Category Archives: Social Engineering

What Ed Byrne Will Add to Boulder’s City Council (10/1/2013)

Ed Byrne understands planning principles that have stood the test of time: walkable neighborhoods with wonderful village centers that support local businesses, decrease traffic congestion and provide flexible housing options for the elderly, young families and in-commuters.

Focus on Essential City Services.

Boulder’s key city services such as police, fire, transportation, water, libraries, senior centers and parks and rec must be adequately funded to protect our quality of life and to ensure we are prepared for events like floods and fires. I support renewing and reallocating a portion of Open Space sales tax revenues (Ballot Questions 2B, 2C & 2D) as a critical step towards safeguarding our city’s infrastructure and supporting our safety net programs.

Economic Understanding of Environmental Goals.

I will help businesses that support our local economy stay in Boulder by addressing workforce housing and transportation challenges. I will lead the city to improve our commercial codes to attract and retain progressive, innovative businesses that share Boulder’s social and environmental values.

Effective Governing Strategies.

Local governments shouldn’t try to solve every problem with an ordinance. We need to focus our resources where they will do the most good and be more effective. I believe that we should use all the tools in our municipal tool kit including incentives, education and partnerships – because not every problem is a nail.

Vision for the Future.

Thanks to the Blue Line and Open Space acquisitions, and while we pursue a cleaner energy supply, we can now focus on improving our town – the “inside” of our incredible natural setting – with innovative, sustainable and walkable neighborhood design.

Some Advice for CU Students (8/20/2016)

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.

Nederland Drug Abuse Tragedy

July 13, 2013

My heart aches for both families. My brain can not fathom how a parent survives either circumstance. Wisdom is hard to come by when faced by such a tragedy.

Young adults are fearless when it comes to risky behaviors. They seem drawn to them like moths towards a flame. Although our educational system tries to help with life skills programs ranging from “Just Say No” to recommendations for responsible use, clearly, neither parents nor schools can meet this perennial challenge alone. Society, generally, and our community, specifically, have roles to play, too (it truly “takes a village”), but ultimately our children, when temptation knocks, will be alone and under great pressure to go along.
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Municipal Code Drafting and Interpretation

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.
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WalMart Comes to Boulder

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.
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Alcohol Rules v. Education and Peer Pressure

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).
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Aurora Theater Slaughter by Holmes

July 28, 2012

6,000 rounds of ammunition. 2 Glock handguns. 1 pump-action shotgun. An AR-15 (M-16) with a 100-round drum capable of firing 50-60 rounds per minute. All acquired within the past two months. Is there no division at Homeland Security in a position to connect these dots?
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Paper or Plastic? Wrong Question

May 19, 2012

Following the October study session, council told staff to focus initially on two waste-related ordinances, disposable bags and styrofoam takeout containers. In typical fashion, the presumptive tool is a hammer (municipal fees or an outright ban). What if the problem is not a nail? Is the cost of enforcement – heck, the cost of analyzing the cost of enforcement – worth the ultimate benefit?
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Safe Streets Begin Between Your Ears

February 11, 2012

“The last time I should speed is when I’m in a hurry.” “While waiting to make a left turn, it’s not what I see, but what I don’t see that could kill me (look for blind spots, not semi-trailer trucks).” “If I’m on a bicycle, I’m invisible, but if a driver sees me, he may try to kill me (eye contact does not equal awareness).” “If I ride a bike at night without a light, I’m an idiot.” At one time or another, but more frequently towards the end of my career as a prosecutor in Boulder’s municipal court, I often suggested to drivers and bicyclists that the above thoughts just might save their lives some day.
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