Insomnia Log

This is what keeps me awake at night???

Who needs sleep? (well you’re never gonna get it)
Who needs sleep? (tell me what’s that for)
Who needs sleep? (be happy with what you’re getting,
There’s a guy who’s been awake since the second world war)

-- words and music by Steven Page & Ed Robertson

Location: Boulder, Colorado, United States

Everything you need to know about me can be found in my posts

Sunday, October 31, 2010

How High in Boulder?

When I first saw Boulder Ballot Question 2C, I thought it was arrogant. I assumed builders were asking to be able to build up to the maximum height, and then add on extra for their solar panels. Why couldn't they just plan for the solar panels in their overall plans and build a bit shorter to allow for them?

But my assumptions were wrong. Question 2C is about the ability to add solar panels on top of existing buildings, buildings which were built before the concept of solar gardens was conceived.

Solar gardens, recently approved in Colorado, are a new way to provide solar energy to the masses. Build larger arrays, large enough for several families, on larger rooftops and other locations. Then, the people who couldn't use solar energy otherwise can take advantage of its benefits. People like renters, or people with shady lots.

Boulder Question 2C is a simple proposal and makes sense. Vote yes.

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Scary Monsters

The Republicans have been working on their Halloween costumes for weeks. This year they are dressing as Founding Fathers.

Last month they introduced their "Pledge to America," giving the rest of us a frightening vision of their costume.

The basis for this pledge is the idea that the citizens of this country do not consent to our government and its actions. It echoes back to the Declaration's explicit dissolution of our bounds to Britain. Why is that frightening? Our nation is a representative democracy that depends on peaceful elections and transitions of power. Talk of revolution pretends that process is optional.

It's not. That process has held this country together for over 220 years.


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Friday, October 22, 2010

Local Taxing Issues

For those of us living in Boulder, five of six local ballot issues this year include tax increases. Given the current financial conditions, we need to look closely at the short-term and long-term benefits of each before casting our ballots.

County Issue 1A's property tax increase was drafted in response to a confluence of three factors. State legislation required the county to spend down its human services rainy day fund; state funding for human services needs has been cut significantly; and, due to the recession, the rainy day has arrived.

Not only is it wise and humane to help people in our community who are feeling the worst pain of the economic downturn, the county is also required to do so by state law. This measure is responsibly crafted: It has a five year sunset, makes good use of public/private partnerships, and directs the commissioners to reduce the new tax as state funding is restored and conditions improve.

County Issue 1B is a new 0.15 percent sales and use tax for open space acquisition. Most people are not fans of higher sales tax, but most in the county like our open space.


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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Vote No

Colorado's constitution is ridiculously easy to change. To pollute our fundamental governing document with your own poorly written special-interest trash only requires convincing 50 percent of voters in one marketing blitz.

There may be some hidden benefits among this year's Colorado ballot measures, but to make things easy and make a point I'm voting against them all.

The crème de la crème of over-the-top ballot issues is the group of Amendments 60 and 61 and Proposition 101. Their sheer complexity is reason enough to reject them. Funded by people hiding in the shadows, the goal of these measures is nothing less than destroying state and local government in Colorado.


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Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Brighter Side

Nine years have passed since the 9/11 terrorist attacks. I remember that day as clearly as yesterday, as I'm sure many of you do.

There was the phone call telling me to turn on the television, and then the disbelief, the shock, the grief as I watched buildings with thousands of people inside crumble and collapse to the ground.

What I and millions of other people wanted was information. But there were few sources, and nothing could be done by those of us on the sidelines.

Out of respect I hesitate to compare the Fourmile fire to the 9/11 attacks. But there are some parallels.

Communication technology, both successful and failed, was a significant part of the 9/11 story. We'll never forget the final phone calls from the hijack and tower victims, the loss of the network broadcast towers when the North Tower collapsed, or the overloading of the cell networks.


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Friday, October 08, 2010

W's last laugh

It's not totally correct to blame the pending tax increase on Bush. Although the 43rd President did push for and sign the law, it was Congress (primarily the Republicans) who came up with this clever scheme and wrote the laws that will raise all of our taxes on Jan. 1.

The tax acts of 2001 and 2003 included temporary tax cuts followed by corresponding increases. Republican marketing at the time focused on tax relief, but today's press focuses on the tax increase, conveniently while the other party holds the Presidency and Congress. The GOP gets all of the credit and none of the blame, in an election year to boot. Brilliant.

Of course, at the time there was no way to know Democrats would be in power when the tax increase was scheduled to tax place. That's just happy coincidence.

The sunset provision was purely a political ploy. By keeping the tax cuts in effect for fewer than ten years, Republicans could sidestep rules that would have required paying for them, a tacit admission that tax cuts do not pay for themselves.


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Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Boulder Pools Go to the Dogs

When I went for my swim workout this morning, Scott Carpenter Pool was closed for the season. Although still the middle of August, the pool is only open to dogs.

I love dogs as much as anybody, but closing the only 50-meter pool in town to humans after just an 11-week season in an athlete-friendly city like Boulder is a slap in the face to swimmers. With the coincident annual maintenance shutdown at North Boulder Recreation Center and scheduled closures for at least one private pool, swimmers` options are severely limited.

I headed to Spruce Pool for my workout. There were 6-8 swimmers in each Boulder Aquatic Masters lane, and two in each lap lane. Jane Scott, BAM head coach, told me BAM has negotiated additional lanes from the city for this practice time for safety reasons, as the pool was over capacity.


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