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February Photo Golden Ponds Natural Area by Brian T. Wolf 2

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Sponsored By

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insideLONGMONT THE MAGAZINE

insidelongmontthemagazine@gmail.com EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Brian T. Wolf WRITING & PHOTOGRAPHY Brian T. Wolf Mari Wolf

MARKETING & ADVERTISING Mari Wolf insidelongmont@gmail.com

Follow us around the web! insidelongmont.com facebook.com/insidelongmontthemagazine facebook.com/insidelongmont twitter.com/insidelongmont COVER PHOTO: LDT Dancers Madge Junker and Nora Hixson in costume for the “Sleeping Beauty Prologue” by Mari Wolf insideLONGMONT The Magazine is published monthly by Inside Longmont, LLC. Copyright 2015 by Inside Longmont, LLC. All rights reserved. The entire contents of insideLONGMONT The Magazine are copyrighted and may not be reproduced without the express written consent of the publisher. Inside Longmont, LLC is not responsible for unsolicited materials.

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Feature Stories 14 In The Community Discovery Days

20 Arts & Entertainment Behind the Scenes with Longmont Dance Theatre

28 Sports & Activities Become a Boulder County Bomber

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Contents 10

In The Community: Understanding Longmont’s NextLight Fiber-Optic System

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In The Community: Discovery Days

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Arts & Entertainment: Behind the Scenes with Longmont Dance Theatre

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Arts & Entertainment: Longmont Songwriter Series & Music Festival

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Sports & Activities: Become a Boulder County Bomber

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Family Corner: Technology & Kids

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Happening In Longmont: Comedy Night @ 300 Suns Brewing

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Happening In Longmont: Zombified: An Evening of One Acts

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Happening In Longmont: Boulder Mini Maker Faire

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iL Non Profit Community

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In The Community

Understanding Longmont’s NextLight Fiber-Optic System by Steve Elliott

Longmont Power and Communications is installing the new NextLight fiber optic system as fast as it can, weather permitting. This is a labor intensive project that involves stringing wire on telephone poles, digging trenches, and pulling wire through lots of pipes to get it into homes. For those of you new to this technology, fiber-optic communications work by sending light down glass. This is pretty nifty because it’s faster (near as we can tell, light is just about the fastest thing around) and it isn’t susceptible to lightning strikes.

So far, the project is on time and progressing as planned. Tom Roiniotis, the General Manager of Longmont Power & Communications (LP&C) says the demand has far exceeded projections, enough so that LP&C is hiring on more installers. Longmont’s NextLight project came with the promise of more jobs for Longmont and with the build-out just beginning, those jobs are already manifesting themselves. Data hungry businesses like Computer Terrain Mapping have already emigrated here based on the promise of a gigabit connection. These companies know the value of big speed in their daily operations. If you don’t have it yet, be patient – it is worth the wait! What can you expect? What changes are in store for you? First of all, NextLight is just a really fast internet connection. Phone is optional. What you don’t get is TV content. No TV channels like ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX or PBS. No Cable channels like HBO, AMC, ESPN or TBS. This is the biggest change of all. Previously, you signed up for your service, picked some “packages” that included your favorite channels, and the service provider took care of the rest. They provided a receiver box, and a remote control, and you started surfing through your 500 odd channels depending on the packages you chose. Let’s call this the smörgåsbord approach.

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The new fiber optic system operates on the a la carte system. You are going to be getting your video content via the internet and you will have to pick the channels you want and manage them yourself. Many are free, but many charge a fee. If there is a fee involved, you will have to register online, pony up your credit card number, and manage the payments. On average, most folks watch about seven channels. Some people like movies, some like sports, and some can’t bear to miss a single episode of Downton Abbey. Whatever your likes, you are in charge. And it is going to be cheaper. Based on calculations done on a typical viewer, cheaper by half. Remember TV antennas? They’re back! If you watch broadcast channels like ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, PBS and CW, you’re in luck. You just need to install a TV antenna, point it south towards Lookout Mountain in Golden, and run the coax cable inside to your TV. If you are currently hooked up to a system that uses coax cable, you can use the cable already in place to run the signal inside your house, and you’re in business! A decent roof mount antenna should cost about $40. You may spend a bit more for the mounting hardware, but the cost is nominal. With a good unobstructed path to Lookout Mountain, your antenna should bring in at least 50 high definition, digital channels. The rest of your programming is going to come directly via the internet. That means you will need a way to convey the signal from the internet to a TV. There are several options depending on your willingness to mess around with computers, your budget, and how recently you purchased the entertainment equipment in your house. Installing the new NextLight system is going to instantaneously give you a serious boost to your internet connection speed. But be forewarned, if your equipment is getting a bit long in the tooth (it doesn’t take long in internet years) you’re probably going to be looking at some equipment upgrades to get the best performance. If you are the kind of person who likes to mess around with electronic equipment and you love reading specifications, chasing down the best deals on the internet, and getting packages delivered to

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Equipment Checklist In order to get the most benefits, inspect your equipment to be sure it can handle gigabit data transfers. Ethernet Routers and Hubs - must say 1 gigabit throughput at a minimum Ethernet Cables - Category 6 Wi-Fi Routers - look for specification 802.11AC Digital TV Antenna - make sure it says digital. Sorry, the one in the garage from 1969 won’t cut it. Computers - must be able to handle a gigabit at the Ethernet connection. Laptops and Tablets - must be able to connect via Wi-Fi with the 802.11AC protocol. your porch on a regular basis, you are going to love working through your system and upgrading all the pieces until you have a real showpiece with blazing speed. Or if you would rather just watch your favorite shows and not worry about the technical details, you might be asking for professional help. It’s all optional. Any other good news? Well, yes. In a study performed by the University of Colorado, updated in August of 2014, with the modest title of: The Impact of High-Speed Broadband Availability on Real Estate Values: Evidence from United States Property Markets, researchers concluded that, all things considered, (we’re talking about patios, fireplaces, hot tubs and the number of bathrooms) having a fiber-optic connection in your house DOES increase the value of your house. Using their coefficient, a home buyer would be willing to pay $7,778 more for a $300,000 house with fiber-optics installed than a year ago before that little hair-thin piece of glass showed up in the basement.

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Organizations like TinkerMill in Longmont are planning to host Hackathons where citizens can come up with ideas to take advantage of the data that the city is collecting and turn it into useful tools. Once the creative juices get flowing, it is amazing what folks come up with. Last year a 14 year-old student won the $1,500 prize for creating an app that scoured all the city’s calendars and came up with a single place that listed all the events. But what does it all mean?

Any benefits for the city itself? There are very few cities that own their own electricity grid and their own fiber-optic system. The ones that do are just starting to figure out how to use them. Chattanooga, for instance has wired up its fiber-optic system to the electrical grid. They have 170,000 intelligent electric meters reporting every 15 minutes. With this kind of connectivity, when a storm hits, the city knows the address of each and every house that is without power. The city can reroute power around a damaged area and send the repair crews exactly to the point of the problem. Chattanooga saved a million dollars in overtime last year using just these techniques. Another opportunity is what’s called big data. It is one thing to collect massive amounts of data. It is another to be able to make sense of that data. Cities are just now figuring out that trash trucks can collect information about the city streets and direct pothole crews to problems earlier when they are both easier and faster to repair. Pipes leaking water, contagious disease outbreaks, snow removal, and other city services become easier to detect and control when you have sensors all hooked together.

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It means Longmont is going to be one of the best equipped and best prepared cities in the United States when it comes to supporting business. Any business that wants to offer mail order sales, swap huge amounts of data, engage in medical practice that allows face-to-face communication between a doctor and a patient without an office visit, online video conferencing, remote teaching or visits to the stars with a direct connection to a NASA telescope can have it. Instantly. If you plan to learn something, play something, shop online, watch a movie, see a sports event or take part in a global discussion, you are going to need fiber-optic connectivity. And Longmont is going to be years ahead of other communities who are going to have to go through all the elections, city council meetings, lawsuits, planning and passage of bond initiatives that it takes to put a system like this together. All this means a better environment for business, and a better environment for residents. Within another two years, the whole city is going to be wired up. And things are going to be different. Different in a much better way. Bravo to the farsighted and well informed residents and Longmont’s city government for fighting the good fight and seeing the light. (Pun intended.)

Steve Elliott’s career has been a mix of over 30 years of public and private sector service. He has been an entrepreneur, worked in shops with 5-10 people, and worked in multi-national organizations handling money transfers in the billions of dollars. His career has spanned, computer animation, virtual reality, large databases, and data management for banks and stockbrokers. In the public sector, Steve was the Chief Deputy Treasurer for Boulder County for five years.

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In The Community

Discovery Days

One of the neatest moments as a child is when you are allowed just get lost in a mound of arts & crafts

goodies. Being surrounded by a rainbow of construction paper sheets, slightly “too big” scissors, large and small markers, bottles of glitter, a variety of adhering implements including glue, glue sticks, tape, double sided tape and, of course, paint is enough to send anyone into a creative trance! Being able to provide that creative space is exactly what makes Discovery Days so much fun. Discovery Days is an early-childhood program at the Longmont Museum and Cultural Center for children ages 2 to 5 and their parents or caregivers. The program offers drop-in classes three different times every Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday encouraging moms, dads, and grandparents to engage with their kids through educational, fun, hands-on art activities. Discovery Days is a place where play and learning meet. Originally started by Stephanie Ohlsen 17 years ago, Discovery Days has become a family tradition in Longmont. In fact, it is not uncommon to see parents returning with their second and third children to Discovery Days. Today, the program is run by Elaine Waterman, who is happy to carry on the traditions that Miss Stephanie began. This is Elaine’s first year running Discovery Days, having started this past August, but she is certainly not new to the program. She began taking her oldest son to Discovery Days seven years ago when he was three years old. Elaine has both an art and a teaching background, having taught pre-school, and for the past three years has owned Paint N Party To Go where she teaches art classes for both adults and children. 14

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with the crafts,” Elaine said. “These are all important steps in their development.” The fun is not limited to the children, either. Often, the parents get just as wrapped up in creating the projects as the kids do. It’s an opportunity for adults play with crafts and explore their creative side. On any given day, there can be up to 25 kids in the room working on projects, and it is amazing how well everything flows as they are all busy having fun.

When you enter the Discovery Days classroom, you will find five craft tables, each one featuring a different project for the day that coincides with a special theme. The theme changes every week and ranges from “Farm Animals” to “Super Heroes.” As kids complete their project, they move from table to table and project to project. “It works really well, the way that the room is set up,” Elaine told us. “This is what Miss Stephanie created.” There is also a sensory table that also follows the weekly theme. For example, during “Under the Sea” week, there were aquarium rocks, gems, plastic fish, and water. The sensory table is a great way to be introduced to the room and get familiar with the environment for those children who can be a little overwhelmed by all of the activity going on in the classroom. It really is a nice way for them to be engaged and participate in the whole making of the crafts, touching the glue, crayons, and markers.

When you see the variety of creative projects week after week, it is easy to wonder where Elaine gets her ideas for them. Many come from projects she has done at home with her own two sons. Pinterest is also a huge resource for choosing projects. It is amazing how many concepts are out there waiting to be found with a simple search. What kinds of projects does she look for? “I like doing crafts that are messy,” Elaine admitted. “The kids get to paint with their hands, play with glitter, use shaving cream.” Elaine tries to plan one or two crafts that use recycled items like toilet paper rolls or tissue boxes. “It’s good for the environment and helps keep costs down.” She also plans projects that will be visually appealing to the children. There is always at least one craft where the kids will have a fun end product to take home with them. And there are projects that are developmentally correct for the age, using skills like tracing, cutting, and gluing.

One of the best thing about Discovery Days is how the program provides structure with plenty of freedom for creativity. There is no right way to do things. Some kids will want to get through all five crafts and some will end up spending most of their time working on just one craft. And a few will simply play at the sensory table the entire time. Whether they are working on crafts or exploring the sensory table, “I think that they are getting social interaction, following the rules of the room, and getting experience insideLONGMONT.com

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Above: The Discovery Days Classroom Left: Don’t forget to feed the bear when you come into the room! Right: “Head Mess-Maker” Elaine Waterman

Also, if you are wanting to exercise your creative For parents who are interested in bringing their muscles and enjoy working with children and their child to Discovery Days for the first time, but aren’t parents, Elaine is currently looking for volunteers sure how well their child will take to the experi- to help out with the Discovery Days program. “I ence, Elaine recommends any of the 9 am sessions have never had a volunteer before, so this is a new for first-time visitors. They tend to be the smallest thing for me.” She is looking for someone who groups of the day with around 10 children. These can assist with the sessions and assist with the early sessions, especially on Wednesdays, are also prep work necessary to get ready for each session. perfect for kids who might be intimidated by larg- The best fit is someone who is friendly, can talk to er groups. adults and children, and, of course, doesn’t mind getting messy. Volunteers should be available 4-6 The cost to attend Discovery Days is only $4.00 per hours per week from March 9th through May 15th. child for residents or $4.50 per child for non-resi- If you are interested, you can contact Elaine at dents. Up to three children per adult are welcome. 303-774-4778 or elaine.waterman@longmontcolThere are also opportunities to purchase a 10-pack orado.gov for more information. punch card for additional savings. You don’t have to be a member of the museum to attend Discovery There will also be a Volunteer Open House at the Days, but members do get discounts on admission. Museum on Tuesday, February 17th from 10am11:30am. To find out more information about Discovery Days or to get on their email newsletter, which will keep you updated on upcoming activities, call the museum at 303-651-8374. 16

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Arts & Entertainment

Behind The Scenes with

Longmont Dance Theatre

For over 17 years, Longmont Dance Theatre has been bringing the gift of ballet to our community. In fact, their stated mission is “to enliven and elevate the human spirit by means of dance, specifically the perfect form of dance known as ballet. A technique of movement that was born in the courts of kings and queens, ballet has survived to this day to become one of the most elegant, most adaptable and most powerful means of human communication.” To say they have held true to that mission is certainly an understatement. When you watch ballet being performed, with the melding of movement, music, and emotions carrying you off as you become entranced by the story being told, it can be easy to overlook the amount of the hard work required from a lot of people to bring a quality production to the stage. This month, as the students were preparing for their February Showcase 2015, we thought it would be a special treat to take you behind the scenes and help you better understand the many moving pieces that come together to bring you such an amazing show. The February Showcase features LDT’s Pre-Collegiate Ballet Intensive Program students performing The Sleeping Beauty Prologue, choreographed by Marius Petipa. “Being able to learn and perform historical, traditional choreography, that even professionals have trouble completing, only makes the students become better,” Artistic Director Kristin Kingsley told us. “The steps are so exquisite that they 20

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become exquisite through the steps.” As the steps are being learned, Ballet Mistress Stephanie Turley makes sure that every student understands the placement of arms and legs and how where their eyes move. “Stephanie makes the choreography fit in their body better and if something doesn’t work, as the individual who sets the choreography, she can change things to make sure the students are well developed and perform well.” On the afternoon that we spent at the LDT studios, it was the first opportunity for the students to rehearse in their costumes. There was definitely a feeling of excitement in the air as the students helped one another fasten dresses, place flowers perfectly in their hair, and choose their tiaras! Making sure the right costumes are on stage is no

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small task and there is a very involved process to getting it done right. “They tell us what ballet we are going to do and we get a list of characters,” said Wardrobe Mistress Naomi Prendergast. The next step is to pay a visit to the costume room, which is filled with an amazing assortment of costumes, skirts, and accessories. Looking through the large collection, they consider, “This is what we have, now what can we use?” Fortunately, with such a large inventory of costumes, it is rare to need to create something entirely new, so it is typically a matter of making changes to previous outfits. When it comes to the wardrobe, it is important to coordinate with the choreographer from the very beginning of a production to know which student fits in which costume. Some costumes are longer

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or bigger than others and if they put a student in a certain costume that is not a good fit for them, it would require a lot of alterations. Another challenge facing the wardrobe mistresses is taking into account that some costumes need to fit two dancers for the same performance because they have different parts. Once the costumes are decided, the dancers come in for a fitting to make sure they can move freely and, if necessary, alterations are made to enable the students to dance comfortably. Then, to finally see a dress rehearsal is another chance to consider any additional alterations that may need to be made to the costumes to insure they look the best on stage.

In addition to the costumes, the dancers also had an opportunity to rehearse for the first time with props, like the wands carried by the fairies. As with the costumes, the wands needed to be crafted to fit the narrative and it’s all hands on deck. Turning an artistic vision into reality requires a lot of brainstorming, creativity, and arts & crafts! Most of the vision begins at the top with Artistic Director and Owner, Kristin Kingsley, who is extremely involved in all aspects of the production. Kristin starts the process with an idea of what she wants, but takes it a step further by creating a prototype. “Kristin’s vision is very clear and she will physically do it,” said Office Manager, Marcella Cox. “She’ll say, ‘this is what I want, now we need Fellow Wardrobe Mistress, Ann Marceca, knows seven more because we have eight characters.’” the value of the student understanding the process of costume design. “Sewing apparel is becoming a Along with The Sleeping Beauty Prologue, the Febdying art,” she said. However, at LDT, students ruary Showcase features the students performing have been attending costume seminars and often an original and brand new Modern piece, Rhythm, fix their own costumes when needed. “The semi- Weight, Flow, choreographed by Angie Simmons nar gives them an appreciation for what the people and accompanied live by composer and performer behind the scenes are doing to get them out there Amy Shelley. Rhythm, Weight, Flow features both in this beautiful costume so that they can portray PBIP students and other students who are taking this character.” classes in the Modern curriculum. For this piece, 22

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Rehearsing for the contemporary dance “Rhythm, Weight, Flow” with live music by Amy Shelley. Instructor and choreographer Angie Simmons giving feedback to the young dancers.

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Angie has separated the dancers by color as each of the eight sections is performed by students in a matching color scheme. Adding to the uniqueness of this performance, Angie has let the students create each of their own costumes. “The good thing about them having ownership of their costumes,” Kristin said, “is that as they progress with Angie as a choreographer, as well as an instructor, they know more and more what she prefers on stage. But they are allowed so much creativity that they bring to their costume whatever will empower them to dance the best that they can.” While we were there, not only were they all seeing each other’s individual costumes for the first time, they were also hearing Amy Shelley’s original music live for the first time as well. Until this point, they had only been learning the choreography by count. “You’re witnessing something quite amazing today,” Kristin told us. “The choreographer and composer have worked closely together, so they know what’s going to happen, but from an Artistic Director position, this is exciting for me to watch them create this new work.” Following their February Showcase, your next opportunity to see one of the mesmerizing performances by the students of LDT will be on May 2 & 3 with the world premiere of LDT’s The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, choreographed by Kristen Kingsley. For more information and tickets, go online to www.longmontdancetheatre.com.

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Arts & Entertainment

You’ve heard them entertaining the crowds at the many breweries or coffee shops around town. You’ve seen them playing their songs at local music events like Longmont Live or Rhythm on the River. You may have even read about them in previous issues of this very magazine. Now, get ready for a whole new way to get closer to local music and learn more about the writers behind the songs. This year, Andy and Jessica Eppler of The Prairie Scholars are bringing a new and exciting event to Longmont’s music scene, The Longmont Songwriter Series and Music Festival! On July 11, The Prairie Scholars will be hosting a full day of music and celebration as five local songwriters take the stage throughout the day to perform their original songs. The Longmont Music Festival will feature the talents of Nick O’Connor, Sean Flynn, Sharon Glassman, Denny Driscoll, and Craig Cornett. Of course, there will also be delicious craft beers on hand from 300 Suns Brewing and you can be sure there will be at least one or two of Longmont’s popular food trucks. The Music Festival is also going to be a day to celebrate Andy’s birthday as he turns the big 3-0!

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As with any major event, it is important to build anticipation and create a whirlwind of excitement beforehand and few do that with more style than The Prairie Scholars. To bring attention to the Songwriter Festival, Andy and Jessica decided to get creative. “How can we make this different?” they asked themselves. “If we actually have a chance to get to know these people, that’s where the series stemmed from,” Jessica responded. “It just fell into place from there.” Leading up to the Songwriter Festival, The Prairie Scholars will host the Songwriter Series on the third Sunday of every month. This will be an opportunity for everyone to get to know more about these musicians, their influences, their writing process, and inspirations. “It will be me and that songwriter and we will interview them and play songs for each other,” Andy said, describing the show. “That’s the fun thing that I get to do, spend those nights talking with my friends, showcasing their art, and showing stuff from my back catalogue that people have never heard before.”

Nick O’Connor

Sean Flynn

Each month, Andy will be joined on stage with the featured singer-songwriter and the two of them will take turns playing their original songs. In between tunes, Andy will chat with his fellow artist. If there is something you’d like to know about these musicians, we hear there may even be opportunities for the audience to ask questions. How cool is that?! Both the monthly Songwriter Series and the Songwriter Festival on July 11 will be held at 300 Suns Brewing. “Their business really resonates with us,” Andy told us. “They are a perfect partner for us with this.” The Songwriter Festival is sponsored by Coffee & Connections with Miller Music sponsoring the sound. The first musician to share the Songwriter Series stage with Andy is local favorite Nick O’Connor on February 15th. The series will continue on the third Sunday of every month from 5pm-7pm. “We just want to try and introduce these people to the community in the best and most purposeful way that we can,” Andy said. “We want to celebrate them with the festival and showcase them with the songwriter series.” insideLONGMONT.com

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Denny Driscoll

Songwriter Series Schedule 2/15 3/15 4/19 5/17 6/21

Nick O’Connor Sean Flynn Sharon Glassman Denny Driscoll Craig Cornett

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Sports & Activities

become a Boulder County Bomber If you’ve ever read our articles on the Boulder County Bombers or been to one of their bouts and wondered to yourself if roller derby is the sport for you, now is the perfect time to find out. The Bombers are currently looking for new recruits to join the league! Beginning classes for new skaters start on March 2nd, so here is a look at what you need to know about becoming a Boulder County Bomber.

Roller Derby has been making a major comeback over the past several years and is now one of the fastest growing sports in the country. The Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) currently boasts 301 Full Member Leagues and 92 Apprentice Leagues, with 11 different leagues in Colorado alone. If you have never been to a bout before, roller derby is a fast-paced contact sport played by two teams of five women who skate around a flat track. The goal of the game is to score points by having one designated player (the jammer) pass the members of the opposing team as many times as possible during a two-minute, or less, period called a jam. The jammer is assisted in scoring points by the other members of her team (the blockers) who help her pass opponents and attempt to stop or slow down the 28

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other jammer. It’s fast, it’s physical, and it’s fun, both to watch as well as to play. And thanks to the Boulder County Bombers, it has been in Longmont for several years now. The Boulder County Bombers (BCB) are the only all-female flat track derby league in Boulder County. Unlike other derby leagues, there is no tryout process to join the BCB and no experience with roller derby is required. Of course, having some skating experience is helpful, but even someone completely new to skating is welcome to join. This is because the Bombers have developed a structured training program that will take any woman from beginner to a WFTDA-certified roller derby skater. This has opened up the league in a way that allows just about anyone to participate. After all, when was the last time you laced up a pair of fourwheel skates and hit the track? As long as you are over the age of 18, you will have the opportunity to become a great skater.

and skaters need to have the conditioning to compete. So in addition to the basic skills that must be learned during this phase, skaters must also be able to complete 27 laps around the track in under 5 minutes!

When the eight-week program ends, skaters must pass an assessment by demonstrating that they have learned all of the skills from Phase 1, including the dreaded 27 in 5, in order to advance into Phase 2. This is just one of the many great things about this training program, which ensures that no one moves on to the next level until they are ready, thereby reducing the chances for accidents and injuries later on as the skating becomes more complex. Once a skater reaches Phase 2, it is time to develop the skills specific to competing in roller derby. This will be the first time that skaters begin to engage each other on the track learning moves like whips, pushes, blocking, and hitting. And, of course, she The BCB training program is divided into three will continue working on conditioning. Throughphases with each phase focused on a different skill out Phases 1 and 2, this is a time for skaters to get level. Phase 1 is an eight-week course that teach- familiar with roller derby as a sport as well as the es all the fundamentals of skating needed on the Boulder County Bombers as a team. In addition track. This includes the basics such as how to start to an average of four hours of practice each week, and stop, as well as how to fall safely and then get league members are also expected to participate back up again. Phase 1 also teaches various skills in various roles throughout the organization. This like skating backwards, hopping, toe-stops, and may involve joining one of the league committees, crossovers. Another important part of this course volunteering at a promotional event, or providing is conditioning. Roller derby is a high-energy sport support at any of the bouts hosted by the team. insideLONGMONT.com

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Like Phase 1, Phase 2 is also an eight-week course and it too ends with an assessment to determine if the skater is ready to move on to the next phase. Upon successful completion of Phase 2, she is now recognized as an official WFTDA roller derby skater and able to compete as a member of the Boulder County Bombers. Because this is a high-impact, contact sport, one in which the athletes are moving at high speeds on skates, no one should underestimate the toll roller derby can take on your body. Injuries do happen, ranging from sprains and pulled muscles to bone fractures and concussions. While your risk of injury can never be eliminated completely, it can be reduced. Between practices, skaters are encouraged to use strength-building exercises and stretching to condition their bodies. It is especially important to build strength in the ankles and lower legs as these are where the most common injuries occur. The Boulder County Bombers also require that all skaters wear appropriate protective gear, including a multi-impact helmet, knee pads, elbow pads, wrist guards, and a mouth guard, to improve safety. And while roller derby may seem dangerous or intimidating to some, the truth is that it is no more dangerous than any other contact sport. As we have gotten to know the members of the Boulder County Bombers, one of the most interesting aspects of league is the diverse range of women who have been drawn to the sport. Business owners, professionals, mothers, and students, there is no telling who you might run into on the track. It’s also great to see how close all of the league members are. When you join the Bombers, you immediately gain more than 40 new best friends! With a new Phase 1 class starting in only a few weeks, now is your chance to try something new. If you are looking for a place to be competitive, athletic, and part of a team, the Boulder County Bombers are the place to be. For more information about the Bombers, go to at www.bouldercountybombers.com. You can also contact them by email at recruits@bouldercountybombers.com.

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Family Corner

by Elaine Waterman

It is inevitable, the little voice asking me, “Can I play with your phone?” Not so long ago a phone was for talking to people. It was sometimes attached to the wall, a clothesline hazard for anyone trying to pass, the wire stretched so far that when returned to the base, the coils twisted and turned on each other. Now the phone is for status updates, movie time searches, Instagram pictures and, of course, games.

When I first became a parent, I promised myself that my child would not have a TV babysitter. I scoffed at the 2 hours per day limit. I would never let MY children watch TV for 2 hours a day no matter how much they begged! Now, the kids are still begging for screen time, but it’s a computer, or a gaming system, or an Ipad, or a DS. It seems as though every day brings a new kind of interactive screen gadget! Now my kids are whizzes at the stuff, and sometimes not in a good way. What was once cute, my 4 year old trying to look up if Spider-Man eats bugs on www.spiderman.com, has turned into my 6 year old randomly searching YouTube for Minecraft tutorials. (Note to parents- set your security to high, no child needs to find ALL the search results for the word, “Creeper.”) Of course, the kids (and the ads) tell me that these games/apps are educational, and, yes, some of them really are. There are math games, language games, and reading games that really do work! Awhile back, a little girl (same age as my youngest) spelled out something that was light years ahead of my kid’s skills. I looked at her in amazement and her mom just said, “ABC Mouse.” I said, “What?” then went home to look it up online. It’s not just the learning apps, either. There is an amazing amount of math, angles, and problem solving involved in Angry Birds. My youngest is surprisingly adept at the game. I can really see his brain calculating trajectory while his fingers are a blur. If I get caught on a level, I will ask him for help, same with my 10 year-old on Candy Crush. What? Yes, I play too. So I get it. It’s fun. It’s relaxing. It’s a game! But it’s not personal interaction. It’s not talking to someone, sharing a conversation face to face. No matter how many times you type “LOL” or use emoticons, it will never take the place of a real side-splitting laugh shared with friends. Also, your games and apps are limited by their designer. You have no ability to create using totally free will and your imagination. And yes, I play Minecraft. You do get to create amazing houses, learn how to survive, forage, build, cook your own meals, smelt, craft and more. But even the creative awesomeness of Minecraft is limited by the coders. (Meaning: no matter how hard I try to tame a pig with wheat, it is still going to only work with carrots). As for relaxing… Yes, they may not be doing their homework or chores, but are they really relaxing? Your

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kid’s body may be relaxed, all slouched in a bean bag, but his mind is “on.” And after a stressful day of school and homework, sometimes the brain just needs time to “breathe.” But don’t get me wrong. I love playing the same games my kids do, though sometimes at a lower skill level. I know I have a hard time walking away from the screen, especially Facebook. I can only imagine that kids, without a fully developed sense of impulse control, have an even harder time. Without parental restrictions, kids can fall into a screen dependency, almost an addiction. And I am not saying that it’s a threat for just kids, adults can get addicted to screen time too (semi-guilty!). Parents can also become dependent on the technology as a crutch. The IPad is a beautiful thing when preparing dinner. It is a godsend at a restaurant when the food is taking a little longer than expected. At CostCo, my phone is my saving grace, not to mention long car rides. But would it be really so bad if my kids just learned to entertain themselves with books (you know, the things with paper and words) while I made dinner? Would it be the end of the world if I asked my kids to sit patiently and be moderately quiet while waiting for their food? When I was a kid, grocery shopping was about SHOPPING FOR GROCERIES, not about entertaining me with games. My sister and I wouldn’t play DVD’s in the car on long car rides, we would play “I SPY!” Hmmm. Writing this is making me think I should throw all those devices out the window! I am robbing my children of my perfect childhood, which in turn has made me into a perfect adult! (not) But I won’t throw them out. Times have changed. Children ARE using this technology to learn. I believe that to take away this technology would do them a disservice. Kids today are building on what they learn and creating even newer technology. Last week I read about a 13 year-old who built a braille printer using Legos. In the same week, my oldest told me he hacked into a computer game at school. He’s 10, should I be afraid or proud? I chose the latter. I want to give my children access to this expanded knowledge, some of which I cannot even begin to comprehend. But if I am going to, then it’s up to me to set boundaries and systems to keep them safe online. Just like the TV when they were little, there is a set time, place, day, etc. for screen time. It is a reward and not an expectation. Just like I wouldn’t let them randomly walk all over town, I don’t let them search all over the internet without safety limitations. Our “Don’t Talk To Strangers” talk has morphed into a “Be Safe on the Internet” talk. People will keep developing new tech toys and we will keep wanting them and consuming them. It is up to us as parents to decide when, where, and how much. It is up to us to balance the screen time with truly open-ended play materials. It is up to us to interact with our kids in the real world, to provide them opportunities to move, run and socialize. It is up to us to not turn screen time into a pacifying distraction or a way to provide immediate gratification instead of allowing our child to wait gracefully. It is up to use to think creatively to keep our kids engaged when it seems to them that only a computer game will entertain them. It is also up to us to balance the “No’s” with “Yes’s” and an understanding that while kids live in a different world than our childhood, it’s one with amazing resources at the push of a button. They just have to ask first before pushing it. Elaine Waterman is a Longmont mom and the Head Mess Maker at Discovery Days at the Longmont Museum as well as Paint N’ Party To Go. She has two rambunctious boys, ages 6 and 10 and likes to experience all that Longmont has to offer families. She is also the organizer of the Longmont Area Moms Network, a local moms group that offers playdates for kids and moms. Find them on Facebook and Meetup to connect with other moms and kids.

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Happening In Longmont

COMEDY NIGHT AT 300 SUNS BREWING

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Emily Andrews once again hosted Comedy Open Mic Night at 300 Suns Brewing on January 22nd and the jokes did not disappoint that night. Nearly a dozen brave souls took the stage to entertain the crowd with clever, musical, and even “saucy” humor! Your next chance to laugh it up is on February 19th. Don’t miss it! If you’ve got the guts, and the jokes, sign up for your own 3 minute slot at www.300sunsbrewing/comedy.

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Happening In Longmont

Zombified: of One Acts It was a night of the living dead as St. Vrain Theatre Company took to the stage at Frederick High School for their very first 24-hour one acts festival on January 24th. Led by Chris Parr and Emma Cavcey, the young cast had only 24 hours to learn their lines, build sets, prepare costumes, and rehearse before performing in front of a live audience. The two-hour show featured a variety of one act plays, monologues, and dances, including an entertaining performance of the “Thriller” dance, with nearly everyone in the cast taking on the role of a zombie at least once. The cast and crew did a fantastic job and we can’t wait to see more from the St. Vrain Theatre Company. You can follow them online at facebook.com/stvraintheatre.

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Happening In Longmont

Boulder Mini Maker Faire It was impossible to ignore the wall of excitement and enthusiasm we encountered when we attended the Boulder Mini Maker Faire held at the Boulder County Fairgrounds over the last weekend in January. This event was two full days of experiments, projects, products, games, and more as 70 makers, hackers, and scientists converged in Longmont to share ideas and do “cool stuff.” The Boulder Mini Maker Faire was produced by Maker Boulder, which started about a year and a half ago by founders Martha Lanaghen and MaryAnne Zacek. “We wanted to light our kids up as far as learning is concerned, from the inside out,” Martha said. “They learn so much more and remember more when they have had an experience of the learning instead of just sitting and listening.” After attending another Maker Faire with her children, Martha was shocked to see one of her sons sitting at a booth making a piece of art for over 45 minutes as the woman behind the booth discussed geometry and how triangles and squares and circles fit together. “It was an incredible moment of learning while being completely absorbed.” From that moment on, she knew she wanted to be more involved and bring this type of event to Boulder County. She quickly found an ally in entrepreneur MaryAnne Zacek, who spearheaded the Education Summit during the event which featured over 15 hours of speaking and workshopping and presentations. “There has been a lot of collaboration conversations around hands-on learning and bringing this type of learning into the classroom,” MaryAnne said. “Something magical happens when you find a way to bring educators together with makers and entrepreneurs to get them all in the same environment to create the learning stew of ideas.” Originally, when they approached Make Magazine about licensing the Maker Faire name to host their own faire, Martha and MaryAnne thought they would have about 20 to 30 booths and maybe 500 attendees. Make Magazine countered with, “Look, you’re in the epicenter of entrepreneurship, innovation, and creativity, you need to think big.” So the two women changed their thinking and decided to shoot for 50 booths, which turned into 70, including interactive and multi-stage booths. Attendance was expected to be about 1200 for the two-day faire, but there were nearly 3000 visitors on the first day alone! “We got excited about bringing the Maker Faire to Boulder County because we knew it was the perfect petri dish for this experiment,” Martha said. “Especially with the education piece as well,” MaryAnne added. “To bring that in and inspire the next generation of innovators not only through the families but through the educators.” To find out more about what Maker Boulder has in store for the future, visit www.makerboulder.com or follow them on Facebook.

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More scenes from all the fun activities at the Boulder Mini Maker Faire.

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Visit www.insidelongmont.com

And Learn More About The Caring Non Profits In Our Online

Non Profit Community

The Family Garden is a resource hub offering education, inspiration and networking for families throughout pregnancy, birth and early childhood. Many different philosophies and approaches to child birth and parenting are presented without judgment or advocacy for a particular view.

The Inn Between strives to help families and individuals who are facing homelessness in our community to be self-sufficient and sustainable to no longer be homeless. By providing housing and critical services, we work with our residents to develop the skills, knowledge and confidence needed for self-sufficient living.

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Longmont Dance Theatre strives to enliven and to elevate the human spirit by means of dance, specifically ballet. A technique of movement born in the courts of kings and queens, ballet has survived to this day to become one of the most elegant, most adaptable, and most powerful means of human communication.

Mountain States Children’s Home extends Christian services to wounded children in an effort to meet their physical needs, heal their emotional hurts, challenge their minds, and teach them moral principles in order to reach the goals of reuniting them with their families or preparing them for independence.

The OUR Center helps people move toward self-sufficiency by unifying community resources. The organization provides emergency services to help people through short-term financial crises and also works in partnership with our clients to develop case plans for those needing longer-term assistance.

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Inside Longmont The Magazine - February 2015  
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