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FEBRUARY 2019

TO COMFORT

PROSTHETIC EMPOWERS AMPUTEES

PLUS

CAN RURAL AMERICA BE SAVED?

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HIGH ALTITUDE BAKING

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WHAT IS CREA AND HOW DOES IT HELP YOU?

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Better together We work all hours of the night so she can have her happily ever after. Together, Tri-State and our family of electric cooperatives power all the moments your life has to offer. We are brighter, stronger and better together. www.tristate.coop/together


Number 02

Volume 50

February 2019 THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE COLORADO RURAL ELECTRIC ASSOCIATION COMMUNICATIONS STAFF Mona Neeley, CCC, Publisher/Editor mneeley@coloradocountrylife.org Cassi Gloe, CCC, Production Manager/Designer cgloe@coloradocountrylife.org Kylee Coleman, Editorial/Admin. Assistant kcoleman@coloradocountrylife.org ADVERTISING Kris Wendtland, Ad Representative advertising@coloradocountrylife.org | 303-902-7276 National Advertising Representative, American MainStreet Publications 611 S. Congress Street, Suite 504, Austin, TX 78704 | 800-626-1181 Advertising Standards: Publication of an advertisement in Colorado Country Life does not imply endorsement by any Colorado rural electric cooperative or the Colorado Rural Electric Association. Colorado Country Life (USPS 469-400/ISSN 1090-2503) is published monthly by Colorado Rural Electric Association, 5400 Washington Street, Denver, CO 80216-1731. Periodical postage paid at Denver, Colorado. ©Copyright 2019, Colorado Rural Electric Association. Call for reprint rights. EDITORIAL Denver Corporate Office, 5400 Washington Street, Denver, CO 80216 mneeley@coloradocountrylife.org | 303-455-4111 coloradocountrylife.coop | facebook.com/COCountryLife Pinterest.com/COCountryLife | Instagram.com/cocountrylife Twitter.com/COCountryLife | YouTube.com/COCountryLife1 Editorial opinions published in Colorado Country Life magazine shall pertain to issues affecting rural electric cooperatives, rural communities and citizens. The opinion of CREA is not necessarily that of any particular cooperative or individual. SUBSCRIBERS Report change of address to your local cooperative. Do not send change of address to Colorado Country Life. Cost of subscription for members of participating electric cooperatives is $4.44 per year (37 cents per month), paid from equity accruing to the member. For nonmembers, a subscription is $9 per year in-state/$15 out-of-state. POSTMASTER Send address changes to Colorado Country Life, 5400 Washington Street, Denver, CO 80216

FEBRUARY 2019

TO COMFORT

PROSTHETIC EMPOWERS AMPUTEES

PLUS

CAN RURAL AMERICA BE SAVED?

4

HIGH ALTITUDE BAKING

12

WHAT IS CREA AND HOW DOES IT HELP YOU?

18

“Wolf Creek Winter Wonderland” by John Farley, a La Plata Electric Association member.

4 VIEWPOINT

5 LETTERS

6 ASK THE ENERGY EXPERTS

7 YOUR CO-OP NEWS

12 RECIPES

14 NEWS CLIPS

16 COVER STORY

20 INDUSTRY 22 GARDENING

24 OUTDOORS 26 MARKETPLACE

28 COMMUNITY EVENTS

On the

29 YOUR STORIES

Cover

30 DISCOVERIES

FACEBOOK CHATTER Colorado Rural Electric Association posted: We are proud to again partner with Oklahoma’s electric cooperatives and the Oklahoma Energy Trails Foundation to bring power to rural Guatemala! We can’t wait to share this year’s project with you!

Monthly Contest Enter for your chance to win one of two copies of Sugar High: Sweet & Savory Baking in Your High-Altitude Kitchen by Nicole Hampton, Graphic Arts Books. For official rules and how to enter, visit our contest page at coloradocountrylife.coop.

coloradocountrylife.coop

COCountryLife pinned: Want to serve something great for your sweetheart this Valentine’s Day? Try this Strawberries and Cream Cake. Get the recipe on our Pinterest page.

CLICK TO COMFORT

Kolleen Conger rides her dirt bike with a RevoFit prosthetic. Photo by N. Wetzel for Click Medical.

PINTEREST SNEAK PEEK

INSTAGRAM PIC of the month colorado_electric_cooperatives posted: Colorado’s new governor, Gov. #jaredpolis, is no stranger to Colorado’s #electriccoops. We’ve met with him annually to talk federal issues. Now we bring the conversation to Colorado. #itstartswithpower COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE FEBRUARY 2019

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VIEWPOINT

A STATEWIDE PERSPECTIVE

RURAL AMERICA

Lack of understanding leads to dire predictions

BY KENT SINGER

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

“C

an rural America be saved?” This was the provocative opening question posed in an article from the December 16, 2018, edition of The New York Times Sunday Review. Titled “The Hard Truths of Trying to ‘Save’ the Rural Economy,” the article painted a bleak picture of rural America: poor job prospects, urban flight, an aging population, stagnant economic growth. I was interested in this article, of course, because our members, Colorado’s electric cooperatives, provide electricity to vast swaths of rural Colorado. While some of our member co-ops serve areas with robust economic and population growth, many of them are experiencing the challenging circumstances outlined in The New York Times article. The article is also timely given that newly-inaugurated Gov. Jared Polis (D) along with leaders of both the Colorado House of Representatives and the Colorado Senate focused on rural Colorado in their comments opening the 2019 General Assembly. All of us associated with the electric co-op program are hopeful that our new leaders will recognize the challenges of working and living in co-op territory and support policies that help us do our job of providing affordable, reliable power. In addition to explaining some of the problems facing rural America, The New York Times piece examined some of the solutions proposed by various academics and policy-makers. Among the possible

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COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE FEBRUARY 2019

efforts to provide relief are tax credits for employers that hire workers in distressed communities, incentives for capital deployment and wider access to broadband and internet capacity. While one or more of these strategies may have merit, the author of the article offered up another approach that only serves to highlight the disconnect between The New York Times and the people who actually live in rural America. The author suggests that one solution for what ails rural America would be to encourage cities, such as New York and San Francisco, to adopt zoning rules that would allow more affordable housing so folks from rural areas could move to the big cities. Yes, you read that right. The author is apparently under the impression that folks don’t actually want to live in rural America, and that they would jump at the chance to move to the city. News flash: Tens of millions of people across the country, including in Colorado, love working, living and raising their families in rural America. They love the clean air, they love knowing their neighbors, they love growing up on the same farm where their parents and grandparents grew up, and they love being part of a community where people leave their doors unlocked and actually say hello when they see each other at the grocery store. To make matters worse, the author of the article quotes a professor from the University of California Berkeley, who argues that tech companies “will be vastly

KENT SINGER

less productive” if they locate in rural America rather than in urban tech clusters. The Berkeley professor says that tech companies are more productive when they “agglomerate” and that locating in “small-town America would reduce overall innovation.” I beg to differ. There are many, many small towns and rural communities in Colorado and across the country that would embrace new companies, tech or otherwise, and provide an exceptional quality of life for their employees. With ever-increasing access to broadband capacity, most communities can support the highest of high-tech companies. So, if you’re an executive with an innovative company looking for a place to land and you want your employees to enjoy a safe, healthy and productive environment, please come to rural Colorado. We’ll keep the lights on for you.

Kent L. Singer, Executive Director

Kent Singer is the executive director of the Colorado Rural Electric Association and offers a statewide perspective on issues affecting electric cooperatives. CREA is the trade association for your electric co-op, the 21 other electric co-ops in Colorado and its power supply co-op.


LETTERS

FROM THE EDITOR Bringing home the bacon!

BY MONA NEELEY

T

EDITOR

he Colorado’s Electric Cooperatives Pedal the Plains bike team came home with a trophy a couple of weeks ago that has us looking ahead to this fall’s bike tour of the eastern plains of the Centennial State. The electric co-op bike team, which rides under the Powering the Plains team name, has been a steady and dynamic presence at the September bike tour since it was founded in 2012. This January, the team was recognized for its support and received a trophy (topped with a shiny hog figurine) as the second largest team to participate in Pedal the Plains. Pedal the Plains was designed to bring

urban bike riders MONA NEELEY and others who have never been on the plains to the beautiful, vast landscape on the eastern side of the state. And Colorado’s electric cooperatives love to help tell the stories of this often overlooked part of our state. Electric co-ops do, in fact, power the plains and are an integral part of the communities that thrive east of Interstate 25. Watch future issues of Colorado Country Life for more information on how to join the bike team, and pedal the plains with us.

Mona Neeley is the statewide editor of Colorado Country Life, which is published in coordination with your local electric cooperative. Its goal is to provide information from your local electric co-op you,PM its consumer-members. Morton_CoCountryLife_2.19.qxp_Layout 1 1/2/19 to 3:57 Page 1

A ride preserved for generations. IN THE BUILDING made for generations.

Your dream garage begins with limited-time savings when you commit during Building Value Days. Now through February 28.

TO THE EDITOR

Keep Christmas Sacred

The attempt to be politically correct with the Star Wars Christmas wishes from the staff at Colorado Country Life was in poor taste. Relegating Christmas to a joke about an old sci-fi movie was really offensive. A Christian holy day should be shown respect. To trivialize it with a stupid joke was distasteful. I am super disappointed in CCL. Denise Olsen, Lyons Poudre Valley REA member

Bright Lights for Guatemala

Thank you for your article about the electrification project in Guatemala. I am a member of Mountain Parks Electric and am proud of my co-op for doing this important work for people who were displaced from their homes and relocated to areas with no infrastructure, including water and electricity. My church supports students in Guatemala with scholarships for school and I know how hard it is for them to study with unstable electric sources. Lu Horner, Lakewood Mountain Parks Electric member Wonderful story (Guatemala, December ’18). I felt like I was there. Very vivid and emotionally moving. Reminds me of my only mission trip to Tecate, Mexico, to build a house. Jim Hight, via email

Electric Vehicles Save Money

I enjoyed reading “All I want for Christmas is an EV” (December ’18). It touched on many good points. The most important omission surrounds Colorado’s outstanding solar resource and almost unparalleled opportunity to match an electric vehicle with a home photovoltaic system. I live in the southwestern corner of the state and generate 1.8 kilowatt-hours of electricity a year per standard test condition watt from my ground mount panels. That means I have a fuel cost of about a half a cent per mile for my two EVs. If you contrast that to an average of about 10.5 cents a mile to fuel an internal combustion engine, I expect to save about $20,000 in fuel costs over the car’s lifetime at today’s fuel costs. Eric Gold, via email, Empire Electric member

SEND US YOUR LETTERS 800-447-7436 | MORTONBUILDINGS.COM ©2019 Morton Buildings, Inc. A listing of GC licenses available at mortonbuildings.com/licenses. Certain restrictions apply. Ref Code 604

Editor Mona Neeley at 5400 Washington St., Denver, CO 80216 or at mneeley@coloradocountrylife.org. Letters may be edited for length. COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE FEBRUARY 2019

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ASK THE ENERGY EXPERTS

SEVEN LOW COST ENERGY TIPS FOR RENTERS BY PAT KEEGAN AND BR AD THIESSEN

E Keep your furnace clean and replace its filter every month. When debris gets in the way, your furnace has to work harder which can increase your energy consumption and electric bill.

DO YOU WRITE POETRY? Send us your best work; we’d love to read it. Colorado Country Life magazine occasionally publishes poetry. We review poetry on a regular basis and are always looking for great pieces to showcase. We don’t limit the style or the number of lines. There is also no limit to the number of poems per submission. We are interested in original, unpublished pieces of work. We prefer poems to be submitted in a Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF file attachment. Submission: To submit your poetry via email to: mneeley@coloradocountrylife.org or by mail to: Colorado Country Life magazine 5400 Washington Street Denver, CO 80216

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COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE FEBRUARY 2019

ven if your home is a rental there are ways to reduce your energy bills. Try some of these low-cost options, but be sure to check with your landlord first for any improvements to the property’s existing structure: 1. Mind the thermostat. The U.S. Department of Energy suggests setting your thermostat to 68 degrees on winter days. You can save more energy by turning down the thermostat even lower at night or when no one is home. 2. Go programmable. If you don’t always remember to adjust your thermostat manually, you could benefit from a programmable model. In the right situation, set correctly, programmable thermostats can save $150 per year. 3. Try zone heating. Electric baseboards make zone heating easy because they typically have thermostat settings on the units or in each room. Portable electric space heaters are also a good tool for zone heating if they are used safely and turned off when you are not in that room. 4. Stop air leaks. Air leaks can be major sources of energy loss and can be alleviated with a little weather stripping and caulk. A $10 door draft stopper (also known as a “door snake”) is a simple way to block gaps underneath exterior doors. Sealing air leaks around your home could shave up to one-fifth of your heating bills.

5. Manage your windows and window coverings. On cold winter days, window coverings can keep warmth inside and improve comfort. Opening up window coverings when receiving direct sunlight is a “passive solar” technique that can help cut your heating costs. 6. Look for everyday energy wasters. Water heaters should be kept at the warm setting: 120 degrees. Wash dishes and clothes on the most economical settings that will do the job, and always wash full loads. Use the microwave oven instead of the traditional oven when possible. 7. Landlords (and others) can help. Many landlords will make investments to add appeal to their rental properties, which ultimately improve the value of the property. Contact your electric cooperative to see if it offers energy audits or if it can recommend someone local. An audit is a great way to start a conversation with your landlord about potential improvements. This column was co-written by Pat Keegan and Brad Thiessen of Collaborative Efficiency.

LEARN MORE ONLINE Visit coloradocountrylife.coop to learn more about energy-saving tips. Look under the Energy tab.


YOUR CO-OP NEWS

SAFETY MORE THAN A PRIORITY A Statewide Viewpoint BY TOM WALCH

M

CEO

any organizations stress the importance of safety for their employees. How many times have you heard a company spokesman say that safety is a “priority?” For Grand Valley Power, safety is more than a priority — it is a bedrock, foundational principle. Everything we do begins with safety, for our workers and for the general public. This approach is necessary because the core of our workforce is engaged in one of the most hazardous jobs out there. They can’t just give safety lip service — they have to live it. Under the best of circumstances GVP lineman use heavy, complex equipment to move big loads, wearing cumbersome gear while they work on critical infrastructure 40 feet or more above the ground. Their workplace may be adjacent to a busy highway, in a remote mountain forest or dusty desert canyon. Their technical, detailed work must often be performed in close proximity to energized electric lines. While this work is challenging, consider the degree of difficulty added when circumstances are not so good. Western Slope weather extremes can require our linemen to work in searing heat or frigid cold. Rough terrain and inaccessible poles may dictate that they climb poles instead of using a bucket truck. They may be called away from their families late at night, after completing a full day of work, and be required to put in more time to restore power in outage situations. Big outages usually involve bad weather. When this happens, darkness, wind and rain make the daunting task of working high in the air near high-voltage lines even more dangerous. The Grand Valley Power team is proud of the results it produces: great service for our consumers, a resilient and reliable

distribution grid and conscientious environmental stewardship. We continuously strive to deliver value to all we serve, and we take pride in being leaders in our communities. But the results we are most proud of come in the safety arena. In 2018, Grand Valley Power produced a blemish-free safety record. That means no Occupational Safety and Health Administration recordable incidents, no lost-time accidents and no incidents that required job restrictions or transfers. When you take into account the conditions that many of our team members confront on a daily basis, this accomplishment is nothing short of remarkable. There are many contributors to our success. We benefit from excellent safety resources provided by the Colorado Rural Electric Association and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. The Grand Valley Power Board of Directors has the foresight to allocate funding necessary to ensure that our team has adequate manpower, tools and training to get the job done safely. The management team ensures that resources are used wisely and provides the leadership necessary to support a culture of safety. But make no mistake, the real credit for our success goes to the folks on the front lines. All the tools and training and resources in the world are not enough if they are not put into practice. So, team members must know what they’re doing, and they have to do it right every time. They must communicate openly and effectively.

NOW G EPTIN IP ACC RSH OLA S H C S TION A LIC APP

TOM WALCH

Most importantly, they must have each other’s backs. The 2018 results indicate that our team is on the right track. Even so, we know that we can’t let our guard down for even an instant. Because of the nature of our business, an accident is always a heartbeat away. Please join me in congratulating our workforce on their stellar 2018 safety record!

COMMENTS TO THE CEO You are a member of a cooperative and your opinion does count. If you have any questions, concerns or comments, please let me know by writing to Ask the CEO, P.O. Box 190, Grand Junction, CO 81502, or send an email to me at twalch@gvp.org. Check out our website at gvp.org.

BOARD MEETING NOTICE Grand Valley Power board meetings are open to the members, consumers and public. Regularly scheduled board meetings are held at 9 a.m. on the third Wednesday of each month at the headquarters building located at 845 22 Road, Grand Junction, Colorado. The monthly agenda is posted in the lobby of the headquarters building 10 days before each meeting and posted on the GVP website. If anyone desires to address the board of directors, please let us know in advance and you will be placed on the agenda.

EmPOWERing Future Leaders LEARN MORE & APPLY ONLINE  gvp.org/scholarship-program

GRAND VALLEY POWER SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE FEBRUARY 2019

7


YOUR CO-OP NEWS

2019 Budget Approved The Grand Valley Power Board of Directors approved the 2019 budget at the December board meeting. The budget is the road map for the year, and management will use it to guide the business. Conditions and situations may vary that could potentially change the budget during the year, and during that time the budget may be amended. The following is a comparison of the 2018 budget, the estimated actual results for 2018 and the 2019 budget. Operating Revenue & Patronage Capital Purchased Power Transmission Expense Distribution Expense: Operations Distribution Expense: Maintenance Customer Accounts Expense Customer Service & Information Administrative & General Total Operations & Maintenance Depreciation & Amortization Tax Expense: Property Interest on Long-Term Debt Interest Expense: Other Amortization of RUS Premium Payoff Other Deductions Total Cost of Electric Service Patronage Capital & Operating Margins Nonoperating Margins: Interest Nonoperating Margins: Other Capital Credits & Patronage Dividends Total Patronage Capital or Margins

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COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE FEBRUARY 2019

2018 2018 2019 Budget Est Act Budget 32,606,894 32,814,846 33,143,147 17,856,540 18,287,741 18,470,703 51,362 69,725 73,710 2,772,114 2,560,790 2,682,380 953,869 931,372 984,215 1,365,007 1,279,382 1,303,675 345,455 349,857 413,720 2,482,589 2,418,195 2,597,270 25,826,936 25,942,062 26,525,673 2,613,813 725,000 1,572,136 200 0 213,454 30,951,539

2,514,274 2,686,400 775,000 790,500 1,686,130 1,767,743 200 200 52,868 52,868 210,870 211,186 31,181,404 32,034,570

1,655,355 1,633,442 1,108,577 50,000 32,000 35,000 12,500 27,590 12,500 125,000 231,000 250,000 1,842,855 1,924,033 1,406,077


YOUR CO-OP NEWS

Vice President Mark Gardner (middle) from Whitewater

Superintendent Dr. Diana Sirko and Board President Tom Parrish

Building Materials receives the credit check.

(middle) from School District 51 receive the credit check.

Senior Pastor Kirk Yamaguchi (middle) from Canyon

Director Evonne Stites (left) from Collbran

View Vineyard Church receives the credit check.

Job Corps receives the credit check.

YOU GET THE CREDIT Visit gvp.org/capital-credits to learn more about your co-op credits

One of the biggest benefits of being a part of a co-op is being invested in our business. As a member of Grand Valley Power, margins (or capital credits) are allocated to each household or business in proportion to their contributions to revenue during the year. These margins are allocated as capital credits and, depending on the health and equity of the cooperative, credits are retired and paid to members in the form of a check.   This winter, our Grand Valley Power Board of Directors retired  over $1,000,000  to our members. We met with four of our largest consumers in December and presented their capital credit checks. They were (from left to right, top to bottom): Whitewater Building Materials, School District 51, Canyon View Vineyard Church and Collbran Job Corps.

COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE FEBRUARY 2019

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YOUR CO-OP NEWS

ENHANCED METER CORNER

How will I know when my meter is being upgraded?

BY MEMBER SERVICES

Grand Valley Power’s metering upgrade continues. This month, let’s focus on some installation questions.

Grand Valley Power will send all members a notice in the mail approximately 30 days before a visit to your home or business. GVP will also follow up again two weeks before the visit by mail and the day of the upgrade by knocking on your door. You can visit the installation map at any time to locate your home or business to see if your location has been scheduled yet. GVP will update this as the upgrade continues. Visit gvp.org/EnhancedMeters for the most up-to-date map.

How long will this project take to complete?

Will I lose electrical service during the installation?

Grand Valley Power will be upgrading meters now through 2020. This may seem like a long time, but GVP is ensuring that the meters are installed as quickly and safely as possible and are in complete operating order.

Most consumers will experience a brief outage, and this is expected to last for less than 10 minutes. You may need to reset electronic clocks and other devices after power is restored.

NOTICE OF ANNUAL MEETING AND ELECTION

B

oard of director elections will take place at the Annual Meeting on August 8, 2019, at Colorado Mesa University. Directors whose terms expire in

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COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE FEBRUARY 2019

2019 are Sylvia Spangler, Rod Martinez and Carolyn Sandeen-Hall. More information about the incumbents and election information will be forthcoming in the months

ahead. You can also visit gvp.org/director-elections to read more about GVP’s election policy.


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11


RECIPES

ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGH-ALTITUDE BAKING

New cookbook eliminates guesswork BY AMY HIGGINS

DO YOU HAVE A GREAT RECIPE? If you have a recipe you want us to try, send it our way at recipes@coloradocountrylife.org.

| RECIPES@COLOR ADOCOUNTRYLIFE.ORG

Surprise your sweetie with something sweet from the kitchen.

I

f you want to surprise your sweetie with something sweet from the kitchen without the fear of a collapsed cake or a batter spillover, give Sugar High: Sweet & Savory Baking in Your High-Altitude Kitchen a try. Author Nicole Hampton knows the hassle of baking in high altitude as she resides 5,000 feet above sea level in her Denver home. Hampton battled batters and combated cakes until she conquered and created her own high-altitude recipes. So, go ahead and follow this recipe verbatim and indulge your valentine this year with a special treat.

Peach-Cherry Pie Bars

Makes 15 to 18 bars

3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon salt 2 1/4 cups sugar, divided 1 cup unsalted butter, softened 3 eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 cups cherries, pitted 2 large ripe peaches, peeled, pitted and chopped 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch

Meanwhile, in a saucepan over mediumhigh heat, combine the cherries, peaches, remaining 1/2 cup sugar, cornstarch, lemon zest and water. Cook the mixture, stirring occasionally, until thick. Remove the partially baked crust from the oven. Spread the warm fruit mixture on top of the crust. Take the remaining dough and form small bits into flattened shapes. Place these bits evenly over the top, leaving some areas of fruit uncovered. Place back in the oven and bake until the top dough bits are golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack before removing from the pan and cutting into bars to serve.

Finely grated zest of 1 lemon 3 tablespoons water

Looking for another delicious treat to share with your valentine? Try the

Strawberries & Cream Cake.

SET THE BAR “Bars are a pretty great choice when you need to feed a crowd and these are no exception,” Hampton says. “Fresh cherries and peaches meet between layers of sweet, soft sugar cookie, and the results are pretty awesome.”

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COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE FEBRUARY 2019

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9- by 13-inch baking pan. Line the pan with parchment paper, cut to fit. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, beat 1 3/4 cups of the sugar and the butter together until fluffy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. Press about 2/3 of this dough evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake until the dough is just barely turning golden on the edges, 8 to 10 minutes.

Sugar High: Sweet & Savory Baking in Your High-Altitude Kitchen, © by Nicole Hampton, Graphic Arts Books®, reprinted with permission.

Get the recipe at coloradocountrylife.coop.


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NEWS CLIPS

One Co-op Banking on Batteries This electric co-op battery storage project north of Denver will enhance the performance and reliability of the local co-op’s system.

E

lectric co-ops are leading the way again, as United Power, one of the larger electric cooperatives in Colorado, unveiled its new, lithium-ion battery storage facility in late December. This installation just off Interstate 25 north of Denver in Frederick includes 4 megawatts of Tesla lithium-ion battery packs. These can store and deliver up to 16 megawatt-hours of power support for United Power’s system. That is enough electricity to supply 600-700 homes or about 200,000 customers and their communities. The community battery facility is touted as the largest lithium-ion battery storage project in Colorado. It is also one of the

Colorado Country Life Plants Thousands of Trees Colorado Country Life offsets the printing of your electric co-op magazine by reforesting land here in the United States through PrintReleaf. Since February of 2018, CCL reforested 3,393 trees on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. About 330 trees were planted each month through CCL’s participation. The goal at Pine Ridge is to create a sustainable reforestation program, particularly in two zones within a 20,000 acre area where fires destroyed the habitat. Your electric co-op magazine is proud to participate in this certified program.

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largest battery systems owned and operated by an electric co-op anywhere in the country. The new facility will give United Power more flexibility to meet the demand for electricity when that requirement is at its highest without having to purchase additional electricity from its power supplier, Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association. The batteries discharge electricity when it is needed and then recharge with power from the grid during off-peak hours. This move to energy storage is the next step for United Power as it works to incorporate more renewable generation into its

system. Storage capacity allows energy to be shifted from one period to another and allows a more efficient operation of the co-op’s distribution grid as more localized distributive generation, such as solar panels, become part of the system. “As one of the fastest growing co-ops in Colorado, United Power wants to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to integrating new technology that can help boost reliability and keep costs down,” said CEO John Parker. “Energy storage will play an important role in the grid of the future and we’re excited to be starting now.”

Adding All of the Costs for Electricity

What’s the real price of electricity after all the direct and indirect costs are added? The Energy Institute of the University of Texas reports on this question in a new study called The Full Cost of Electricity (FCe-). The goal was to identify and quantify every cost “from the power plant to the wall socket” so that public policy-makers have “comprehensive, rigorous and impartial analysis” to help them make decisions that affect utilities and their consumers. One finding is that wind is the most competitive source of new generation for much of the central part of the country. Solar is the cheapest in much of the southwest, while natural gas prevailed in the eastern and northern regions of the country. In a series of white papers, the study’s authors look beyond the expected capital, operation and fuel costs to include costs for labor, public health costs, transmission interconnections and state and federal support. For more information or to read the study, visit https://energy.utexas.edu/policy/fce.


NEWS CLIPS

More Sun Power From Colorado’s Electric Cooperatives Colorado’s electric co-op power supplier, Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, is adding another solar project. The Spanish Peaks Solar Project, located in San Isabel Electric Association’s territory in southern Colorado, is a 100-megawatt utilityscale project on 660 acres north of Trinidad. Tri-State will buy the entire output of the project during the 15 years of the power purchase contract. The power supply co-op is ranked number one in solar power purchases among all U.S. cooperative G&Ts, according to the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. A growing part of Tri-State’s energy portfolio comes directly from renewable resources as a result of technological improvements and domestic energy policies that contributed to lower costs. In 2018, nearly one-third of the energy consumed by Tri-State’s member systems’ retail customers came from renewable resources, making the membership an industry leader for its use of renewable power. Spanish Peaks will be Tri-State’s largest, most cost-effective solar project to date. It is adjacent to the 30-megawatt San Isabel Solar Project in Las Animas County, which began producing power for Tri-State in 2016. The new project includes more than 300,000 photovoltaic solar panels on single-axis tracking arrays that will follow the sun. It has the potential to serve the energy needs of 28,000 rural homes. Construction is expected to begin in 2022 and completed in 2023. Tri-State, a co-op, is the power supplier for 18 of the 22 distribution electric co-ops in Colorado, as well as providing power to co-ops in Nebraska, New Mexico and Wyoming.

Pictured with the donation check are (left to right) Ray Garcia, chair CEEI; Fire Capt. Darrell Adler; Fire Chief Joseph Pfander; Fire Board Chair Mike Cortes; firefighter Jim Fowler; and firefighter Tanner Martin.

Statewide Donations Help Small Fire Department

Funds from a statewide fundraising effort by Colorado Country Life and its readers for areas affected by Colorado’s summer fires are going to the Upper Huerfano Fire Protection District in Gardner. Colorado’s 2018 wildfire season was one of the worst on record, affecting communities all over the state. “This small, all-volunteer fire department is very deserving of this donation,” said Colorado Electric Educational Institute board member Ray Garcia. “They should be very proud of their professional response to the Spring Fire. They did a wonderful job protecting our community and their own lives with the limited resources they have.” Upper Huerfano Fire Protection District Board of Directors Chair Mike Cortes said the money will likely be used for several firefighter needs, such as new breathing apparatuses used during structure and vehicle fire calls or winter firefighter coats. Currently the department only has a few coats and in only two sizes. “We never expected anyone to help out the fire department financially after the Spring Fire and are very grateful to those who thought of our fire department,” Cortes said. Electric co-ops and readers of Colorado Country Life, the statewide electric co-op magazine, raised $3,185 in August and September of 2018. The money was sent to the Colorado Rural Electric Association’s nonprofit, CEEI. At its October meeting, the CEEI board voted to send the money raised to the Upper Huerfano Fire Protection District in Gardner. “We would like to thank the readers of Colorado Country Life and the Colorado Rural Electric Association for the generous donation to the Upper Huerfano Fire Department,” said UHFPD Fire Chief Joseph Pfander. “This recognition of volunteer firefighters is special to us. We could never do this work without the support of the community and many other volunteers. Thanks to all.” The Upper Huerfano Fire Protection District is served by San Isabel Electric Association, headquartered in Pueblo West. The Spring Fire started in the summer of 2018. The fire grew to become the third largest wildfire in Colorado history in just a matter of weeks. More than 108,045 acres were burned, 218 homes were destroyed and other homes and structures were damaged in Huerfano and Costilla counties. COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE FEBRUARY 2019

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COVER STORY

Kolleen Conger, avid dirt biker, is a recipient of a Click Medical’s RevoFit adjustable prosthetic after a crash in 2008.

to comfort BY SHARON SULLIVAN

O

n a blue sky, powder snow day in 2009, certified prosthetist Joe Mahon was sitting on a ski lift with his wife when he received a phone call from a patient. She was preparing to leave on a trip and needed her prosthetic device adjusted. Mahon, who owns Peak Prosthetic Designs in Salt Lake City, Utah, had noticed that patients were often frustrated by an inability to easily adjust their own artificial limbs.

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As Mahon waited for his wife to step off the ski lift he noticed that she tightened her snowboard boots via a small dial added to the boots for that purpose. Then, as she snowboarded away, she stooped to tighten her boots again. At that moment, Mahon says he experienced a “lightbulb moment” when he realized that a similar dial could be used for prosthetics that would allow patients to make their own adjustments — without the hassle of removing their clothing and prosthetic devices, or having to make a trip to a clinic for an adjustment.


COVER STORY Mahon knew about Boa Technology, a Denver-based business that was founded in Steamboat Springs that made components for snowboard boots, hockey boots and other sports shoes — small dials that allow for micro-adjustments of footwear. Mahon approached Boa’s Jimmy Capra with his idea of applying the Boa technology for medical uses. “We realized this was going to do a lot of good for a lot of people,” Capra says. Surprised that no one had invented an adjustable prosthesis before, Mahon filed a patent. In 2014, Capra left Boa Technology to help Mahon found Click Medical in Steamboat Springs where they are served by Yampa Valley Electric Association. The company’s main product is RevoFit, a kit that includes various components that enable prosthetists to fabricate micro-adjustable prosthetic sockets. Once the parts are integrated, the socket fit can be

“We realized this was going to do a lot of good for a lot of people” — Jimmy Capra, Boa Technology customized with micro-adjustments of the Boa dial creating compression, suspension and closure around the limb. Being able to adjust their own prosthesis with a simple twist of a dial empowers amputees. It beats having to stop and remove clothing and the limb, or make a trip to the clinic, which “is wildly inefficient and extremely frustrating,” says Capra, the company’s chief executive officer. “It is time consuming for the patient — imagine if you had to spend time removing clothes and devices, or visit your physician every time you needed to loosen your belt.” The system helps the provider, too, by saving time and money that is typically spent on refitting appointments, which often do not qualify for insurance reimbursement. The human body changes in size throughout the day as more venous blood is pumped out of the limb — causing a decrease in volume. A person with an amputation below the knee will typically find his or her residual limb substantially smaller by the end of the day, which causes socket fit issues. Fitting problems are exacerbated by a sedentary lifestyle, which is fairly common among amputees.

With a simple twist, the Boa dial allows micro-adjustments to the prosthetic socket, creating compression, suspension and closure around the limb.

Until five years ago there was no way for patients to deal effectively with this problem since prosthetics are static devices. Typically, a person will put his residual limb into the prosthetic socket in the morning. As the leg decreases in volume throughout the day, the socket becomes loose, kind of like a shoe that doesn’t fit and can fall off or cause blisters. Amputees adapt by adding sock layers to their residual limb — sometimes six or eight layers by nighttime. Skin irritations can also occur from improperly fitted devices. Click Medical’s RevoFit adjustable socket solves these problems.

Click Medical at Aspen’s X Games Kolleen Conger has been an avid dirt biker all her life. On October 30, 2008, the lean, wiry woman from Payson, Utah, crashed while attempting a 90-foot jump, breaking both legs and shattering her ankles. Over the next four-and-a-half years she underwent 10 surgeries while continuing to ride her dirt bike — despite the pain. However, she no longer raced as she did before the accident. Six years ago, when the pain became too great, Conger says her physician recommended that she “retire to the couch.” Instead, the mother of two opted for amputation of one of her legs to end the pain so she could continue riding. She became one of Mahon’s first patients to be fitted with a prosthesis with the RevoFit technology. Conger chose Mahon from a list of prosthetists she was given — a decision she calls “fate.” With Conger being one of his first patients using the new RevoFit system, Mahon went to watch Conger ride so he could determine how best to help her with a new artificial leg. “Nothing but good has followed after meeting Joe,” Conger says. “I’ve been able to do so much since he’s been in my life.”

COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE FEBRUARY 2019

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COVER STORY

“I’ve been able to do so much since he’s been in my life.” — Kolleen Conger

After a dirt bike accident in 2008 and amputation in 2013, Kolleen Conger chose her RevoFit prosthetic. The technology of the prosthetic keeps her riding, jumping, climbing and competing on her bike.

In the year after she was fitted with her new prosthesis, she spent 170 hours riding her dirt bike compared with 100 hours of riding in the four-and-a-half years between the time of her accident and the amputation. She’s back to doing jumps, climbing hills and other technical riding. As the only participant with an artificial limb, Conger, 37, competes in Idaho, Utah, Nevada, Arizona and California races. She won first place in 2017 and 2018 in the Utah Sportsman Riders Association series. In January 2018, Conger participated in the televised winter X Games held in Aspen. She rode a snowbike (a dirt bike outfitted with a ski in front and a snowmobile track in back). It was Conger’s first time competing in the X Games and with other disabled athletes. She competed at the X Games again last month.

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RevoFit patients grateful for technology and comfort Another early patient of Mahon’s is U.S. Army paratrooper Dave Gardner, who served in Iraq in 2007. Gardner and his team were responding to a Humvee explosion that killed four servicemen when another soldier, who was driving a Bobcat utility vehicle, accidentally ran over Gardner. Both of Gardner’s legs were shattered. He ended up in a medically-induced coma for 16 days and they had to amputate his leg below his right knee. Back home in Springville, Utah, where he lives with his wife and children, Gardner, 40, learned how Mahon was still in the process of developing the RevoFit system for his prosthetic devices. In 2010, Gardner was fitted with his artificial limb — he calls it his “good leg” — using the new technology. “I wouldn’t have a prosthetic without the RevoFit system,” he says.

“I’ve always been a hunter and fisherman,” Gardner says. “With Boa it’s a lot easier. I’m not carrying all these extra socks. It enables me to do the things I want to do. I’m able to get out.” Click Medical also helped 34-year-old Erin Maughan, whose leg was amputated below the knee in 2008. Maughan endured a childhood of reconstructive surgeries after a medical accident destroyed the nerves in her leg and foot. Finally, when she was in her 20s, the Logan, Utah, woman could no longer walk due to the pain. She was told that her options were a wheelchair and more salvage surgeries. “I said, ‘Just take it off; I don’t want any more surgeries,’” she recalls. Maughan’s first prosthesis gave her blisters, which her provider told her she should expect. Then another amputee recommended she see Mahon at Peak Prosthetic. Mahon was still experimenting with the new design. Mahon fitted her with a new prosthesis, which she says is “100 times better.” She says she was happy to be his “guinea pig.” As the mother of a 3-year-old boy, Maughan says she’s grateful for the mobility and comfort she has experienced with the RevoFit adjustable limb. “I don’t have to stop with my toddler and change my clothes to take off a sock. I can adjust a knob,” she says.


COVER STORY

Iraq veteran Dave Gardner easily enjoys his outdoor hobbies using the RevoFit prosthetic.

Being able to adjust their own prosthesis with a simple twist of a dial empowers amputees. Erin Maughan’s toddler doesn’t stop, and now neither does she. With her RevoFit adjustable limb, Erin doesn’t have to change clothes or add or remove socks from around her limb to get comfortable throughout the day.

Providers like Click Medical, too As the company’s chief technical officer, Mahon travels around the world educating providers about the RevoFit system and how to incorporate kit components into a custom prosthesis. The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade recently awarded an Advanced Industries grant to Click Medical, which sells RevoFit kits in 28 countries. “It’s exciting that the state recognizes that we’re doing something important here,” Capra says. Patients who are outfitted with a RevoFit adjustable limb end up wearing their prosthesis more, and are also more active, says Mike Muratore, a certified prosthetist and orthotist at Hanger Clinic in Bethesda, Maryland. “What we’ve always done up to this point, we’ve taken the soft fluid limb and forced it into a rigid vessel,” Muratore explains. “This (RevoFit system) allows the socket to be flexible. The fluid limb and the flexible socket work together, expanding and contracting with each other. Patients like that the socket can be adjusted. It can adapt to their body in real time by turning a dial. It’s simple and easy for the patient to use.”

Steven Keeton, chief of the prosthetic lab at the Cincinnati Veterans Administration Medical Center, has been fitting patients with the RevoFit adjustable socket for about a year after learning about it at a trade show. He calls it a “phenomenal tool” for adding or decreasing pressure in specific areas where needed. His patients love it. “Say there’s a guy on the airplane for four hours; he can, with the RevoFit system, loosen the socket up for comfort,” Keeton explains. After 17 years of war in the Middle East and Afghanistan, there are 1,500 American servicemen and women in need of a prosthetic device. Armed conflict, however, is not the main cause for amputations. Of all the amputees he sees, Keeton says 75 percent are a result of diabetes and poor circulation. In the general population, nearly 300 people per day in America lose a leg due to diabetes, Capra says. “Diabetes is growing faster than the American Diabetes Association ever thought possible. These health problems are real and incredibly widespread,” Keeton adds. “When we started we sold 1,500 kits a year. This year we’ll sell 12,000. We’ve outfitted about 40,000

Chief technology officer Joe Mahon fits a patient with a RevoFit prosthetic during a training session in Brazil.

amputees. Click Medical is addressing the way prosthetic sockets fit. We empower users to adjust that fit anytime, with a simple twist of the dial.” And a little adjustment can make all the difference in the lives of these amputees. Sharon Sullivan is a freelance writer from Grand Junction who loves telling the stories of the people on Colorado’s Western Slope.

Read about the difference an adjustable prosthetic made for Niki Rellon when she hiked the Appalachian Trail back in 2015 at www.coloradocountrylife.coop.

COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE FEBRUARY 2019

19


INDUSTRY

Colorado Rural Electric Association Backing Your Local Co-op to Serve Members Better

BY DERRILL HOLLY AND AMY HIGGINS

T

he true power of locally-owned electric cooperatives is the consumer-members living and working in the communities they serve, and when those co-ops are connected, their collective energy gives them statewide reach. That’s the role that the Colorado Rural Electric Association and other electric cooperative statewide associations play in supporting the goal of ensuring that co-op consumer-members always have safe, affordable, reliable energy. “Our main objective is to complement what Colorado’s electric co-ops do at the local level,” said CREA Executive Director Kent Singer. “We aggregate all of their great work so we can talk about it collectively to all of the interested parties in the state who potentially have an impact on co-op consumers through laws, regulations or public policy.” At the direction of its affiliated electric cooperatives, CREA is regularly involved in education and training, legislative affairs, tax and regulatory matters and regional planning. It also provides a framework for coordination of many activities that provide more meaningful results when addressed through collective action.

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Capitol Concerns It’s not unusual for Colorado’s lawmakers to deal with hundreds of bills with thousands of amendments during a legislative session — many never advance beyond committees or face numerous revisions during hearing and review processes. Keeping track of even major changes is no small feat. Besides members of state legislatures or general assemblies, there are also regulatory commissions, typically made up of appointees who may be more familiar with major investor-owned utilities than they are with member-owned electric cooperatives. “It’s all about making policy-makers aware of who we are, what we do and why we do it,” said CREA Director of Government Relations Geoff Hier. “We

“It’s all about making policymakers aware of who we are, what we do and why we do it.” — Geoff Hier, CREA director of government relations

need to do whatever we can to help them understand who we are and, most importantly, that we’re all reaching for the same goal: providing safe, reliable, environmentally-friendly electric service at the lowest possible cost.”

Leveraged Learning When it comes to safety, operating efficiency and governance, skills and training can help an electric cooperative run more successfully and serve its members better. But when co-op employees are spread across several locations and committed to maintaining 24/7 operations, getting true value for training dollars can be challenging. CREA offers training in multiple locations across the state, so participants don’t always have to travel to Denver. In 2018, CREA’s education department had 272 people in the eight director courses it offered. For employees, 28 classes were offered ranging from courses on leadership skills to work orders, line design and staking, as well as training for different work groups such as the mechanics and human resource managers. More than 500 employees participated in these classes. Education opportunities abound for those who participate in CREA’s


INDUSTRY

“As cooperatives, we understand that our student leaders of today are our community leaders of tomorrow.” — Liz Fiddes, CREA director of member services and education annual meeting, the Energy Innovations Summit and the Fall Meeting. The Energy Innovations Summit is open to guests outside the co-op program and is an opportunity to mix with other industry leaders, adding additional value to the program. CREA provides safety training for all 22 distribution cooperatives in Colorado. With three job training and safety instructors, each cooperative receives five weeks of training per year. The safety training is generated around Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requirements. The department also offers mutual aid assistance to members and to other states requesting assistance during times of need. The cooperatives participate in a National Rural Electric Cooperative Association and Federated Insurance program called the Rural Electric Safety Achievement Program, or RESAP, which is managed by CREA’s safety and loss control department. Once every three years, each cooperative is extensively examined by volunteers from other cooperatives.

Engaging Future Co-op Members Electric cooperative statewide associations also take a leadership role in many of the youth outreach programs supported by local electric cooperatives. CREA and other statewide associations coordinate the

Electric Cooperative Youth Tour, sending about 1,900 high school students from 46 states to Washington, D.C., every June. “As cooperatives, we understand that our student leaders of today are our community leaders of tomorrow,” said CREA Director of Member Services and Education Liz Fiddes. “What better time to teach these students about the cooperative business model and co-op careers than through our youth programs? “Colorado has taken students to Washington, D.C., for 25 years and to the Cooperative Youth Leadership Camp for 42 years,” Fiddes added. For many Youth Tour participants, the co-op sponsored trips are the farthest they have ever ventured from their home communities without their families. They also provide exposure to state and federal government operations, and opportunities to learn and practice skills that will serve them for a lifetime. “We promote the life skills that today’s generation value, like building relationships, developing leadership skills and enhancing their resumes,” Fiddes said. Participants develop strong relationships with their sponsoring electric co-op that often include speaking or volunteering at annual meetings and other co-op events. The results are meaningful community service hours and experiences that often inspire college application essays or can lead to technical or member services career opportunities after graduation. These are just a few ways that statewide associations like CREA support electric cooperatives. Everything they do is aimed at one goal: bettering the communities they serve. Derrill Holly writes on consumer and cooperative affairs for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. Amy Higgins is a contract writer covering Colorado’s electric co-ops.

COLORADO RURAL ELECTRIC ASSOCIATION Headquarters: Denver Year Organized: 1945 Members We Serve: 22 electric distribution cooperatives 1 generation and transmission cooperative Services We Provide: Legislative Representation Educational Seminars Risk Management Youth Programs Communications Support

Lighting a Colorado way of life through technology and innovation Over 1.25 million Coloradans depend on a cooperative for their electricity.

Five of the state’s six poorest counties rely heavily on co-op power. Electric co-ops serve 70 percent of the land in Colorado. Cooperatives reach every county but Denver.

85 percent of co-op customers are residential.

COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE FEBRUARY 2019

21


GARDENING

Sowing the Seeds You’ll Love History, care and variety of seeds could influence selection

BY VICKI SPENCER

MASTER GARDENER | GARDENING@COLOR ADOCOUNTRYLIFE .ORG

F

ebruary is an ideal time to begin planning your garden. If you have been reading my column for a while, you know that I often refer readers to Colorado State University Extension Service — a valuable horticultural resource for farmers, gardeners and landscape businesses. However, you may not be aware of another valuable resource at our land grant university: the National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation. More than 20 years ago, Cary Fowler spearheaded a project to protect agricultural materials in the event of natural disaster, disease or war by building the Svalbard seed vault. The vault was completed in 2015 with design assistance from Greeley civil engineer William George. More than 500 million original seeds from 900,000 crop varieties are stored deep within the mountainside vault located 810 miles from the North Pole where temperatures are kept at minus 18 degrees Celsius. The seeds are organized on movable shelves with bar code identifiers so they will be readily available in case of an emergency. It’s reassuring to know that experts are working to protect the future of agriculture, but, as spring approaches, most of us are more focused on planting gardens to enjoy this year. If you decide to grow your plants from seed, you will notice that

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COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE FEBRUARY 2019

sellers often identify their seeds as hybrid, open-pollinated and/or heirloom varieties. Hybrids, which came to our markets after World War II, were bred for useful qualities, such as disease resistance, higher yields and uniformity. They can only be produced commercially so you have to purchase new seeds every year. On the other hand, open-pollinated and heirloom seeds have been passed down within families and communities from one generation to the next. Since they are not patented, they can be grown and shared freely and their seeds will produce plants with similar characteristics from year to year.

Seeds from a local garden shop.

You can find open-pollinated and heirloom seeds at local garden shops and even in some stores, but for greater variety, you could join a seed exchange. Seed Savers Exchange in Decorah, Iowa, started as a small, local exchange. Now it is a large, nonprofit organization with 13,000

members sharing more than 25,000 varieties of seed. Whether you choose to plant heirloom or hybrid is a personal choice. Some people want to grow heirlooms to preserve diversity while others prefer hybrids for their predictability. If you want to plant seeds native to Colorado, Western Native Seed in Coaldale has collected and sold native seeds adapted to our terrain and climate since 1990. Its seeds come from a variety of sources. The current owners do their own harvesting in the wild, but also accept seeds from commercial vendors and independent collectors. Their seed mixes include wildflowers, grasses and “meadow mixes” packaged for landscapes ranging from wet meadows to Xeriscape gardens, and high-alpine elevations to lower prairies. You won’t have to wait for a future disaster for access to these seeds. Just go to westernnativeseed.com to see the different options available this gardening season. Gardener Vicki Spencer has an eclectic background in conservation, water, natural resources and more.

LEARN MORE ONLINE Read previous gardening columns at coloradocountrylife.coop. Click on Gardening under Living in Colorado.


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OUTDOORS

Migration on a Multicolored Morning Sunsets, sunrises and gaggles of geese get this writer giddy

BY DENNIS SMITH

| OUTDOORS@COLOR ADOCOUNTRYLIFE.ORG

H

owever stunning they may be, it has always seemed to me that sunsets, probably because they signal the end of another day, carry with them a sense of sadness and finality. After all, the day is done. Over. Kaput. A sunset is to the day what a period is to the end of a sentence. But a sunrise marks the beginning of a new day aglow with promise, mystery and intrigue. Plus, it means I lived through the night — a feeling I can’t help but find refreshing in the morning. Now, every sunrise is cause for celebration, but among my favorites are those spent hunkered down on an eastern Colorado grain field bristling with a thousand snow goose decoys snapping in the wind, my kids and a couple of retrievers shiver-dancing with excitement. Our snow goose sunrises usually begin in mid-February. The predawn sky is usually a black, star-riddled curtain in the east; the air is chill, damp and heavy with an oddly-intoxicating perfume of golden wheat stubble, clammy-black earth and Hoppe’s No. 9 gun oil. The annual spring migration of midcontinent lesser snow

geese has been following the receding snow line north from wintering grounds on the Texas gulf coast, arriving in daily waves numbering in the tens of thousands along the South Platte River bottoms, feeding in the great, sweeping grain fields of central Nebraska and eastern Colorado But there are literally more of them than the land can sustain, and they are eating themselves out of house and home. Surveys show the breeding population of midcontinent light geese exceeds 5 million birds, and they continue to increase at a rate greater than 5 percent per year. Their massive numbers present a problem not only for themselves, but also for other wildlife and plants that share their habitats. The fragile tundra where light geese traditionally nest is being seriously degraded or destroyed, and they’re causing extensive damage to crops in farm fields on their wintering grounds. They need to be controlled, but light geese aren’t effectively controlled by natural predators. While some are taken by coyotes and foxes on their migration and wintering grounds, the numbers are insignificant. In 1980, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife

Service increased the length of the migratory bird hunting season to 107 days — the maximum allowed by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Daily bag limits on snows were increased to levels beyond those allowed for any other waterfowl species, possession limits have been completely removed and the use of electronic calls allowed. The season offers hunters a unique opportunity to participate in the management of these marvelous creatures during one of the most dramatic wildlife migrations on the continent. We’ve been in the field since 3 a.m. planting decoys, the trucks are hidden a half mile away and the dogs are settled in their camouflaged kennels. Night has drained from the land and the sky is a kaleidoscope of swirling colors impossible to describe. We hear the telltale squawking of geese in the distance. It’s a snow goose sunrise and the beginning of a new day. Dennis Smith is a freelance outdoors writer and photographer whose work appears nationally. He lives in Loveland.

MISS AN ISSUE? Catch up at coloradocountrylife.coop. Click on Outdoors.

24

COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE FEBRUARY 2019


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Want to buy cast-iron cookware (Wagner & Griswold). Pyrex. Old toys in good condition. Vintage signs. Anything cowboy and Indian — hats, boots, spurs, rugs, etc. Antiques, collectibles, furniture, glassware, etc. We come to you!

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Dual roles Nature gives; Each upon the other lives. Summit, vale; old and new; Me and you... Me and you.... Silence, sound; wet and dry; Hate and love; earth and sky; Both distinct, ever two; Except us; me and you.... Guy Graybill Guy Graybill previously lived in San Isabel Electric’s territory in southern Colorado. He has since retired to his home state of Pennsylvania.

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COLORADO RURAL ELECTRIC ASSOCIATION 5400 WASHINGTON ST. • DENVER, CO 80216 • CREA.COOP COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE FEBRUARY 2019

27


COMMUNITY EVENTS February 16 Loveland

February 23 Silverton

February 16-17 Silverton

February 24 Pagosa Springs

February 17 Fraser

February 25 Fort Collins

February 17 Glenwood Springs

February 26 Loveland

Antique and Collectible Toy Show and Sale The Ranch 9 am-3 pm • 702-371-6776

Silverton Skijoring Races Notorious Blair Street 970-744-9446 • silvertonskijoring.com

February 10 Fat Bike Fun Race 9 am at U.S. Forest Service Road 725 (Old Wolf Creek Road), Pagosa Springs Get on a fat bike and test your endurance through the snowy San Juan Mountains. Take the shorter 4.5-mile race or double up the distance on the 10-mile race. Be sure to wear bright, visible clothing. For more information, visit dustx2.com.

February 2019 February 8-17 Cripple Creek

Cripple Creek Ice Festival Bennett Avenue visitcripplecreek.com

February 8-9 Loveland

Sweetheart Festival Downtown Loveland visitlovelandco.org

February 9 Estes Park

Wine & Chocolate Festival Estes Park Event Center 12-5 pm estesparkeventscomplex.com

February 9 Frisco

Gold Rush Nordic Event Frisco Adventure Park 9 am • townoffrisco.com

February 9 Longmont

Heart Throb Run Sandstone Ranch Community Park 10 am • heartthrobrun.com

February 9-10 Nederland

Weston Snowboards Demo Eldora Mountain 9 am-4 pm • eldora.com

February 14-17 Golden

“Lost in Yonkers” Theater Performance Miners Alley Playhouse 303-935-3044 • minersalley.com

28

COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE FEBRUARY 2019

February 14 Grand Lake

Valentine’s Day Two-for-One Trail Pass Grand Lake Nordic Center grandlakerecreation.com

February 14-17 Johnstown

“Nunsense” Theater Performance Candlelight Dinner Playhouse 970-744-3747 coloradocandlelight.com

February 15 Colorado Springs

Kids’ Night Out Bear Creek Nature Center 5:30-9 pm • 719-520-6388

February 15 Durango

Lifeguard Banquet and Auction Fort Lewis College Ballroom 5:30 pm • 970-385-8451

February 15-18 Durango

Winter Photography Train Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad & Museum durangotrain.com

Pregnancy Resource Connection Fundraising Banquet Young Life Crooked Creek Ranch 5 pm • 970-887-3617

Snowshoe Shuffle Sunlight Mountain Resort 10 am • coloradoanimalrescue.org

February 20 Carbondale

“The Deep History of Pueblo People” Presentation Third Street Center 6 pm • aspennature.org

February 22-24 Mesa

Winter Sports Festival Powderhorn Mountain Resort madracingcolorado.com

February 22-24 Steamboat Springs

WinterWonderGrass Festival Steamboat Ski and Resort steamboat.com

February 23 Buena Vista

Wedding Expo Surf Hotel 11 am-4 pm • 719-395-6612

February 23-24 Parker

“Cupid’s Playground” Theater Performance PACE Center wonderbound.com

Fun Race Wolf Creek Ski Area wolfcreekski.com

Dance Express 30th Anniversary Celebration Lincoln Center 970-221-6730 • danceexpressfc.com

Longest Line of Toothbrushes Record Attempt and Charity Event The Ranch donatetoothbrushes.org

March 2019 March 1-15 Durango

Stallion Service Auction Four Corners Cutting and Reining Association fccrahorse.com

March 2-3 Centennial

Rocky Mountain African Violet Show and Sale Tagawa Gardens 303-452-9015

March 2 and 5 Gunnison

Gunni Gras Pub Crawl and Parade Various Gunnison Locations gunnisonchamber.com

March 5 Littleton

Free Admission Day Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield botanicgardens.org

March 9 Fort Collins

Fort Collins Ducks Unlimited Spring Banquet Hilton Fort Collins 5:30-10 pm • 970-889-3287

February 16 Colorado Springs

Wine Tasting and Winter Hobby Wine Competition Awards Reception Bear Creek Nature Center 7-9 pm • 719-520-6977

Ice Disco Skating Party Kendall Mountain Ice Rink 5-8 pm tinyurl.com/KM-Ice-Skate-Party

SEND CALENDAR ITEMS 2 MONTHS IN ADVANCE

Calendar, Colorado Country Life, 5400 Washington St., Denver, CO 80216; fax to 303-455-2807; or email calendar@coloradocountrylife.org. Please send name of event, date, time, venue, brief description, phone number, a photo, if you have one, and email and/or website for more information.


YOUR STORIES

READERS’ PHOTOS

FUNNY STORIES Our car battery died, so my dad

asked me put the charger on it. When I plugged in the charger, I noticed the cord wasn’t quite long enough to reach the car. My solution was to get the key and move the car closer to the house. It wasn’t until I tried starting the car that I realized my idea was flawed. Nehemiah Hein, Cotopaxi

The math teacher asked 9-year-old Grand Valley Power members Alicia and Rachel Riley visit the Colosseum in Rome with CCL.

Roy and Patty Lackey of Cortez visit Hawaii with CCL. The Lackeys are members of Empire Electric Association.

William, “If you have $20 and I ask you if I can borrow $10, how much will you have left?” William quickly answered, “I’d have $20.” The teacher said, “But I asked you for $10.” William calmly replied, “You can ask me but that does not mean I am going to give it to you!” (Out of the mouths of children.) Penny Hamilton, Granby

My 8-year-old granddaughter

CCL goes to Lech, Austria, with Brad Briner of Grand Junction. Brad is a member of Grand Valley Power.

Sue and Jim Davis of Colorado Springs bring CCL to the rim of Mount Vesuvius. Jim and Sue are members of Mountain View Electric Association.

Amelia hears her veterinarian parents talk about animal care so her vocabulary surprises me at times, but not quite like the time we were talking about her 3-year-old cousin Linnae. We were chatting about teeth when I told Amelia that the dentist found a cavity in Linnae’s teeth that would have to be treated. She thought about this for a second and then asked if Linnae would need euthanasia. She laughed when I reminded her that she meant anesthesia. Robert P. Gocke, Jr., Boulder

About three years ago I was telling

my son about something I had done. He inquired about my actions and I told him, “I was an angel.” Ever the quick thinker, he responded, “Lucifer was an angel once, too!” Cheryl, Dove Creek

WINNER: Pat Norton and Dana Landreth of Cortez take CCL to visit the Gullfoss waterfall on the river Hvitá in Iceland. Pat and Dana are Empire Electric Association members.

Take Your Photo With Your Magazine and Win! It’s easy to win with Colorado Country Life. Simply take a photo of someone (or a selfie!) with the magazine and email the photo and your name and address to info@ coloradocountrylife.org. We’ll draw one photo to win $25 each month. The next deadline is Friday, February 15. Name, address and co-op must accompany photo. This month’s winners are Pat Norton and Dana Landreth of Cortez. They took their copy of Colorado Country Life to Iceland. See all of the submitted photos on Facebook at facebook.com/COCountryLife.

We pay $15 to each person who submits a funny story that’s printed in the magazine. At the end of the year we will draw one name from those submitting funny stories and that person will receive $200. Send your 2019 stories to Colorado Country Life, 5400 Washington St., Denver, CO 80216 or email funnystories@coloradocountrylife.org. Don’t forget to include your mailing address, so we can send you a check. COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE FEBRUARY 2019

29


DISCOVERIES

Winter Sports Favorites Discover local gear to add to your outdoor fun

Attention-Getting Gear Meier makes skis to boast about. When you purchase from Meier, you can rest assured that your skis or snowboard was made using eco-friendly and environmentally-conscious materials throughout the entire process. Implementing best practices provided by the forest service, Meier uses Colorado trees, such as aspen and pine beetle kill, to construct high-performing, eye-catching equipment. While it originated in Glenwood Springs, Meier now calls Denver home where customers can get their skis and snowboards custom made or choose from their many collections. What’s more, you can watch firsthand how the process is done while sipping on a brew at the company’s showroom bar, the Craft Skiery™. For more information, call 844-966-3754 or visit meierskis.com.

Gear Up!

Roll Over Remedy

Outdoor sports lovers commonly stumble upon a challenge: how to transport all the gear. Since 1996, Avonbased Sportube® has provided outdoor sports enthusiasts with durable, hardsided travel cases. The wheels of the Sportube® make it easy to maneuver through the airport while the tough shell keeps equipment safe through airport baggage transportation as well as atop the roof of your vehicle. Although the company’s beginnings focused on ski travel cases, it has since expanded to include snowboard, fishing, water ski and bike cases. However, these cases are versatile enough to carry a whole slew of other types of equipment, such as swords, spear guns and even architectural plans. For more information, call 970-9494014 or visit sportube.com.

In 2015, Denver-native Matt Hyder introduced his brainchild, Recoup Cold Roller, to the world and has since turned it into a multimillion-dollar company. After a basketball injury, Hyder dreamed up the device and soon turned his $8 prototype into a product that can be spotted being used by sports stars from teams such as the Broncos and the Rockies. After two hours in the freezer, the Cold Roller can be used for up to six hours to roll over sore or strained muscles to release toxins and relax muscles. Roll over sore spots by hand or remove from the holder and maneuver the Cold Roller much like you would a foam roller. Cost is $39.99. For more information, visit recoupfitness.com.

Personalized Ski Pants When David Urban’s custom-made ski pants with smiley faces on the knees became a topic of conversation, he thought, “Maybe there’s a business opportunity here.” Urban took that concept and started Powder Point Sports in Denver where customers can dream up designs — the choices are endless — to be appended to soft-shell ski pants using sublimation. Or they can purchase prefabricated pants with designs such as the Colorado flag or, you guessed it, smiley faces. Custom-made knee panels start at $250. For more information, visit powderpointsports.com.

30

COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE FEBRUARY 2019

1 Sportube

Where to find these winter sports companies 1

3

2 4

Avon | Info@sportube.com sportube.com

2 Cold Roller

Denver | recoupfitness.com

3 Powder Point Sports

Denver | 508-930-9320 powderpointsports.com

4 Meier Skis

Denver | 844-966-3754 meierskis.com


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NOW 3 WAYS TO START YOUR AMAZOY ZOYSIA LAWN!

Your established Amazoy Zoysia lawn grows so thick, it simply stops crabgrass and most summer weeds from germinating!

1) Freestyle plugs come in uncut sheets containing a maximum of 150 - 1” plugs that can be planted up to 1 ft. apart. Freestyle plugs allow you to make each plug bigger and plant further apart – less cutting and planting – you decide. 2) New Super Plugs come precut into individual 3”x3” plugs ready-to-plant (minimum 1 per 4 sq. ft.). They arrive in easy to handle trays of 15 Super Plugs. Save more time and get your new lawn even faster! 3) Amazoy Approved Seed-As The Zoysia Specialists for 60+years, we finally have a Zoysia seed available that meets our standards and homeowners expectations. Learn why at zoysiafarms.com/mag or by phone at 410-756-2311.

ORDER TODAY - GET UP TO

1000 FREESTYLE PLUGS – Dept. 5234

Plugs only shipped to Continental USA & not to WA or OR.

Super Plugs Precut plugs 3 inches by 3 inches. READY TO PLANT Packed in trays of 15 Super Plugs. Plant minimum 1 plug per 4 sq. ft.

sheet can produce up to 150-1 in. plugs. Plant minimum 1 plug per sq. ft. + Shipping

SAVINGS

Super Plugs

Free Plugs

Trays

$29.95

$14.50

15

1

$24.95

$8.50

$50.00

$16.00

60

+15

5

$90.00

$20.00

6

$66.00

$19.50

95

+25

8

$110.00

$30.00

+400

10

$95.00

$30.00

120

+30

10

$125.00

$35.00

+1000

20

$165.00

$45.00

25% 36% 43% 52%

180

+45

15

$180.00

$50.00

Free Plugs

Grass Sheets*

300

2

500

+100

4

750

+150

1100 2000

Max Plugs*

Plant it from plugs.

6

Your PRICE + Shipping

SAVINGS –

34% 47% 50% 54%

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO START AND MAINTAIN A CAREFREE BEAUTIFUL ZOYSIA LAWN

PLANTING TOOLS * PLANT FOOD * WEED AND PEST CONTROLS * ORGANIC PRODUCTS * SOIL TESTS * GARDEN GLOVES * EDGING AND MORE

All Available Exclusively at www.ZoysiaFarms.com/mag or 410-756-2311 ZOYSIA FARM NURSERIES, 3617 OLD TANEYTOWN ROAD TANEYTOWN MD 21787

AMAZOY IS THE TRADEMARK REGISTERED U.S. PATENT OFFICE for our Meyer Zoysia grass.

We ship all orders the same day the plugs are packed and at the earliest planting time in your state.

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Colorado Country Life February 2019 Grand Valley  

Colorado Country Life February 2019 Grand Valley

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Colorado Country Life February 2019 Grand Valley