OPINIONS FROM LOCAL AUTHORS


Have Compassion for Those Who Tailgate
Date of Article: 2020-01-07
Reid
Drivers who tailgate must lead miserable lives...
Have you driven Boulder Canyon lately? I am always so impressed and grateful for the driver that backs way off when following me through the canyon. On the way down there is literally only one spot that is a legal passing zone. On the way up the total is four; three of which have a pullout lane. All of which are in or above the Narrows. The one just below Boulder Falls is short and takes speed, timing, and cooperation to navigate. The one in the heart of the Narrows is steep and requires a strong vehicle to power past others. The third one is at the top and is the easiest to make use of because it is long and the grade levels out at that point. A few turns after that lies a long stretch sporting that dashed line that gives the green light to moving over into the oncoming lane to get past the vehicle ahead. That is it! Those are all the legal and relatively safe places to pass other vehicles. Most of the time there are cars in front of the car in front of your car… that means passing only gets you moved up about 100 feet and saves no time. None. Have you ever had that idiot pass on the way down? Illegally and dangerously… they risk their life, your life, the life of the driver and passengers of the car speeding up the hill. All for what? To be sitting at the light at 6th and Canyon while you roll up next to them. This is why I don’t understand people who tailgate. What are they thinking? Are they trying to get me to go faster only to end up going the same speed but now only feet from the car in front of me? Do they think a passing zone is imminent? Do they think they are saving time? As for me, I drive defensively. Which means I drive the speed that is safe - given the circumstances. If I’m tooling down the canyon by myself I hold it at the speed limit - which is 45mph in most parts! I might even creep up a few mph on straights or in good conditions. However, if a car comes up on my tail I all of a sudden have more to concentrate on than the road ahead. Keeping an eye on my rear view mirror causes me to slow down as I adjust to the riskiness of the situation. The closer the car - the slower I go… to the point that it certainly infuriates the person behind me - but they are actually causing me to slow down from the way they are increasing the risks! There was a time when I would get upset at those that drive so close. Rage even. Then I realized the negativity I was holding and how it was impacting me directly. My answer finally came one day when it occurred to me that the reason the other driver was driving so close had nothing to do with me. In fact, they apparently have no idea how they are making me feel. They either don’t know or don’t care. Perhaps both. But in any case, they lack empathy for other humans. This insight brought forth even more insight. Not only do these tailgating drivers lack empathy for drivers in front of them, but they also must go through life like this - lacking empathy for others in all situations. This means they lack the capacity to have real human connections. They must be miserable. They certainly seem miserable. So now I consider how the person behind me must feel when they engage in this rude and senseless manner of driving… how absolutely miserable their life must be and how disconnected from others. A sense of compassion flows through me and I release all negative energy associated with them (as I slow my roll). The remarkable part is that, when I’m really feeling the compassion, they tend to back off as though my message is getting through!


NEDERLAND, CO AREA HIGHLIGHTS
Nederland Visitor's Center
Information, maps, books, gifts, public restrooms.

Wild Bear Nature Center
Since 1995, Wild Bear’s mission is to provide year round educational programs to people of all ages fostering a life-long appreciation of the environment and promoting an environmentally aware, responsible, and ecologically sound community.

Nathan Lazarus Skatepark
The Nathan Lazarus Skatepark is open for public skating.

The Backdoor Theater
First run movies and more take place most Friday and Saturday evenings. Highly affordable!

Carousel of Happiness
Located in Nederland, Colorado, the nonprofit Carousel of Happiness is a magical menagerie featuring 56 whimsical, hand-carved animals on a restored 1910 Looff carousel, turning to the music of a 1913 Wurlitzer band organ.

Nederland Teen Center
The Teen Center is a NO-COST drop-in center for teens (first day of 6th grade through 20 years old) and is open to any teenager who wants to come in and hang out. We have a gymnasium equipped with a foam pit, a basketball hoop, and a bouldering wall. We also have computers with internet access and a fully equipped kitchen that is regularly restocked with food.

Eldora Ski Resort
Eldora is ski, snowboard, AT, XC, and snowshoe friendly! 680 acres of skiable terrain with a base area at 9,200 feet above sea level and a top elevation at 10,600 feet! Just a few minutes from Nederland's business district with restaurants, coffeehouses, and more!

The Caribou Room
The Caribou Room is the perfect venue for concerts, wedding receptions, corporate events, and private parties. We offer a state of the art facility for touring and local bands, audio recording, special events, and more.

Nederland Mining Museum
Visit the Nederland Mining Museum and get a glimpse into the world of hard rock mining days in Boulder County during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Learn about the lives of the miners of yesteryear.

Indian Peaks Wilderness
The Indian Peaks Wilderness is a wilderness area in north central Colorado managed jointly by the United States Forest Service and the National Park Service within the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests and small parts of the southern section of Rocky Mountain National Park

Nederland Community Library
Library services ensure that every person has the opportunity and resources to read, engage, and connect; the library is a hub and a place where community is built.

Nederland Community Center
The Community Center serves the greater Nederland area and provides space for community gatherings, town board and municipal court meetings, fitness and dance classes, and concerts and performances.

Town of Nederland
A statutory town located near Barker Meadow Reservoir in the foothills of southwest Boulder County, Colorado, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census it had a population of 1,445.



POSITIVE NEWS ABOUT CLEAN ENERGY!
How Wind Will Save Us!
Date of Article: 2020-01-07
Reid
Wind is closely aligned with the Oil Industry in ways you may not consider at first glance...
As we attempt to move into the new model of energy production it is Wind Power that will lead the charge! Solar may ultimately dominate the scene in the far future but wind has a competitive advantage and support from a not-so-obvious ally: The Oil and Gas Industry! Switching over power production to clean sources is driven by costs. The last few years has shown a sharp decline in Wind Power to the point that it is now more competitive than Natural Gas. This is good news for our air quality! Natural Gas is anything but “natural”… harnessing the power of the wind, however, is! The Oil and Gas Industry has been drilling into the earth’s crust, injecting poison to scare out the trapped methane, farting literally tons of it into the air before it provides any energy, and then acting like it is a “clean” fuel. We now hear that methane has replaced CO2 as the gas having the largest impact on the Climate Crisis! It’s all driven by profits… which is both the bad and the good news now that Wind Power is the least expensive source of energy. How did this happen and why will it dominate the transition? Since the early 1980s the Solar Industry has been fighting an uphill battle against the Oil and Gas Industry. The latter has mostly been winning in this diametrically opposed situation. Solar energy has its origin in the Technology Sector where silica rules and production sites are comprised of clean rooms and precision electronics. This is completely different from the Oil and Gas Industry which is entrenched in the Process Sector with pressure vessels, chemicals, and HAZE-MAT workplaces that are anything but clean! These competing industries share little in common and almost no cross-over in labor or core-competencies. Enter the Wind Industry… wind has more in common with Oil and Gas than it does Solar. In the Oil and Gas Sector electricity is generated by burning fuels, boiling water, and driving steam turbines. This takes large-scale fabrication, heavy equipment, cranes, welders, pipe-fitters and such. Wind turbines are huge! Judged purely on size, weight, and construction skills there is essentially no difference between putting up an oil derrick to drill down into the earth and putting up a wind turbine to drill the air above! Wind turbines are made locally due to the shear logistics in getting them from the manufacturing facility to the wind farm. They are massive structures requiring cranes and welders to install. They have moving parts that require inspection and maintenance. When they fail it is spectacular and the destruction is reminiscent of pipeline disasters albeit with far less toxic release! The same technology that it takes to anchor off-shore drill rigs can be used for off-shore wind turbines. And off-shore wind has a tremendous potential as technologies are developed to capture the energy in the ocean currents, waves, and swells which can be added to the existing infrastructure of the wind farms. The cost of grid-level batteries has fallen to the point of making wind the least expensive form of energy today… beating Natural Gas! This means there are major economic advantages to companies who can capture that market! Those in the Oil and Gas Industry have a competitive advantage in their existing labor force, land-use connections, and manufacturing capabilities. This is why we will see a major increase in wind production as these companies move to take their share of the market. Of course, it is still going to take some time to close all natural gas facilities. Those that have already been built represent sunken costs as do the drilling and fracking operations. But the positive news comes from announcements across the industry of coal plant closures and new natural gas plant curtailment. We are just at the beginning and Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas are already reporting 20%+ of their electricity is produced by wind! In the long-term, solar should eventually dominate as it fits better with the concept of distributed power. Distributed power is more reliable, resilient, and flexible. It requires less energy as it doesn’t suffer from transmission loss like centralized forms of power. But the costs are still not below that of NG or wind and until that happens on the small, individualized scale we will continue to see production from large, centralized installations. We should all lean into the wind and support its adoption in the near term, particularly given the increased demand for electricity as we move our Transportation Sector off of direct burning of fuel and onto the power of electrons!