of these reports are available for study at the Redstone Museum. An archival flood-related file is being developed to include all reports, newspaper articles, videos, photographs, and more.
The audience had heard the stories about the rush of the floodwaters, sometimes rising to the chest of the storyteller, but next came the video footage of the ravaging rivers. Images of the water crushing structures, overflowing its banks, and crumbling roads cemented the tales into reality and the fear that was palpable. Cat Russell of Spike Productions showed the introductory ten minutes of her film, “Understanding the Fundamentals, Colorado’s Epic Flood of 2013.” The scientific study, using meteorologists and mapping, will be seen in its entirely during Good Old Days. The first showing at 7:30 p.m., Friday night, June 26, and repeated Saturday, 15, at 3:30 p.m. A $10 donation is requested to support the Lyons Redstone Museum.
The Flood Exhibit that was unveiled in 2014 was brought up to date by Monique Sawyer Lang and Baiba Lennard. They added symbols and statistics to show the town’s progress since the last year. Monique noted that all of the pages describing the initial event were in black and white, and all of the parts covering the recovery were in color, and it seemed to symbolize a bright recovery. The exhibit includes many artifacts and photographs from the flood, along with a tall list of personal heroes.
A concluding note, the Shindig! Lyons History Community Party was delayed due to heavy rains and flood warnings. It is re-scheduled for Good Old Days, Saturday, June 27, from 5 to 8 p.m. at Rogers Hall. The event includes multiple live entertainers, a potluck meal, and a huge silent auction benefiting the Lyons History Video Project, which is recording life stories of Lyons’ pioneers. www.LyonsRedstoneMuseum.com (303) 823-5271.
The play covering Lyons history has been postponed for later this summer. Contact director-in-charge Barney Driestadt for more information.

Lyons Strong In Bolder Boulder

One hundred and twenty-three residents of Lyons officially participated in the annual Memorial Day 10K Bolder Boulder race earlier this week. The ages of the runners/walkers ranged from seven to seventy-five, with a half dozen seven year old boys and girls ensuring that the running community from Lyons has a bright and solid future.

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Rocky Mountain National Park Will Increase Entrance And Camping Fees

Starting on October 1, Rocky Mountain National Park will increase entrance fees in order to fund important maintenance and improvement projects within the park.  Because of Rocky’s proximity to the populated Colorado Front Range, the park will be adding a single day pass to the existing option of fees.  This “Day Use Pass” will be $20 while the weekly pass will

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Volunteers needed for Boulder’s Walk and Bike Month 2015

Organizers of Boulder’s 39th annual Walk & Bike Month are seeking volunteers for the 60+ events planned for June. Be a part of one of the nation’s largest Walk and Bike Month celebrations and help celebrate Boulder’s unique and nationally-recognized pedestrian and bicycle culture.

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