RTD, which operates buses and trains all around the Denver area, including Boulder, is facing a conundrum that John Tayer, Boulder’s rep on the RTD board, calls the “transit paradox.”
RTD is funded almost entirely by sales taxes. When the economy tanks — and people begin to look to buses as a way to save money on transportation — RTD’s budget tanks, too.
“Just as people most need transit, we’re having to cut back on service,” Tayer told the Camera yesterday.
So what to do? RTD is going to be $18 million in the hole next year, and the board is considering raising rates and cutting service. They haven’t made a decision yet, but they’re considering raising rates on local buses (like the HOP, SKIP, JUMP, BOUND, etc.) to $2.25 from $2.
Boulder is worried that it will discourage people from using the bus. Would it make a difference to you?
Raw Milk — you know the kind that’s fresh from the cow (or goat), not pasteurized, and according to proponents super rich and nutritious — may have made 24 people sick in Boulder County.
Officials think the sickness is related to goat milk from Billy Goat Dairy in Longmont. In all, there are a couple of raw milk dairies in Longmont, a couple in Boulder and one in Erie.
Some food safety experts say that raw milk is dangerous (and that pasteurization was one of the great health breakthroughs). But raw milk lovers say it’s no more dangerous (if the dairy is clean) than other foods. (After all, didn’t hamburgers and spinach give people e-coli?)
Read more about the problem at DailyCamera.com, and tell us what you think below.
While it pales in comparison to the environmental devastation caused by the BP oil spill in the Gulf, oil is spilling in Colorado, too.
The Colorado spill is really spills — thousands of them that have spilled millions of gallons over the last 2.5 years.
Oil and gas companies have reported almost 1,000 spills to Colorado regulators over the past 2 1/2 years, totaling 5.2 million gallons of drilling liquids and oil.
They ranged from small oil leaks from half-closed valves to thousands of barrels of tainted water that escaped from pits.
It’s far from the volume of oil now shooting into the Gulf of Mexico, but a Denver Post analysis of state spill reports shows that even far from offshore, drilling for oil can regularly create unintended messes.
The “wheels” in Meals on Wheels, the national service that delivers hot meals to seniors and the disabled, usually means a car.
But in Longmont — at least in a few cases — the wheels now may mean a bike, thanks to a couple of local women. From this weekend’s Longmont Times Call:
The program marks the first time Meals on Wheels has made deliveries via bike in Longmont, said program coordinator Karla Hale. It also is the first bike-powered program in the state that has been implemented under Meals on Wheels, she said.
“A lot of it has to do with going green and what can we do as a community or an organization to help the environment,” she said. Read more
Camping in Rocky Mountain National Park means time to commune with nature, relaxing around the campfire, stargazing and long hikes.
And this summer, for two of the park’s five drive-in campgrounds, it also means views. Lots of them. Great vistas that are now totally unobstructed by the trees that used to be there.
That’s the positive spin that park Superintendent Vaughn Baker tried to put on the unfortunate fact that Timber Creek and Glacier Basin campgrounds have literally been clear cut to remove trees killed by pine beetles. The campgrounds used to have plenty of shade, he said. Now they have plenty of views, but campers should provide their own shade. Read more
Have you checked out the new bike-sharing program in Denver yet? It’s rad… and plus, now there’s no excuse not to ride the bus down to Denver because you can just get off and grab a bike. (OK, well you need five bucks. But, that gets you unlimited rides!)
Denver’s bike-sharing program, called B-Cycle, kicked off on Earth Day. And so far, 16,500 bikes have already been checked out.
Here’s the way it works: You get a membership — either for the day or for the year — and you “check out” a bike. Then you’ve got it for 30 minutes, which, theoretically, should be long enough to get to where you’re going. (These things aren’t made for long road rides, after all.) Then you “dock” the bike at your destination — a coffee shop? cafe? museum? — so someone else can check it out while you’re doing whatever you’re doing. Then, you check out the bike again after to ride back to where you started.
There’s a current in the Gulf of Mexico that’s kind of squirrely. Sometimes it flows north. Sometimes it flows south. Sometimes it breaks off into an self-contained eddy.
But no matter what it does, it’s pretty much inevitable that the current, known as the Loop Current, will end up carrying the oil that’s now hemorrhaging into the Gulf of Mexico to the tip of Florida, according to a Boulder scientist. And then — in what appears to be the blink of an eye — that oil will be off and running up the Atlantic coast and into the open ocean. (The Gulf Stream, which flows along the coast of Florida up to North Carolina, is practically flying compared to waters in the Gulf.)
Check out a computer-model simulation created by the National Center for Atmospheric Research… and prepare to feel ill.
Colorado’s native bighorn sheep population is declining (down about 10 percent from 2001 to 2009), and biologists are scrambling to find a way to bolster the breed.
The problems, according to an article in the Denver Post, include construction, disease, traffic, other live stock — and mountain goats, a nonnative species that was originally reintroduced outside of Salida.
Medical marijuana operations are sweeping Colorado. (If you live in our great Rocky Mountain state, I’m sure you’ve noticed).
Lots of folks are psyched. (Especially 20-something dudes with snowboard injuries.) But lots of towns aren’t. This spring, communities across Colorado have gone to great pains to figure out how to regulate these businesses. Mostly, they seem concerned about how close dispensaries are to schools, day cares and each other. And in some towns, dispensaries may be banned altogether in the near future, thanks to a new state law.
The Boulder City Council is concerned about little kids too, but in classic Boulder style, they’re also concerned about whether folks are growing their pot with energy from coal plants. (All those heat lamps can burn a heap of electricity.) So last night, when city council passed a new set of pot shop rules, this was among them: growing operations have to offset 100 percent of their electricity use with renewable energy!
Boulder County has suspended its popular, voter-approved ClimateSmart Loan Program, which lets you borrow money from them (at relatively low interest rates) to make energy-efficient improvements to your home like adding solar panels or blowing in some more insulation.
There are, apparently, a couple of problems that came out last week. One is a set of new rules from the DOE that govern loans like ClimateSmart — though that one will likely be no that big of deal. The second, which is more of a problem, is a letter from mortgage-buying giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The letter implies that the government-sponsored agencies won’t buy mortgages for houses that have ClimateSmart liens on them.
“Every program in the country — in Colorado the programs that are just getting set to launch in Eagle County — are going into neutral and saying, ‘We’ll continue developing programs,’ but nobody is going to issue any additional financing until there’s clarification of the letter,” Commissioner Will Toor told the Camera on Thursday.
“The timing here in Boulder County is very unfortunate because we had a round of residential loans that would be closing tomorrow and we were looking at a bond sale in a few weeks,” he said. “There are a bunch of property owners and a bunch of contractors who were hoping that this would move forward.”