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APRIL IS AUTISM AWARENESS MONTH
PLUS WEATHERING THE COLD SNAP
COOKING WITH ODDS AND ENDS
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April 2021 THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE COLORADO RURAL ELECTRIC ASSOCIATION COMMUNICATIONS STAFF Mona Neeley, CCC, Publisher/Editor firstname.lastname@example.org Cassi Gloe, CCC, Production Manager/Designer email@example.com Kylee Coleman, Editorial/Admin. Assistant firstname.lastname@example.org ADVERTISING Kris Wendtland, Ad Representative email@example.com | 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 2021, Colorado Rural Electric Association. Call for reprint rights. EDITORIAL Denver Corporate Office, 5400 Washington Street, Denver, CO 80216 firstname.lastname@example.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.
APRIL IS AUTISM AWARENESS MONTH
6 ASK THE ENERGY EXPERT
7 YOUR CO-OP NEWS
14 NEWS CLIPS
PINTEREST SNEAK PEEK
16 COVER STORY
20 ENERGY CONNECTIONS
25 CREATIVE CORNER
28 COMMUNITY EVENTS
29 YOUR STORIES
Danny Combs stands inside the TACT workshop located in Denver. Photo by Chris Coleman.
Colorado Rural Electric Association posted: Great to see Colorado’s own La Plata Electric Association (LPEA) CEO Jessica Matlock facilitating a discussion on mentors among women in the electric co-op industry during the NRECA virtual annual meeting.
Monthly Contest Enter for your chance to win a gift basket full of goodies. For official rules and how to enter, visit our Contests page at coloradocountrylife.coop.
COCountryLife pinned: Start your day off with this delicious breakfast dish: Crispy Breadcrumb Eggs. Get the recipe at www.coloradocountrylife.coop/recipes
POSTMASTER Send address changes to Colorado Country Life, 5400 Washington Street, Denver, CO 80216
“Stop! My Stomping Ground” by Jan Busby, an Empire Electric Association consumer-member.
INSTAGRAM PIC of the month colorado_electric_cooperatives posted: CREA’s virtual annual meeting is underway this morning. #75thannualmeeting #membershipmeets #lookbackatlastyear #lookingforwardtowhatscoming COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE APRIL 2021
WEATHERING THE COLD SNAP
Colorado’s electric cooperatives were not lucky, but prepared BY KENT SINGER
he mid-February power outages in Texas and other states caused widespread human suffering and even loss of life. Millions of Texans were without power, heat or water for several days in one of the worst power outages in U.S. history. There are many investigations underway and lots of finger-pointing, but the basic problem was that when the demand for electricity spiked during extremely cold weather, there was simply not enough to go around. Although hearings and investigations regarding the causes of the blackouts are ongoing, it seems apparent that the primary causes of the outages were the result of power supply failures: frozen coal piles, inoperable wind turbines, inadequate natural gas supplies and a nuclear power plant that went off line. The blackouts were not caused by problems with the transmission or distribution systems as sometimes happens in wind or ice storms, but by lack of power supply of all varieties. It wasn’t a failure of renewable or nonrenewable energy, it was a failure of the entire power supply system. As an association of electric co-ops whose job it is to keep the lights on in rural Colorado, the events in Texas of course bring a sobering question to mind: Could it happen here? Colorado’s electric co-ops take great pride in maintaining a system of generating plants and transmission and distribution lines that provide incredibly reliable electric service to over 70% of Colorado’s landmass. The safety and success of rural Colorado communities depend on the availability of reliable and affordable electricity; Colorado’s
COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE APRIL 2021
electric co-ops provide that power. The same cold snap that impacted Texas resulted in a close call in Colorado. While the grid held up and there were no significant power outages, this was not a matter of luck. Instead, it was a matter of planning, thinking ahead and taking the steps necessary to protect the power delivery system. The power stayed on due to the smart and hard work done by dispatchers, power plant operators, maintenance staff and other electric utility workers from many utilities across the state. In the co-op family, Tri-State Generation and Transmission, the power supplier to 17 of Colorado’s 22 electric co-ops, was able to use fuel oil instead of natural gas in some of its dual-fuel capable units, thus avoiding the temporary spikes in natural gas prices. The weather reduced the availability of Tri-State’s wind and solar capacity, but all of its coalfired units remained on line; clearly, as Tri-State retires these coal units in the coming years, it will need to solve the need for capacity with new technology. Even though Tri-State incurred higher costs for the natural gas it did use during the cold snap, it was able to minimize those costs and there will be no increase in Tri-State’s wholesale rates to its members as a result of the weather. The same cannot be said for Colorado’s electric co-ops that purchase their power from Xcel Energy: Grand Valley Power,
Holy Cross Energy, Intermountain REA and Yampa Valley Electric. These co-ops were hit with huge “fuel cost adjustment” charges from Xcel Energy. During the cold snap, the price of natural gas skyrocketed due to the demand across the country and Xcel spent an additional $650 million to keep its gas-fired power plants running. Xcel is now seeking to recover those costs not only from its retail customers, but also from the four electric co-ops in Colorado that purchase their wholesale power supply from Xcel. The easy answer to the question of “Could it happen here?” is “Of course not.” But that’s not the right answer. The right answer is that while a blackout the scope of the Texas blackout is highly unlikely, more localized interruptions are possible. The power grid is comprised of mechanical devices that may sometimes fail or be overwhelmed by severe weather. Colorado’s electric co-ops are doing everything in their power to anticipate all sorts of conditions, be it weather, fire or cyber threats, and if our performance in the latest cold snap is any indication, we’re up to the challenge. There’s an old saying that “luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” While we don’t wish for challenging opportunities, Colorado’s electric co-ops are always preparing to be lucky. Kent Singer is the executive director of CREA 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 one power supply co-op.
FROM THE EDITOR
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Time to get back on the road
BY MONA NEELEY
Questions About Renewables
’ve missed our face-to-face. A reminder popped up on my social media just a couple weeks ago that it was one year ago that I flew to Durango to visit La Plata Electric. That would turn out to be my last visit to one of Colorado’s local electric co-ops until just a month ago when I got to go to Mountain Parks Electric to help present assistance funds, raised by the co-op family, to those affected by the East Troublesome Fire. That’s too long. I’ve missed the opportunity to visit electric co-op territory and interact with magazine readers. For the last year, there’s been no meeting readers at Mount Princeton Hot Springs in Nathrop on my way to a nearby Sangre de Cristo Electric annual meeting. No chance to visit with them in the lobby of Grand Lake’s Rocky Mountain
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Repertory Theatre MONA NEELEY when I’m taking in a show after a day of meetings. There’s been no chatting with Mountain View Electric consumer-members in Black Forest during a dinner celebrating a supercharged electric race car or learning more about northwestern Colorado over appetizers in downtown Craig while traveling back from a co-op event. But as soon as I get my vaccine shots, I plan to be back on the road. I can’t wait to visit all of the electric co-ops and, once again, connect with readers. 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 to you, its consumer-members.
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Tri-State Generation and Transmission is in the process of closing three Craig coalfired power plants. You did not mention what the replacement source will be to provide electricity. The wind doesn’t always blow. The sun doesn’t always shine. Natural gas is cleaner than coal, but the city of Denver doesn’t want new houses that use natural gas. We have an abundance of carbon-based fuels. Rick Carducci, Limon Mountain View Electric consumer-member
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As we move into renewable energy, can we consider waste from renewables? Decommissioned solar panels and wind blades are not suitable for landfills. Solar panels contain lead and cadmium. The United States is expected to have 78 million metric tons of solar panel waste by 2050. An estimated 720,000 tons of blades need to be disposed of over the next 20 years. Pat Morehouse, Mesa County Grand Valley Power consumer-member
EDITOR’S NOTE: Tri-State’s Responsible Energy Plan, which outlines how the electricity from its coal-fired power plants will be replaced, can be viewed online at https://tristate.coop/ responsible-energy-plan.
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A January letter on the urgency of switching to renewable energy mentions wildfires, snowstorms, drought and windstorms creating crises for co-op managers and crews. I’ve enjoyed the services of Mountain View Electric for the last 42 years. There have been times when the power goes out due to wind and snow dropping trees on power lines. My pastures turned to dust in the 2002 drought. My house burned in the Black Forest fire. But I’m not sure how renewable energy would have prevented any of those problems. Carolyn Brown, Black Forest Mountain View Electric consumer-member
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SEND US YOUR LETTERS Editor Mona Neeley, 5400 Washington Street, Denver, CO 80216 or email@example.com. Include name and address. Letters may be edited for length. COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE APRIL 2021
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COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE APRIL 2021
Three Options for Home Cooling
BY PAT KEEGAN AND BR AD THIESSEN
ow’s the time to think about how to stay cool this summer. There are a few low- and no-cost cooling strategies, like using ceiling fans, turning off unused electrical devices and appliances, and blocking direct sunlight with window coverings. If that’s not enough, you can install air conditioning. Below are three common options for home cooling. Included are approximate costs for each, but please be aware that prices are highly variable.
Ductless mini split heat pumps
Window units and portable cooling
Window AC units or portable AC units are the lowest cost approach. Portable units can be moved from room to room and come equipped with a length of duct to exhaust hot air out a nearby window. Window units are mounted in a window opening and cool one room. Those living in hot, dry climates could consider an evaporative cooler, sometimes referred to as a swamp cooler. Window units have been around for a while, but now there are portable options available. Evaporative cooling units can be less expensive than traditional AC, but don’t buy one until you do the research to determine how well evaporative cooling works in your local area. Whatever you choose, make sure it is rated for the size of the space you are cooling.
If your home has forced air heating ductwork, it can be used for an AC or heat pump unit. This is a good option if the ductwork is sized properly and doesn’t leak, and if ducts are in unheated attics or crawl spaces that are insulated.
Cost: $149 to $1,000 per new unit (depending on your climate and how many square feet you’re trying to cool)
A ductless mini split heat pump has a compressor outside the home that’s connected to air handler units in as many as four rooms. Each room’s temperature can be controlled separately. Ductless mini splits are an especially good choice for homes without forced air ducting systems or with leaky or undersized ductwork. Heat pumps can also be a supplemental source of heat in the winter. Cost: approximately $3,000 to $10,000 (including installation)
Cost: approximately $3,000 to $7,000 (not including repairs to ductwork) As always, you can save energy and money by purchasing Energy Star-rated appliances and collecting a few quotes from licensed contractors. Pat Keegan and Brad Thiessen of Collaborative Efficiency write on energy efficiency topics for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. For additional energy tips and information on Collaborative Efficiency, visit www.collaborativeefficiency.com/energytips.
LEARN MORE ONLINE Click on Energy Tips under the Energy tab at coloradocountrylife.coop.
XCEL PRICE SPIKE HITS GVP BY TOM WALCH
YOUR CO-OP NEWS
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
he impact of Winter Storm Uri, which hit Texas over the Valentine’s Day weekend, was nothing short of devastating. We all saw the headlines. Many of us heard firsthand of hardships faced by families and friends who were out of power and water during the most frigid conditions the state has ever experienced. The Texas grid was unprepared, and so was the Texas electric market. Consumers and utilities continue to struggle to recover. As this was going on, I was relieved that Grand Valley Power consumers were not affected by the storm. By comparison, it was balmy in Mesa County – almost 40 degrees warmer here than it was in Texas or over on Colorado’s front range. During the storm and in its immediate aftermath, Xcel Energy, our wholesale power provider, gave us no indication that we would suffer any adverse impacts. Our power supply was never curtailed, and we never received any messages advising us to encourage our consumers to conserve energy usage because of tightening power or fuel supplies. But then the other shoe dropped. In late February, news reports surfaced indicating that Xcel was facing a $650 million hit due to a spike in natural gas costs. Then, in early March, Xcel informed us that it would charge us for a share of these costs with an unprecedented Fuel Cost Adjustment of $2.37 million. Xcel is slamming GVP with a February wholesale power bill that is three times our normal bill. The impact on our consumers will be significant.
Why this impacts Grand Valley Power In order to understand the impact of Xcel’s actions, our consumers need to understand where our electric energy comes from and how we pay for it. Some of our consumers think of us simply as “the power company.” Without giving it much thought, they may think that Grand Valley Power generates the power that we sell to our consumers. This is
not the case. Historically, the production of electricity is much more efficient and affordable when it is done on a large scale. For this reason, the electricity consumed by most Coloradans is generated by one of the big utilities like Xcel, Tri-State or Black Hills. In the past, these big utilities did not want to take on the burden of distributing this electricity to consumers in hard-to-reach rural areas because they could not make enough money doing so. Electric cooperative associations were formed to provide electric distribution services that these consumers needed. That’s why you sometimes see businesses like Grand Valley Power referred to as “distribution cooperatives.” In our case, Xcel generates electricity at various locations across the state, and delivers it to electric
“Xcel is slamming GVP with a February wholesale power bill that is three times our normal bill.” substations in Grand Valley Power’s service territory. We then transport the electricity from the substations, across our distribution lines, and deliver it to our consumers’ homes and businesses. In order to ensure that we have a reliable and affordable source of electricity to distribute to our consumers, about 30 years ago Grand Valley Power entered into a long-term Power Purchase Agreement with Public Service Company of Colorado, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Xcel Energy. This contract, which is approved and regulated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), ensures that Grand Valley Power has a source for all of its power
needs at a price that is based on the cost to produce that power. It ensures that Xcel will be able to recover its costs plus a stated rate of return. Over the years, we have had our ups and downs with Xcel, but for the most part, the contract has functioned to provide reliable electric energy that is just a little bit cheaper than the electricity that similarly situated cooperatives purchase. Our consumers benefit from this. We pass this power cost through to our members directly, without mark-up, on every monthly bill. You can track that cost on your bill simply by looking at the “Power Cost Pass Through” line item. One of Xcel’s cost recovery mechanisms in our Power Purchase Agreement is the FERC mandated Fuel Cost Adjustment Clause or FCA. This is contractual language that allows Xcel to adjust monthly billings to wholesale customers to account for fluctuations in the costs of fuel (typically coal and natural gas) needed to generate electricity requirements. Over the past ten years that the FCA has been in place, it has not had a significant impact on the bills of GVP consumers. It typically adds one-tenth of a cent per kilowatt-hour to a monthly bill. Before February 2021, the highest monthly FCA charged to Grand Valley Power was a little less than six-tenths of a cent per kilowatt-hour. The Xcel FCA is also passed through to our consumers without markup. It is incorporated into the Power Cost Pass Through line item.
What to expect from the FCA increase On March 1, Xcel notified Grand Valley Power that the estimated February 2021 Fuel Cost Adjustment would be 11.7 cents per COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE APRIL 2021
YOUR CO-OP NEWS
The graph above illustrates if GVP were to charge the full amount due on the April 2021 bill. If you are member who used 800 kilowatt-hours between February 1-28, you would see an additional $93.72 for energy costs – this is double your normal bill. Grid connectivity charge not included.
kilowatt-hour. That is almost 20 times higher than the highest FCA ever billed to our cooperative. What does that mean to you as one of our consumers? In February, the historic average Grand Valley Power residential usage is 800 kilowatt-hours. If you consumed 800 kilowatt-hours this February, you would see an additional $93 tacked on to your bill if we were to pass the expense through the same method we have in the past. Consumers using 1,500 kilowatt-hours would see more than $175 added to their February bill. We recognize that this would impose a significant hardship on our consumers, so we are presenting a solution to help spread this added charge out over the next twelve months: • Grand Valley Power will calculate the amount of the consumer’s share of the February FCA for each member account. • We will divide that amount by 12 to determine a monthly “Xcel FCA Pass Through” amount that will be included as a line item on each bill for the next 12 months. Using the example above, instead of facing an added charge of about $93 dollars on an initial bill, the consumer using 800 kilowatt-hours in February will see about $7.81 added to their bill each month for the next 12 months. This charge will only appear on the bills of consumers with kilowatt-hour consumption during the month of February.
COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE APRIL 2021
The graph above illustrates how GVP plans to manage the fuel cost adjustment impacting our members’ energy costs. If you are a member who used 800 kilowatt-hours between February 1-28, you would see an additional $7.81 added per month, for 12 months. Grid connectivity charge not included.
• Grand Valley Power will not charge consumers any interest or carrying charge on the Xcel FCA Pass Through, provided those charges are paid when due. • If the Xcel FCA for February is reduced in any form or fashion, the reduction will be applied to reduce each consumer’s share of the FCA charges. • After 12 months, when the consumer’s total share of the February FCA is fully paid the charge will go away. If a consumer who is paying a monthly “Xcel FCA Pass Through” charge leaves the Grand Valley Power system before the full amount of the consumer’s share of the February FCA is paid, the balance due will be added to the consumer’s final bill. We will work with any consumer who needs to spread payments out over a longer period; we will also allow consumers to pay the total February FCA before the end of the 12-month period. We will confirm the details of the program for each individual account with a letter mailed to the address we have on file. This letter will include the total amount of the consumer’s share of the February FCA
“The market tightened drastically, and suppliers who waited too long or didn’t look to other fuels ended up paying exorbitant prices for natural gas.”
for the account, based on meter readings for the month of February. It will also include the monthly “Xcel FCA Pass Through” that will be included on billings for the next twelve months. Consumers can always get information about their accounts on their SmartHub app, and by calling our office. Additional information about the winter storm event and the FCA will be posted on our website at gvp.org/FCA.
“When Xcel executed its gas purchases, the price was 100 times greater than it was the day before.” What caused the spike in the FCA? Getting back to why this exercise is necessary: Xcel was forced to rely on natural gas generation to supply a significant percentage of the power needed to keep the grid up and running during the extreme weather event in February. They weren’t the only ones. From the Dakotas down to Texas, electric suppliers needed enough natural gas to get through a bitterly cold holiday weekend. The market tightened drastically, and suppliers who waited too long or didn’t look to other fuels ended up paying exorbitant prices for natural gas. Xcel was one of the suppliers that waited too long. Correspondence from Xcel indicates that natural gas prices prior to the cold weather were running in the range of $2 - $3 per dekatherm. On Friday, February
YOUR CO-OP NEWS 12, when Xcel executed its gas purchases, the price was 100 times greater than it was the day before, with some gas running as high as $600 per dekatherm. These are the kinds of costs that caused the incredible escalation of the Xcel FCA. Could this have been prevented? Some suppliers used gas storage and other hedges to effectively mitigate losses. Some switched natural gas facilities to run on fuel oil. The Tri-State Generation and Transmission Cooperative that supplies electricity to more than 40 distribution electric cooperatives in and around Colorado estimates that their added cost due to the winter storm event would be less than $10 million dollars. In comparison, the FCA that Xcel passed on to the four distribution cooperatives that are their wholesale customers in the state totals more than $15 million.
We are challenging these charges and defending our members Distribution electric cooperatives like Grand Valley Power make up less than ten
BOARD MEETING NOTICE
Grand Valley Power board meetings are open to the members, consumers and public, but due to current COVID19 health concerns, please call us at 970-242-0040 if you are interested in attending our meeting remotely. 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. 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.
percent of the electric load that Xcel serves in Colorado. Most of the power they generate is dispatched to retail customers across the state, including our friends and neighbors in Grand Junction, Fruita and Palisade. Xcel is trying to pass these same costs on to their retail customers, but the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) may have something to say about it. Governor Polis has urged the Commission to ensure that Xcel and other utilities did enough to protect consumers from price spikes before requiring customers to pay for them. “Reliable electric and gas service are paramount, but I am also extremely concerned that customers will be asked to bear an unreasonable burden if utilities fail to take common-sense steps to protect against extreme price fluctuations,” Polis’ letter to the CPUC said. In response, the CPUC has opened an investigatory docket to examine the performance of Xcel and other wholesale power providers in dealing with the winter storm event. While the CPUC docket will provide
a forum to learn some of the details about Xcel’s preparation for the storm, Grand Valley Power consumers should understand that the CPUC does not have jurisdiction over the cooperative’s relationship with Xcel. As previously noted, Grand Valley Power’s Power Purchase Agreement with Public Service Company of Colorado is regulated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), and is subject to that agency’s jurisdiction. Grand Valley Power’s management team has joined with representatives of other Xcel wholesale customers to investigate and analyze the circumstances giving rise to this February FCA fiasco. We are doing everything in our power to reduce the financial impact that will be felt by all Grand Valley Power members. Going forward, everyone on the Grand Valley Power team understands that our members expect and deserve a reliable, affordable source of electric energy. If we can’t get that out of our relationship with Xcel, we will look seriously at other alternatives.
Director Petitions Available in May
he election process for the Grand Valley Power board of directors is approaching. The nominating procedure begins in May with the election in August. There are three director positions up for election every year. Board seats up for election this year include positions presently held by: Dennis Haberkorn, Bill Rooks and Jesse Mease. Nominating petitions will be available to be picked up beginning May 3, 2021 at the Grand Valley Power office. Petitions must be signed and returned no later than by the close of business on June 21, 2021. The Annual Meeting of Grand Valley Power and the election of directors will be held on Thursday, August 5, 2021, at Colorado Mesa University Meyer Ballroom. Mark your calendar! More details on the election process will be published in the May issue of this newsletter and can also be found at gvp.org/bylaws.
LINEWORKER SCHOLARSHIP Apply by une 1, 2021 gvp.org/scholarship-program COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE APRIL 2021
YOUR CO-OP NEWS
BEHIND THE LINES LINEWORKER APPRECIATION & SAFE DIGGING MONTH
BY: CHRISTMAS WHARTON | COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER DANA POGAR | COMMUNICATIONS SPECIALIST
THANK A LINEWORKER ON APRIL 12 HONORING THE LIVES BEHIND THE LINES
If you were asked to associate an image or a person with Grand Valley Power, I bet you would picture one of our lineworkers. As one of the most visible employees of the co-op, lineworkers work tirelessly to ensure our community receives uninterrupted power 24/7. Leif Karo, Grand Valley Power Lineman
Emily Jaeger, Ward Electric Linewoman (GVP contractor)
Michael Zunich and Caleb Monger, Grand Valley Power Lineman
“Lineworker” is listed as one of the top 10 most dangerous jobs in the U.S. This is understandable as they perform detailed tasks near high-voltage power lines. Regardless of the time of day, having to brave stormy weather and other challenging conditions, lineworkers must climb 40 feet in the air, often carrying heaving equipment to get the job done. Hometown service is embodied in each lineworker at Grand Valley Power. This dedication and sense of service to the community is truly what sets them apart. While lineworkers may be the most visible employees at Grand Valley Power, it’s important to note that there is a team of highly skilled professionals working behind the scenes. Engineers provide ongoing expertise and guidance on the design and reliability side of the co-op. Member service representatives are always standing by to take your calls, keeping our members informed and answering your questions. Our information technology (IT) experts are continuously monitoring our system to help safeguard sensitive data. Our warehouse employees ensure the equipment is there when we need it and anticipate any supply chain delays. And these are just a few of the folks who work together to ensure we can deliver the service and reliability you expect and deserve. Without them, our lineworkers wouldn’t be able to “bring the light” to our community. On April 12, and any time you see a lineworker, remember that you have a dedicated team of professionals working behind the scenes at the co-op whose commitment to service runs just as deep.
SEND A THANK YOU CARD! Scan this QR code with your phone and send our lineworkers a note of appreciation!
COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE APRIL 2021
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COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE APRIL 2021
COOKING WITH ODDS AND ENDS
WIN A COPY
Think twice before discarding food remnants BY AMY HIGGINS
Enter our contest to win a copy of the Cooking With Scraps cookbook. Visit Contests at coloradocountrylife.coop for details on how to enter.
| RECIPES@COLOR ADOCOUNTRYLIFE.ORG
Stop, don’t throw away those scraps!
t’s habit, it seems, to toss out the scraps when prepping in the kitchen, but a 2018 cookbook asserts the opposite. Cooking With Scraps by Lindsay-Jean Hard demonstrates how to use the parts and parcels we tend to toss out to create culinary dishes you’ll savor. Just imagine using banana peels to bake a heavenly cake, carrot tops to cook tantalizing tartlets or coffee grounds to whip up a creamy butter. Or give this recipe a try to see how you enjoy cooking with scraps.
Dill Pickle Brine Potato Salad
Serves 6 to 8
3 pounds baby potatoes, any large ones halved 1/3 cup chopped scallions 1/4 cup dill pickle brine 1/4 cup mayonnaise 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard 2 teaspoons prepared horseradish 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill Fine-grain sea salt Freshly ground black pepper Place the potatoes in a large pot and cover with salted water to a depth of 1 inch. Bring to a boil. The potatoes are ready when a knife slides in easily, but the very center should still feel just a touch firm. This could take between 8 and 15 minutes depending on the size of the potatoes. If your potatoes vary in size or type, fish the individual pieces out of the water to let cool as soon as they’re ready.
Peppy Potatoes “I spent far too many of my childhood years convinced that mayonnaise was gross, in part due to soggy, overdressed potato salads. And, as a result, I was skeptical of potato salad, too. Luckily, I finally learned the error of my ways — on both accounts — and have made up for lost time with a newfound love of lightly dressed potato salads like this one, which is an amalgamation of many beloved recipes. I like this best with small, waxier potatoes, but if you want to go wild, you could try a mix of potato varieties — even sweet ones.” — Lindsay-Jean Hard
Drain the potatoes and transfer them to a medium-size bowl. Add the scallions, then immediately drizzle the pickle brine over them. Let the potatoes cool slightly. As they cool, toss them in the bowl a couple times to help distribute the pickle brine and encourage it to soak in. Place the mayonnaise, mustard, horseradish and dill in a small bowl along with a healthy pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Whisk to combine. Once the potatoes have cooled, drizzle them with the dressing, toss to coat and adjust the seasonings to taste. Serve immediately or place the potato salad in the refrigerator overnight, covered, to let the flavors meld even more. Will keep for 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator. A new spin on dessert:
Fudgy Aquafaba Brownies.
Get the recipe at coloradocountrylife.coop.
COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE APRIL 2021
Advanced Technology Allows Macular Degeneration Patients To See Again And Allows Many Low Vision Patients To Drive Again While there is currently no cure, promising research is being done on many fronts. everything and anything possible to keep a person functioning,” says Dr. Stamm, “Even if it’s driving.” A scene as it might be viewed by a person with age-related macular degeneration
For many patients with macular degeneration and other visionrelated conditions, the loss of central visual detail also signals the end to one of the last bastions of independence driving. Colorado optometrist, Dr. Robert Stamm is using miniaturized telescopes which are mounted in glasses to help people who have lost vision from macular degeneration and other eye conditions. “Some of my patients consider me their last chance for people who have vision loss,” said Dr. Stamm, one of only a few doctors in the world who specializes in fitting bioptic
Same scene of rancher as viewed by a person without macular degeneration
telescopes to help those who have lost vision due to macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and other eye diseases. Imagine a pair of glasses that can improve your vision enough to change your life. Bioptic telescopes may be the breakthrough in optical technology that will give you back your independence. Patients with vision in the 20/200 range can many times be improved to 20/50. Bioptic telescopes treat both dry and wet forms of macular degeneration as well as other vision limiting conditions.
bioptic telescope is that the lens automatically focuses on whatever you’re looking at,” said Dr. Stamm. “It’s like a self-focusing camera, but much more precise.”
For more information and to schedule an appointment today, call:
Robert Stamm, O.D. Low Vision Optometrist Member IALVS Offices Throughout South Dakota, Colorado and Nebraska
www.ColoradoLowVisionDoctor.com13 COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE
Geothermal Tax Credit Extended The federal tax credit for geothermal installations was extended for two more years at the end of 2020. The extension keeps the tax credit at 26% for residential geothermal for 2021 and 2022. The credit then steps down to 22% in 2023 and expires January 1, 2024. Commercial credits remain at 10% through 2023.
President Jeff Hauck
Vice President Ginny Buzcek
The four officers for the CREA Board of Directors were reelected at the board’s February 26 virtual board meeting. The officers serve on their respective electric cooperative boards and represent those individual co-ops on the statewide board, which represents all 22 of the state’s electric co-ops and power supplier Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association. For the second year, CREA’s board will be led by President Jeff Hauck, president of Mountain Parks Electric Board of Directors. Mountain Parks Electric serves Grand, Jackson, Summit, Routt and Larimer counties. Reelected as vice president, Ginny Buzcek of Firestone represents United Power, which serves Adams, Broomfield, Weld, Jefferson, Boulder and Gilpin counties. Secretary Joe Redetzke of Buena Vista represents Sangre de Cristo Electric Association, which serves all or parts of Chaffee, Custer, Fremont, Lake and Saguache counties. Treasurer Rod Martinez represents Grand Valley Power in Grand Junction, which serves Mesa County and parts of Delta and Garfield counties. The mission of CREA is to enhance and advance the interests of its member electric cooperatives through a united effort.
On any given day or night, in all kinds of weather conditions, lineworkers install and maintain overhead and underground electrical systems. We entrust our lineworkers with your safety, so they hold a very important job. We also rely on their expertise to power our world.
Safety comes first Lineworkers must commit to safety above all else for the benefit of those they serve (you!), fellow crew members and themselves. They spend thousands of hours in safety trainings each year and must learn and apply numerous safety regulations.
They are specially trained to: Climb poles to service power lines in areas inaccessible by trucks. Stand in an elevated bucket to assess and repair overhead lines. Install poles, overhead lines and other equipment. Work on both energized and deenergized lines. Install and service underground lines.
Saluting Colorado’s Lineworkers during Lineworker Appreciation Month
COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE APRIL 2021
Treasurer Rod Martinez
Officers Reelected to Lead CREA
what does a LINEWORKER do?
• • • • •
Secretary Joe Redetzke
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Readers Help Wildfire Victims Donations from Colorado Country Life readers were part of the nearly $125,000 raised to assist some of those affected by last year’s wildfires. With so much devastation suffered in electric co-op territory, CREA, the trade association for Colorado’s electric cooperatives, established a wildfire relief fund last November. In February, representatives of CREA’s nonprofit philanthropic organization, the Colorado Electric Educational Institute, distributed the money raised. Six fire departments that fought the Cameron Peak Fire in Poudre Valley Rural Electric Association’s Larimer County territory each received $6,000 to help restore equipment used in fighting the wildfire. A donation of $2,500, matched by funds from Holy Cross Energy in Glenwood Springs, was given to the Eagle County Paramedic Service, which was affected by the Grizzly Creek Fire. The remaining funds were presented to victims and organizations affected by the East Troublesome Fire in Grand County. Checks were presented to two Mountain Parks Electric employees who lost their homes, three MPE employees whose homes were significantly damaged and nine first responders whose homes were either destroyed or damaged by the fire. Checks for $4,125 each were given to the Mountain Family Center and the Grand Foundation
to be distributed to other victims. Another $8,000 was given to the Grand Lake Fire Protection District. Funds raised included $50,000 from the CREA board, which was matched by Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association. Additional funds were donated by individual electric co-ops, their directors and employees, as well as readers of Colorado Country Life.
“My travels [while presenting checks] took me through parts of the Cameron Peak wildfire and the East Troublesome Fire areas. It was shocking to drive through miles of burned forest. Even the snow did not soften the blow of what these record-setting wildfires did to the landscape. Needless to say, the burned homes and outbuildings were even more devastating and stark to see. The generous support provided through CEEI will help people recover faster.”
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Do You Love Colorado’s
National Parks? Rocky Mountain
Black Canyon of the Gunnison
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Share your photos of Colorado’s national parks with Colorado Country Life for the chance to see it in May’s magazine. coloradocountrylife.coop/ nationalparksphotos
— Rod Martinez, president CEEI, CREA’s philanthropic entity photo by Wesley Hunget COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE APRIL 2021
APRIL IS AUTISM AWARENESS MONTH
Colorado-based organization teaches trade skills to the autism community BY JOANNE PALMER
t started with an orange 1975 Jeep Cherokee that had been sitting in a field for decades with a burned-out engine. To most people it would look like an eyesore destined for the junkyard. But Danny Combs saw it as treasure — the very thing he needed for his new nonprofit, TACT (Teaching the Autism Community Trades). Danny was inspired to start TACT in 2016 by his son Dylan who was then 8 and had been diagnosed with autism at age 3.
Danny had grown tired of going to therapists’ offices and listening to what was wrong with Dylan. Delayed speech. Issues with fine and gross motor skills. Toe walking. Dylan was defined by what he couldn’t do, but his dad saw more possibilities than problems in his son. He saw a bright, imaginative child. “I never heard what he could do. I only heard what he needed to be doing,” he says. “For my own sanity, I had to do something.” Danny didn’t just do something; he did
everything. At the time, Danny, 35, was living his dream. He’d succeeded in the competitive music industry in Nashville. His day-to-day was working alongside Grammy- and Oscar-winning artists. It was heady stuff. He’d won a Grammy Signature Schools Enterprise Award for the music education program he developed. His future was bright. Assured. But for Dylan the exact opposite was true. According to a 2020 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 out of 54 children are diagnosed each year on the autism spectrum. The report also showed that people with autism have the highest unemployment rate in the country; 90% of them can’t find or hold a job in the best of times. The odds were Dylan would grow up and never get a job. There was no road map for his son, no future. That was unacceptable
AUTISM IN THE UNITED STATES The autism community is the highest unemployment sector in the United States, currently at 90%. TACT’s programs lead to employable jobs and lasting careers that are personally fulfilling and suited to each individual’s strengths.
COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE APRIL 2021
Student Chris “Scoop” Cooper takes a measurement while working on a carpentry project at TACT.
to Danny. He was determined to map out a different future, not just for his son but also for others with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). He decided to move from Nashville back home to Colorado to be closer to family and an environment more supportive for Dylan. Danny refused to let the statistics stop him. As he read and researched, the numbers showed something else. Hope. Individuals with autism were ideal employees. Once they got jobs, they were incredibly loyal. They never left. They never called in sick. Perhaps the most startling statistic of all was this: The average U.S. worker is on task 48% of the time; an individual with ASD, 98%. People with autism were twice as productive, always on task, most likely not distracted by their cellphones and co-workers. Then Danny asked himself, why were people with ASD unable to get jobs? As he continued to read and do research he discovered the answer: The issue was a slow learning curve. Individuals on the spectrum took longer to learn a job — an issue that was a deterrent for employers. Again, rather than seeing a problem, Danny
saw possibility. What if he could offer the missing piece? What if he could train students on the front end to give students the tools they needed to be a success and to hit the ground running? Danny decided to teach what he knew: skilled trades. He knew there was a demand and knew that, due to budget cuts, many schools had cut shop classes that taught essential skills like welding and carpentry. Associated jobs were lucrative and in demand. Danny grew up working on cars and building things. His father and grandfather taught him to work hard and problem solve. Together they worked on building houses, cars and furniture. He can still remember the satisfaction he got from keeping his own car running — a 1979 Volkswagen Beetle convertible. Danny had no background in starting or running a nonprofit — no background in starting or running a hands-on vocational training center. Plus, there was no template to follow — if his idea worked, it would be the first program of its kind. What Danny did have was a can-do attitude, a master’s degree in education, a background as a
fourth-generation tradesman and a relentless desire to help his son. TACT was founded in Denver with the mission statement: “To encourage and empower the full spectrum of individuals with autism through education and employment in skilled trades.” In the beginning, the dream was big but the budget was small — $25,000 from a GoFundMe campaign. There was no staff, no headquarters or office space, just Danny and his dream. He and his then-wife, Claire, “rolled up our sleeves and went to work. We read a lot, talked to consultants and nonprofit experts, and asked people who were smarter than us,” he says. The first project was fun: a ukulele building class in partnership with Stapleton Music Lab. Then came the infamous orange Jeep Cherokee. A friend graciously allowed Danny to turn his driveway into a classroom and conduct his first class there. For Paul and Cindy, the parents of another boy with ASD who asked that we not use their last name, that Jeep Cherokee was a lifeline for their car-loving, mechanically-inclined son, Noah. As Paul recalls, “One day an email popped into my inbox with the words auto, autism and class and I thought, ‘We have to be there.’” Noah didn’t just love cars; he was obsessed with them and had an encyclopedic knowledge of them. He could identify COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE APRIL 2021
Mason Ferrick and Geoffrey Simpson discuss a project with teacher Emiley Logan (center).
a Mini Cooper or Hummer from his car seat at age 2. As he grew older, he could look at a car and tell his parents the factory it was made in and what issues caused a recall of a part. Prior to TACT, Noah’s parents had spent countless hours attending car shows and visiting Denver’s Forney Museum of Transportation to indulge his passion.
So, with regard to the class, “I can still picture that orange Jeep Cherokee in the driveway of a beautiful home in Cherry Hills,” Paul says. “It was TACT’s first auto class. There were about six kids there. Danny had this presence about him. He was calm. He just seemed to understand what our kids needed. Noah is a little uneasy in new social situations. Danny came up, talked to him and put him at ease. Each child could participate in a way that was best for them. The class bent to the kids instead of the other way around.” TACT moved into a warehouse near Brighton Boulevard in north Denver and Noah continued to participate two Saturdays a month. Like many people, “Noah has a hesitancy to do something that he might fail at,” Paul says. “While working
Students Ellie Combs and Cora Hansen concentrate on their project.
COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE APRIL 2021
Welding student Rollin Pearson is adding new skills through programs at TACT.
on a Jeep, Danny asked Noah to get the jack. Noah said, ‘I’ve got this.’ That encapsulates the whole experience. There was a confidence that continues to this day through being a part of TACT.” Another TACT parent, Jennifer Alabiso, agrees. Her 10-year-old son has been attending TACT for three years — on school breaks, during summer and on weekends. “In school he is behind grade level in reading, but at TACT he can read blueprints and instructions,” she says. “Give that kid a power tool and something to build and he’s fine. TACT warms my heart and sometimes makes me tear up. It gives us a lot of hope.” Paul agrees. “TACT has always instilled hope for Noah’s future.”
COVER STORY Noah graduated from high school in August 2020 and is now enrolled in the auto mechanic career program through TACT. “It meets a huge need in setting up Noah for success in the world of cars and mechanics,” Paul says. “It combines the technical skills of working on cars plus the social skills of interacting with others to keep a job and be a valued employee. There is nothing else like it in Colorado or the country. TACT works with a student until they are ready for success with a combination of technical and social skills to find a work location that appreciates what Noah can bring.” Danny agrees. “A lot of organizations who work with individuals who have intellectual or developmental disabilities are deficit based,” he says. “In other words, they are trying to fill a quota. They try to get someone hired because of their disability. To us, that seems backward. Their talent gets them their job, not their disability. We showcase what our students can do, develop a portfolio and train them to do the job.” In addition to teaching auto mechanics, TACT offers career tracks in carpentry, welding, computer science and electronics. TACT offers workshops and summer camps for students of all ages with classes in everything from photography to fiber arts, musical instrument building, auto mechanics, carpentry and more. While students have fun building an electric guitar or a box drum, they also learn math, problem solving and how to safely operate power tools. Best of all, they can take their projects home. TACT can also go on the road. Literally. TACT will partner with schools, church groups and other community organizations to bring classes to other communities in a green 1958 Chevrolet.
TACT founder Danny Combs works with student Jason Stowbridge.
The program is so unique that Peter Machnik, 20, moved from Chicago to Denver to participate. “I like the program and working with my hands,” he says. “I hope to find a job in carpentry.” Not only does Danny offer these one-ofa-kind programs and opportunities to students with ASD, he makes it affordable. As Paul puts it, “As if this program can’t get any better, they help with the financial piece as well. They are aware of the financial burden of raising a kid on the spectrum.” “We want it to be attainable for everyone. We work hard to find sponsors, fund raise and write grants to make it affordable for families,” Danny says. Today, TACT is headquartered near the Broncos football stadium in Denver, has 12 staff members and has trained 750 students with an impressive 83% job placement rate. Graduates are working on the new Amazon. com headquarters in Colorado Springs and the Interstate 70 lighting project in Denver.
According to Paul, “Danny is on the forefront of a huge movement. He is a visionary. He looks at ASD as highly prized employees, not charity work. Our world needs these young people and their amazing skills and knowledge.” The program is so successful that employers like Blue Star Recyclers are now calling Danny to hire his students, not the other way around. Danny hopes one day he can expand TACT across the country to empower more individuals on the spectrum. What ever happened to that Jeep Cherokee? TACT students rebuilt the engine, rewired it, redid the suspension and brakes and entered it in the Castle Rock Car Club annual show where it won first place in the 4x4 category. As Paul remembers, “Noah got to accept the award and was beaming. It was a great day.” Joanne Palmer is an award-winning freelance writer from Colorado’s Western Slope.
SPRING CLASSES STARTING SOON “We want it to be attainable for everyone. We work hard to find sponsors, fund raise and write grants to make it affordable for families.” — Danny Combs
For more information about TACT’s upcoming workshops, visit buildwithtact.org/workshops. COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE APRIL 2021
IS CONNECTING TRANSMISSION GRIDS THE WAY TO SHARE THE WEALTH ON RENEWABLES? BY REED KAR AIM
oly Cross Energy has an ambitious goal: 100% renewable energy sources by 2030. It’s a tall order, complicated by the central Colorado co-op’s mountainous service territory, which isn’t well-suited to wind or solar power generation. But just 100 miles or so to the east of the co-op’s Glenwood Springs headquarters, the Front Range and eastern plains offer ample wind resources. And the states to its south are among the nation’s solar power leaders. It’s the lack of transmission that keeps the region’s renewable power from reaching the Western Slope, says Bryan Hannegan, Holy Cross Energy president and CEO. “Our transmission access is our biggest worry” for meeting the 100% goal, he says. Hannegan, who served as associate director at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory before joining Holy Cross, sees a solution in the creation of a “super grid.” The concept, also known as the macro grid, entails uniting the nation’s regional
COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE APRIL 2021
transmission systems with high-voltage, direct current (DC) interties. In particular, it would bridge the seam that runs along the eastern borders of Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico between the western and eastern grids and would also tie ERCOT, the wind-rich Texas grid, into a national system. While at NREL, Hannegan oversaw a study that found a super grid could help reduce costs for consumers by allowing a “balancing of power supply over much larger regions,” he says, “allowing us to harness the resource diversity we have in this country.” In particular, it would enable greater use of wind and solar power, says Tracy Warren, director of the Macro Grid Initiative at the American Council on Renewable Energy. “Much of our vast renewable resources are located in remote regions far away from where the power is needed in populationdense areas,” she says. Being able to move solar and wind power to those areas could increase the
utility of renewable generation. One scenario outlined in a study showed a hypothetical heat wave in August causing air conditioners to drive up demand. As the sun moved across the United States, solar plants in the West sent power eastward, limiting the need for expensive peak-load, fossil fuel generation. As the sun moved west and began to set, midwestern wind farms — today in the eastern grid — sent power westward to relieve pressure on the coast’s coal- and gas-fired generation.
Worth the cost? The price tag for building the DC transmission necessary to create a coast-tocoast super grid would be eye-popping: The NREL study estimated it could cost at least $80 billion, but it could return economic benefits of twice that amount. “By every measure, a more interconnected grid delivered better outcomes — lower carbon emissions, lower cost to consumers, better reliability,” says Hannegan, along with job creation and other economic benefits
ENERGY CONNECTIONS in the parts of the country where more renewable energy generation would be built. But a super grid would also face significant challenges. “Any transmission beyond a local, minimal addition to an existing line is going to be met with huge amounts of opposition,” says National Rural Electric Cooperative Association Chief Engineer Paul McCurley. “Not just technical, geographic, economic and environmental challenges but many not-in-my-backyard battles.” Patti Metro, senior grid operations and reliability director at NRECA, says DC interties and converter stations for the three alternating current (AC) grids, which are not synchronous, would be complicated and expensive but would not require new technology. Much of the recent focus in the industry has been on reducing, not expanding, the distance power travels, turning to more localized, distributed generation that integrates renewables sources like solar and tends to reduce the need for new transmission facilities, Metro says. Another issue is the allocation of costs. Basin Electric Power Cooperative, a co-op power supplier based in North Dakota, operates coal, gas and wind generation to serve 140 member systems,
including Colorado’s Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, which serves 17 of the state’s 22 electric co-ops. As the demand for power grows, “new transmission development is probably going to be essential, and if there’s a transition to more renewable energy, that’s only going to add to the demand,” says Tom Christensen, Basin’s senior vice president for transmission. But, he adds, the construction cost of a super grid raises concerns, even if it eventually saves money. “Regardless of who funds it — banks, utilities, whoever — the point would be that, ultimately, some set of retail customers will have to pay. It will show up in customer bills,” he says. Rural, sparsely populated areas like the Great Plains, where wind generation is expanding, should not be asked to bear costs that exceed the benefits to their region if the transmission is largely carrying the power elsewhere, Christensen says. He notes the super grid would require unprecedented coordination on a national scale to make sure the connections were cost effective, a task that’s generally handled by regional transmission organizations (RTOs). “In general, when it’s transmission planned by an RTO, you really get a
cost-effective solution, and you hopefully get an equitable distribution of cost to consumers,” he says, but a macro grid would cross RTOs, complicating planning. He could see starting a buildout of regional grid interties on a smaller scale: “a more measured approach, going through the RTOs, trying to be very careful determining what’s economically justified.” Warren acknowledges the macro grid will require large-scale planning but reiterates that transmission investments will pay dividends. She points to a study that shows increased transmission development at the “seams” between regions could save consumers up to $47 billion annually and return more than $2.50 for every dollar invested. She sees the macro grid working in concert with more localized generation to help the country reach the ambitious clean energy goals states are setting and the Biden administration has promised at the national level. To meet goals like those, “it’s all hands on deck,” Warren says. “It’s a large-scale challenge that demands a large-scale solution.” This article was reprinted with permission from the April issue of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s RE Magazine.
“It’s a large-scale challenge that demands a large-scale solution.” — Tracy Warren, director of the Macro Grid Initiative at the American Council on Renewable Energy
COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE APRIL 2021
LIGHT UP YOUR GARDEN WITH LILIES BY VICKI SPENCER
MASTER GARDENER | GARDENING@COLOR ADOCOUNTRYLIFE .ORG
very Easter our church was adorned with hundreds of lilies and, every once in a while, their subtle fragrance would float gently through the air. It created an indelible memory and an enduring love of lilies. Lilies, with their grand blossoms, add elegance to indoor bouquets and outdoor gardens alike. I used to think when I received a lily plant that I would have to wait until fall to plant it outdoors. This was because we typically plant bulbs in the autumn so they can establish roots before spring. But container lilies, which have roots, can be planted anytime during early summer. Since they are a perennial, they will continue to bloom year after year with the proper care.
Lilies are a great option for variety in perennial gardens to add a splash of color.
When purchasing lily bulbs, the Farmers’ Almanac advises planting them soon afterward. This is because they tend to deteriorate over time. If you live in an area with harsh winters, it’s best to order and plant the bulbs in the spring after the threat
COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE APRIL 2021
of frost has passed. Lilies typically bloom from late spring to fall, depending on the type and where you live. By carefully blending early, mid-season and late varieties in your garden, you will enjoy magnificent blooms for months. Asiatic lilies are the first to bloom in May or June and their blossoms last about five weeks. They come in many colors and usually stand 2 to 3 feet tall with upwardfacing flowers. Although not fragrant, they are easy to care for and make perfect cutting flowers. While there are many varieties to choose from, you might try Yellow Carpet Border Lily™ or the new Regent’s Park Asiatic Lily from Breck’s® for a brilliant splash of color. Other popular Asiatic varieties include the brilliant orange Brunello, tricolored Starlette, dark-red Black Out and maroon Dimension. As Asiatics begin to fade around August, Orientals burst onto the scene. They grow much larger at 3 to 6 feet and are incredibly fragrant. This spring, Burpee® is offering Garden Party, whose flowers provide a “carnival of color” in deep yellow and red. Other Orientals include Josephine with deep pink petals and the white Stargazer hybrid typically found in floral bouquets. Orientals prefer lots of sunshine and cannot tolerate soggy soil, which makes them perfect for Colorado’s drier climate. Other lily types include trumpet lilies and tiger lilies. Trumpet lilies tend to have
smaller flowers than other lilies but produce a nice scent. Tiger lilies provide a brilliant display admired by all but can spread out of control if not managed. They can grow above 5 feet tall, so it’s best to plant them toward the back of your garden.
You can plant lilies practically anywhere you choose, since their tall stems with narrow lance-shaped leaves take little space.
You can insert lilies into almost any area since their tall, erect stems with narrow, lance-shaped leaves take little space. They provide variety to perennial gardens, add a splash of color in front of bushes or brighten patios with container arrangements. Since they are easy to grow, you can enjoy them almost anywhere as long as there is ample sunlight and drainage. 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.
Now available in the U.S. without a prescription!
Popular French Diet Pill Goes On Sale Nationwide Clinical study shows active ingredients trigger weight loss in the abdomen without harmful side effects; guaranteed results or get 110% of your money back A compound that triggers weight loss in the abdomen has been used safely in France for years. It is now available in the United States without a prescription. The pill contains ingredients that not only burn belly fat... but... also help maintain healthy cholesterol levels. Plus, at just two dollars per daily dose, it’s very affordable. Today marks the nationwide release of this pill in the United States. It’s being offered by the Applied Scientific Research Center in Colorado. The U.S. brand name of this pill is OxiTrim. Clinical results show dieters can lose up to 5 inches from their waistline within just 8 weeks of daily use. That’s because OxiTrim works to enhance the body’s ability to burn a specific type of fatty acid found in the abdomen. OxiTrim does not contain stimulants or dangerous chemicals. The active ingredients have a track record of safety showing no harmful side effects.
France’s Weight Loss Breakthrough
In 2013, scientists announced a pill that facilitates weight loss in the abdomen. It contains a combination of ingredients shown to enhance the metabolism’s ability to burn belly fat. Since then, it has become a popular diet pill in France and Germany. Sales continue to climb as new people discover how well the product works. Michael Kenneth, President of the Applied Scientific Research Center is not surprised by the popularity. He says, “The pill is safe. It’s effective. It works fast. Plus, it costs less than a cup of coffee per day.” “And now, we’re making it available in America under the new brand name OxiTrim. We can’t wait to receive feedback from first time users. We know dieters are going to love this pill,” he added.
The findings were then published in the Journal of Medicinal Food... and... the Obesity Journal. Participants were given either a placebo... or else... OxiTrim’s active ingredients twice per day for 8 weeks. They then ate a normal 2,000 calorie diet and walked for 30 minutes, 5 days a week. The results were stunning. Those who took the active ingredients lost almost 4 times more weight than the placebo group. Even more exciting was the quantity of inches they lost from their waistline. The group taking OxiTrim’s active ingredients lost almost 5 inches of belly fat. That’s equal to 2 pants sizes for men... and... 4 to 6 dress sizes for women. The pill even helped maintain healthy cholesterol and blood sugar levels. This is especially good news for anyone who is overweight, given the health risks they often face.
How It Works
The active ingredients in OxiTrim trigger weight loss in a way scientists have not seen before. Research shows they activate a protein in the body that breaks down fatty acids found in abdominal fat. “You can think of OxiTrim as a match that lights the fuse in belly fat,” said Kenneth. “This fuse effects metabolic rate which results in enhanced fat loss around the mid section and other parts of the body, too.” Kenneth also said, “Dieters should know OxiTrim is made from natural plant extracts. It is not a drug. It does not contain any stimulants or dangerous chemicals either.” “Plus, unlike a lot of other diet pills, OxiTrim won’t increase your heart rate or make you anxious. In fact, you won’t even know you’re taking it until you begin to see a slimmer waistline,” he added.
Sales Frenzy: The newly released OxiTrim pill from France is set to break sales records nationwide this week. In clinical studies, users taking the pill’s active ingredients lost up to 5 inches from their waistline in 8 weeks without strict dieting.
breakthrough in natural weight loss to date. It’s a proven pill for men and women who want to cut pounds of belly fat.” — Dr. M. Usman, M.D. “I have reviewed the research and have decided to recommend OxiTrim to overweight people. That’s because OxiTrim doesn’t just reduce weight, it helps maintain healthy cholesterol and triglyceride levels, too.” — Dr. Ahmad Alsayes.
110% Money Back Guarantee
Amazing feedback from users of OxiTrim has generated a wave of confidence at the company. So much so that they now offer OxiTrim with a 110% money back guarantee. The company’s president, Michael Kenneth says, “We’ve seen how well it works. Now we want to remove any risk for those who might think OxiTrim sounds too good to be true.” Simply take the pill exactly as directed. You must enjoy fast and impressive weight loss. Otherwise, return the product as directed and you’ll receive 100% of your money back plus an extra 10%.
How To Get OxiTrim
Today marks the official nationwide release of OxiTrim in America. And so, the company is offering a special discount supply to every person who calls before inventory runs out. A Regional Order Hotline has been setup for local readers to call. This gives everyone an equal chance to try OxiTrim. The Order Hotline is now open. All you have to do is call TOLL FREE Approved By Top Doctors 1-888-308-0193 Then provide the operator “The advanced ingredients found in with the special discount approval code: Double Blind Clinical Results A double blind clinical study was OxiTrim have been used successfully in OTN21 The company will do the rest. Initial supplies of OxiTrim are limited. conducted on OxiTrim’s active ingredients. France for years. The clinical trials show The study was reviewed and analyzed by they can burn fat fast for those with a few Those who don’t call soon may have to scientists from the University of California, extra pounds to lose.” — Dr. Ana Jovanovic. wait until more inventory is produced. This Davis. “OxiTrim is the most exciting could take as long as 6 six weeks. THESE STATEMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN EVALUATED BY THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION. THIS PRODUCT IS NOT INTENDED TO DIAGNOSE, TREAT, CURE OR PREVENT ANY DISEASE. ALL DOCTORS MENTIONED ARE REMUNERATED FOR THEIR SERVICES. ALL CLINICAL STUDIES ON OXITRIM’S ACTIVE INGREDIENT WERE INDEPENDENTLY CONDUCTED AND WERE NOT SPONSORED BY THE MAKERS OF OXITRIM. COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE APRIL 2021
OUTDOORS MISS AN ISSUE? Catch up at coloradocountrylife.coop. Click on Outdoors under Living in Colorado.
Gone Yet Not Forgotten Cottonwoods The ups and downs of removing two towering trees
BY DENNIS SMITH
| OUTDOORS@COLOR ADOCOUNTRYLIFE.ORG
he two big cottonwood trees next to our house were taken down a few years ago and we miss them dearly. They were giants: The trunk of one was thicker through the middle than a circus elephant and the other had multiple trunks clustered around a circular base more than 6 feet in diameter. They must have reached 60 feet into the sky, and the massive veil of leaves shaded two entire homesteads from the searing rays of summer sun. Together they created what amounted to a small urban oasis. The arborists who took them down told us they probably cooled our homes by more than 10 degrees during the summer. We definitely miss that. Robins nested in their lower branches each spring and mourning doves cooed from their spiky snags on summer evenings. Chickadees, flickers, yellow warblers, blue jays, white-crowned sparrows and finches flitted through their branches for as long as I can remember. Red-winged blackbirds and grackles staged migration flights from them every autumn and, in winter, flocks of starlings screeched and whistled from their naked branches. A great horned owl roosted in the taller of the two, and I once watched a Cooper’s hawk snatch a dove from our bird feeders and take it back into the cottonwoods for dinner. The neighborhood squirrels probably miss them too. They were as vital a link in their overhead roadway as Interstate 25 is to motorists on the Front Range.
COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE APRIL 2021
Unfortunately, these were not “cottonless” cottonwoods, and each spring they would rain down truckloads of fluffy white catkins in numbers so great that, on a windy day, you’d swear it was snowing. Their seedpods plugged our gutters, clogged our little frog pond, covered the lawns with a layer of dingy fluff and collected in corners of the garage like monstrous, swirling dust bunnies. They got into everything. Annoying as this could be, there was some good to be found in it too. You knew, for instance, that when those seeds began to fall, it usually meant ice-off on high mountain lakes and the beginning of dry fly fishing for still water trout. Coincidentally, it also marked the beginning of the smallmouth bass and bluegill spawn, which is generally considered the best time of year to fish for both. Carp feed on the seed heads when they land on the surface of lakes and ponds, and fly fishermen can catch them on dry flies tied to mimic the pods. By the time the cottonwoods have finished dropping their seeds, damselfly nymphs are stirring on the sagebrush lakes and about to trigger one of the most productive still water insect hatches of summer and some of the season’s best fishing. Our trees grew old, weak and dangerous, but while they were healthy, they cooled our homes, sheltered the birds, gave the squirrels a place to play and told us when to go fishing. We miss them. Dennis Smith is a freelance outdoors writer and photographer whose work appears nationally. He lives in Loveland.
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Stop feeding prairie dogs. We’ll rent hunting rights from you.
READER PARTICIPATION is the backbone of CCL magazine. Seriously looking for duck & goose habitat. Encourage young sportsmen by providing safe, private access. You make the rules.
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SEND US YOUR: Original Poetry • Photos with the Magazine • Letters to the Editor • Funny Stories Submit via email to: firstname.lastname@example.org By mail to: Colorado Country Life, 5400 Washington St. Denver, CO 80216
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COMMUNITY EVENTS Since some Community Events are being canceled or rescheduled due to COVID-19, please be sure to check with the event host before traveling to on-site events. Included in our list of events are some virtual activities you can enjoy from the comfort of your home. We hope you enjoy these SANITY SAVERS! (We are doing our best to keep the online calendar up to date at coloradocountrylife.coop/community-events.) “Alice in Wonderland,” Fort Collins and Online
Get out or stay at home for an afternoon with Alice, the Cheshire Cat, Queen of Hearts and more at Canyon Concert Ballet’s production of “Alice in Wonderland.” April 24-25 at The Lincoln Center and online. For more information, call 970-4724156 or visit ccballet.org.
Arts and Crafts Spring Show and Sale, Black Forest
Come see why this Black Forest tradition is a local favorite. Here, guild members sell fine art, decorative arts and crafts and many culinary delights. Find unique Mother’s Day gifts and lots of new things to brighten up your home for spring. April 29-May 2 at the Black Forest Community Center. For more information, visit bfacg.org or facebook.com/BFACG.
Bear Nature Center Programs, Colorado Springs
From the Chocolate Bunny Egg Hunt to the History Stroll and the Earth Day Recycling Workshop, this nature center has all kinds of activities your whole family will enjoy this month. For more information, visit communityservices.elpasoco.com/ nature-centers/nature-center-programs.
CSU’s Gregory Allicar Museum of Art Exhibitions, Fort Collins and Virtual
Art at CSU” exhibition, featuring artworks by Hatton, a pioneer at the Colorado State University Department of Art. See it in person or virtually through June 20. For more information, visit artmuseum.colostate.edu.
Great American Cleanup, 20 Sites in Pikes Peak Region
Now in its 23rd year, the GAC resumes its endeavor to make an impact on the overall health of our waterways with events throughout the country. On April 24, El Paso County is hosting 20 sites for volunteers to help the cause. For more information, visit gacppp.com.
“Hot Fudge Sunday” Theater Performance, Pueblo
Enjoy a smashing performance by the Sangre de Cristo Dancerz. Afterward, guests are invited to enjoy some Cold Stone Creamery ice cream with the performers. April 28, 2-3 pm, at the Sangre de Cristo Art Center’s Buell Children’s Museum. For more information, visit sdc-arts.org/museum/hot-fudge-sunday.
runBlossom, Canon City
The Gregory Allicar Museum recently reopened to the public with three new exhibits, including the “Clara Hatton: A Vision for
From April 16 to May 3, you can walk, jog, hike or run in the beautiful springtime weather and help raise funds for Fremont County Search and Rescue as well as the Fremont Adventure Recreation program. At the Riverwalk Trail at Centennial Park. For more information, visit runblossom.org.
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Jeff and d’Layne Kerr-Layton’s daughter mimics the curious owl on the cover of CCL’s March issue. The Kerr-Laytons are consumer-members of Mountain Parks Electric and they enjoy reading the magazine at their home on Columbine Lake. Fun in the sun! Jean and Steve Nance bring CCL along on a trip to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. These two Sangre de Cristo Electric consumer-members call Buena Vista home.
Take Your Photo with Your Magazine and Win!
WINNER: Terrance Beasley, recently retired from the Army, enjoys Colorado Country Life at home in Monument, where he is a consumer-member of Mountain View Electric Association. Thank you for your service, Terrance!
READER POETRY The Puzzle
Mother sits just where I left her before the visits stopped — at the jigsaw table. She puzzles over small shapes scattered like shards before her. The big picture, propped, offers clues — color, pattern, the comfort of familiar objects, a connection to the past. She’s trying to piece it all together. That’s the game. That’s always been the game and at 96, her game is persistence, not dwelling on how it all comes apart. Harriet Stratton, Larkspur Intermountain Rural Electric consumer-member
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 Thursday, April 15. Name, address and co-op must accompany photo. This month’s winner is Terrance Beasley of Monument. See all of the submitted photos on Facebook at facebook.com/COCountryLife.
What kind of world will we leave behind what kind of world will my great grandchild find the way it is going now it is not looking great there is too much violence there is too much hate I miss the days of peace and good will but we as Americans can achieve that still. it will take everyone come one and come all for “united we stand and divided we fall” so what kind of world will it be what kind of world will she see. William Lee, Clifton Grand Valley Power consumer-member
Coming home from the playground where “so cute” accolades were bestowed on playful toddlers, my 7-year-old grandson asked if I thought he was still cute. “Yes, of course, and witty too!” I said. He responded, “Is that why you have so many lines (meaning my wrinkles) because I always crack you up, Grammy?” “That’s why!” Janie Trimmer, Windsor I was on vacation with my young daughter when we passed a man on the street. “G’day ma’am,” he said in his Aussie accent. My daughter was horrified and said, “Mom, that man told you to ‘go die’!” Marion Mantz, Boulder When I asked my 5-year-old daughter why she loses her mind after school each day, she replied, “I have anger issues. I have been trying to work on my anger issues since I was a baby.” Paul Vollbehr, Pueblo West It was a sunny, comparatively warm winter day after several days of gray skies and cold, snowy weather. And it was the weekend, so we asked our kids what they wanted to do. Our son, age 3 at the time, piped up and said, “Let’s go outside and play summer!” Anonymous
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 2021 stories to Colorado Country Life, 5400 Washington St., Denver, CO 80216 or email email@example.com. Don’t forget to include your mailing address, so we can send you a check. COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE APRIL 2021
A SPOTLIGHT ON SMALL BUSINESSES Colorado companies take CCL’s center stage Genius Jewelry Inconspicuous in design, no one will know you’re breathing in your favorite fragrances with a piece of Lucky Tree Studio jewelry. Your most beloved essential oils can go wherever you do when your jewelry has a built-in diffuser. This small business recently opened Mosaic, a brick-and-mortar DIY studio in Montrose, to get its products — and those of dozens of other Colorado-based makers and artists — to the public when go-to shows were canceled due to COVID-19. For more information, visit luckytree.studio or mosaicmontrose.com.
Add Luster to Your Life
Formerly in Cotopaxi, Happy Dogs CBD is now a Cañon City-based small business that helps dogs and humans feel relief from pain, anxiety, allergies and more with full spectrum CBD tinctures, treats, creams and gummies. With zero THC, you can rest assured Happy Dogs CBD is safe to use with no toxic reaction from THC ingestion. Check out Happy Dogs CBD’s lab reports, get more information and order online at pbjdogs.com.
When a Morgan County REA consumer-member praised Bennett-based Huberd’s Shoe Grease — a 100-year-old small business — we had to bring it to our readers’ attention. “We put it on our boots first,” the member said. “Then we shared it with our co-workers. They loved it so much that they began to use it on their saddles and tack as well. One old rancher even used it on his antique gate straps and loved it.” With kudos like this, Huberd’s seems like a no-brainer. For more information, call 800-366-5723 or visit huberds.com.
COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE APRIL 2021
We’re reducing our carbon emissions 80% by 2030 Our members have asked for cleaner, more affordable and more flexible electricity – and we’re delivering. As part of our commitment, we’re adding even more renewable energy, supporting our goal of reducing carbon emissions by 80% for wholesale electricity sales in Colorado by 2030.
Built by and for our members, we power what matters to you. That’s the value of our cooperative family. To learn how we’re delivering on our mission, visit www.tristate.coop
Tri-State is a not-for-profit power supplier to cooperatives and public power districts in Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico and Wyoming.
Colorado Country Life April 2021 Grand Valley Power