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MOUNTAIN VIEW ELECTRIC ASSOCIATION, INC.

MARCH 2020

Clear Beyond Colorado

Creating impossible art installations

PLUS A RESPONSIBLE ENERGY PLAN

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Dept. 5498


Volume 51

Number 03

March 2020 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 2020, 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

On the

Cover FEBRUARY 2020

Clear Beyond Colorado

Creating impossible art installations

“Taking a Ride” by Kimberlee Hutcherson, a consumer-member of La Plata Electric Association.

4 VIEWPOINT

5 LETTERS

6 ASK THE ENERGY EXPERT

7 YOUR CO-OP NEWS

12 RECIPES

14 NEWS CLIPS

16 COVER STORY CLEAR BEYOND COLORADO

PINTEREST SNEAK PEEK COCountryLife pinned: Cooking up ham for Easter? Try local Tender Belly products. Get a few great recipes at coloradocountrylife.coop. MOST LIKED

20 INDUSTRY 22 GARDENING

24 OUTDOORS

26 MARKETPLACE

28 COMMUNITY EVENTS

29 YOUR STORIES

FACEBOOK CHATTER Colorado Country Life shared: Most liked post in January 2020. Such a pretty photo, “Winter Lodge,” by Virginia Hasenack, a consumer-member of San Isabel Electric.

30 DISCOVERIES

Photo of Reynolds Polymer employees preparing an installation. Photo courtesy of Reynolds Polymer.

Monthly Contest

WIN $100!

coloradocountrylife.coop

Enter for your chance to win a digital gift card valued at $100 for Tender Belly. Visit our contest page at coloradocountrylife. coop to learn how to enter.

INSTAGRAM PIC of the month cocountrylife posted: Pink is the color for tracking 2020 reader travels with CCL. First pin ever in Uzbekistan was placed on our #map. Do you know how to enter this monthly contest? It’s simple: Take a copy of CCL on your next trip and snap a photo with the magazine! Check out coloradocountrylife.coop for more details and how to get your photo to us. COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE MARCH 2020

3


VIEWPOINT

A RESPONSIBLE ENERGY PLAN

Transition to greener power underway for co-op power supplier BY KENT SINGER

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

I

n January, Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association (a member of the Colorado Rural Electric Association) announced that over the next 10 years it will retire its coal-fired power plants in Colorado and replace those sources of electricity generation with wind and solar power. By the end of 2030, Tri-State will no longer operate any coal-fired plants in Colorado, thus reducing the company’s carbon emissions from its Colorado plants by 90% and reducing carbon emissions from all electric sales in Colorado by 70%. (Tri-State will continue to import some coal-fired power from sources outside of Colorado.) This is an historic decision by Tri-State, which provides wholesale power supply to every Colorado electric distribution co-op except Grand Valley Power, Yampa Valley Electric Association, Holy Cross Energy and Intermountain Rural Electric Association. Along with the announcement of the coal plant retirements, Tri-State announced the addition of nearly 1 gigawatt (1,000 megawatts) of new renewable energy capacity to its generation resources. These new wind and solar projects will be located across Colorado, creating temporary construction jobs as well as permanent maintenance positions. After its Responsible Energy Plan is completed, Tri-State will have more than 2,000 megawatts of renewable energy capacity on its 3,000 megawatt system. Tri-State’s new direction regarding its power portfolio is driven by several factors. In 2019, the Colorado General Assembly adopted legislation (H.B. 19-1261) that requires significant reductions of greenhouse gas emissions from all industries operating in the state. Although the rules for the implementation of this legislation

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COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE MARCH 2020

have not been finalized, it’s clear that electric utilities will be required to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels in the near future. Tri-State’s need to comply with the Colorado law is an important factor in its recent announcements. But even absent a legislative mandate, the rapidly decreasing costs of renewable energy make those resources more attractive today than they were just a few short years ago. You may recall that, in 2013, Tri-State, along with CREA, opposed Senate Bill 13-252 that increased the renewable energy requirements for Colorado’s electric co-ops. As recently as seven years ago, the cost of renewable energy was significantly higher than it is today and, at that time, we were concerned that a requirement for more renewables would increase rates to co-op consumer-members. With improved technology and economies of scale, wind and solar generating plants today can provide cost-effective energy while at the same time reducing carbon emissions. Perhaps the most important driver in Tri-State’s course change, however, is the desire by many of Tri-State’s members for the co-op to diversify its power supply and include more renewable energy. Tri-State is owned by its 43 distribution co-op and public power district members who are in turn owned by their consumer-members. One of the key principles of the cooperative business model is “democratic member control” and that means the members at the end of the line have input into Tri-State’s resource decisions. In making these adjustments to its power supply portfolio, Tri-State is also honoring this core co-op principle.

KENT SINGER

This new path for Tri-State does not come without challenges. On the operations side, Tri-State will have to figure out how to best balance its members’ power needs with an ever-increasing array of intermittent generating resources. This may require the deployment of new technologies and operating procedures in order for Tri-State to maintain the same level of reliable power supply that Colorado’s electric co-ops have enjoyed for decades. More important than the reliability challenges, however, is the impact of Tri-State’s new direction on current Tri-State employees. Several hundred men and women who currently work at the Tri-State coal plants and coal mines that are being retired will be affected by this decision. These are folks who, in many cases, have spent their careers and much of their adult lives serving you, the citizens of rural Colorado. They have done this difficult and sometimes dangerous work so you could have light and power. They did it without asking for recognition or praise, but simply for the satisfaction of helping their communities. They deserve to be thanked and supported in this time of transition. 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

The legacy of Colorado electric co-op heroes

BY MONA NEELEY

T

EDITOR

his is the Colorado Rural Electric Association’s 75th year of representing Colorado’s electric cooperatives as their statewide trade association. CREA and the co-ops are excited for the next 75 years, but before we move ahead, let’s take a quick look back. When I was hired back in 1994, there were still CREA board members who remembered the lights coming on, including the late Mick Geesen from Mountain View Electric and the late Ray Macht from La Plata Electric. Mick was only 21 when he arrived in Colorado in 1941 to start ranching on family land. He moved from an area with electricity and knew what a difference it would make for his home outside of Agate. So, he went to work to sign up enough members that the fledgling local co-op could qualify for a Rural Electrification Administration loan to build its system. And he stayed for

50 years, guiding MONA NEELEY the local co-op. Ray was another young rancher who saw the benefits of electricity. Pagosa Springs, only 4 miles from his place, had power and when the nearby La Plata Electric bought the city system and started expanding, Ray was ready. He rented equipment and began digging holes for power poles along his driveway and toward town, even using dynamite in the rocky spots. Ray believed in the rural electric program so much that he immediately got elected to the board and spent the next 50 years helping guide the growing co-op. These men are just two of so many heroic co-op pioneers. Their legacy is now carried into the future by the dedicated directors serving your electric co-op today. Mona Neeley is the statewide editor of Colorado Country Life, which is published in coordination with your local electric cooperative.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Compassion Via a Lightbulb

I can’t thank you enough for the inspirational and heartwarming piece about the Colorado and Oklahoma linemen who performed philanthropic work last summer in Guatemala (“Bringing Light, Finding Joy” December ’19). Citizens of Central America and poor nations around the world are often castigated as being unworthy of the compassion and generosity we take for granted in America. And many Americans have never experienced firsthand the extreme poverty and injustices evident in poor countries around the world. The article correctly notes that, in spite of unimaginable economic conditions, these citizens are able to find joy and hope in something as simple as a single lightbulb brought into their homes. The 20 lineworkers who participated undoubtedly also discovered joy and hope in their mission, and I’ll bet their lives will forever be changed for the better. Jim Little, Wetmore San Isabel Electric consumer-member

A Lower Carbon Footprint

Reading the December issue, [I saw] a picture of former Gov. Bill Ritter and Tri-State Generation and Transmission CEO Duane Highley at the CREA Energy Innovations Summit. I noticed about six plastic bottles of water on a table in front of them. On the next page is an article on co-ops working to lower carbon energy use. Let’s try to use glass or reusable water containers as much as possible and we will work to lower carbon energy use together. M. Cary, Kremmling Mountain Parks Electric consumer-member

More Energy Efficiency

RULES: Colorado Country Life is looking for pet stories explaining what makes your pet special or what amazing things your pet has done. 1st, 2nd and 3rd place and runners up published in the magazine will be awarded cash. Stories will be published in the September magazine. Rules for the contest are as follows: 1. Story must be told in no more than 300 words. 2. Deadline to enter is May 22. Entry must be received in the office by 4:30 p.m. 3. Entries may be typed or handwritten. 4. Photo of the pet must be included with the entry. If the photo is sent digitally, it must be at least 4X5 inches in size at 300 dpi. 5. Digital entries must be sent to info@coloradocountrylife.org. 6. Mailed entries must be sent to Pet Story Contest, Colorado Country Life, 5400 Washington St., Denver, CO 80216. 1st Place wins $250 2nd Place wins $150 3rd Place wins $100 Runners up published in the magazine receive $75

Questions may be sent to info@coloradocountrylife.org.

The coal plant retirements and new renewable energy projects announced by Tri-State Generation and Transmission are big steps in the right direction. But more should be done if Tri-State is to truly respond to the threat of catastrophic climate change in a responsible manner. In particular, Tri-State should expand the energy efficiency programs it implements together with its member cooperatives. Howard Geller, executive director Southwest Energy Efficiency Project

SEND US YOUR LETTERS Editor Mona Neeley at 5400 Washington St., Denver, CO 80216 or at mneeley@coloradocountrylife.org. Include full name and contact information. COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE MARCH 2020

5


ASK THE ENERGY EXPERT

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Energy-Saving Landscaping Tips BY PAT KEEGAN AND BR AD THIESSEN

T

he decisions you make about your home’s landscaping can help you stay cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. With summer around the corner, take a look at how strategic planting can help cool your home. Direct sunlight hitting windows is a major contributor to overheating the home during summer months. By planting trees that block sunlight, you can improve comfort and reduce air-conditioning energy use. If the trees eventually grow tall enough to shield the roof, that’s even better. The most important windows to shade are the ones facing west, followed by windows that face east. Morning and evening sunlight hits the home more directly than midday sunlight. Also, an eave on the south side of the home can help shade windows during midday sun. If you live in one of Colorado’s cooler areas, planting deciduous trees that lose their leaves in the fall will shield your windows in summer and allow sunlight in during winter to help warm your home. A simple approach that can deliver some shade the first year is to plant a “living wall” of vines grown on a trellis next to the home. There are two other important factors to consider in some areas of Colorado: 1. Water is becoming more precious and expensive. When you pay your water bill, much of that cost is for the energy required to pump water to your home, or perhaps you have your own well. Either way, reducing water use saves money and reduces energy use. 2. If you live in an area that has wildfires, definitely take it into consideration as you develop a landscaping plan. What and where you plant on your property can either increase or decrease the risk of fire reaching your home. Planting a row of shrubs a foot from the home can provide more efficiency in cooler climates. By stopping air movement, it can form a dead air space around the home that acts as “bonus” insulation. These are just a few ideas to help you get started. Also remember that, as with any landscaping projects that require digging, it’s important to call 811 to ensure all underground utility lines are properly marked and flagged before you start the work. Happy planting! This column was co-written by Pat Keegan and Brad Thiessen of Collaborative Efficiency.

Android Google Play

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COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE MARCH 2020

Visit coloradocountrylife.coop to find out four more ways you LEARN MORE ONLINE can save on your home energy costs. Look under the Energy tab.


YOUR CO-OP NEWS

STAY IN THE KNOW BY TRENT LOUTENSOCK GENER AL MANAGER

Y-W ELECTRIC ASSOCIATION MARCH 2020

MAILING ADDRESS P.O. Box Y Akron, CO 80720-0570 STREET ADDRESS 250 Main Avenue Akron, CO 80720

ph 970-345-2291 tf 800-660-2291 fax 970-345-2154 web www.ywelectric.coop

Y-W Electric Association, Inc. is dedicated to providing highquality, reliable electric service and related products to our members at competitive prices. Our members deserve and shall receive quality service unexcelled in our industry. We are committed to maintaining an environment where the Board of Directors and employees can perform at maximum potential to benefit our Y-W community.

A

t Y-W Electric Association, Inc., we are constantly striving to improve our operational efficiency so we can provide the most reliable electric service possible for you, our consumer-members. We rely on data for nearly every aspect of our operations, which is why we need your help. By making sure we have your most accurate and complete contact information, we can continue to provide the high level of service you expect and deserve. Accurate information enables us to improve customer service and enhance communications for reporting and repairing outages. It also allows co-op members to receive information about other important programs, events and activities. Up-to-date contact information can potentially speed up the power restoration process during an outage. For example, the phone number you provide is linked to your service address in our outage management system. This means, when you call to report an outage, our system recognizes your phone number and matches it with your account location. Accurate information helps our outage management system predict the location and possible cause of an outage, making it easier for our crews to correct the problem. While we always do our best to maintain service, we occasionally plan outages to update, repair or replace equipment. In these instances, we can provide advance notification to affected members through automated phone messages, text messages, social media channels or email — that is, if we have your updated contact information and communication preferences.

TRENT LOUTENSOCK

Keeping us updated with your information also helps us when there’s a question about energy use or billing and capital credit information. Emails and text messages are also used to notify registered members of any changes in co-op event details. In addition, discrepancies on your account can be taken care of promptly if we have accurate account information. Many of you have been members of the co-op for years and it’s likely your account information hasn’t been updated for some time. We recognize that many members now use a cellphone as their primary phone service, and we might not have that number in our system. I want to emphasize that, in providing your contact information to the co-op, we will never share this information with any third parties — it is only used by Y-W Electric Association, Inc., to send important information to you. Please take a moment to confirm or update your contact information by submitting changes through our website, filling in the address change portion of your billing stub or giving us a call at 970-3452291. By doing so, you will be helping us improve service and efficiency so we can better serve you and all members of the co-op. [Alex & Kari Beauprez, 3503008410]

COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE MARCH 2020

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YOUR CO-OP NEWS lawn mowers, string trimmers have typically been powered by gas. New versions of electric trimmers are improving and are now considered worthy competitors of gas-powered models. Cordless electric trimmers are much quieter and easier to use, but most batteries last about 30 to 45 minutes. So, if you have a lot of space to trim, you may want to consider a backup battery or plan to work in short bursts. If you’re interested in purchasing an electric trimmer, the main factors to consider are the battery’s life, charge time and power. Costs can vary depending on your needs, but you can find a quality version for about $100.

Cordless electric leaf blowers are lightweight and easy to maneuver. Photo: Scott Van Osdol

Three Ways to Electrify Your Lawn Care BY ABBY BERRY

S

pring is just around the corner, and you can practically smell the freshly-cut grass. If you’re in the market to upgrade your lawn care equipment, you may want to consider exploring your options. Gas-powered lawn mowers and trimmers may be your go-to equipment, but times are changing. Electric lawn care equipment options are becoming more popular than ever, offering consumers faster charging times, longer battery life and quieter, greener products compared to their gas-powered counterparts. Here are three ways you can electrify your lawn care this spring. ELECTRIC LAWN MOWERS Electric lawn mowers improved over the last few years. Early models required corded connections, which were tricky to manage,

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COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE MARCH 2020

but now the cord has been cut. Newer cordless electric mowers are certainly more expensive than gas-powered mowers, but much of the upfront cost can be recovered since electricity is a less expensive fuel than gas, and electric engines generally require less maintenance than gas engines. Cordless electric mowers typically range from $200 to $500. Electric mowers are suitable for most lawn care needs, with batteries that typically require about one to two hours to fully charge. Most batteries can run for a full hour. That said, if you have a large yard (half an acre or larger), a gas-powered option may be best to suit your needs. ELECTRIC TRIMMERS Cordless electric string trimmers are a great option for most lawns. Traditionally, like

ELECTRIC LEAF BLOWERS After cutting and trimming your lawn, you’ll need to clear off those walkways and patios for the finishing touch. If you don’t want to deal with the maintenance of a gas-powered blower or the restraints of a corded blower, a cordless electric version is a great option. Cordless electric leaf blowers are lightweight and easy to maneuver, but they don’t offer quite as much power as gas-powered and corded blowers. If your leaf blowing and clearing needs are minimal, a cordless electric leaf blower can get the job done. Costs for a cordless electric blower vary depending on power and battery quality, but you can purchase a dependable model for about $150 and up. If you’re looking to electrify your lawn care equipment, be sure to do your homework. Search online for the latest reviews and check trusted websites like ConsumerReports.org. With a little research, you’ll be well on your way to Lawn of the Month with less maintenance, hassle and noise, which your neighbors will thank you for. Abby Berry writes on consumer and cooperative affairs for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. [David M. Kembel, 2065006010]


YOUR CO-OP NEWS

Jaden Dreher

Travis Earls

New Hires Y-W Electric Association welcomes Jaden Dreher to the cooperative. He started his employment with Y-W on January 20, 2020, after previous employment with Lincoln Electric Systems in Lincoln, Nebraska. Jaden is extremely excited to return to the area; he was raised in Akron and is happy to join the Y-W Electric family. Welcome to the family, Jaden.

Y-W Electric Association welcomes Travis Earls to the cooperative. He started his employment with Y-W on January 24, 2020, after previous employment with Altitude Energy in Keensburg, Colorado. Travis is excited to join the Y-W Electric family and serve the community that he and his family live in. Welcome to the family, Travis.

Billing Corner Claim Your Credit

Self-Serve Website

Each month, Y-W Electric offers members a chance to earn a $20 credit on their next electric bill. If you recognize your name and account number in this magazine, call 800-660-2291 and ask for your credit. It couldn’t be easier. Get acquainted with your account number, read your Colorado Country Life magazine and pick up the phone. That’s all the energy you’ll need to claim your energy bucks. You must claim your credit during the month in which your name appears in the magazine. (Check the date on the front cover.) Winners claiming $20 from the January 2020 issue: • John J. & Alice J. Andrews, 831807700 • Carol Pletcher, 842603101

Have you checked out our website at www.ywelectric.coop lately? Our website gives you the ability to check your monthly usage, payment history and past billing invoices. Payments can also be made on our website using SmartHub. Once you have registered, you can make payments, view your history or contact our office. You can also choose to go paperless. An email will be sent on the day the bills are generated to let you know you have a new bill available. This is only an option. A paper bill will be mailed until you choose not to have one sent. The SmartHub app can also be downloaded on a mobile device. It is compatible with both Android and iPhones. A payment can be made this way as well. Y-W Electric does not use a third party for payments. If you are charged for making a payment, this is not being made on Y-W's website. For your security, please make sure you are logged into Y-W's website, www.ywelectric.coop, when making a payment or using the SmartHub app. Please contact our office if you have any questions about our website. [Brian D. Ernst, 591901102]

COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE MARCH 2020

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YOUR CO-OP NEWS

FAQ About Rights-of-Way

Reasons for Rights-of-Way

A

right-of-way, when it comes to utilities, is an agreement that allows a utility to use or access a piece of property according to the terms of the easement. Easements are areas designated for overhead and underground utility access and are usually defined when a lot or neighborhood is first platted. Easements are implemented because it is more efficient and less expensive to run utility lines straight through neighborhoods than it is to run them around parcels of land.

Having right-of-way means that utilities may access the area to fix a utility-related problem or to perform maintenance. Easements outline general property rights by others while right-of-way, as its name implies, is a specific property right. Workers who service utility lines should arrive in a marked vehicle and have proper identification. If you have any concerns, please call us at 970-345-2291. For more about electrical safety, visit SafeElectricity. org. [Joseph G. & Carol S. Benjamin, 2002006008]

A Downed Line Always Means Danger If you see a downed power line after a bad storm or at an accident scene, never get out to help or go near the downed line. Always assume a downed power line is energized and deadly. This also applies to any electrical equipment, including pad-mounted transformers (aka green boxes) or other utility cabinets or fenced substations. If you are involved in an accident or snarl with a downed line or other utility equipment — whether in a car, tractor or any other type of vehicle or equipment — do not get out. If you exit the vehicle and walk away, you could be electrocuted. Instead, call 911 and wait for the utility to arrive to cut the power. If you must leave a vehicle due to smoke or fire, make a solid jump out with your feet together and without touching the car or truck, and then hop away making sure both feet land at the same time — do not walk — at least 30 feet to safety. If you hop, you are less likely to enter two different voltages of electricity at the same time, which causes shock and electrocution. For more information about electrical safety, visit SafeElectricity.org.

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The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission answers some common questions about rights-of-way: Q: Who decides whether an electric utility can cut down a tree near a power line? A: The choice of how to trim trees and manage vegetation growth near a power line is primarily made by the electric utility, subject to state and local requirements and laws, applicable safety codes and any limitations or obligations specified in rights-of-way agreements. Q: The power lines near my house don’t seem be anywhere near the trees, so why is the electric utility trimming my trees anyway? A: There are two reasons for this. First, electric utilities are required to maintain the appropriate clearance between trees and transmission lines at all times. For example, in the summer, power lines sag as they expand due to air temperature and heavy use and wind can cause lines to sway. Clearances around the lines must account for this. So, on a cool, still day, it may appear that there is ample, or even excessive, clearance that is needed for a hot or windy day. Second, electric utilities usually prune or remove vegetation to a distance greater than the minimum clearances to account for future growth, movement of trees or power lines due to wind, conductor sag due to heat, line loading and other factors. Q: But the trees are in my yard. Why can’t I stop the utility from cutting down or trimming my trees? A: An electric utility is granted an easement or a right-of-way on private property in order to build and maintain electric power lines. Defining the rights of the parties for building and maintaining electric lines are specified in rights-of-way agreements, and these agreements are usually attached to a property deed. [Daisy Lane Farm LLC, 672800403]


As a cooperative we are taking bold steps to change how your energy is produced. That means fewer emissions and 50 percent of your electricity coming from renewable energy by 2024. Because whatever the future holds, we’ll power it.

To learn more about our Responsible Energy Plan, visit www.tristate.coop


RECIPES

HAM FOR THE HOLIDAYS The popular Easter meal can be made even better BY AMY HIGGINS

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

| RECIPES@COLOR ADOCOUNTRYLIFE.ORG

Take pork to great heights this Easter.

E

aster is just around the corner and preparing your holiday meal now is simply smart. This is where Tender Belly comes in. The Denver company takes pork products to great heights to produce a variety of foods, from bacon to ribs, jerky and ham. For a large majority of Americans, ham will be on the menu for Easter and Tender Belly can help you kick up the flavor a few notches with recipes that will leave your guests wanting more. Try this delicious ham recipe or visit coloradocountrylife.coop for more tasty options.

Pineapple-Jerk Rubbed Ham 1 Tender Belly Spiral Cut Ham 1 cup jerk seasoning 1/2 cup light brown sugar 1/2 cup maple syrup 1/8 teaspoon jerk seasoning 3/4 cup pineapple juice 1 cup fresh pineapple, diced in large pieces Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Rub ham with one cup jerk seasoning. Place ham in a roasting pan and roast for 25 minutes. In a medium saucepan, combine the brown sugar, maple syrup, 1/8 teaspoon jerk seasoning and pineapple juice. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Once the mixture has come to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat. Add fresh pineapple chunks. Remove the ham from the oven. Use a pastry brush to glaze the ham with half of the pineapple juice mixture. Roast for 20 more minutes or until the internal temperature reaches at least 140 degrees. Brush ham with remaining pineapple juice mixture.

The Marble Method Tender Belly hogs are raised in a crate-free environment until they are mature, which offers the marbling results pork fans desire. From top to bottom, the whole hog is processed to sell and prepared with a variety of spices to create Tender Belly’s signature flavors.

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Want to add a little herb to your meal? Try the

Rosemary-Mustard Crusted Ham.

Get the recipe at coloradocountrylife.coop.


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NEWS CLIPS LOOKING FOR PET STORIES Got the best pet in the world? Want to tell its story? From left to right: President Jeff Hauck, Vice President Ginny Buzcek, Secretary Joe Redetzke and Treasurer Rod Martinez.

New Officers Lead Co-op Group The officers for the Colorado Rural Electric Association Board of Directors were elected at the January 31 board meeting. The officers serve on their respective electric cooperative boards and represent those individual co-ops on CREA’s board. Guiding CREA’s board as president is Jeff Hauck, president of the Mountain Parks Electric Board of Directors. He owns and operates an electrical contracting business in Grand Lake. Mountain Parks Electric serves Grand, Jackson, Summit, Routt and Larimer counties. Elected as vice president of the board, Ginny Buzcek of Firestone represents the west district in United Power’s service territory. This includes Adams, Broomfield, Weld, Jefferson, Boulder and Gilpin counties. She is involved in several community

groups, including 4-H, Girl Scouts and Relay for Life. Secretary Joe Redetzke lives in Buena Vista. Joe serves on Sangre de Cristo Electric’s board and is involved in many aspects of his community in Chaffee County. Rod Martinez of Grand Valley Power in Grand Junction was elected as treasurer. A professional photographer and author of outdoor guidebooks, he serves as president of his home co-op board. The Colorado Rural Electric Association is the trade association for Colorado’s 22 electric cooperatives and the state’s generation and transmission association. The mission of CREA is to enhance and advance the interests of its member electric cooperatives through a united effort.

Enter Colorado Country Life’s Pet Story Contest by May 22 and share what makes your pet special. Tell how your dog saved your toddler from running into the road or how a horse helped a teenager deal with trauma or how that kitten brought a smile to great-grandma. The best story will win $250, with second place earning $150 and third place $100. Send entries with the subject line Pet Story Contest to info@colorado countrylife.org or 5400 Washington St., Denver, CO 80216. Find the full list of rules at coloradocountrylife.coop; click on Contests.

CO-OPS NOMINATE VETERANS FOR SUMMER CHALLENGE Electric co-ops across Colorado have until April 15 to nominate local veterans for a scholarship to the No Barriers Warriors program sponsored by CoBank, a national cooperative bank headquartered in Denver. Electric co-op communities are home to men and women who have served in our armed forces and come home with service-related disabilities. So, again this

year, CoBank is sponsoring the No Barriers Warriors program for 50 vets. The program challenges veterans to stretch physical and emotional boundaries and overcome barriers, creating the beginning of a positive change for them. The expeditions will take place in June and July.

10 GW of Wind Added to U.S. Grid

Last year, 2019, was the third strongest year on record for the wind industry in the United States. Project developers added 9.143 megawatts of wind power capacity to the grid. Another 44,000 MW of wind project are either underway or in advanced development, according to the U.S. Wind Industry Fourth Quarter 2019 Market Report.

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A team of veterans spent five days on a No Barriers program, sponsored by CoBank, which took place at the No Barriers Mountain Campus in the mountains of Colorado. Photo courtsey of No Barriers Warriors program


NEWS CLIPS

CLEAN WATER FOR BOLIVIAN VILLAGES Electric cooperatives in Colorado, Oklahoma and Wyoming are joining forces to bring first-time electricity to a remote village in rural Bolivia later this year. Beyond providing the gift of light, the volunteer linemen going on the mission want to present each household that receives electricity with a water filter that provides clean water for the next 10 years. Each water filter costs about $50. Colorado’s electric cooperatives are collecting donations to finance these water filters and more. Money raised beyond what is needed for the water filters will be used to purchase computers for the schools in the village and other gifts to improve the quality of life in the village. You can join this mission by visiting https://crea.coop/community-outreach/currentcauses and making a donation. Or send your check to the co-op nonprofit organization, CEEI, 5400 Washington St., Denver, CO 80216. Make checks payable to CEEI/Bolivia.

Teachers: Spark Electricity Knowledge Elementary through high school educators interested in the electric industry can learn how it is generated and supplied to today’s users during a three-day session June 23-25 in Westminster, courtesy of Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association,

the power supplier to 18 of Colorado’s 22 electric co-ops. For more information or to apply, contact Wendi Moss at The NEED Project, wmoss@need.org, or Michelle Pastor at mpastor@tristategt.org.

Mountain Co-op Helps Schools Go Electric This fall, West Grand School District plans to add an electric school bus to its fleet — a 78-passenger Bluebird All American with a 120-mile range, to be used on daily routes. And the district, which serves the Kremmling area, is able to do this at no cost to the school. The bus is funded through a state grant and contributions from its local electric co-op and its power supplier. The school district got word in December that it qualified for a $250,000 grant from Colorado’s Regional Air Quality Council and was one of 20 grants distributed. The remaining funds came from Mountain Parks Electric in Granby and from Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, Mountain Parks’ power supplier. The school district expects to receive its new bus — the first electric bus in Grand County and one of the first in Colorado — in August. The bus will be used on daily routes beginning in the 2020-2021 school year.

CENSUS

2020 GET COUNTED IN RURAL COLORADO The U.S. 2020 Census is about to begin and those who live in rural Colorado are encouraged to make sure you are counted. Expect an invitation to complete the 2020 Census in mid-March. Once the invitation arrives, you will have three options for responding: online, by phone or by mail. If you don’t respond, expect a visit from a census-taker sometime in May, June or July. It is important that everyone is counted. The 2020 Census will determine congressional representation, hundreds of billions in federal funding and other data that will affect your local community for the next decade. The final totals can affect everything from school lunch funds to plans for highways and their maintenance, support for firefighters, assistance for families in need and so much more. The 2020 Census will be a snapshot of our nation, and if you’re not part of the count, the picture of rural Colorado will not be accurate. For information on the confidentiality of census data, visit 2020census.gov/en/data-protection. html.

COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE MARCH 2020

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COVER STORY

BY SHARON SULLIVAN

Clear Beyond Colorado Creating impossible art installations

I

magine watching active sea life through a crystal clear acrylic window while dining in the world’s

largest underwater restaurant. A Grand Junction company helped make that possible for a Norwegian establishment that opened in March 2019.

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“Building the Impossible” is the motto at Reynolds Polymer Technology where engineers take ideas from clients worldwide and turn them into reality. Aquariums, high-end swimming pools and unique architectural features are among the many applications for the highly engineered acrylic panels crafted by Reynolds. A Reynolds Polymer team traveled to Norway to install the 36-foot panoramic acrylic window inside the restaurant’s concrete body, half-submerged 17 feet below the sea’s surface. The 13-foot tall acrylic piece was designed to withstand immense water pressure and harsh sea conditions. “It’s quite impressive, with a big window looking out to the North Atlantic Sea,” says Paul Gardner, Reynolds vice president of engineering. Additionally, Reynolds Polymer helped create the world’s largest indoor waterfall, which was completed last year at the Jewel Changi Airport in Singapore. Sunlight illuminates the waterfall during the day, and after dark a light and sound show is projected on the sheet of falling water. For that project, the company’s bonding manager, 52-year-old Victor Neil, spent a year and a half in Singapore where he led a crew from the Reynolds Thailand facility. “Anything too big to ship out of the shop we send in multiple pieces,” Neil explains.


COVER STORY

Anything too big to ship out of the shop we send in multiple pieces.” — Victor Neil “I’m in charge of adhering panels together seamlessly. I go onsite to put pieces together.” PROJECTS WORLDWIDE Neil had never been on a plane before coming to work at Reynolds 21 years ago. Since then he traveled to places such as Copenhagen, Denmark; Berlin, Germany; Paris, France; and Moscow, Russia, where he stays for several months working on Reynolds Polymer installation projects. In 2013, in Denmark, Neil helped install the Blue Planet Aquarium where visitors can view the hammerhead shark as it swims. The following year, Neil traveled to Russia to help build a four-story, 75-foot tall and 20-foot in diameter aquarium that holds 98,000 gallons of salt water and is home to 2,500

Reynolds Polymer helped created the world’s largest indoor waterfall in Jewel Changi Airport in Singapore.

fish specimens and a spiraling Red Sea reef. “There’s only a handful of people in the world that can do what (Neil) does,” says Reynolds Polymer supervisor Luis Villalpando. The company employs approximately 100 people at its Grand Junction headquarters, and another 100 workers at its facility in Thailand. Reynolds has crafted and installed acrylic panels for projects in Hong Kong, Germany, Canada, South Korea, the Netherlands, Morocco, China, the United Arab Emirates, Romania, Greece and Mexico. Reynolds is currently manufacturing panels for the London Sky Pool — an amazing pool project to be constructed between two high-rise buildings. Swimmers will be able to gaze through the pool’s clear acrylic bottom toward the street 10 stories below. Gardner expects a crew to be onsite installing the project later in 2020. “We’re the only domestic manufacturer of thick acrylic plastic,” says Gardner, 49, who has worked for the company for 13 years. “If you want a 20-inch block of acrylic, it will be from us. Our competitors will laminate — glue thinner pieces together — whereas we pour one solid piece.” The pieces range from 2 to 36 inches, which creates a stronger product. “The thing I like about working here,” says Neil, “is it’s always a challenge because we’re a custom shop. What we do is really is an art form.” If you’ve been to an Apple store, you may have noticed the large white Apple logo on the front of the building. It’s made from acrylic by Reynolds Polymer. “We make our own material from raw ingredients,” Gardner says. The chemicals — MMA (methyl methacrylate) and PMMA (polymethyl methacrylate) — are brought in from Tennessee and Japan. “We take these two components and put them together with our special ‘Coke’ (or proprietary) ingredients. We mix it all together and cook the material.”

PMMA is a synthetic resin produced from the polymerization of methyl methacrylate, an organic compound. The resin is obtained mainly from propylene, a compound refined from lighter fractions of crude oil. A transparent and rigid plastic, PMMA is often used as a substitute for glass in products such as shatterproof windows, aquariums, skylights, illuminated signs and aircraft canopies. INSIDE THE GRAND JUNCTION SHOP Workers blend the ingredients together in large metal mixing bowls inside a separate room adjacent to the main manufacturing area. From there, the concoction is brought into the main shop where it is poured into a casting tool, adjusted in accordance to the size of panel ordered. The casting tool holds

We’re the only domestic manufacturer of thick acrylic plastic.” — Paul Gardner the liquid mixture in place while the machine moves into a nearby autoclave (a big pressure cooker, 12 feet in diameter and 30 feet long). “It’s like baking a cake — it becomes a solid,” Gardner says. After the mixture solidifies, the panel is lifted by an overhead crane and carried to another machine where it is cut to size specifications. The crane can carry up to 30,000 pounds at a time — delivering panels to various departments. A banner with the mantra “Accept Excellence: Anything Less is Unacceptable” hangs across the width of the crane crossing back and forth high above the shop floor. COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE MARCH 2020

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Reynolds Polymer employees work on a project at the Western Slope manufacturing facility.

Reynolds recently began making flight simulators — acrylic panels are shaped into a globe allowing pilots a clear 360-degree view. To form a rounded piece, first, a flat sheet is baked in the shop’s huge blue oven where, once it is heated, the acrylic becomes malleable. In January, a formed sphere lies on its side while a worker stands inside polishing the window. In another area of the shop, a completed window for a swimming pool awaits inspection before being packaged up and loaded into a semi truck for delivery to California. “High-end swimming pools are very trendy right now,” Gardner says. Two large acrylic slide tubes destined to become AquaDuck waterslides — highspeed roller coasters for the Disney Dream and Fantasy cruise ships — are also close to completion on this particular January day.

DISNEY WORLD One of Reynolds’ first big aquarium projects, after the company relocated from southern California to Grand Junction in 1992, was for Walt Disney World’s Living Seas Pavilion at Epcot Theme Park. (The aquarium has since been renamed “The Seas with Nemo and Friends Pavilion.”) “Disney was very important for getting our start,” Gardner says. A framed thank-you letter from Walt Disney Company CEO Michael Eisner hangs in the lobby of the Grand Junction headquarters. “Almost every SeaWorld you go to will have Reynolds Polymer’s work,” Gardner says. You’ll also find Reynolds’ acrylic work at many Bass Pro Shops and at Cabela’s stores that have aquarium features. In addition to its international portfolio, Reynolds has completed both commercial and personal projects throughout the United States, including Colorado. You’ll find the company’s work in Texas, Nevada, Washington, New Jersey, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana,

Utah, Kentucky, New York, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, Arizona, Florida and California. In 2013, the city of Grand Junction commissioned Reynolds to create a memorial, titled “Remember,” honoring the victims of 9/11. Reynolds crafted two transparent 11-inch thick blocks of highly engineered acrylic, which included details of the Twin Towers. Lighting for the memorial — installed at the city police department — was designed by local firefighters. In between the two columns, notably, is a piece of steel from the Twin Towers in New York. “It’s quite impressive,” Gardner says. Elsewhere in Colorado, Reynolds contributed to Denver’s Downtown Aquarium and Scheels All Sports aquarium in Johnstown. When the Mesa County Library was remodeled several years ago, beautiful and unique acrylic light fixtures made from a special Reynolds cast product were chosen. SpringHill Suites in downtown Grand Junction created a modern ambiance in its lobby and lounge area with several panels designed by Reynolds Polymer. Although most of the time Reynolds is busy working on clients’ projects, the company does have a research and development department where it works on developing new products. For example, acrylic is quite flammable, thus, Reynolds is working on a fire-resistant material for indoor applications. “We hope that it will be in the market next year,” Gardner says. A cruise ship slide tube had its beginning in Grand Junction.

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COVER STORY RELOCATING TO GRAND JUNCTION The company originated in 1979 in southern California where Roger Reynolds Jr. owned a business making submarine windows for the U.S. Navy. His son, Roger Reynolds III, joined the company and came up with a unique acrylic casting method. In 1987, when his father was ready to sell the company, Reynolds III decided to spin off his own business — Reynolds Polymer Technology — focusing on creating acrylic windows for aquariums and fancy swimming pools. Eventually, Reynolds Polymer Technology outgrew its California facility. Plus, Reynolds III’s wife owned horses and sought a more rural community, so the couple began looking for smaller cities in which to relocate. In 1992, after checking out several western towns, Reynolds Polymer settled on Grand Junction. In 2000, the company expanded with Reynolds Asia in Thailand, which was added to be closer to the Asia Pacific market. Reynolds III sold the company in 2013 to C3 Capital in Kansas City, Missouri. The global enterprise, which grosses $50 million

Many high end acrylic swimming pools are the works of a Colorado company.

annually, has completed roughly 2,000 projects in 57 countries. Reynolds Polymer is one of only 35 Colorado businesses to be awarded SHARP certification, OSHA’s Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program. Additionally, Colorado’s Environmental Leadership Program designated Reynolds as a “Gold Leader” for a three-year term for exceeding state and federal regulations. In 2019, the company went beyond compliance with the Colorado Department of Public Health and the U.S. Environment and Environmental Protection Agency regulations by accomplishing goals within three areas: responsible energy and greenhouse gas reduction, waste minimization and diversion, and corporate social responsibility.

SCIENTIFIC INVOLVEMENT Reynolds is also involved with scientific projects. The company manufactured a 40 foot diameter acrylic sphere with 4-inch thick walls for an experiment in Canada at the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory, located 6,800 feet underground in an Ontario mine. Its purpose was to detect solar neutrinos or determine reasons for why the sun shines. The project won a Nobel Prize for its science. “They couldn’t have done it without that vessel,” Gardner says. Reynolds’ Neil worked at the bottom of that mine. Over the years, Reynolds Polymer has helped with other scientific experiments involving dark matter (subatomic particles) studies. “Scientists love our acrylic material because of its visibility,” Gardner says. “It lets through light. Scientists also like Reynolds’ products because we’re good at fabricating and making complicated parts.” Since 2016, the company has collaborated with an international team of approximately 250 scientists, engineers and technicians from 38 organizations. The company provided tanks for an experiment taking place about a mile under the Black Hills of South Dakota. The project is designed to detect dark matter believed to make up the bulk of the universe. The custom-designed tanks were placed one mile below the earth’s surface at the Sanford Underground Research Facility. For more information about Reynolds Polymer, or if you enjoy working hard and want to see the world, visit the company’s website at reynoldspolymer.com for openings and opportunities. “The culture here is awesome,” Villalpando says. Sharon Sullivan is a freelance writer from Grand Junction who loves telling the stories of the people on Colorado’s Western Slope.

Read how Reynolds Polymer Technology gives back to its home community of Grand Junction at coloradocountrylife.coop. COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE MARCH 2020

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INDUSTRY

Moving Toward More Renewables Coal is being replaced with wind, solar

BY AMY HIGGINS

| AHIGGINS@COLOR ADOCOUNTRYLIFE.ORG

I

n July 2019, Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association announced the development of its Responsible Energy Plan. In January 2020, Tri-State divulged its blueprint to eliminate coal emissions from its facilities in Colorado and New Mexico and announced details about its upcoming renewable energy projects.

Coal closures are coming Tri-State plans to shut down two coal plants and one mine: Escalante Generating Station in New Mexico by the end of 2020, and Craig Station and Colowyo Mine in Colorado by 2030. Craig Station is in Moffat County and employs 253 people. The 1,285-megawatt plant houses three units — Unit 1 will close by the end of 2025, and Units 2 and 3 will close by 2030. Nearby Colowyo Mine, in Moffat and Rio Blanco counties, produces coal for Craig Station and has 219 employees. Tri-State plans to cease the mine’s production by 2030. “With 10 years until the closure of Craig Station and Colowyo Mine, we have additional time to work with the legislature, our employees and the communities in Moffat and Rio Blanco counties to plan for and support the transition,” said Tri-State CEO Duane Highley in a recent press release. “Our work starts now to ensure we can continue to safely produce power while working with

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stakeholders to thoughtfully plan for the future.” Escalante Generating Station is a 253-megawatt coal power plant in Prewitt, New Mexico, and Tri-State estimates that its closure by the end of 2020 will affect 107 of the plant’s employees. To help ease the burden, those affected “will receive a generous severance package, the opportunity to apply for vacancies at other Tri-State facilities, assistance with education and financial planning and supplemental funding for health benefits,” according to the press release. Tri-State also announced its decision to cancel its Holcomb coal project in Kansas and not to pursue additional coal-facility projects.

A renewable future “Today we’re unveiling the results of our Responsible Energy Plan, which will transform Tri-State as a power supplier and put us on a bold path for the future,” Highley said at a January press conference. “The plan allows us to be responsible to our employees, our members, the communities in which they live and work and our environment while

still providing reliable, affordable power across the West.” Highley highlighted what Colorado’s electric cooperatives can anticipate with Tri-State’s new plan: more than doubling its wind and solar portfolio by 2024. The new renewable projects are expected to bring more than a gigawatt (1,000 megawatts) online. When complete, Tri-State and its members will have renewable projects powering the equivalent of more than 800,000 homes, he said. The eight projects are: • Spanish Peaks I and II Solar Projects: a total of 140 MW in San Isabel Electric Association’s territory in southern Colorado. • Crossing Trails Solar Project: 104 MW project in K.C. Electric Association’s territory on the eastern plains. • Niyol Wind Project: 200 MW project in Highline Electric Association’s territory in northeastern Colorado. • Coyote Gulch Solar Project: 120 MW project in La Plata Electric Association’s territory in southwestern Colorado. • Dolores Canyon Solar Project: 110 MW project in Empire Electric Association’s territory in southwestern Colorado.


INDUSTRY • Axial Basin Solar Project: 145 MW project in White River Electric Association’s territory in northwestern Colorado. This project “will be built on Colowyo Mine land to restore some tax base for the loss of the resources in that county from the loss of the power plant and the mine,” Highley said. • Escalante Solar Project: 200 MW project in New Mexico’s Continental Divide Electric Cooperative territory. This project will be built on the retired Escalante Generating Station land and will help assist the community on lost tax base. Tri-State affirms that it wants its electric distribution cooperative and public power district members to benefit from its renewable energy goals. “But we also have a goal to increase our members’ flexibility and ability

to generate their own clean energy locally in addition to these large utility-scale projects,” Highley said. The Tri-State board of directors developed a contract committee with representatives from each of its member distribution systems that is led by San Luis Valley REC director and Tri-State vicechair Scott Wolfe and Southeast Colorado Power Association CEO Jack Johnston. This committee is making recommendations to the Tri-State board on more flexible contract options. In addition to the wind and solar projects, Tri-State will offer more programs that will help members with energy efficiency and beneficial electricity endeavors, and will fund two electric vehicle charging stations per member system. “This will put electric vehicle charging into rural areas that currently have no infrastructure whatsoever — we’ll extend the use of electric vehicles,” Highley said. Highley underscored Tri-State’s obligation to all of its members’ futures, which will result in cleaner air, greater economic opportunity and a cleaner grid. “We’re energized by this even as we try to manage the challenges associated with implementation,” he said.

Concern for community A central part of Tri-State’s Responsible Energy Plan is a focus on working with local community leaders and state and federal officials to gain additional

support for employees and communities as Tri-State’s coal facilities are retired. With New Mexico’s Escalante Generating Station closing by the end of the year, Tri-State will provide $5 million to support economic development and transition needs for communities affected by the transition. In Colorado, Tri-State is engaging with local officials to provide support prior to the closure of Craig Station and Colowyo Mine in the next 10 years. “My thoughts are with those who live in the communities in and around Moffat County and across northwest Colorado,” Sen. Michael Bennet (D) said in statement following Tri-State’s announcement. “Ensuring the future livelihoods of those affected by this announcement has to be a top priority as this transition plan moves forward. “Northwest Colorado is extraordinarily resilient and has exceptional leadership. My office stands ready to do everything we can to provide support and assistance throughout this process,” Bennet said. “We have an obligation to our employees and their communities to ensure a reasonable and equitable and just transition for those affected employees and communities,” Highley said. “We’re committed to working with local, state and federal leaders to look for continued opportunities for retraining and reinvestment in those communities. “The last piece of our plan involves working together for a brighter future. We’re committed to maintaining rate stability with the goal — and we think it’s an achievable goal — to actually reduce rates through this clean energy transition,” Highley said. “A pretty amazing statement to make that kind of change in our portfolio while also managing costs.” Amy Higgins is a contract writer for Colorado Country Life. She was a longtime resident of Colorado and she has written on the electric industry previously.

COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE MARCH 2020

21


GARDENING

PLANTING SEEDS INDOORS BY VICKI SPENCER

MASTER GARDENER | GARDENING@COLOR ADOCOUNTRYLIFE .ORG

W

ith hints of warmer weather comes increased seed displays at stores, but the rule of thumb in Colorado is to wait until after Mother’s Day to start your outdoor gardening. However, starting early extends the growing season, which is important in the high country. Planting seeds indoors can help. Starting plants from seed is akin to bringing a new puppy home — both require faithful attention. When purchasing seeds, look closely at the expiration date on packets and avoid older seeds. Newer seeds have a better germination rate and will give you a bigger bang for your buck. Buy seeds from a reputable seed company or garden store. Some popular choices include tomatoes, peppers and winter squash. Root vegetables are better sown directly in the soil outdoors. To succeed with seeds, consider the following: 1. Check a planting calendar, such as Old Farmer’s Almanac, to determine your last spring frost date and start seeds six to eight weeks earlier. 2. Use recycled plastic containers to save money — poke drainage holes in the bottoms.

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3. Fill containers with seed starting mix. It drains better than soil and minimizes disease risk. 4. Place containers on a tray. Rubber boot trays and old cookie sheets work well or buy plastic flats from your garden store. 5. Plant seeds to proper depth written on seed packet. (Rule of thumb is 2-3 times the seed width.) 6. Keep soil moist but not saturated. Spray with fine mist when the soil is dry to touch or pulls away from the container’s edge. Do not let water sit on the tray as seedling roots may rot. Try placing plastic above the soil to generate moisture, but remove the plastic after plants get established. 7. Place tray in a warm location with indirect light. 8. Check daily. You will be surprised to see germination within a few days.

The first set of leaves are not really leaves. Wait for the second set, called true leaves, to appear. Then thin plants to avoid crowding, but don’t pull them out as you may disturb the root system of the plants you wish to keep. Instead, snip stems at the soil line. Start fertilizing every other week with liquid fertilizer diluted to half the strength typically used on plants. Place in a sunny location or under a grow light. Rotate to encourage straight growth and move away from direct light if plants become spindly. If plants outgrow their containers, transplant to a larger pot. Scoop out plants from the roots with a spoon and drop into a hole made in moist potting mixture. After the last frost, begin hardening off plants by placing outside for two hours and gradually increasing to all day before planting in the ground. By starting early, your garden will be weeks ahead of your neighbors’. 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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COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE MARCH 2020

Hunting toms is outrageously entertaining and difficult BY DENNIS SMITH

OUTDOORS@COLOR ADOCOUNTRYLIFE .ORG

I

’d never hunted turkeys until my kids talked me into going with them a few years back and, I promise you, it’s every bit as fascinating — and frustrating — as the outdoor magazines report it to be. I wished I’d done it sooner. I didn’t have a license but tagged along with a camera and had as much fun as they did, maybe more. I got at least a few shots, but they didn’t — no doubt because they were hunting with recurve bows. Hunting turkeys with a shotgun is challenging enough; tagging one of these wary birds with a bow and arrow is ridiculously difficult at best. No matter; we’ll be going back again and again. It’s that much fun. Turkeys’ notoriously spooky dispositions, exceptional eyesight and extremely keen hearing make wild turkeys virtually impossible to sneak up on, but love-struck gobblers are suckers for the courting yelps of a romantic hen during the spring mating season. That’s the operating theory anyway. Sometimes they are, and sometimes they aren’t. That’s the frustrating part. Basic technique requires hunters to locate roosting birds the evening before the hunt, return before first light the next day, slip within a hundred yards or so of the roost,

then try to lure a big, mature gobbler within range by imitating the call of a romantic hen. Hunters may use one or more of commercially manufactured or homemade calls. When it works, you can hear the competing toms come gobbling toward you through the woods. Adrenalin races through your veins, your heart pounds so loud in your ears you’ll swear the turkeys can hear it and you’ll hold your breath until you nearly pass out. You give it all you can do to keep your bow hand from shaking the arrow off the string. All that remains is to wait for one of the toms to go into full strut and turn his back to you long enough for you to draw your bow, take aim and release the arrow — all the while making certain, of course, that one of the others isn’t looking right at you ready to blow your cover at the first false move. It’s not easy. Thank goodness there are plenty of turkeys to practice on. According to the National Wild Turkey Federation and state wildlife agencies, there are more than 7 million wild turkeys strutting around the forests and river bottoms of America. Hunting them with camera, gun or bow and arrow is an utterly fascinating experience. 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 under Living in Colorado.


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COMMUNITY EVENTS March 14 Greeley

Rich Little Comedy Show Union Colony Civic Center 7:30-10 pm • ucstars.com

March 15 Denver

March 14 St. Baldrick’s Foundation Head-Shaving Event 4-7 pm at Estes Park Mountain Shop, Estes Park Help support children who are trying to triumph over cancer, simply by shaving your head or cheering on others who are shaving theirs. It’s well-known that cancer treatment often causes patients to lose their hair and this event helps raise funds for the smallest cancer warriors: children. In addition to head shaving, you will enjoy food, drinks and fun. For more information about this event and additional St. Baldrick’s events in Colorado, visit stbaldricks.org.

March 2020 March 5-8 Denver

“Chicago” Theater Performance Eugenia Rawls Courtyard Theatre 303-556-2296 • mscd.edu/theatre/ productionsauditions

March 6 Carbondale

First Friday Carbondale Creative District 5-9 pm • carbondale.com

March 6-8 Monte Vista

Monte Vista Crane Festival Various Monte Vista Locations mvcranefest.org

March 7 Grand Junction

TEDx Grand Junction Conference The Avalon Theatre 9 am-5 pm • avalontheatregj.com

March 7-8 South Fork

Woof Creek Sled Dog & Skijor Races Rio Grande Club & Resort 9 am-2 pm riograndeclubandresort.com

March 11 Denver

Post-Suffrage Politics with Liette Gidlow • History Colorado Center 7-8 pm • historycolorado.org

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COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE MARCH 2020

March 11 Greeley

Young Adult Job Fair Registration Deadline March 6 Island Grove Event Center 5-7:30 pm • 970-400-6794

March 12-15 Aspen

Après Ski Cocktail Classic Various Aspen Locations apresskicocktailclassic.com

March 13-14 Keystone

Rocky Mountain Country Fest Warren Station Center for the Arts 970-423-8997 • warrenstation.com

March 13 Longmont

Second Fridays Downtown Longmont Creative District • 6-9 pm downtownlongmont.com

March 14-15 Fort Collins

Irish Denver by Bus Reservations Required History Colorado Center 12-5 pm • 303-866-2394

March 15 Pueblo

“George Orwell’s 1984” Theater Performance Sangre de Cristo Arts’ Center Stage 4 pm • 719-295-7200

March 15 Steamboat Springs

Super Ski Free Sunday and Closing Day Howelsen Hill Ski Area 970-879-8499 steamboatsprings.net

March 16 Denver

A New Gardener Boot Camp Evening Series Denver Botanic Gardens 6-9 pm • botanicgardens.org

March 18 Colorado Springs

“Birds and Renewable Energy” Aiken Audubon Program Bear Creek Nature Center 6:30 pm • 719-520-6388

March 19-21 Cortez

Four States Ag Expo Montezuma County Fairgrounds fourstatesagexpo.com

March 20-22 La Junta

Fort Collins Ducks Unlimited Annual Spring Banquet Hilton Fort Collins 970-889-3287 ducks.org

Alternative Health Expo Two Rivers Convention Center 10 am-5 pm tworiversconvention.com

March 25 Durango

PIVOT: Skateboard Deck Art FLC Center of Southwest Studies 5-7 pm • swcenter.fortlewis.edu

March 27-29 Colorado Springs

Colorado Comic Convention Colorado Springs Convention Center mightyconshows.com

March 27-28 Durango

Friends of the Library Book Sale Durango Public Library 9 am-5 pm • 970-375-3380

March 28 Bayfield

Prime Rib Dinner and Auction Bayfield Lions Club 5 pm • 970-259-1595

March 28 Rangely

Children’s Health and Education Fair Early Education Building 8:30 am-3:30 pm • 970-675-2064

March 28 Windsor

“Poudre Pour” Celebration of the Cache La Poudre River Boardwalk Park Museum 2-6 pm • poudreheritage.org

April 2020 April 4 Longmont

Farm Days Doc Jones & Company 719-469-3030 • visitlajunta.net

Amateur Radio Hamfest, Swap & Show Boulder County Fairgrounds 8 am-2 pm • w0eno.org/LarcFest

March 21 and 28 Fountain

April 4-5 Salida

Wilderness and Remote First Aid Class Fountain Creek Nature Center 8 am-5: 30 pm • 719-520-6977

“Annelies” Choral Performance CSU Lory Student Center Theatre 970-416-9348 • larimerchorale.org

March 14 Fort Collins

March 21 Grand Junction

SEND CALENDAR ITEMS 3 MONTHS IN ADVANCE

Chaffee County Home & Garden Show Chaffee County Fairgrounds chaffeehomeandgarden.com

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

Right after graduating from high

Dave Kaufman poses with CCL during a colorful visit to Gisborne, New Zealand. He cruised there from Tahiti. Dave is a consumer-member of Poudre Valley REA.

Girls weekend at Grandma’s house! Highline Electric Association consumer-member Ramona Phipps shared this photo of her granddaughters with Colorado Country Life.

school, my daughter had a summer job at the company where I worked. In the mornings when we were riding together we would pass a little farm where three donkeys were grazing next to the road, so we would wave and say hello to them. After she moved to Ithaca to attend Cornell University, she was terribly homesick. We would call and email each other almost daily. One day I received this message and photo from her: “I saw three donkeys and I thought of you!” I didn’t know if I should laugh or cry. Marika Ujvari, Windsor

On a hike with our 3-year-old in

Winter Park, he started to get a little bit whiny. He pointed to one of his legs and said, “Mommy, this leg has walked for a long time.” I replied, “Oh, it has? What about the other leg?” He then pointed to his other leg and said, “No, this leg hasn’t.” Mara Prandi-Abrams, Winter Park

A good friend who lives in Wyoming Gary and Jeni Koch visit Jerusalem, Israel, with Colorado Country Life. The Koch’s are consumermembers of Highline Electric Association.

La Plata Electric consumer-members Lori and Todd Harris take CCL to Churchill, Manitoba, Canada, to watch polar bears.

WINNER: Brendan, David and Bianca visit Chichén Itzá in Mexico with Colorado Country Life. Dad, Joseph, is behind the camera. They are consumer-members of Mountain View Electric Association.

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, your name and address to info@ coloradocountrylife.org. We’ll draw one photo to win $25 each month. The next deadline is Monday, March 16. Name, address and co-op must accompany photo. See all of the submitted photos on Facebook at facebook.com/COCountryLife.

was hosting several grandchildren from Colorado. In the evening when the family gathered to watch television, the youngest grandson approached the television and began sliding his small hand across the screen. His granddad asked, “What are you trying to do to the television?” The young lad responded, “Granddad, I’m trying to change channels!” Obviously his tablet had a more interactive screen, but, then again, maybe he was just ahead of his time. George and Phyllis Clark, Colorado Springs

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 2020 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 MARCH 2020

29


DISCOVERIES

COLORADO FOODIE TREATS High-quality products, deliciously good

Excitation Confirmation When Kate’s Real Food Account Director Sarah Steinwand of Crested Butte said of the company’s hand-rolled energy bars, “I think you will be overwhelmed by how delicious they are,” we had to give them a go — and it was worth it. The Victor, Idaho, company’s organic bars have a nice crunch, are made of healthy, real ingredients, and are overwhelmingly delicious. Buy individually, by the dozen or in snack bite sizes. For more information, visit katesrealfood.com.

The Big Cheese

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Dawn Jump’s goats are busy being doted over and producing milk for Jumpin’ Good Goat Dairy in Buena Vista. The folks at this well-established cheese-making company carefully create a variety of lip-smacking flavors you’ll want to slather, spread and dip into. Try the zesty Queso de Colorado, the sweet Crème de la Chevre, or the Buffalo Peaks Feta that sprinkles wonderfully onto your favorite omelet or salad. For more information, call 719-395-4646 or visit jumpingoodgoats.com.

It started as a side job 1995. The idea was to make some extra dough and introduce locals to the unfamiliar flavor of chai tea. Twenty-five years later, Third Street is a celebrated Colorado brand. The Louisvillebased company brews up a variety of teas by hand — and with Fair Trade ingredients — to create palate-pleasing beverages. Try a chai or sip some green or black tea — you can’t go wrong. For more information, visit drinkthirdstreet.com or call 800-636-3790.

Buzzworthy Honey Beekeeper Beth Conrey loves to care for the bees that produce sweet honey from her 125 hives in Weld, Larimer and Boulder counties, Poudre Valley Rural Electric Association territory. The Berthoud resident has won several awards for her honeys, including the 2020 Good Food award for the Whiskey Barrel Aged Honey and the 2016 Good Food award for her Rose-Infused Honey. Honey jars come in a variety of sizes and additional flavors. For more information and to order, visit bethsbees.com or call 970-213-3099.

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COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE MARCH 2020


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*69033426 * 69033426

LIMIT 1 - Coupon valid through 5/2/20*

LIMIT 5 - Coupon valid through 5/2/20*

LIMIT 4 - Coupon valid through 5/2/20*

LIMIT 2 - Coupon valid through 5/2/20*

SUPER COUPON

SUPER COUPON

4" RATCHETING BAR CLAMP/SPREADER

COMPARE TO

6

$ 49

MODEL: 1964747

SAVE 84%

ITEM 46805/62242/68974 shown

99¢ 1

$ 99

SUPER COUPON

SUPER COUPON

7 AMP ELECTRIC POLE SAW 24 FT., 18 BULB, 12 SOCKET 9.5" BAR OUTDOOR LINKABLE YOUR CHOIRCE OF COLO STRING LIGHTS 9

Customer Rating

NOW

IRWIN

20% OFF

*69015622 * 69015622 SUPER COUPON

$

SUPER COUPON

ANY SINGLE ITEM*

ALL IN A SINGLE SUPER POWERFUL LIGHT

$5 99

COMPARE TO

135

COMPARE TO

WITH ANY PURCHASE

SUPER BRIGHT LED/SMD WORK LIGHT/FLASHLIGHT

LIMIT 1 - Coupon valid through 5/2/20*

SUPER COUPON

#

99

FREE

OVER 5,000 5 STAR REVIEWS Customer Rating

NOW

6 ft . to

Customer Rating

9 $599 $7999 COMPARE TO

WORX

$

$21 9

Customer Rating

8 ft . 10 "

9998 SAVE $39

MODEL: WG309

ITEM 68862/63190/56808/62896 shown

$ LINK UP TO 9 STRINGS

BLACK

WHITE

SAVE 44% COMPARE TO

Customer Rating

2799

$

3998

ITEM 64486 ITEM 64739 PORTFOLIO MODEL: SLC12BK 63483 shown

*69034463 * 69034463

*69036579 * 69036579

*69036627 * 69036627

LIMIT 4 - Coupon valid through 5/2/20*

LIMIT 2 - Coupon valid through 5/2/20*

LIMIT 2 - Coupon valid through 5/2/20*

*Original coupon only. No use on prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase or without original receipt. Valid through 5/2/20.

130 PIECE TOOL KIT WITH CASE

NOW

COMPARE TO

ANVIL

$

6639 SAVE 54%

MODEL: A137HOS

9 $299 $

3999

ITEM 68998/63248/64080/64263/63091 shown

*69039551 * 69039551 LIMIT 3 - Coupon valid through 5/2/20*

At Harbor Freight Tools, the “Compare to” price means that the specified comparison, which is an item with the same or similar function, was advertised for sale at or above the “Compare to” price by another national retailer in the U.S. within the past 90 days. Prices advertised by others may vary by location. No other meaning of “Compare to” should be implied. For more information, go to HarborFreight.com or see store associate.


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