Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Spreading the Word

Like Paul Revere on his famous ride from Boston to Lexington, I have done my best to spread the word on the Chatfield public meetings.  Previously I have used the internet to try to get the word out with a dedicated Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/SaveChatfield and a petition at http://www.change.org/petitions/the-governor-of-co-save-chatfield as well as writing about the issue several times on my blog (http://www.alohafridays.net/). Using these current outlets I have written the previous and this current blog post on this subject, set up several Facebook events and invited local friends to attend, and added updates to the Save Chatfield and petition sites.  Also as I have done previously, I have continued to keep my fellow residents updated via the Trailmark community Facebook page and will likely try to write another article for the community newsletter as I did last Fall. However, to try and increase the reach for the public meetings this week I also tried several other tactics.

I contacted numerous publications including the Denver Post, 5280 Magazine, Westword and the Littleton Report.  A news release was supposed to be put out by the US Army Corps of Engineers, but I am unsure if it was (Westword claimed they have not seen anything) or not and who it went to. At the only previous public meeting held back in 2004 only 18 people attended the meeting “because no newspapers printed the information provided by the news release” according to the current Chatfield Study report.

I contacted affected groups and businesses.  To try and get to the numerous bikers I contacted the folks who put on the Deer Creek Challenge Bike Ride and Bicycle Village the largest bike store in the area who organizes group rides.  I contacted Chatfield Stables to reach the community who rides horseback through Chatfield.  I contacted the Chatfield Ballooning Association who already lost their popular Balloon Festival to increased park regulations and would be affected directly by the flooding of the balloon port. I contacted the Chatfield Sailing Association and Cool Toys Marine to reach some of the boating community since the marina would be radically changed.

On the environmental side, the Audubon Society of Denver has already had some involvement and has been spreading the word to their members who I also contacted.  I also contacted the Colorado Ocean Coalition to get them interested in the closest thing we have to an ocean in our home state.  I also sent a message to the Front Range Birding Company, a local store that supports the bird watching community that is very active at Chatfield.

I contacted the Littleton Mayor and City Council as well as the South Suburban Parks and Recreation Board.  They too should be tied into this process, especially because it could affect a project they have worked very hard on involving South Platte River enhancements.  I have asked them whether they are aware of any impacts because I have not found this discussed in the US Army Corps of Engineers report.

I am headed to tonight’s public meeting at Dakota Ridge High School.  It will be interesting to see the turnout and see if we can beat the previous mark of 18 people in 2004.  I also will try to contact folks for the other two meetings to gauge their turnout.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Let Your Voice Be Heard

Fresh from a vacation in Boston where we walked the Freedom Trail, I have returned motivated to get active with my citizen activism.  As I wrote about twice last yearthere are plans to enlarge the holding capacity, i.e. flood Chatfield affecting animal habitats and recreational facilities   (http://www.alohafridays.net/2011/12/drought-ends-with-talk-of-flood.html and http://www.alohafridays.net/2011/08/taking-cause-to-facebook.html). Finally after a delay (materials were originally supposed to come out last Fall), a lengthy report and public hearings will be held on this topic.  I will talk about my assessment of the report (it can be found here for your light reading: http://www.nwo.usace.army.mil/html/pd-p/Plan_Formulation/GI/GI_Chatfield.html) in another post, but first I wanted to get the word out on the public hearings since they are coming up this week.

Public involvement meetings have been scheduled from 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM at the following locations:

  1. Monday, June 25th – The Wildlife Experience, 10035 S. Peoria Street, Parker, CO 80134, (720) 488-3300.
  2. Tuesday, June 26th – Dakota Ridge High School, 13399 West Coal Mine Avenue, Littleton, CO 80127, (303) 982-1970.
3.     Wednesday, June 27th – Valley High School, 1001 Birch Street, Gilcrest, CO 80623, (970) 737-2494.

So please take advantage of this opportunity to learn more about the plans and make sure that the voice of the residents and users of Chatfield are heard.  At a public meeting held in 2004 (before I moved back to Colorado) only 18 people attended the meeting “because no newspapers printed the information provided by the news release.”  Don’t let them use an excuse like this to keep folks from voicing their opinion on this project.

Friday, June 15, 2012


It is time for this bear that has overslept to wake up for the summer.  After four months since my last post, I am overdue for getting back to writing my blog.  With a subtitle of “seeking balance in the adventure of life”, it is ironic that the reason this blog has gone silent is I lost my balance.

As one of my co-workers jokingly said, “Work-Life Balance? Work is our life!”  And for the past four months it has been with an average workweek of 58 hours a week, two weeks of 80 plus hours, and a period of 19 straight days without a day off.  Building a replacement for the Space Shuttle is hard work and we have had the perfect storm of completing key milestones for the current phase of the program while proposing for the next phase. If you want to see the latest news we have finally made it on to Facebook where we have some good videos posted (https://www.facebook.com/SNCspacesystems).

The only thing that has kept me sane during that period is I still have managed to keep exercising.  I will share more on that in later posts because I believe that has been a key to staying healthy in the face of long work hours and stress so maintaining a balance in that aspect of life has been critical.

One area I have not done as well, has been at home.  When your kids ask seriously every weekend if you are going to have to work and saying good night or good morning to them becomes a special treat, then you have fallen way out of balance.  Fortunately my wife has used this period as her canonization and now is known as Saint Sally for her patience with my Dream Chasing.

Finally, the last area that has suffered is my work with the community.  There was no Lavaman Triathlon to raise funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society this year (and seeing all of the notes from my friends who did participate was torture).  Involvement in my church, my mentoring of college students through the Sigma Chi Horizons program, and this blog all suffered as further examples.

A few years ago, Sally and I bought a whimsical piece of art that literally was supposed to remind us that life is a balance.  Sadly when I went to find it in the house, it had been moved so I had not only lost my balance, but my reminder to not do that as well.  With Sally’s help I found it (literally and figuratively) and took a photo of it below.  I also moved it to the front hallway of the house to remind me to not lose my balance again.  I hope everyone had a great Friday!