Archive for February, 2008

Boulder editors get ready, you’re about to have to keep spelling sesquicentennial.

Organizers of Boulder’s 150th anniversary celebration in 2009 are already thinking of including a competition to see how many people can correctly pronounce sesquicentennial.

The first gold discovery reported in the mountains of Colorado took place at Gold Run in the Gold Hill area in 1858, and on Feb. 10, 1859 the Boulder City Town Company was formed.

1909photos2 (Photos from 1909 Semi-Centennial Celebration.)

1959photos2 (Photos from 1959 Centennial Celebration.)

Although a Web site is up and running, not much information is publicly available yet about the 150th event, but close to 90 volunteers and interested people showed up for a public discussion at the Millennium Harvest House Hotel to hear ideas and toss about some of their own.

Committees are already being organized, and chairs appointed to figure out how best to honor the pioneer days when gold prospectors first arrived at the foot of Boulder Canyon.

Although fund-raising will be taking place, the city of Boulder so far has only set aside $25,000 from its discretionary funds to get planning started. As one person pointed out, just to put up banners on the Pearl Street Mall would cost about $20,000, so the key right now is “volunteer labor” and “pro bono” services.

Former city councilman Dan Corson is leading the organizing efforts, with Marilyn Haas the point person for pulling numerous committees together.

Boulder historian and author Silvia Pettem did a presentation showing photos from Boulder’s 1909 Semi-Centennial Celebration and its 1959 Centennial activities. No doubt, she’ll be doing more public presentations about Boulder’s history.

One of the calls going out is for Boulder businesses to start thinking about possible merchandising or promotion opportunities for the 150th. Already, Avery Brewing reportedly has said it will brew up a sesquicentennial beer.

Organizers hope that a Web site not only will keep track of everyone’s events and celebrations, but include a product section where memorabilia of the 150th event can be sold.

The Boulder Chamber of Commerce is looking at recognizing “pioneer” businesses in Boulder — how long it takes to be a pioneer not yet determined. Large city events like the Bolder Boulder and the Boulder Creek Festival also will be asked to think about how to recognize the 150th birthday party.

The Boulder History Museum and Nancy Geyer, the museum’s CEO, will be heavily involved, and the museum is planning a special exhibit and seeking donations from the public related to Boulder’s earliest roots. A lecture series by the Carnegie branch of the Boulder Library also is in the works.

A logo for the 150th, now on the Web site, has been designed by Mona Lambrecht, and a call for a Boulder design firm to assist with building a robust Web site has gone out. The slogan for the 150th is “Celebrating Community Through History.”

Numerous ideas were bubbling up at the first meeting, with many more to come. Some of these include:

* A community stroll, perhaps starting at Boulder’s Chautauqua and moving through some of the city’s historic sites.

* A souvenir DVD may be created, collecting citizen photos and videos from celebration events.

* How to involve more youth and Boulder schools in activities was brought up, since clearly this is great opportunity for a community history lesson.

* Citizens also wondered how to involve Boulder’s earliest residents — the American Indian. A local historian and an expert on Indian history here is looking into a request to the Arapahoe tribe about how they would want to be involved.

* The official kickoff for the 150th will probably be at Boulder’s December Parade of Lights, with local businessman Stephen Tebo already volunteering to put a few of his collector cars in the parade.

Interested in getting involved in the sesquicentennial? First of all you have to prove you can spell it. Just joking. The e-mail right now to volunteer is

An event like this only comes around every 150 years, and seems like a great way to attract more visitors and tourists, filling up Boulder’s hotels and giving a healthy shot to the local economy. It sounds like a lot of fun.

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Business Report cartoonist Ron Ruelle’s take on what I’ll be doing now that I have left the Boulder newspaper….


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The number one question I’ve heard since selling the Boulder County Business Report is "What are you going to do now?"

My simple answer is "Take some time to relax. If you have some good ideas for me, please save them for a bit."

My last real break was several months traveling in Europe in 1978 with Polly when we both quit the Daily Camera to take off backpacking. I had intended to take time off when I left the Denver Post in 1989, but found myself a partner in the Business Report just two weeks after 10 years at the Post. That was 18 years ago. The longest break I had in that time was a two-week sailing trip to Croatia about a year ago.

So here is what I am thinking right now.

1) Enjoy reading more. After working on computers all day, my eyes are usually tired, not conducive to coming home and reading much. I have several good books stacked up, I love the time to read the Wall Street Journal thoroughly and now maybe I’ll get to the stacks of my favorite magazines Wired, Money and several fishing, golf and hunting magazines I receive.

2) Keep writing and blogging. But keep blog posts shorter. I am trying … really. I will continue to write a monthly column for the Business Report.

3) Get out and do more photography. I’ve always loved photography, and I want to get better. Having some free mornings and evenings when the light is interesting will be fun. A Photoshop class is on my list.

4) Stay in tune with local business, especially new media ventures. I loved being editor of the Business Report because I was always able to keep an eye on and sometimes meet many of the great entrepreneurs we have here in the Boulder area. Now maybe I’ll have to time to attend a few more tech events, network with other bloggers and take the time to keeping expanding my own computer skills and learn from others.

5) Travel some. I don’t have any big travel plans just yet, but I am thinking somewhere warm. A quick jump down to the Baja and a saltwater fishing trip at La Paz is one of my favorites, and maybe I am in a rut, but I love it down there and can relax in a place I already know pretty well. A native of Kentucky, I usually avoid Derby Week, but I am thinking of going back and enjoying the festivities and parties this year in my home town of Louisville.

OK, so much for doing short blog posts. But honest, I am trying.

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Beatles live in Boulder!

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I saw the Beatles play live Saturday night.

Well, actually it was the Classical Mystery Tour, a Beatles tribute band brought in to play with the Boulder Philharmonic.

CU’s Mackey Auditorium was sold out with 50-somethings, many of us who remember that encore appearance by the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show but never got the chance to see them perform live. My girlfriend Polly grumped about how as a 10-year-old her dad would not let her see the British group playing in Pittsburgh, but at least she was allowed to get the “Meet the Beatles” album for her birthday.

It was incredibly fun and entertaining hearing the Beatles hits played live with a symphony orchestra, something the real Beatles never got to do.

“Penny Lane” backed up with the live trumpet section; ” Yesterday” performed on an acoustic guitar and string quartet; and even “I Am the Walrus.” The audience roared when the group came out in their Sgt. Pepper’s costumes.

Last year, backers of the Boulder Phil promised some concerts to liven things up and maybe bring in some younger listeners. The Beatles music show was really a shift, and indeed, despite the dancing gray beards in the audience, some parents did bring their teenagers to the show, too.

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We announced this news today at the Business Report:

BOULDER – The Boulder County Business Report has reached an agreement to be purchased by Brown Publishing Co., a family-owned publishing company based in Ohio that owns daily, weekly and business publications.

Jerry W. Lewis and Jeff Schott, publishers of the Business Report, announced the sale on Friday with Roy Brown, president and chief executive of Brown Publishing. Terms were not disclosed.

Brown Publishing is purchasing Boulder Business Information Inc., the company formed in 1989 by Lewis, Schott and Jirka Rysavy. The sale includes all of the Business Report’s print, event and online publications, as well as BBI’s majority ownership of the Northern Colorado Business Report in Fort Collins, the Wyoming Business Report in Cheyenne, Wyo., and DataJoe LLC, a research and online data e-commerce company based in Lakewood.

Chris Wood, co-publisher of the Northern Colorado Business Report, has been named the new publisher of the Boulder County Business Report, and Jeff Nuttall, co-publisher at NCBR, now will become publisher there. Phil Noble will continue as publisher of WBR.

“We are thankful to Jerry and Jeff to have the opportunity to succeed to their ownership of the Boulder County Business Report,” Brown said. “We also look forward to teaming with Jeff in Fort Collins, Chris in Boulder, and Phil in Wyoming to serve all of the information needs of each of those growing business communities.

“Finally, we share Jeff and Jerry’s enthusiasm for DataJoe and its market-leading business data management technology. We rely on it at our other business publications. Frankly, its functionality and applicability to a wide range of publications is exceptional, and should be a ‘lightning-in-a-bottle’ opportunity to create digital revenue streams for its users and us going forward.”

Wood graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1988, with a bachelor of science degree in journalism. He worked as reporter and assistant editor of the Boulder County Business Report from 1989 to 1990.

“It’s exciting to return to the Boulder market,” Wood said. “The Boulder County Business Report has built a reputation as one of the nation’s leading business newspapers. I look forward to working with Brown Publishing and our talented Boulder staff as we build on the solid base crafted by Jerry and Jeff over the years.”

“Brown Publishing brings our company the expertise and experience of a third-generation newspaper company, and also the enthusiasm of a company that recently has purchased several other excellent business newspapers,” Lewis said. “Throughout our talks, we became convinced that Roy Brown’s company was our best choice to continue the growth of our Front Range newspapers.”

In the past six months, Brown Publishing has purchased the Des Moines Business Record in Iowa, the Charleston Regional Business Journal in South Carolina and the Fort Worth Business Press in Texas.

In the past year, Brown Publishing has been expanding its publishing presence in Ohio, as well as moving into other states. It also acquired Dan’s Paper and other affiliated publications serving the exclusive Hamptons in New York.

Schott, a graduate of the University of Colorado, first started working at the Business Report in 1984 as a writer before becoming its advertising sales director, publisher and a partner in 1989.

Lewis has been editor and publisher of the Business Report for 18 years and a Colorado journalist for more than 30 years, first working for the Boulder Daily Camera and then a 10-year career at The Denver Post.

Both will be leaving the Business Report after a short period of helping in the new management team transition.

“Our experience of serving the entrepreneurial businesses of the Boulder Valley both with our staff’s reporting, advertising sales and business events such as our IQ Innovation Awards has been incredibly rewarding for Jeff and me,” Lewis said. “We truly want to thank each and every business associate we’ve made over the past two decades.

“We also want to thank our partner, Jirka Rysavy, who always offered us his expert business advice throughout the years as we grew and expanded our company.”

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