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[January 2014]




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January 2014 [cover] Cover photo by Westernaires volunteer photographer David Pinsinski.

4 4 Viewpoint

Electric co-op watch as standards are set for investor-owned utilities

5 Letters 6 Calendar 7 Co-op News 12 NewsClips 14 The Smart Grid Grows Up

16 16 Westernaires: Horse Power

Kids and horses create an awe-inspiring tradition at the National Western Stock Show

20 Recipes Try these munchies that will score you

big points during the playoffs

22 22 Gardening

Three amazing plants to look out for in the new year

24 Outdoors

Indoor activities pass the time when it’s just too cold

25 Energy Tips

Not all space heaters are created equally

29 Funny Stories 30 Discoveries

Advanced technologies help electric co-ops find ways to become more efficient


$34 million the amount electric cooperatives were awarded for smart grid projects


The official publication of the Colorado Rural Electric Association || Volume 45, Number 01


the year the Westernaires first performed at the National Western Stock Show


the approximate number of years the cucumber has been cultivated

COMMUNICATIONS STAFF: Mona Neeley, CCC, Publisher/Editor@303-455-4111; Donna Wallin, Associate Editor; • Amy Higgins, Editorial Assistant/Writer; ADVERTISING: Kris Wendtland@303-902-7276,; NCM@800-626-1181 OFFICERS: Bob Bledsoe [Tri-State] President; Bill Midcap [Fort Morgan] Vice President; Don Kaufman [Sangre de Cristo] Secretary; Jack Schneider [Poudre Valley] Treasurer; Kent Singer [CREA] Executive Director BOARD OF DIRECTORS: Bill Patterson [Delta-Montrose]; John Porter [Empire]; Don McClaskey, Tom Walch [Grand Valley]; John Vader [Gunnison]; Jim Lueck [Highline]; Megan Gilman [Holy Cross]; Dan Mills, Tim Power [K.C.]; Jeff Berman [La Plata]; Stan Cazier [Mountain Parks]; B.D. Paddock [Mountain View]; Debbie Rose [San Isabel]; Eleanor Valdez [San Luis Valley]; Dave Alexander, Kevin Ritter [San Miguel]; Randy Phillips [Southeast]; Ginny Buscek [United Power];

EDITORIAL: Denver Corporate Office, 5400 Washington Street, Denver, CO 80216; Phone: 303-455-4111 • Email: • Website: • Facebook: • Twitter: @COCountryLife Colorado Country Life (USPS 469-400/ISSN 1090-2503) is published monthly for $9/$15 per year by Colorado Rural Electric Association, 5400 N. Washington Street, Denver, CO 80216. Periodical postage paid at Denver, Colorado. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Colorado Country Life, 5400 N. Washington Street, Denver, CO 80216 Publication of an advertisement in Colorado Country Life does not imply endorsement by any Colorado rural electric cooperative or the Colorado Rural Electric Association. 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.


Harness the Sun to Benefit All

Co-ops watch as solar rebates, incentives, subsidies reviewed for investor-owned utilities BY KENT SINGER || CREA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR || KSINGER@COLORADOREA.ORG


What is the value of rooftop solar power generation to the electric grid? That is a question that will be addressed by the Colorado Public Utilities Commission as it considers a case brought before it by Xcel Energy. The commission’s decision may affect the continued development of rooftop solar power in Colorado. Over the last several years, there has Kent Singer been an increase nationwide in the amount of power on the electric grid that comes from solar photovoltaic or PV panels. Colorado has been at the forefront of this “solar boom,” installing solar PV ranging in size from utility-scale solar arrays to community solar gardens to individual rooftop solar units. According to U.S. Solar Market Insight, Colorado ranks seventh in the nation for solar capacity with 314 megawatts. Colorado’s electric co-ops have been significant contributors to the wave of new solar PV capacity in Colorado. We supported 2008’s law that requires co-ops to “net meter” our memberowners’ rooftop solar panels. That means that we give full retail value to the solar power generated that offsets that consumer’s electric demand. Electric co-ops were also the first utilities in Colorado to establish community solar gardens, and we have some of the highest penetrations of distributed generation (on a percentage basis) of all Colorado utilities. While solar power generation has many benefits, there is always a question as to who pays for the panels and how much these facilities should be subsidized by the utilities. In the case of Colorado’s investor-owned utilities, such as Xcel Energy, the subsidy levels have decreased as the cost of solar has come down. Xcel initially paid rebates to customers to apply toward the actual installation costs of rooftop solar panels. In addition to the rebates, Xcel paid its customers for the “RECs,” or renewable energy attributes, of the solar power generated. Over time, Xcel has eliminated the rebate program and the payment for RECs. Some co-ops have funded rebate programs for PV installations and others have chosen not to. In the co-op business model, any money used for rebates must come from other co-op memberowners, and each co-op board has to make its own decision as to whether this subsidy is appropriate locally. All co-ops, however, net meter solar installations, recording the solar energy that offsets the co-op member-owner’s con-

sumption of electricity. That means that where there is a solar installation, the meter runs backward and the co-op memberowner receives the retail value for the electricity that is being generated by the PV unit. If the member-owner’s PV array provides more power than is needed for that member-owner’s electricity demands, the co-op decides how that member is paid for the “excess” power. In the case that is being litigated at the Colorado Public Utilities Commission, Xcel argues that the “net metering incentive” for Xcel’s solar customers is higher than the actual value of the electricity produced. As Xcel noted in testimony submitted to the commission, with net metering “other utility customers cover some of the costs that would otherwise be imposed on the customer with solar panels.” Xcel argues that: “a net metered customer uses utility generation and the utility grid, but does not pay the costs associated with this use. Ultimately, this cost is shifted to other customers.” Co-ops have had the same concerns about net metering: The folks who can afford to install solar panels are being subsidized by the rest of the co-op membership since the net metered member-owners do not pay their fair share of the ongoing maintenance costs for the co-op system. To address this inequity, some co-ops are considering additional charges for net metered accounts. This trend is likely to continue as more distributed generation, like rooftop solar, is installed by co-op memberowners. The advocates of rooftop solar take a different view of the Xcel position. They argue that Coloradans support solar power and that any proposal that might slow rooftop installations is bad public policy. Those advocates are well-represented in the case pending at the commission and will present their arguments in a February hearing. The co-ops are watching this PUC case and working to make sure that any rulings don’t threaten the co-op net metering system, which provides incentives for those wanting to add PV arrays while protecting the rest of the membership from subsidizing their neighbors. We all enjoy Colorado’s 300 days of sunshine, and we should harness that resource in ways that are fair to all electricity users.

Kent Singer, Executive Director


[letters] Mining for Renewables Although your magazine has featured comments and articles regarding the use of renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind, the issue I have never seen mentioned is the need those technologies have for mining. Renewable energy technology is dependent on rare earth metals that must be mined. My understanding is that there are no rare earth mines currently in operation in the United States. These metals must be imported, primarily from China. Further, I understand that China has or will soon reduce the export of these metals, which will presumably jack up the price and/or severely impact the availability of the equipment needed. In the discussion of the viability and cost of sources of energy other than fossil fuels, there must be a corresponding discussion of the viability and cost of obtaining the raw materials necessary to implement the technology. Sari Benmeir, Esq., Marvel

Liking More Content The Layar app is pretty cool, although it took me awhile to figure out how to use it correctly. Thank you for adding it to the magazine. Nancy Westfall via Facebook

Thankful for a Smile After reading through Colorado Country Life I turn to the Funny Stories (page 29) to see if they really are funny. I normally don’t laugh at much of anything, much to my husband’s chagrin. He loved to tell stories and hoped I would laugh. Now, having lost him in July, it is even harder to smile, let alone laugh. In your October magazine, the first story was hilarious. I actually laughed. And the next story brought a big smile. It felt good. Thank you. Colleen Atteberry, Hawkins, Texas Got a comment? Send your letter to the editor by mail to Colorado Country Life, 5400 Washington St., Denver, CO 80216 or email You MUST include your name and full address. The full address will not be published. Letters may be edited for length. January 2014 5


[January] January 11-12 Beulah Full Moon Snowshoe Getaway Mountain Park Environmental Center 719-485-4444 • hikeand January 11-26 Denver National Western Stock Show National Western Complex January 11 Fort Collins Winter Farmers Market Opera Galleria 10 am-2 pm • January 11 Grand Junction GJ CHAMPS Silent Auction Mesa Mall 10 am-2:30 pm • 970-245-6175 January 11 Lake George Cabela’s Ice Fishing Tournament Eleven Mile State Park 719-748-0317 • 11milemarina. com January 12 Denver Home Garden Class Denver Botanic Gardens 2-5 pm • January 14 Fort Collins Concert: “Hornicopia” St. John’s Lutheran Church 7:30 pm • 970-310-7359 January 15 Colorado Springs Wellness Walk Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center 9 am • 719-219-0108 January 16-19 Golden Colorado Cowboy Gathering Green Center Auditorium/ American Mountaineering Center 888-718-4253 • colorado 6 January 2014

January 17-18 Grand Junction Theater Performance: “A Chorus Line” Grand Junction High School Auditorium 970-261-5363 • theater January 18 Buena Vista Banana Belt Days Downtown Buena Vista 10 am • 719-395-6612 January 18 Colorado Springs Concert: Blue Sky Riders Fine Arts Center 7:30 pm • 719-634-5583 January 18-19 Copper Mountain WinterBike Ride Copper Mountain Resort January 18-21 Estes Park Winter Festival Various Estes Park Locations January 18 Fort Collins Theater Performance: Tap Kids Lincoln Center 2 and 6 pm • 970-221-6730 January 22 Pagosa Springs Local Appreciation Day Wolf Creek January 23-26 Aspen X Games Base of Buttermilk Mountain January 24-26 Granby Ice Fishing Contest Various Fishing Lakes in Granby Area 970-887-2311 • granby January 25 Monument Ice Fishing Tournament Monument Lake 9 am-2 pm • wounded

January 26-February 2 Breckenridge Snow Sculpture Viewing Week 150 W Ave 970-547-3100 • January 29-February 2 Durango Snowdown Winter Celebration Various Durango Locations January 30 Greeley On Stage: Ballroom with a Twist Monfort Concert Hall 7 pm • 970-356-5000

[February] February 1 Littleton Free Admission Day Botanic Gardens at Chatfield 9 am-5 pm• botanicgardens. org February 5-9 Steamboat Springs Winter Carnival Various Steamboat Springs Locations 970-879-0880 • February 6 Durango Stand-Up Comedy Featuring Colin Quinn Community Concert Hall at FLC 7 pm • 970-247-7657 February 6 Grand Junction Center for Independence “Fiber” Presented by Jude Sirota 6 pm •

February 7 Durango Chocolate Fantasia Fundraiser Exhibit Hall at La Plata County Fairgrounds 5:30-7:30 pm • 970-259-1021 February 7-8 Fort Collins Dulcimer Festival Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church February 7 Pueblo Photography Show Southern Colorado Photography Society 719-671-1326 • socolophoto@ February 8-9 Glenwood Springs Ski Spree Sunlight Mountain Resort 970-945-7491 • sunlightmtn. com February 8 Loveland Choral Concert: Winter Revelry Rialto Theater Center 7:30 pm • 970-962-2120 February 9-10 Cripple Creek Ice Festival City of Cripple Creek February 9 Lake City Ice Climbing Festival Lake City Ice Park 970-275-4106 • lakecity February 9 Pueblo Theater Performance: “Hello Dolly” Memorial Hall 7:30 pm • 719-295-7200

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Calendar, Colorado Country Life, 5400 N. Washington St., Denver, CO 80216; fax to 303-455-2807; or email calendar@coloradocountrylife. org. Items will be printed on a space available basis. For more information on these and other events, visit


[YVEA News] n Lower Energy Costs

YVEA Changing the Way We Communicate in 2014

n Youth Tour and Leadership Camp


[what’s inside] n SmartHub Available Feb. 1

Applications Due n Small Change Can Change Lives

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS OFFICE P.O. Box 771218 Steamboat Springs, CO 80477-1218 CRAIG OFFICE P.O. Box 217 Craig, CO 81626 STEAMBOAT SPRINGS ADDRESS 32 10th St. Steamboat Springs, CO 80487 CRAIG ADDRESS 3715 E. US Highway 40 Craig, CO 81625 970-879-1160 [Steamboat Springs] 970-824-6593 [Craig] [web] BOARD OF DIRECTORS Dean Brosious [president] Patrick McClelland [vice president] Mike Brinks Larry Ellgen Tom Fox Russell Garrity Scott McGill Frank Roitsch Glynda Sheehan STAFF Diane Johnson [general manager] Robert L. Miller [manager of finance] Steve Johnson [manager of operations] Marty Hinson [manager of engineering] Melissa Watson [manager of member services] Lisa Myers [manager of human resources]


Colorado electric co-ops, your As we start a new year, local co-op is able to send all Yampa Valley Electric Asof this information to you sociation has resolved to take for only a little more than 37 steps to improve member cents a month. And sending communication through our Colorado Country Life to you newsletter. YVEA performed helps your co-op fulfill one of a member satisfaction survey its basic principles, to educate in the fall of 2013. Results of and communicate openly this survey revealed that you, Diane Johnson with its members. as a member-owner of YVEA, To assist YVEA with the goal of improvwould like to see more information on ing our member communications, we ask ways to be more energy efficient. To be that you give us your feedback. What do more effective with our communication you like about the new format? What isand educational efforts, we have decided to change the format and By bundling everything into this interesting magafrequency of the newsletzine, and working with other Colorado electric ter. Quarterly newsletters were simply not timely co-ops, your local co-op is able to send all of this enough and you were information to you for only a little more than 37 not getting a 360-degree cents a month. view of what was happening in our state. sues would you like to see more of? What You will start receiving the monthly articles do you read? If you do not wish to magazine Colorado Country LifeÂŽ each receive the magazine, please call us to take month because it is the most convenient you off of the mailing list, but understand and economical way to share informathat this will be our main vehicle of memtion with you as a co-op member. YVEA wants to make sure that you, as a member- ber communication. If you prefer to read owner, have information on co-op services, the electronic version of Colorado Country Life, it will be available on our website. director elections, member meetings, rate Being member-focused is our intent. changes, energy-saving options and more Educating and communicating with our as they occur. members is a way to prove to you that we By bundling everything into this interare serious about achieving this goal. esting magazine, and working with other January 2014 7

[YVEA News] SmartHub Available February 1


Yampa Valley Electric Association is proud to introduce its new member portal, SmartHub. This new member portal makes it even easier to stay connected to YVEA via today’s Internet technologies. Members may now check usage, pay their bill, report an outage, stay up to date and much more, all from your web browser, iPhone, iPad or Android device. SmartHub replaces the previous eBill system and uses your same username and password. If you have not previously used YVEA eBill, you can sign up by going to To download the new SmartHub app for your mobile device, simply search for “SmartHub” in the Apple App Store® or in the Android® Market. The app is free to all our members.

Stop drafts from coming in and heat from leaking out of your home through doors and windows by applying weather stripping. It is relatively easy to use and available at your local home improvement store.



A new year provides a chance for new beginnings. If you want a new beginning that involves saving money, the Energy Education Council has the following tips, organized by how much certain costs contribute to your energy bill: • Heating and cooling — 46 percent: Because of the high cost, heating and cooling are good places to begin your savings. During winter, dress warmly and keep the temperature at home moderate. In the summer, wear light clothing and use fans to keep cool instead of running the air-conditioning. You can save money any season by closing off rooms that you do not need to heat or cool. • Water heating — 14 percent: We need warm water to shower, cook and clean, but we do not need warm water every moment of the day. However, many water heaters work hard to keep water warm constantly. You can give your water heater a break by setting its temperature to 120 degrees. • Appliances — 14 percent: Do laundry in cold water, when possible. Keep your refrigerator at 37 to 40 degrees. Keep attached freezers at 5 degrees and separate freezers at 0 degrees. Air-dry dishes and clothes as often as possible. • Electronics and other devices — 14 percent: Let Energy Star help you cut costs. Energy Star products use at least 20 8 January 2014

LED lightbulbs require less energy and last longer.

percent less energy than other products. Even if you are not replacing electronics, you can save money by unplugging products that are not in use. • Lighting­— 12 percent: Lighting is one of the easiest ways to increase your home’s efficiency. Switch to compact fluorescent lightbulbs or light emitting diode lightbulbs. Both types use significantly less energy than traditional incandescent lightbulbs. CFLs and LEDs also last longer than incandescent lighting, so you will not have to replace lightbulbs as often.

[YVEA News] YVEA Sponsors a Washington, D.C., Trip


The Youth Tour provides students with a seven-day adventure that offers in-depth exposure into the electric cooperative network while exploring our nation’s capital. Expenses, including airfare, lodging, meals and all admission fees, will be paid by YVEA. Students will come away with not only a better understanding of their state and national governments, but also their local electric cooperative and related organizations. Past tour participants have seen the U.S. Capitol, Colorado Capitol, Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Mount Vernon, Vietnam War Memorial, National Holocaust Memorial, White House, Iwo Jima Memorial, FDR Memorial, Smithsonian Museums, and National Cathedral. In addition, delegates will enjoy a cruise on the Potomac River and visit with our Colorado senators and representatives. The deadline to apply for this program is January 10, 2014. Application and quiz can be downloaded at

Deadline is Jan. 10, 2014

2013 Washington, D.C., Youth Tour delegates visit the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial.

2014 Youth Leadership Camp


The Cooperative Youth Leadership Camp offers a great opportunity for high school students in the YVEA service territory to learn about a cooperative, tour a generation facility, learn about government and build on their communication and leadership skills. Each year there are about 100 students (from Colorado, Wyoming, Kansas and Nebraska) who participate in the weeklong camp. The camp will be held at the Glen Eden Resort, north of Steamboat Springs, from July 13-18. YVEA pays for all expenses. Deadline for applications is January 31, 2014. Applications can be downloaded at

Deadline is Jan. 31, 2014

Leadership campers from four states share a great time at Glen Eden Resort in Clark, Colorado. January 2014 9

[YVEA News]



Yampa Valley Electric Association’s Caring Consumers program is an easy way to lend a helping hand to those in need. Participating YVEA members have their electric bill automatically rounded up to the nearest whole dollar each month. Those few cents are pooled in a separate fund from which donations are made to help local families in need, nonprofit organizations and worthwhile community projects. To sign up for the Caring Consumers Program, call 970-879-1160 or 970-824-6593. The Caring Consumers Board of Director met in November and awarded $9,320 to the following organizations: Building Peaceful Communities $ 750 Community Budget Center, Inc. $ 1,000

Hayden School District Heeling Friends Soroco High School Steamboat Springs School District Steamboat Springs School District (2) Strings Music Festival The Memorial Hospital Foundation Totally Kids, Inc. Yampa Valley High School

$ 1,500 $ 400 $ 1,000 $ 720 $ 950 $ 500 $ 1,000 $ 500 $ 1,000

Power Lines That Gallop Cause Outages


Galloping power lines may sound ridiculous, but they really do occur and can be dangerous. The most common cause of galloping lines is from ice building up on one side of a power line as a result of strong winds. This buildup creates an airfoil, which changes the flow of air around the normally round line. This change in airflow can cause the power line to bounce. These lines can bounce and buck enough to hit another line, damaging themselves enough to cause a power outage or fall to the ground. Once galloping starts there is not much a power company can do to alleviate it until winds die down. This is why many power lines have twisted wire or round or angular pieces of metal attached to the line. These are devices placed on power lines to help reduce the galloping of lines and prevent potential danger. If you encounter galloping lines, stay away, warn others to stay away and contact Yampa Valley Electric Association. In addition to possible power outages, there is a danger that the lines or other electrical equipment could break loose and fall or of ice dislodging from the lines and falling to the ground. Yampa Valley Electric and the Safe Electricity program urge you to be aware of weather forecasts so you can be prepared for wind- storms. In addition, keep 10 January 2014

the following safety tips in mind after a windstorm: • When you see power lines on the ground, stay away, warn others to stay away and contact YVEA or 911. Lines do not have to be arcing or sparking to be live. • Any utility wires, including telephone or cable lines that are sagging or down, could be in contact with an energized power line. Stay away from all lines. • Be alert to the possibility that tree limbs or debris may hide an electrical hazard. A downed power line can energize objects around it, such as chain-link fences and metal culverts. • Keep in mind that a line that is “dead” could become energized during power

restoration efforts or improper use of generators. •N  ever drive over a downed line. It could cause poles or other equipment to come crashing down. • I f you are in a car that has come in contact with a downed power line, stay in your vehicle. Wait until the utility crew has arrived and de-energized the line. Warn others not to approach the car. Only exit the car in the case of fire; and, in doing so, jump out and away from the car with both feet together. Then hop away while continuing to keep both feet together. Get more electrical safety information at December 2013 11


Co-ops Help “Light the Houses”


Having a seriously ill child is a traumatic experience. Having to travel from home to the Denver metro area when that child needs treatment makes it even more difficult. That is why Colorado’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives participated in the December 5 Light the Houses “radiothon” to help support Denver’s Ronald McDonald House Charities. Working with KOSI radio for 12 short hours, the electric co-ops and other sponsors were able to raise nearly $170,000. That money will help support these homes as they provide families from rural Colorado with a place to stay while their children are being treated at metro area hospitals. It will often be members of local electric co-ops who will benefit from this Touchstone Energy fundraiser.

Keep Your TV Viewing Energy Efficient


Television sales jump 15 percent each January as football fans shop for bigger and brighter sets on which to watch the playoffs and the Super Bowl. If you’re one of those looking to buy a big screen, here are some tips to help you make your purchase a more energyefficient one. Know the efficiency of the display being considered. LCD displays are 62 percent efficient while plasma displays are 69 percent efficient and LED displays are 84 percent efficient. Plasma LED LCD Understand that size affects energy Average Enervee score for televisions with screen size of 42 inches or larger. costs. A 19- to 39-inch television will cost an average of $104 to operate over five years, running five hours a day. A 40- to 59-inch television will cost an average of $200 for that same time period, and a 60-inch or larger television will cost an average of $278. Check the lifetime use of the television being considered. For example, a 46-inch LED television by Samsung with a purchase price of $799.99 will use $80.85 of electricity and have a five-year cost of $880.84. A 46-inch LCD television by Sceptre will have a lower purchase price of $529.99, but as an LCD television it will have electricity costs of $446.15, leading to a five-year cost of $976.14, according to Enervee, a website that compares the energy efficiency of products. Enervee has also scored the efficiency of television brands with Sharp and Samsung leading the list with a score of 80, followed by Panasonic at 74, LG at 72, Sony at 71 and Average five-year electricity cost for televisions running five hours a day. Toshiba at 69.




What is the most energy efficienttelevision display?

Does size really make a difference on energy cost?







For more information on buying an energy-efficient televison, visit 12 January 2014




Coloradans consume large amounts of electricity. Meeting this demand requires a regional network of power plants, big and small, and a variety of resources connected by a grid of transmission lines. As Colorado continues to review what resources should be used to meet electricity needs in the Centennial State, it is important to understand how much electricity these resources actually generate. The graphic below shows how many plants of a given type would be required to generate the same amount of electricity. For example, one nuclear plant or two coal plants produce enough electricity to meet the yearly needs of 1 million households. In reality, electric co-ops use a number of these resources working together to meet their members’ needs. NUCLEAR

















40 or 2,000 wind turbines


550 or 1.6 million solar panels

Annual electricity consumption for 1 million homes (based on average annual household consumption of 12,000 kilowatt-hours)

Use Your Smartphone and Get MORE from Your Colorado Country Life


Since November, Colorado Country Life has been “augmenting” your magazine. That means we have added content that you can see through an app available for your smartphone or tablet from Google Play or your App Store. Search for Layar in your App Store or Google Play, download it and open it. Scan any page with the AR phone logo and watch the added content pop up. There’s even an entry form you can use to enter to win an iPad mini. Need more directions? Check the ad on page 2. January 2014 13



When you’re young, lots of careers look appealing. It’s hard to sort out what makes the most sense to pursue. In many ways, the idea of a “smart grid” was like that in its earliest days: so many possibilities, so much to explore. Today, the advanced technologies that make the smart grid possible have been around for a while. The smart grid is maturing and its future is becoming clearer. In the beginning, many experts felt the smart grid would revolve around enhancing consumer efficiency. There was talk about smart chips in every home appliance enabling the devices to control themselves in response to changing conditions on the power grid, and real-time monitoring systems would encourage homeowners to save power. Today, the picture looks different. “Obviously, home energy efficiency had a large role in the smart grid as it was originally envisioned,” says Craig Miller, chief scientist for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, which represents more than 900 not-for-profit co-ops nationwide. “Now, that’s not seen as a particularly challenging area. Appliances hitting the market are much more efficient; you can’t buy a new inefficient appliance anymore.” As a result, the brightest possibilities have moved out of the household and onto distribution and even 14 January 2014

sion lines, according to Miller. “Across the nation, utilities are modernizing electric distribution systems by deploying advanced communications and automation technologies, including two-way digital meters, to improve reliability, increase efficiency and help control electricity costs for consumers,” he says. “The smart grid at its core provides electric co-ops a better idea of what’s going on out on their lines and a better means of troubleshooting issues.” In substations, for example, the ability to switch quickly and efficiently be-

tween feeder lines, which carry power to consumers, can maintain system stability, reducing outages and costs. “Automatically controlled smart feeder switching is a big area,” Miller says. Electric cooperatives are finding innovative uses for those capabilities. Snapping Shoals Electric Membership Corporation, based in Covington, Georgia, employs smart switching to prioritize the flow of power to critical accounts like hospitals and fire and police stations following service interruptions, such as those caused by a storm. Automated equipment also lets co-

ops cut line losses through efficient management of voltage levels from the beginning to the end of a line. “Basically, every volt reduced at a substation translates into a 1 percent reduction in peak demand — the electric utility industry’s equivalent of rush-hour traffic, when power costs run the highest,” Miller explains. “It’s just one way the smart grid helps co-ops meet rising consumer expectations regarding reliability and costs, bolstering the commitment to service that’s at the heart of the member-co-op relationship.” Smart technology is also making America’s transmission lines more efficient. Transmission cables are sized to carry a certain amount of energy, but that can be affected by a variety of factors, including weather. To be safe, transmission systems assume the lowest capacity on any line. But through dynamic line rating, utilities can look at what the real capacity is at any given moment and adjust accordingly. “This offers tremendous potential to make the nation’s grid more efficient and reliable, saving consumers billions of dollars down the road,” Miller says.

A national push to get smart

In 2009, the federal government made a big push to expand the smart grid by handing out grants through the $821 billion stimulus bill. As always, electric co-ops, long recognized as industry trailblazers in crafting cutting-edge ways to boost service and reliability while keeping electric bills affordable, led the way. More than 50 cooperatives and public power districts in 15 states captured $215.6 million in smart grid investment and demonstration grants, amounts that were matched with local funds. In a key effort, the Cooperative Research Network, an arm of NRECA, was awarded $34 million for half of a $68 million groundbreaking, coast-to-coast initiative under which 23 cooperatives in 12 states — including Delta-Montrose Electric Association in Montrose — are studying more than 225,000 smart grid components. Results are coming in, according to Tom Lovas, a CRN contractor. Even though final conclusions won’t be ready for a few months, some insights are already clear. One is the critical role played by two-way communications in smart grid

schemes. Co-ops have found handling the vast amounts of data being generated — as much as 10,000 times more — necessitates a careful reworking of their communication networks. “Every smart grid project has, at its heart, a communications project,” Miller says. Another significant finding concerns the prepaid metering systems some cooperatives have implemented. These programs, by allowing members to pay for electricity in advance, require them to track power consumption on a home display and adopt wiser energy use patterns to avoid going over the prepaid amount. “That’s been really surprising, the popularity of prepaid offerings,” Miller says. “I think you’re seeing the smart grid, in that mechanism, reaching into behavior and producing more knowledgeable consumers.”

Moving to a smarter future

One of the stimulus-funded projects Miller sees as the most interesting was launched by Great River Energy, a generation and transmission cooperative based in Maple Grove, Minnesota, and two of its North Star State member distribution co-ops, Lake Region Electric Cooperative in Pelican Rapids and Minnesota Valley Electric Cooperative in Jordan. In 2012, the three cooperatives were awarded a $2.5 million grant that makes it possible for Great River Energy to monitor what’s happening on individual household meters, fostering a new level of demand response and load control. “You see distribution cooperatives and their wholesale power suppliers starting to share data in real time,” Miller says. “That’s tremendously exciting.” It’s all part of an evolving smart grid, a process that Miller argues will only accelerate as time goes on. To stay abreast of the latest smart grid developments, visit Reed Karaim writes on consumer and cooperative affairs for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.

Learn more about electric co-ops’ innovation by scanning this page using Layar.

What Is The Smart Grid? Although there are hundreds of ways to describe what constitutes a smart grid, all center around technologies and tools that help electric utilities better meet consumers’ needs reliably and affordably. This is chiefly accomplished by allowing utilities to more effectively monitor demand and system conditions on a near real-time basis. The smart grid combines digital meters and automated equipment, software applications and two-way communications that help utilities to track the flow of electricity with great precision; pinpoint outages; identify voltages out of permitted ranges; and transmit messages to transformers, capacitors, circuit breakers and other distribution equipment to initiate diagnostic or corrective (self-healing) actions that can isolate, reroute power around or even remotely repair the cause of a power interruption. Utilities can also record consumer electric use in various time intervals, communicate that consumption data among authorized staff and provide consumers with hourly or more frequent power pricing information so they can respond to changing electricity needs. The U.S. Department of Energy lists seven functions of a smart grid: • Enabling informed participation by consumers; • Accommodating all generation and energy storage options; • Creating new products, service and markets; • Delivering power quality for the range of needs in the 21st century; • Optimizing asset utilization and operating efficiency; • Addressing disturbances, such as automated outage prevention, containment and restoration; • Operating resiliently against physical and cyber attacks and natural disasters. January 2014 15

Scan the feature to see video of the Westernairies performing. See page 2 for details.


“I’ve often said there’s nothing better for the inside of a man than the outside of a horse,” — President Ronald Reagan Westernaire Gladys Ellis presents the colors at the 2013 Wild West Show.

Colorado’s Westernaires seem to prove that’s true for young men and for young women. 16 January 2014


The Westernairies Precisionettes ride in the 2013 National Western Stock Show.



On just about any Saturday of the year, whether there’s sunshine or snow, Fort Westernaire, next to the Jefferson County Fairgrounds just east of Golden, bustles with horses, parents, instructors and kids. It feels a hundred miles from Denver, which is actually only about 10 minutes east on Highway 6. Perhaps the distance is cultural. More than a thousand kids call themselves Westernaires, from brand-new Tenderfeet to the elite Red Team, the top echelon in this almost militarily regimented and proudly old-fashioned organization. After seeing one of their shows, it’s hard to imagine how they could accomplish what they do without that discipline. An anything-goes attitude wouldn’t cut it. Those drills include dozens of horses racing from four points of the arena toward the center and across, missing each other by inches; trick riding, where the teens perform gymnastics on horseback: vaults, upside-down, sideways and suspended in air beside their galloping mount; and circus-like acts where more than a dozen Riders of the Steppes stand on two horses and on each other’s shoulders

while cantering around the arena. The live shows are thrilling in part because they’re not cleaned-up television skits where the only danger is scripted. Kids fall from their horses and audiences hold their collective breath, hoping that the young performers aren’t trampled. “We talk a lot about safety, and I’ve been told by people who know that we have an enviable safety record,” says Glen Keller, director of the Westernaires since 1983 and Red Team instructor for 25 years. “Horses are 1,000-pound dumb animals, and you never know what they’re going to do. You have to be ready for it.” “I think there’s risk with everything, but from what I can see safety comes first here,” says Carol Wall, mother of a beaming 12-year-old Westernaires rider, Julie. “I feel very safe with her riding here. There’s always a medic on duty, and she does wear a helmet.” Julie agrees with her mom, but her vision of the Westernaires is about independence. “I love it that they let you ride by yourself; they don’t lead you around,” she says. The two perfectly capture the dilemma of parenting. How do you let your children go so they can grow, and yet keep them safe? The Westernaires has offered a good answer [continued on page 18] January 2014 17

[continued from page 17]

to that for 20,000 kids and counting since 1949. The Westernaires, then and now, is for kids whose parents or grandparents live in Jefferson County, parts of which are served by electric co-ops: United Power The Westernaires Riders of the and Intermountain Rural Electric Steppes perform Association. These aren’t rich an inverted kids: Membership is just $25 a pyramid. year and $15 per Saturday ride for the many who don’t own their own horse. The Westernaires provides mounts for those kids with 208 mostly donated horses that are stabled at Fort Westernaire. Those low fees bring horseback riding into the range of the possible for most families. The first part of learning those potentially dangerous drills happens in the classroom, where the Westernaires must memorize more than a thousand diagrams. They’ll be tested on the diagrams before moving to the next rank in the organization. The kids who stick with it will take dozens of falls and spend virtually all their Saturdays at Fort Westernaire, not to mention much of their weekdays during the summer, studying those diagrams at home, selling tickets to shows and needing to get their parents involved in the program. The payoff, say Westernaires and their parents, is much bigger than learning to ride a horse. “I try to explain that the Westernaires is not just about riding fast and riding a drill,” says Shelly McDaniel, this year’s Red Team major. “We build a family out there and everyone looks out for each other.” “Our kids can go anywhere and do anything,” says Keller. “The young people we work with are people I trust with the

future of our country. Our mission statement says, ‘The Westernaires is a youth organization that encourages leadership, responsibility and self-respect through horsemanship and family participation.’ And that’s what we do.” Keller credits the group’s 350 volunteers (most of them parents), the kids, and the horses as being key to the Westernaires’ success. “I think there’s something about that bond between young people and horses that provides the glue that keeps everybody together,” he says. Westernaires, both current and the alumni, says Keller, only the second director since the Westernaires’ creation 65 years ago, is in fact a big part of the reason that the Westernaires has flourished. “He likes to brag about us,” says McDaniel. “He’s really involved with our success, both in Westernaires and in school. He sets an example for the entire organization.” Keller’s predecessor, Elmer Wyland, founded the group with just 26 kids at the request of the Lakewood Youth Council. Wyland instituted the strict rules for dress and behavior that the group still follows. Inspired by an old U.S. Army Cavalry training manual, he recreated Cavalry training as closely as possible for mid-20th century students. Keller’s children joined in 1977, and both Keller and his wife got involved, as parents are expected to do. By 1983, 600 kids were riding. The morning after Wyland’s death that year, his widow called the Kellers with a life-changing message for them. “Tell Glen it’s his” had been Wyland’s last words. Keller, a retired lawyer and bankruptcy judge, devotes himself full time to the organization, as does his wife. [continued on page 19]

Westernaires Freedom Rider Noah Smith closes his ‘round-the-world’ trick in front of the National Western audience. 18 January 2014

[continued from page 18]

The older kids also take the films “How the West Was seriously their role in keeping Won” and “Stagecoach.”The the younger riders safe. Brian Red Team performed for the Davis, an alumnus, remembers Summit of Eight in 1997. the time when he was acting as President Bill Clinton later said a safety spotter for a girl whose that the Westernaires were the foot slipped out of a strap highlight of the trip. that held her to her cantering The group hasn’t since horse as she did a back bend. performed for the leaders of She would have been dragged the Western World; the venues had Davis not raced out and change annually with the grabbed the horse. The girl exception of some standard, covered her head the way she’d ongoing engagements — the been taught, he remembers. National Western Stock Show, “It’s really rare, though, that for instance, where they first something goes wrong like performed in 1954, making this that,” he says. their 60th year. Once, however, something For McDaniel, sometimes the The varsity Big Red Team takes seriously its went nightmarishly worse. On smaller venues are the ones that role in keeping the younger riders safe. July 4, 1993, Katie Nielsen’s mean the most. “Marcus, Iowa, horse panicked and the girl was saved up for three years to get dragged to her death, her boot stuck in her stirrup. “That was us there, and the whole town treated us like royalty,” she says. one of the toughest times of my life,” says Keller. “Not a lot of teenagers get to experience something like that.” Bill Scebbi, executive director of the Colorado Horse Council Sonja Lawrence, an alum, found out about Westernaires when and a man who raised his own children with horses, believes the her sister, Sheena, came home from school one day, clutching risk is worth it. “The Westernaires are doing what we all need a Westernaires flyer and bawling. Sheena finally calmed down to be doing as individuals, in assisting kids in being all they can enough to tell her mother why she was crying. “I want to do this be,” he says. “Every state should have a youth program like the so bad but I know it will be too expensive,” she said. Westernaires. Every county and every city. You wouldn’t need Smart girl: Horses are expensive. horse rescue organizations if you had more of these programs. But their mother made the call and learned they didn’t have to It’s perfect for people who need a new home for their horse and own a horse and that the fees were affordable. it gives the benefits of a horse to kids whose families can’t own When Sheena made the elite Red Team, the girls’ father was one.” dying. Both girls were, as Sonja says, “distracted.” Sonja was The kids do love the horses. They also make lifelong friends a good horsewoman and was offered an early spot on the Red with other humans. Team. “Mr. Keller was so good to us,” she says. “And I ended up The Precisionettes, the team just below the Red Team, perbeing number one in the training class.” formed at the Breckenridge Rodeo last summer. They were fully Everyone hoped the girls’ dad would see his daughters ride in costumed, awaiting their grand entry, when the skies opened. the 2000 National Western Stock Show. Fate dictated otherwise; Afterward, they waited for their next event, a drill. “We were he died two days before their first performance. all soaking wet,” laughs Hollie Schuetz. “We really bonded over “We were both crying during that performance,” Sonja that.” Lawrence says. “The entire team was holding onto us, keeping us Davis, now a medical student at the University of Colorado, together.” was best man recently at his best friend’s wedding. That was a On a recent Saturday, Sonja watched as her 11-year-old son friendship welded together through the Westernaires. The group Skylar rode a tall horse in a class full of boys whose horses were changed his life in other ways as well, says Davis. “It builds trotting and running first in one direction and then another. character and self-confidence. You understand that you need to “Very different from girls,” she laughs. “Girls would all be in a both take responsibility and rely on yourself and your horse, but neat line.” also work as a team member.” Her 2-year-old, Colton, was collecting rocks at her feet, now Davis explains the Westernaires to people who aren’t familiar and then watching as the horses and the boys on them wheeled with the group by saying that it was like a high school sport — a by under the wide Colorado sky. sport that proved to be a winning subject for his essay for medi“I hope Colton will want to be part of the Westernaires too,” cal school admission. says Sonja. “Of course I do.” Those who aren’t familiar with the Westernaires are almost certainly not from Colorado, or even from the West: The group Kristen Hannum, a Colorado native, is a freelance writer and is that well-known. Hollywood even knows the Westernaires: editor who lives in Denver. They appeared in the television mini series “Centennial,” and in January 2014 19


Bites With a Bang for the Big Game Try these munchies that will score you big points at playoff parties BY AMY HIGGINS || AHIGGINS@COLORADOCOUNTRYLIFE.ORG Defensive Guard

Wrap small sandwich bags around the handles of your kitchen faucet before you start mixing meatballs. This way, when you need to turn on the water faucet you won’t get goop all over the handles.

Tackle Tough Buildup After the food has been removed from your baking dishes, arrange a layer of heavy-duty paper towels on the surface of the dish, add a shallow layer of hot water and let sit. Any baked-on buildup should clean up nicely with the paper towels when it’s time to clean the dish.


It’s the most wonderful time of the year — football playoffs time! Chances are you will be getting together with like-minded friends and family for some football festivities this month. And whether you’re rejoicing or lamenting, it’s important to have some delicious fare to help you through it. Here are some suggestions that are sure to be crowd pleasers.

Sweet and Sour Lamb Meatballs 1 pound lean ground leg of lamb 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs 1/2 medium red bell pepper, finely diced (about 1/2 cup) 1 large egg, beaten 3 scallions, white part only, finely chopped 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger 1/8 teaspoon black pepper 1/4 cup hoisin sauce 1 tablespoon honey 1 teaspoon rice vinegar 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger 3 scallions, green part only, sliced into thin rings 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line large baking sheet with foil, lightly oil or coat with nonstick cooking spray and set aside. Combine lamb, panko, bell pepper, egg, scallion whites, soy sauce, ginger and pepper in large bowl and mix until ingredients are just combined. Shape meat mixture into 32 balls. Place on prepared baking sheet and cook until lightly browned, about 12 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk the hoisin sauce, honey, vinegar and ginger together in large bowl until well combined. When meatballs come out of oven, add them to bowl and toss gently to combine. Place meatballs on serving platter with toothpicks and sprinkle with scallion greens and sesame seeds. Source: Tri-Lamb Group

Pork Party Sliders 8 cocktail buns or 4 burger buns 2 tablespoons butter, softened 2 slices bacon 4 New York pork chops, 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch thick Salt and pepper 4 tablespoons steak sauce Slice buns in half horizontally. Toast or warm through. Spread cut sides of buns with butter. In large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat for 1 minute or until enough bacon fat melts to coat bottom of pan, stirring occasionally. Push bacon to side of skillet and add chops. Sprinkle chops with salt and pepper. Cook chops for 3 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned and cooked to a medium doneness, turning once halfway through. Remove chops and bacon. Drain bacon on paper towels. Rest chops at least 3 minutes. For cocktail buns, cut each chop in half for 8 pieces. Place chops in buns. Top chops with steak sauce and bacon strips. Source: National Pork Board 20 January 2014 December 2013 21


Top Crops for 2014

Garden industry leaders choose three plants to look out for in the new year BY EVA ROSE MONTANE || ABUNDANTEARTHGARDENS.COM || GARDENING@COLORADOCOUNTRYLIFE.ORG


Every year the National Garden Bureau selects one annual plant, one perennial species and one edible variety to represent the plants for that year. According to its website, these plants are chosen because they are popular, easy-to-grow, widely adaptable, genetically diverse and versatile.

Annual: Petunias

In the past, I viewed petunias as too common-place. But I’ve recently opened my eyes and mind to see the incredible diversity that exists with petunias today. Petunias are virtually bullet-proof, adaptable to many conditions and useful for a range of situations from planting beds, to containers, to creating dramatic cascading displays in hanging baskets. The diversity of colors in which they are available is substantial, as is their form; tiny flowers, double flowers, striped, solid and more. Butterflies and hummingbirds are in love with them and they will grow well in almost any sunny location. Petunias bloom relentlessly from spring to autumn, and if you’ve been out of the loop or needlessly shunning them like me, you may not know that there are now varieties that do not require pinching, aka deadheading, all the live long day. Just be sure to read the cultural tags to know which kind you have so you can give them the care they need to look their best.

Perennial: Echinacea

Exciting horticultural advances have created new colors of Echinacea too; it is now available in white, yellow and orange, in addition to the traditional pink. Native to the prairie, Echinacea prefers to grow in sunny, dry woodland and meadow-like environments with loamy, well-drained soil. It will perform well under a variety of conditions and is little affected by soil pH. Echinacea is a great choice for a pollinator-friendly garden since it is attractive to butterflies, bees and birds. Generally deer resistant, Echinacea is also drought, heat and wind tolerant.

Edible: Cucumber

The cucumber is very easy to grow from seed, which may explain why it has been in cultivation for almost 3,000 years; it originates from India. The cucumber’s bitterness is part of the plant’s defense to repel insects and animals that might try to consume it. I found it interesting to note that it was recommended that those who suffered from fever in the 17th century were advised by physicians to lie on a bed of these garden fruits so they would become “cool as a cucumber.” Anyone who has grown cucumber plants knows they will claim a lot of real estate in the veggie garden. However, by using a support such as a trellis, lattice or “A” frame with netting, they can be trained vertically and swept up, out of the way, just like a good ponytail. Cukes grown in this manner grow perfectly straight, worthy of your county fair competition. I hope you can make the most of these plants in your garden in the upcoming 2014 growing season. Cheers and Happy New Year! 22 January 2014 December 2013 23


Waiting Out Winter

Indoor fishing activities pass the time when it’s just too cold BY DENNIS SMITH


WiseSaver For proper airflow and savings on your electric bill, keep your vents clear of items such as rugs or furniture. Your HVAC system will have to work twice as hard if it

Winter fly-fishing is pretty much a fireside game for me these days. I guess I’d rather read about it than actually do it. There are plenty of people out there who don’t mind burying themselves in layers of Gor-Tex®, wool and neoprene to wade a winter creek, but I’m not one of them. I’m more traditionalist than pioneer, I suppose, and therefore more into minding the archaic rituals of the sport than in breaking new ground — or ice. To my way of thinking, if you have to pull more than a wool shirt or rain jacket over your fishing vest, you’re pushing the envelope. If you’re waddling around like the Pillsbury Doughboy in waders, you probably ought to be in the cabin instead of on the creek. I do enjoy tying flies in winter more than in summer, though. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s because at the height of the season I’m usually in a rush to get back out on the water, and I have a tendency to just cram feathers on the hook. Come winter, though, I start getting picky. I’ll take the pains necessary to put just the right “English” on the tying silk, and cock the wings just so on my dry flies. And I’ll spend a little more time getting the tails to sweep up at that peculiar little angle you see on nicely tied wet flies. Last night I started sorting my flies again. Every winter, it seems, I feel compelled to find a new and better way to organize my fly boxes. This wasn’t a problem when I had just a couple boxes of flies, but now I have dozens and the project has gown more complex and tedious. I used to sort them exclusively by size. One year I divided them into wet and dry fly boxes. All the sinking flies, regardless of size, shape or pattern, went into one box; all the floating flies went into another. It was a nightmare. A few years ago I began sorting them according to the insects they matched: Blue-winged olives (nymphs, dry flies and emergers, regardless of size) all go in one box, pale morning duns in another, caddis flies in another and so on. So far, this seems to have worked out for the best, but it looks like it’s going to be a long winter so I may decide to try something new just for its own sake. Winter’s a good time to immerse yourself in a new fly tying book (or an old one), enroll in a tying class, or maybe build a rod if you haven’t done that already. I have a sweet little 2-weight and a couple of four-piece travel rods now that I probably wouldn’t have if it weren’t for off-season rod building classes. Thing is, there’s more to fly-fishing than catching fish. Sometimes it’s nice to just kick back and wallow in the more cerebral aspects of the game. Give me a good book, a warm fire, a couple of nice new hackle capes and I’m happy to wait for spring. I don’t even care if it’s a long wait.

is blocked. Miss an issue? Catch up at Click on Outdoors. 24 January 2014

[energy tips]


Not all space heaters are created equally BY JAMES DULLEY What space heaters are best to warm up smaller areas?


Source: Holmes

Carol Logan from Nathrop was the winner of the Snowman Swag. Congratulations!


There’s not a best electric space heater for every situation. The proper selection depends on the room and how you plan to use the heater. Choose between direct radiant and convection space heaters; both types have advantages. Within each group, there are comfort features and options that may impact your decision. Radiant style heaters are quiet and heat quickly. They primarily heat objects and people directly in front of them, making them ideal in smaller spaces. Carbon tubes produce infrared heat, which penetrates objects and skin slightly below the surface. This makes it comfortable, effective heat. For slightly larger areas, select a model that automatically oscillates. For a living room, often the largest room in a house, consider a convection style heater. They are designed to heat the air in the room and heat entire rooms more effectively. Choose a model with a thermostat and multispeed fan to control the heat output. A ceramic convection heater is safe around young children. If the airflow gets blocked, the heating output automatically drops and there are no red hot ribbons. For a bedroom, where quiet operation This is a tower-style ceramic is important, convection heater with an use an oil-filled oscillation feature and digital controls and thermostat. radiator or a convection heater with a low-speed setting. Another option is a radiant model facing the bed if you don’t mind the red glow. A horizontal shaped one will heat the entire bed area. For more information on space heaters, visit Click on Energy Tips. January 2014 25


Scan this page with Layar and watch as a lineman affected by a chance encounter with an electric power line shares his story. 26 January 2014

[marketplace] Scan these pages to better connect with these advertisers. See page 2 for instructions.

Looking forward to the new year ‌ Advertise in Marketplace and get ready for great things to happen!

Call Kris for more details at 303-902-7276. January 2014 27

[classifieds] TO PLACE A CLASSIFIED AD Please type or print your ad on a separate paper. Indicate how many months you would like your ad to run and which month to start. There is a minimum of 12 words at $1.63 per word/month. Be sure to include your full name and address for our records. Check MUST accompany this order or call to pay by credit card. Send your ad before the 10th of the month to: mail: Colorado Country Life 5400 Washington St., Denver, CO 80216 phone: 303-902-7276 fax: 303-455-2807 email:



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[funny stories]

When I was working for a property management

Did you know that you could get a Colorado Country Life subscription for $9 in-state and $15 out-of-state? Just call the nice people at CCL at 303-455-4111.

Thanks, my sister is in Iowa and always wants the news from home. I’ll get her a subscription for the new year.

company, many of the homeowners paid their association dues through auto pay, which takes the money automatically from their bank account. One day I received a call from an elderly woman who had been paying her dues late and was being charged a late fee every month. She told me she just couldn’t remember to pay on time. I suggested she sign up for auto pay. After a few moments of silence, the sweet lady said, “But honey, I don’t see how that would help. I don’t have a car.” Sharon Hunter, Buena Vista

I recently visited my son and his family. While I

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for photos of readers and their copy of Colorado Country Life. Got a great pic of you or your family member with the magazine at some fun place? Send it and your name and address to We’ll post it on our Facebook page. And on the last day of each month we’ll draw a winner from the submissions and send that winner a $25 gift card.

was there I learned they were having plumbing issues that caused the toilet and bathtub to back up. My son was on the roof with a plumber’s snake tool that he was attempting to put down the sewer gas pipeline to unplug all parts of the system. Our 4-year-old grandson wandered out, looked up and asked his dad what he was doing on the roof. “Unplugging a pipe so the poop will go down,” his dad responded. Our grandson contemplated that for a minute and then said with complete confidence, “Oh, that must have been from the reindeer this Christmas.” Now what other logical explanation could there be? Lynn Lauterbach, Loveland

My 7-year-old grandson was looking at my arm as I worked in the kitchen. He said, “Grandma, they make stuff that tightens your skin. You need to get some and put a big glob on your arm and rub it in real good.” Wanda Brooks, Fountain We pay $15 to each person who submits a funny story that’s printed in the magazine. At the end of the year, we draw one name from those submitting jokes and that person will receive $150. Send your 2014 stories to Colorado Country Life, 5400 Washington St., Denver, CO 80216 or email funnystories@ Don’t forget to include your mailing address, so we can send you a check. January 2014 29


The Art of Transforming Trees in Need


Even predators, such as emerald ash borer or mountain pine beetle, can’t keep a tree from persevering if it has the help of Boulder artist Lueb Popoff. Over 14 years, he perfected his art of creating lifelike wooden sculptures, bringing new life to dead trees. After all this time, the green artist says he continues to enjoy his clients’ reactions when he turns a tree stump that is perceived as nothing into something they love. See some of Popoff’s creations, watch a short video on his creative process and find out how to commission him by visiting



For more than 35 years, Scott Kennedy has been creating amazing art in the Centennial State. He has an uncanny ability to bring life to the canvas, making it difficult to decipher if the picture is a painting or snapshot. But make no mistake; Kennedy’s art is created with meticulous craftsmanship using implements such as pencil, paint and sculpture. He fine-tuned his craft over the years and was chosen as a finalist in the Art Renewal Center’s 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 International Salons for three of his “Windows” pieces. Kennedy’s knack of artistic expression has been passed down to his children, Ryan and Tyler, who have created incredible works of their own. The three continue to paint and work in Berthoud at Scott’s publishing studio, Solstice Arts, which opened in 1999. See what this family of artists has created over the years and buy a painting or print of your own by visiting 30 January 2014

Nancee Jean Busse Fine Art


Nancee Jean Busse was born an artist. From the time she was a little girl in elementary school, she just couldn’t wait to get started on her next creation. She grew up in Illinois, but Grand Junction is now where she calls home. Every day, this gorgeous area of the state inspires her to get out her acrylics and color her world. Busse began her career in illustration and continues to do so, but she has amplified her portfolio to include western, landscape, wildlife, still life and contemporary works of art. She is a brilliant painter of the world around her, but her favorite subjects are animals, especially birds in flight because they embody “freedom and release.” Busse’s fine art can be viewed and purchased on her website,

2014 GENERAL ASSEMBLY Stay in touch with legislators Colorado’s

Convenes January 8 Order copies of the printed directory for only $1 each at 303-455-4111 or at

Both of these valuable directories are brought to you by CREA

OR, after January 8, download the 2014 CREA Legislative Directory app from Google Play or the App Store for only 99¢.

Colorado Rural Electric Associaiton 5400 Washington St. • Denver, CO

Colorado Country Life Yampa January 2014  

Colorado Country Life Yampa January 2014

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