Archive for June, 2009
so easy to say “Those were the days.” The older you get, the more you hear that
comment. Fact is, you can’t turn back time.
While “live in the now” may be a
better mantra, there’s nothing wrong with looking back. And that’s exactly how
it went in May when Boulder’s Sesquicentennial Celebration invited five
long-time Boulder citizens to think about the past 50 years in a discussion
called “Legends of Progress and Loss.”
I’ve been a Boulder resident now for
36 years, but can’t claim the rare Boulder “native” status of both Harold
“Sonny” Flowers, Jr., who has practiced law here for some 30 years, and
developer Bill Reynolds, who founded the W.W. Reynolds Companies in 1966.
They were joined by Al Bartlett,
professor emeritus in nuclear physics at CU, where he started teaching in 1950;
Doris Hass, a community activist who’s lived here for 52 of the past 58 years;
and Dorothy Rupert, a state legislator from 1987 to 2001 who’s been in Boulder
CU’s Patty Limerick, chair of the
Center for the American West, moderated.
Their memories of Boulder went back to
how much easier it was to settle in a small town, buy a house, perhaps on a
professor’s salary, yet still be caught up in the emotions of a city entering
years of long debate about growth and the environment. At least that hasn’t
Hass remembered how the Carnegie was
the best library in town, 28th Street was a dirt road and everyone
shopped at Joyce’s Supermarket (now the home of LiquorMart.) She and her
husband briefly left Boulder until a friend called to tell them there was one
lot left on Bluebell and 22nd … for $10,000. That’s where they
returned to build their home.
Bartlett, a founding member of PLAN-Boulder
County, left little doubt where he stands on the matter of growth. “Sustainable
growth is an oxymoron,” he said. He bemoaned a “loss of local control of our
economic destiny.” Most employees now work for people who don’t live here, with
decisions being made in “distant board rooms.”
to Bartlett, you’d think Boulder isn’t a slow-growth city at all. The area has had “50 years of
successful promotion of growth,” he said. “The changes we have seen in the last
50 years are irreversible.”
Bill Reynolds looks back, a Boulder High and CU graduate, he sees the past 50
years in a different light. Did you know that one of Reynolds’ earliest
business ventures was running Tulagi on the Hill? “We sold a lot of beer,” he
told me later that evening.
Boulder seeks to grow its business base but has fewer affordable option for
housing, it has little choice but to continue to face “contentious land
issues,” Reynolds said. He said the city must continue to help the University
of Colorado – where Reynolds was a founding member of its Real Estate Center
– grow and prosper.
what do you say to those who believe this is the People’s Republic of Boulder?
deal with this all the time,” Reynolds quipped. “I think they are all jealous.”
was working on her master’s at CU in the ‘60s when students were rioting and
protesting the Vietnam War. She remembers the activism, but also things like
shopping at the Green Mountain Granary, buying herbs from Hanna Kroeger and
when Boulder elected its first and only African-American mayor, Penfield Tate.
Before the students and police tangled in the streets, she pointed out, the
Hill’s Colorado Bookstore had huge plate glass windows.
matter how hard it tries, Boulder still struggles with diversity. “I guess there
is more diversity,” Flowers said, “but I don’t feel it very much.”
agreed with others that most of us don’t know our neighbors as well as we once
did. “There is a sense of nationhood, but I don’t know if there is a sense of
are many of the small, friendly gathering spots like Tom’s Tavern, Potter’s or
the Broken Drum. (Reynolds remembered hanging out at the Twin Burger in
college.) And Flowers reminisced, “I miss the Pow Wow Rodeo and the parade.”
Is Boulder the most liberal city in
Colorado? Flowers took issue with that. “I find Boulder to be very
conservative, and I have since I was a child.” When people have the wealth to
live in homes of 8,000 square feet, he said, they have more influence on state
and local politics than many realize.
So what do you think has been the
biggest change in Boulder in the past 50 years? Tell me your memories here. It’s OK to look back to the good ‘ole days.
Boulder's July 4th Pow Wow parade in early 1930s marched down Pearl Street for the holiday. Photos courtesy Carnegie
Branch Library for Local History, Boulder Historical Society Collection.
BOULDER – Continuing the
celebration of Boulder’s 150th birthday, Boulder residents, families
and friends are invited to participate in a historic Sesquicentennial Stroll on
Organized by the Boulder 150
Sesquicentennial Celebration Committee, the Stroll is a daylong series of
celebratory events inviting people to stroll through the city, visiting many of
Boulder’s historic landmarks. Maps will be available at all of the Stroll
The day kicks off at 11 a.m.
with an official welcome ceremony in the historic Chautauqua auditorium and
concludes with Boulder 150 tie-ins that evening at Boulder’s July 4 fireworks
at Folsom Field – a city tradition since 1941.
Parking at Chautauqua is very
limited so participants are urged to park cars at the Twenty Ninth Street
retail mall and use free HOP buses running every 15 minutes from there to
Chautauqua, Baseline Road, between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Buses also return to
Twenty Ninth Street after fireworks at Folsom Field. Bike riders are encouraged
Food will be sold along the
Stroll. The Chautauqua Dining Hall will be open for service with barbeque on
its patio following auditorium program. Some Farmers’ Market vendors will
remain open during the afternoon. The Millennium Harvest House is offering
reservation-only July 4 barbeque, and the St. Julien Hotel is hosting a special
July 4, 5-7 p.m. happy hour and live music from 7-9 p.m. on its outside
Participants who complete the
full Stroll route, with maps stamped at each stop, will receive a commemorative
award in recognition of the Sesquicentennial (limit one per family).
A full schedule of all
Sesquicentennial events, as well as links to stories and interesting facts
about Boulder’s history are online at www.boulder150.com.
Schedule for the July 4
Sesquicentennial Stroll is:
11 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Welcome Ceremony presented by the Chautauqua
Association. Rocky Mountain National Park Superintendent Vaughn Baker will
present National Historic Landmark plaque. Welcome by U.S. Rep. Jared Polis.
Special performances will celebrate the history of arts past and present in
12:15-1:30 p.m. Colorado Music Festival Brass Band will perform under
tent on the Green, barbeque
available from Chautauqua Dining Hall. Event will be zero-waste, with Eco-Cycle
Quilt display in Chautauqua Dining
Hall June through July. Quilt program, 7 p.m., Wednesday, July 1 in Community
1:30–4:30 p.m. Stroll to these sites:
Columbia Cemetery, “Stroll
with the Spirits” presented by Historic Boulder, Inc.
Boulder History Museum serves
“Happy Birthday Boulder” cake and hosts the opening of “Only in Boulder” exhibit. Activities
for children include gold panning and arts and crafts.
CU Heritage Center presents
“Boulder and CU Through the Years.” Since 1876 Boulder’s growth and development
have been closely tied to that of the University of Colorado. Learn about CU’s
2-5:30 p.m. Bluegrass Concert at Central Park Band Shell
featuring Boulder Acoustic Society and Blue Canyon Boys. Some Farmers’ Market
food vendors will remain open. Welcome by U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet.
2:30-3:30 p.m. 4th
of July Children’s Bike Parade in Central Park organized by Parenting Place;
come early to decorate.
2-5:30 p.m. Stroll “globally” and celebrate ties with Boulder’s
Sister City communities in Africa, Asia and Central America at Municipal
Building Plaza. Learn about projects and exchanges in this people-to-people
8-10 p.m. Ralphie’s Independence Day Blast at Folsom Field
featuring a Boulder 150 birthday party.
the July 4 celebration, the next major event for Boulder’s Sesquicentennial
will be a “Coming Back Home” gathering, extending the city’s friendship with
the Northern Arapaho tribe, Aug. 7-8, on the Pearl Street Mall.
more information on the Boulder Sesquicentennial and 150 banner sales, go to
the Boulder 150 Web site at www.boulder150.com.
Take this you North Boulder coffee snobs. We’re about to get our own SoBO (south Boulder) Vic’s, and ours will have a drive thru window. So there.
I’ve been watching the new coffee shop go up at the former site of a MacDonald’s on Table Mesa Drive and got a short walk-through today. The interior is especially sunny, with a modern design. The drive-thru window will be operated separately from the rest of the shop, with its own separate espresso machine.
A big plus here should be ample parking vs. the often-crowded parking lot at the Vic’s on Broadway. And this site should get good traffic of commuters returning to Boulder, coming in off U.S. 36 and Highway 93.
Vic’s should be a welcome addition to the independent local coffee scene in South Boulder, where Cafe Sole is a favorite with the locals on this end of town.
The new Vic’s could be open very soon, with the finishing details (and a new phone line) going in this week. I’ll try to keep you posted.
Now you can own a
piece of Boulder’s history, the PR & Marketing Committee of Boulder's 150th anniversary says.
The Boulder Sesquicentennial
Celebration Committee is selling the limited art Sesquicentennial banners
presently hanging on Boulder’s Pearl Street Mall.
The colorful banners,
designed by local artist Steve Lowtwait, are being sold with first-come,
first-served orders. Banners will be delivered to buyers “as is” as soon as
they come down in early fall.
Fewer than 100 of these
original art banners are available, and your purchase is a tax-deductible donation
used to fund citywide Boulder 150 events.
There are three
sizes of the banners available, and they are priced:
There are also
six different designs: Hotel Boulderado, Flatirons, Pearl Street Mall, CU Old
Main, Chautauqua Auditorium and Historic
To order your banner, please
download an order form from the Boulder Sesquicentennial Web site at
www.boulder150.com, or call Sesquicentennial Fundraising Chairman Bob Yates at
720-888-2283. Please give your choice of size and first, second and third
choice of design. Also indicate if you are willing to purchase a different size
if your first choice sells out.
I'm excited to help spread the word that Imagine!, a Lafayette, Colo.-based nonprofit providing care to people with cognitive and physical disabilities, has just launched a new "fan" page on Facebook, and is making more plans to expand its reach through social media.
I’m an avid morning newspaper
reader, a habit developed from years of working as an editor and that bred-in
fear of being beat on a story.
Knowing there are several
newspapers in my driveway and how good that morning coffee is going to taste
gets me out of bed early.
Reading the headlines lately, I
often think to myself: I already knew about that. These are stories I care
about, but the news is already stale. The future of newspapers is now a
national debate, but it’s being played out in everyone’s hometown newsroom.
For example, the Camera reported
this morning on tire slashings around the city, including my neighborhood.
That’s news I need to know. But yesterday our neighborhood online discussion
group lit up with everyone’s first-person reports of the vandalism. By the time
the morning paper even went to print, meetings had been organized for a
Neighborhood Watch group. That wasn’t mentioned in the story.
I read about the demise of the
Rocky Mountain News from a friend on Facebook, not the newspaper. Sports pages
are really full of “old” news.
Fans don’t wait, they read scores or even the game’s play by play online, often
on their phone.
As I’ve added more online social
media, particularly Facebook, Twitter and Boulder-based companies’ tools, like
Filtrbox and the Business Report’s Daily E-news, I expect breaking news to
reach me all day, much of it customized to exactly what I want.
This is why I agree with a recent
Editor and Publisher column by newspaper industry watcher Steve Outing, who
writes bluntly: “Charging on the Web won’t work for general-news
publishers.” So-called “pay walls”
are the last thing newspapers need right now, despite their disgust with
aggregators like Newser, with the tagline “Read less, know more.”
Outing’s column, “Getting Money
from Readers Who Won’t Pay for Online News,” not only disputes the latest
pay-for-Web-content strategy announced by MediaNews Group of Denver, owner of
both the Post and the Camera, but also lays out several reasonable alternative
New ideas to save newspapers are
plentiful. Here’s one of them. What would happen, do you think, if the front
page of your morning paper had an appeal sounding very much like those frequent
fund-raising drives that support public radio?
It would read something like this:
In order to keep bringing you the quality news reporting you’ve come to expect,
we’re asking you to make a tax-deductible contribution every month and become a
paid member of our new nonprofit newspaper.
As newspapers lose subscribers to
free online sites and blogs, lose (make that lost) classifieds to Craig’s List,
and lose automobile, real estate and large national advertisers to the
Internet, is the day of a philanthropic, nonprofit model so far fetched?
Several working journalists (except
for the two recently laid off) approached this topic at the CU World Affairs
Investigative journalist Roberta
Baskin, who broke stories on Nike’s sweatshops in Vietnam, described the
“tsunami of change” sweeping the media industry, saying in many cases “It’s a
race to the bottom right now.” Not only are investigative reporters being fired
because of their higher expenses and salaries, but media executives fret much
more about the costs of possible litigation.
Baskin doubted the sustainability
of philanthropic donors supporting newspapers, and another idea —
“nationalizing” newspapers similar to the BBC — doesn’t sit very well with
anyone. In fact, several foundations, journalism schools like Columbia
University, and even private benefactors have begun funding in-depth reporting
efforts. Journalism schools might need to start teach grant-writing classes.
“These are perilous times,” Baskin said, “and I don’t think the public is paying
attention to this.”
Margaret Engel, a former Washington
Post and Des Moines Register reporter who’s now executive director of the
Alicia Patterson Journalism Foundation, which supports investigative
journalists and photojournalists, described newspaper’s woes as the “revenge of
the screen starers.” (Is that what I am becoming?)
“People don’t have the visual
desire to hold a newspaper anymore,” she said.
are more fearful than ever. “Those of us in the trenches knew the suits were
not really behind us,” Engel said.
All is not lost just yet.
Reporters, editors and publishers are a resourceful group. New ideas like
mobile phone apps or charging for content on Kindle e-readers are being tried,
and so-called “niche” publishers, including ethnic publications, are even
growing. News that is “hyper local,” including more “citizen journalists”
attending school board meetings, is finding some footing.
You might try reading The
Huffington Post, an Internet-only newspaper with blogs, videos, e-mail alerts,
Twitters, and I just learned from The Economist, just four reporters in a staff
of 60. The InDenver Times is being run by former Rocky staffers.
IWantMyRocky.com is still online, but needs a new name.
Yes, I’m staring more at computer
screens these days. But I refuse to do it with my morning coffee.