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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

American Planning Association Honors Ned Plan

Location: Crested Butte, CO 81224, USA
The APA Award for Sustainability and
Environmental Planning in Crested Butte
I had the pleasure of attending the 2014 Conference for the American Planning Association, Colorado Chapter, in Crested Butte, Colorado.

Few other trade organizations have an eight page strategic plan, updated bi-annually by the president of the association, with detailed Goals, Implementation Strategy, Assigned Responsibility, Timetable, and Budget. What else would you expect from professional planners?

Of course one of my favorite Benjamin Franklin quotes, "If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail," is a great reminder of the importance of planning, which has been the focus in Nederland for the past several years.

I was scheduled to participate on a panel discussing sustainability. The panel included two other talented City Planners and champions of sustainability; Chris Meschuk, from Boulder, and Jonathan Wachtel, from Lakewood. I felt honored to review our town planning process, with an audience of professional planners, earning educational credit hours to maintain their professional license. (See the presentation at the bottom of this post)

Monday, September 22, 2014

Old School Hardwood Floor – ReSource

Location: 6400 Arapahoe Road, Boulder, CO 80303, USA
The reclaimed wood floor adds character to the room
A few years ago, I seized the opportunity to reclaim a hardwood floor. It was the old performance stage from Broomfield Heights Middle School. The contractor was cutting the floor along with the plywood sub-floor and stacking it up outside. I asked the Project Manager and Job Superintendent if I could take the material, so that they didn't have to pay to haul it off. They said that they wouldn't do any extra work to preserve any of it, but I was welcome to take it after their shift was over so that I wouldn't bother the workers, which were on a tight schedule. I agreed.

For the next three years, this whim of an idea, gradually evolved into a hobby, then became an obsession, ultimately occupying much of my free time as a driven mission, until it was complete.

First, I hauled it up to my home in five trips using the back of a Jeep Wrangler. They were large squares roughly one meter on each side. I felt good about rescuing this beautiful old material from the landfill. But then, it sat stacked-up on the side of my garage for several months before I took the time to address what to do with it. Every now and then, I would grab a square and carefully pry the oak plank away from the plywood backing. Then pull out each nail individually. This took about a year, but each square meter was randomly done in my spare time, so it didn't seem like work that took away from my lifestyle.

Friday, August 22, 2014

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Location: Nederland, CO 80466, USA
Grandpa Bredo Morstel and Mayor Joe Gierlach
The fundraising campaign for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), which is often referred to as "Lou Gehrig's Disease," has gone viral. [click here to make your contribution] This publicity technique is particularly ripe for mayors. 

Being a mayor inherently implies that within your first term in office, someone will ask that you have a pie thrown at you, tape you to a wall, or dump ice water on your head in the name of charity. I sat in for the dunk tank at last year's Nederland Miner's Days event.

Mayor Mike Waid from Parker, Colorado has embraced this aspect of mayorship completely, and he has shaved his head, and dyed his hair purple for charity. He challenged all the 41 Mayors in the Denver Metro Mayors Caucus to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. [click here for the video]

Today, the Boulder County Commissioners challenged all the Mayors in Boulder County for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. [click here for their video on Facebook] Certainly more entertaining than my video, but because we have a winter festival each year celebrating our cryogenically frozen resident, I expect that it can't be worse than the Polar Plunge.