March 22, 2013
Tussles between private land owners and government representatives fueled the revolution that formed the United States. Boulder County, the City of Boulder, and some Homeowner Associations stir similarly visceral passions when private dreams are thwarted by thoughtless application of burdensome and costly rules and regulations.
Continue reading Municipal Code Drafting and Interpretation
January 26, 2013
I’m having some difficulty believing that WalMart was not aware of Boulder’s interest in who was rehabilitating the PetSmart/Ross space in the Diagonal Plaza.The inquiries were pretty specific. Playing hide the pea for a while may have been fair game, but even “plausible deniability” has its limits.
Continue reading WalMart Comes to Boulder
January 12, 2013
First, do no harm. Second, starve the trivial, feed the significant. Third,. the enemy of good is perfect. Fourth, water flows towards money. Fifth, government must know its limitations. For Colorado governance, that about sums it up. We don’t need to starve our beast, it’s already on life support. No one wants to pay more taxes, but should we consider doing so to secure our own future? To avoid squandering our children’s?
Continue reading Colorado Legislative Priorities
December 29, 2012
It is the year 2100. Residents of Boulder County and their regional neighbors are 90 years into their pattern-changing experiment in sustainable community development. Guided by practical wisdom, sound science and an entrepreneurial spirit, they have evolved new land use and development patterns that reconnect them to thriving ecosystems and agricultural zones, support a variety of dense, walkable village centers and nurture a diverse population of young and old, low-income and affluent, and people of all races and creeds.
Continue reading Boulder County 2100 (ca. 2012)
December 15, 2012
Climate change is real. The evidence is all around us. It is irrefutable. It hardly matters whether it’s human-caused, if, by our actions, we can slow it down. We need time to adapt. Our hydrocarbon-dependent lifestyles will not be sustainable long term. We may not run out of such fuels soon, but if we burn them too quickly, accelerating climate change, it won’t matter. The earth will survive, but we won’t.
Continue reading Climate Change Divestment Strategy
November 3, 2012
Tuesday’s Daily Camera cartoon, in which “Frankenstorm” welcomed the candidates to “our presidential debate on science and global warming,” nailed the haunting lack of any mention of climate change during the three other debates. New York’s Governor Cuomo noted with irony that the new normal includes 100-year storms every two years. Nobody’s laughing.
Continue reading Frankenstorm? Meet Climate Change Deniers
September 29, 2012
Don’t boo. VOTE! Negative ads are meant to “disgust,” not persuade. They engender a sort of “pox on both their houses” attitude that doesn’t harm the ad sponsors. Negative ads are paid for by supporters of one candidate, not to get you to vote for them,- but to keep you from voting for their opponent.
Continue reading Byrne on Negative Ads
August 25, 2012
Alcohol is a social lubricant. It also kills indiscriminately. The way young people “learn” how to drink could not be more poorly designed. High schoolers learn from their college peers, who are old enough to acquire alcohol. Collegians develop drinking patterns at private parties, where ids are not checked and the alcohol is often more powerful and usually free. The patterns they establish in college carry forward into their adult years. The U.S. has a drinking problem because most people learn to drink without adult supervision in environments where there are no rules (or even good modeling behavior).
Continue reading Alcohol Rules v. Education and Peer Pressure
August 4, 2012
Douglas Bruce’s anti-government efforts have hogtied the legislature, embarrassed the Republican Party and landed him in jail. He may be the first “Tea Party” philosopher, long before that group even settled on its name. The harm he has caused to our republican form of government has slowly been reversed by communities in Colorado, both counties and cities, that have opted out of – de-Bruced –some of TABOR’s more insidious provisions. The most devastating of them relate not to the “ceiling” (spending caps), but to the “floor” (revenue caps lowered by down economic years),– a poorly-timed automatic austerity plan only a public vote can reverse.
Continue reading TABOR – Our Republic Destroyed by Republicans
June 30, 2012
In 1905, Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr., graced Boulder with a city master plan that included parks and open spaces for the first time. He suggested further that the Boulder Creek flood plain be preserved as parkland. Now it is the heart of our civic center. The civic area plan will determine the appropriate mix and location of uses downtown near our Creek.
Continue reading Boulder’s Civic Area Plan