Today, the Hill is struggling – a shadow of what it once was, but can no longer be: a place entirely dependent on students and their spending; where three months of summer was a welcome respite. The land is simply too valuable to sit relatively idle for that long. We need responsible adults to hang out there year-round.
The Hill ought to be Boulder’s hot spot: a place where young entrepreneurs, talented students and neighbors of all ages cross paths regularly in an environment designed to promote and nurture creative collisions. If you prefer to go to sleep early or the sound of parties sets your teeth on edge, you might not want to live there, but students who could care less what the neighbors think should live elsewhere, too.
Many plans have been developed for the Hill. The best of them see the inherent tension associated with conflicting student, neighborhood and business interests as, instead, the Hill’s seeds for greatness. Well-served by transit, but still somewhat dependent on the automobile, underground parking, first floor retail, second floor office and upper floor workforce and student housing will all be needed to create the critical mass essential to make this potential university village/neighborhood center thrive.
The streetscape and the bricks and mortar should reflect every Hill constituency (including neighbors, empty-nesters and families), students, faculty, and university employees), plus offices, retail, and restaurants prepared to feed off each other. The sooner, the better.
Welcome to Boulder, first year students. If you’re from the East, Midwest or Northwest, our climate will surprise you in wonderful ways. Our low humidity makes our hottest and coldest days much more bearable. Our winter storms are often followed by warm southwestern air, which softens the blow. Our winds can be fierce.
I hope your college learning experience includes life skills, not just academic studies. You will benefit as much from ideas shared with students and roommates as from what your professors teach you.
With your new freedom comes great responsibility. Take care of one another. Try to finish in four years (your parents will appreciate it, loans will be smaller). Don’t let your friends drive drunk. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Explore and develop your passions wisely.
Welcome back, sophomores, juniors and seniors. Many of you will now be living in Boulder’s neighborhoods. Take some time to meet your neighbors! We are not out to get you, but we are watching (and listening). The sooner you get to know us, the better. The circumstances of our first meeting will matter: best not to have the first one after midnight. Share cell phone numbers and email addresses with us, so we can easily contact you. Learn what you can about our lives, schedules and families.
One never knows when the connections you make in Boulder may help in the future. Never stop learning! After all, it’s why you’re here.
June 1, 2013
Mike Bohn deserved far better than to be blithely thrown beneath the Buffs’ bus. Imagine what it must have been like to voluntarily assume responsibility for the flotsam and jetsam in the wake of the Barnett/Tharp shipwreck. Only a person with the enthusiasm, commitment and home town ties Mike possesses would have said “yes” to the offer. Don’t be surprised if the next Athletic Director for the University of Colorado is paid 2-3x what Mike was willing to accept. No good deed goes unpunished.
Continue reading Bohn Firing by CU
December 1, 2012
My preference would have been to give Jon Embree another year. I think Mike Bohn wanted to give Jon another year, too. I don’t believe Mike, who grew up in Boulder and bleeds Black and Gold, was permitted to offer that option by the “powers that be,” whoever they are.
Continue reading CU Football, Embree Firing
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
April 7, 2012
Student athletes are the subject of intense competition as they consider their college options. Scholars should be similarly recruited, but the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) process is a one-size-fits-all filter effectively eliminating that possibility. The FAFSA form does not take into account indebtedness, car payments, house payments, local cost-of-living differences, individual family circumstances, or the tuition, room and board expense of different public or private colleges and universities.
Continue reading FAFSA and the Student Loan Debt Crisis
March 10, 2012
In the interest of full disclosure, my wife and I, with 5 other people, were held hostage for two very frightening hours in 1981 by a man holding a snub-nosed .38 and wearing a silk stocking over his head. From my perspective at the time, the odds of disarming the guy were not good (about ½-inch of the barrel extended beyond the palm of his hand). We made no foolish mistakes and all of us survived unharmed, but I hate guns, particularly hand guns.
Continue reading Guns on CU’s Campus
April 8, 2011
God bless the CWA. One of the great benefits of living in a university town is the infusion of wisdom and controversy waves of young minds and somewhat older professors wash over us each year. The CWA brings this intellectual cross-pollenization to a head. The most wondrous aspect of the sessions is the audience. In the journalism session I attended on Wednesday (“Long Live the News”), 20% appeared to be students and the remainder constituted a robust cross-section of Boulder’s other residents. I may have to start reducing my commitments during CWA, because the quality of the presentations and the subsequent questions and answers was at the highest level.
“News” is flowing towards us in an ever-growing torrent. Our job, if we choose to accept it (and heaven help us, if we don’t), is to develop Great American Readers and Listeners. Skepticism must always exist in response to a pay-to-play news cycle. Wire services have been steadily pumping stories out since the early part of the last century. The blogosphere is doing the same thing, but at drinking-out-of-a-fire-hose speeds and volume. WE must apply the filters and slow down our “judgment cycle” as the news cycle speeds up.
Some commentators do more old-fashioned journalism than the anchors from other outlets, correcting misinformation, revealing biases, learning from real experts, and placing actual facts in play. Other “affirmation-type” journalists eschew consistent accuracy, compelling prose and thoughtful analysis. We must find ways to feed the former and starve the latter, before it’s too late.