Published on Thursday, July 04 2013 05:16
Beginning Monday, July 1, all disposable plastic and paper checkout bags at grocery stores in Boulder will cost ten cents each. The bag fee does not apply to bags used inside stores for items such as produce, bulk food, or meat and fish, and does not apply to pharmacy prescriptions or newspapers.Read more: Disposable Bag Fee In Boulder
Published on Thursday, July 04 2013 04:54
Editor’s Note: Lyons resident Kelly Yelverton recently graduated from college in Washington state. To celebrate her accomplishment, she and a friend have decided to paddle their sea kayaks on a 1200-mile journey through the Inside Passage to Alaska. She will be sending written updates and photos of her adventure throughout the summer.
Paddling is all about rhythm. After twenty-four days Brooke and I had settled into a pretty steady rhythm not only on the water, but off it as well. Our daily routine goes something like this: lower the food from the bear-hanging site, coffee, breakfast, listen to the weather forecast on the VHF radio, double-check the tides, clean dishes, break down camp, load the boats, paddle, snack, paddle, lunch, paddle, find camp, unload boats, set up camp, dinner, go over charts and tides, clean dishes, hang food at least one hundred meters from the tent, sleep.
Seems monotonous written out like that, but each step requires a surprising amount of thought and work. Take packing boats for example. Each of our kayaks is basically a self-sufficient little survival vessel. My boat, a Cetus LV, is 531 cm long but only 54 cm at its widest. Loading all the gear, water, and food I need for over a weeklong period is similar to a game of three-dimensional Tetris. “Skinny Red” as we’ve come to call her has a total volume of 292lts. Subtract the space my hundred and thirty-pound body takes up and I’m left with three hatches and some deck space. From bow to stern I pack the following: in the front hatch I stuff the hammock, packable pillow, XtraTuf boots, clothes, sleeping bag, and camp shoes. In the day hatch I keep four liters of water, cutting board, nesting pots, repair kit, first aid kit, radio, and toiletry bag. In the stern there are two fuel bottles, tent poles and stakes (tied together because the stake bag, if packed solo, takes an eight foot arm to retrieve!), sleeping pad, camp stove, dehydrated food, tent, and guidebooks. In front of my feet in the cockpit I keep the lunch bag and another six to eight liters of water, and on the deck I have charts, a spare paddle, throw bag, bilge pump, SPOT device, and ditch bag (filled with survival essentials in the event I get separated from my boat). If not packed in order and just right, my gear either won’t fit or it will cause Skinny Red to float at an angle and drag me in one direction all day; not a pleasant thing to deal with I quickly discovered.
While much of our time out here is certainly rhythmic and repetitive, I think many of our days are routinely flexible as well. We don’t always get to decide what time we want to be on the water, where we’d like to camp, or when we get to sleep. While the tides, weather, wind, and critters keep us in a constant state of adjustment, they are also the reason we are here in the first place. Several days ago we had planned on a shorter “rest day” of only eight miles. When we pulled up to the beach at which we had planned on camping, we found it already occupied by a large black bear! So, our eight-mile day quickly turned into a twenty-three mile paddle into the wind, but I couldn’t help but think how incredible it was to encounter wildlife like that. The night before reaching Port Hardy, we camped on a pleasant-looking shell beach. Wiped from another twenty-plus mile day, we fell asleep without checking the tides. When I awoke at 1 a.m., to the strangest sensation of my feet floating, I realized our mistake. Unzipping the tent I found the tide lapping at our door and the full moon shining down on the whole scene. Brooke and I couldn’t help but laugh at ourselves as we sloshed around barefoot, hauling the tent to higher ground and retrieving stray shoes and dry bags. When my headlamp flickered off I cursed at first, then looked down to discover glittering green bioluminescence lighting up my steps.
So yes, paddling is about rhythm. Moving forward requires thousands of dips of the paddle blade. The 325 miles from San Juan Island to the northern end of Vancouver Island, however, have revealed that longer journeys like this are ripe with lessons about being flexible, aware of your surroundings, and appreciative of all kinds of beauty. Black bears, bald eagles, and snow-capped mountains flanked by the ocean have all given us pause and a sense of awe, but a broken headlamp can also lead to unexpected moments of wonder and realization that we are a part of something immensely larger than ourselves.
Sent from somewhere north of Portland. To read more posts about this amazing journey and see photos, you can log visit the website http://www.paddlethepassage.com.
Published on Thursday, July 04 2013 04:49
National Parks are special land areas set aside by the government for all people to enjoy, appreciate and preserve. Over the years, National Parks have grown in number, currently, fifty-seven are found throughout twenty-seven different states, and two more in the U.S Territories of American Samoa and the Virgin Islands.
The Parks span mountains to valleys, desert to seaside, prairies to rainforest. Each has its own identity and focus on the natural world. Each has unique land and water formations, wildlife, plants, mineral resources, land development. Each has its own dataRead more: National Parks = American Treasures
Published on Friday, June 28 2013 10:20
Amazing, I was lucky to have seen daredevil Nik Wallenda walk across the Grand Canyon on a two-inch wide cable on the Discovery Channel Sunday evening. He walked a quarter of a mile, 1500 feet above the Grand Canyon, holding a long a balancing rod. It took him twenty-two minutes, and kneeled twice to get the “rhythm out of the rope.” He was murmuring prayersRead more: About Town - June 27, 2013
Published on Thursday, June 27 2013 08:46
How appropriate that an art show titled “The Holy Grail” would be presented in The Stone Cup. Lyons artist Sally King (of the bear sculptures seen throughout town) will be the featured artist at The Stone Cup & Kitchen beginning July 1, and running through September.Read more: The Holy Grail At The Cup
Published on Thursday, June 27 2013 08:42
For the second year in a row, Boulder police are announcing a zero-tolerance policy for fireworks violations, and this year, because of the dangerously dry conditions, the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office is adopting a similar zero-tolerance stance. It’s illegal to possess or explode fireworks within Town of Lyons, or anywhere within unincorporated Boulder County, and violators will be cited, or possibly arrested, depending on the offense. All other outdoor burning, slash fires, use of any kind of fireworks, model rockets, and all other outdoor spark orRead more: No Warnings For Fireworks’ Violators!
Published on Monday, June 24 2013 02:24
Effective July 1, Boulder County residents can no longer place computers and many other types of electronics at the curb, or in waste bins, for collection and disposal. The Electronic Recycling Jobs Act, signed by Governor Hickenlooper in April of 2012, intends many benefits for the state including job creation through material recovery, diversion of hazardous material from landfills and reduction of energy and raw material resource demands from mining and manufacturing.
Banned devices include:
Published on Saturday, June 22 2013 03:21
Jay and Elaine Hodge, the new owners of the Rock n River Resort, invite the Lyons community to please join them in welcoming Jamie Kessloff to La Bellezza Spa, a new manager. Jamie comes to La Bellezza Spa from Northern California, and brings with her many talents and credentials including: Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Yoga teacher, Reiki Master, and CranioSacral Therapist.
To celebrate Kessloff’s arrival and welcome her to Lyons, the Hodges, with any spa therapy package, invite their patrons to a complimentary soak in the hot tub, a short hike up the mountainous trail overlooking the river, and a visitRead more: What’s New At Rock n River?
Published on Saturday, June 22 2013 03:12
In the interest of full disclosure, let it be known that the author of this article is married to the Mayor
A light agenda for a Board of Trustees’ (BOT) meeting usually means a late night at Town Hall. No so Monday night. Mayor Julie Van Domelen, perhaps because of an executive session looming at the end of the regular meeting, kept things rolling along at a good clip.
Lyons Substation Supervisor Sgt. Nick Goldberger of the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office gave the Board members a recap of the calls over the last couple of weeks. One medical assist for a mountain biker at Hall Ranch, a fire on Eagle Ridge, and a couple of water rescues of tubers in Meadow Park. He pointed out that the common thread between the two water rescues was “no parental supervision, and no personal flotation devices (lifejackets).
"He also notified the Trustees that the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office has instituted a “whole mountain" fire ban for all of Boulder County, which because of an ordinance that the BOT passed last year includes all of the Town of Lyons. Basically the ban means no open fires anywhere. You can still grill in your backyard with propane or charcoal, in the parks in designated cooking grills with charcoal, and in the RVs and campers can use propane stoves in Meadow Park.
During audience business, Brian Dieke of Water Technology Group addressed the Board telling them about an exciting new cutting edge technology for wastewater disposal that is coming out of Budapest, Hungary. Dieke was aware that the Town of Lyons is in the process of looking at different options for the replacement/upgrade of the Town’s wastewater treatment plant, and wanted to set up a meeting with Town Staff, and even suggested the possibility of finding grant money for an exploratory trip to Hungary to view the technology first hand. Any volunteers?
Under general business, the Board approved the leasing of thirty acre-feet of Big Thompson water to the Pinewood Springs water district at a cost of $36.44 per acre-foot. All of the Trustees felt it was important to “be a good neighbor” as long as it would not impact the Town’s water supply, and the price was adequate to cover staff time. Town Administrator Victoria Simonsen assured the Board that we could spare the water,and that the lease contract was almost identical to one approved a couple of years ago, so it didn’t require too much staff time. Pinewood Springs water district officials also inquired about the possibility of buying “pipe water” (the potable water that Lyons gets from Longmont) if the drought continues and the situation gets dire. There was a brief discussion about the possibility of going over the Town’s daily/monthly allotment numbers and the financial implications if that were to happen (as was the case last summer because of some massive leaks in the system). Simonsen again assured the Board that she didn’t feel that would be an issue, but would keep a sharp eye on the summer water use trends and work with Pinewood Springs to spread out the sale of pipe water so as to not go over the allotted amounts. The sale of the pipe water will be on a “wait and see” basis.
Also discussed during general business was a reduction of utility rates for medical hardship cases. Although the Board had sympathy for a particular medical case, there were reservations, particularly from the Mayor, about “going down a slippery slope” concerning having to regulate what constituted a medical hardship, the ease with which “a note from your doctor could be obtained,” whether or not anyone holding a medical marijuana card from the state would automatically become eligible for a reduced utility rate, and whether the electricity for “grow operations” would therefore be included, etc. Simonsen said that she had looked into it and many municipalities have reduced rates for low-income patrons, but only one (Ft. Collins) had any discount for medical hardship cases, and that was tied to income levels as well. In the end, it was agreed that any users who felt they had a medical hardship, should come to Town Hall and workout a payment plan to spread the “spike” months over the whole year. And the Town would work with them to see if they qualified for rebates, etc. from Boulder County for simple energy efficiency measures.
Town Attorney Tim Cox laid out a loose schedule for the Trustee, to coincide with the State’s schedule for the legalization and sale of recreational marijuana per the vote in last November’s election. This will be if the Trustees decide to ban or limit the number of retail outlets for the sale of recreational marijuana similar to the limit of medical marijuana dispensaries, which is currently three, with the number to drop to two if one of the dispensaries goes out of business. The loose schedule proposed by Cox has workshops and discussions during July, first and second readings, plus a public hearing in August, with any action or ordinance to be finalized by October 1. Trustee Dan Greenberg queried Cox about the possibility of combining recreational and medical licenses and/or dispensaries to come up with a number that wouldn’t exceed the limits the Town already has on the books. While the Mayor pondered the possibility of “auctioning off marijuana licenses to the highest bidder as opposed to a set price” as a way to generate added revenue for the Town. Cox said he was attending a Colorado Municipal League seminar on Colorado’s new marijuana laws this week and would report his findings to these and other questions at the next meeting.
The consent agenda, consisting of the June 3 BOT meeting minutes, the June 10 BOT special meeting minutes, the June accounts payable, the March financials, and the April financials was approved in a 7 to 0 vote. The Trustees and Staff gave their reports and then the Trustees went into executive session to discuss developing a strategy for the negotiations of the purchase of real property (the Hains property in Meadow Park). Some time later (I was then covering the last softball game in Bohn Park) the Board came out of executive session and directed Administrator Simonsen to pursue the issue per their discussion. The meeting was then adjourned.