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Longmont Times-Call Community Review

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Introduction On Jan. 1, 2000, Erie had dirt roads. Firestone had yet to reach Interstate 25, and Longmont residents thought their city was growing too fast. Longmont had a regular Wal-Mart, and Louisville still was waiting on Costco. FlatIron Crossing didn’t exist. John Breaux and Gamma Acosta had not started the work for which they would be known. Nobody had seen a 6-foot-tall goose, and “Flor del Llano” would not rise from the prairie for another half decade. Borders and The Home Depot had not arrived in Longmont, and Colo. Highway 119 ran through downtown. But a boom was under way. Both Maxtor and Seagate were on the verge of opening large new facilities. Neighborhoods were expanding, and young families filled them. Developers in southwest Weld County were talking about annexing a 1,000-home development in Dacono.

Yes, one thousand. And the St. Vrain Valley School District would be looking at a $5 million balance at the end of the fiscal year. Then came the Aughts, or the Ohs — as in “Oh, what a decade.” It was a decade of high highs and low lows, a ride that forced us to hold on tight. Throughout it, our communities have grown, they’ve morphed, and they have survived and celebrated the defeats and the victories. Every year at this time, the Times-Call focuses on our communities with an annual “community review” edition. This year, the staff looks back at this roller coaster decade through the stories of those who rode it. These 10 tales can’t cover everything that happened in the past decade, but they provide a picture of the struggles and successes of families, businesses, schools and entire communities. So, as it is said, let’s turn back the pages.

Table of Contents Neighborhoods ................................................................................................................. 4 Business.......................................................................................................................... 8 Education...................................................................................................................... 13 The Arts........................................................................................................................ 16 Health Care ................................................................................................................... 20 Nonprofits ..................................................................................................................... 24 Seniors ......................................................................................................................... 28 Sports........................................................................................................................... 30 Southeast Boulder County................................................................................................ 36 Carbon Valley ................................................................................................................. 40 Timeline of the Past 10 Years ............................................................................................. 44

Longmont Times-Call Community Review

Photo by Lewis Geyer

4 . Sunday, March 28, 2010

Up and out

Community Review


The first half of the decade was marked by growth in population and area, but an economic shift slowed things down

Ritchie and Elizabeth Steed bought their home in Quail Crossing in October 2001. But it wasn’t a home yet. It wasn’t even a house. And the Longmont subdivision wasn’t yet a neighborhood.

The couple chose the lot, chose the model, and chose the finishes. They watched crews pour the foundation and burned a lot of calories putting in the yard themselves. They watched their neighbors’ houses being built, and they

watched their construction-filled subdivision go from empty lots and unfinished sidewalks to a built-out, now-maturing neighborhood. When the Steeds moved in, everybody was in the same boat, Elizabeth said: Everyone was

building a house from the ground up. Neighbors helped each other build fences and lay sod. They organized Fourth of July street parties and Christmas cookie exchanges. But in the years since they built

Story by Rachel Carter PHOTO: The Steed family pose in front of their home in the Quail Crossing subdivision. From left are Alyssa, 12; dad Ritchie; mom Elizabeth; Parker, 8; Connor, 16; and Sarah, 14. The Steeds moved into one of the first homes in the neighborhood in 2001.

Longmont Times-Call Community Review

their home on Red Mountain Drive, they also have seen turnover in the neighborhood. Although several original families remain, many have moved on.

“Now, you kind of have to go outside and seek each other out,” she said of her neighbors. “It’s when you’re out washing your car or mowing your yard. It’s less formal than it was.”

Ritchie added, “It’s a little different way of getting to know each other.”

There’s no denying Longmont grew in the past decade.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city’s population was 73,000 people in 2000. It hit an estimated 86,000 last year.

The city also issued 7,075 residential building permits since 2000. And the number of residential electric customers — what city officials generally use to determine the number of households in Longmont — grew from about 27,600 in 2000 to 33,600 in 2009. Although the residential develop-


ment binge of the 1990s carried over into the early 2000s, the hangover set in during the late 2000s as foreclosures skyrocketed and new residential development came to a screeching halt. The city issued 1,500 residential building permits in 2000 and more than 1,600 in 2001. Then, in 2002, the number began a slow descent that eventually plummeted to only 63 residential building permits last year. Although there was some “infill” development at the city’s core, most of the construction happened on Longmont’s edges: southwest in the Clover Basin area, northeast in the Ute Creek area, and south in the Quail Campus area — and, of course, the city’s new urban development, Prospect New Town, continued to build out during the past decade. For the Steeds, who have four children, the decision came down to getting the biggest house for their buck, Elizabeth said. They had moved to Longmont from Northern California (where they

Sunday, March 28, 2010 . 5

David Brandt works on the construction of a home in the Prairie Village subdivision off Alpine Street in Longmont. (File)

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6 . Sunday, March 28, 2010 were living with their three children in a two-bedroom apartment) in July 1999. And the growth was one of the reasons the family chose to move to Longmont, Elizabeth Steed said. Ritchie Steed is a podiatrist and planned to open his own practice: A growing community held the promise of growing a new business. By the time they were in the market to buy, they had four children. They were living in northwest Longmont, but couldn’t find anything there in their price range, Elizabeth Steed said. But Ritchie Steed says another aspect played into their decision, a kind of sign of the times: “There was a lot of building going on, and you wanted to get something new.” He wouldn’t necessarily do it the same way if he had it to do over, he said. “To do it now, I would probably go find something already built. ... It’s a lot of work to put in a new home.” Looking back at those statistics during the past decade, and seeing how different the first four years were compared to the past six years, gives Phil DelVecchio pause. DelVecchio, the city’s former community development department director and now Longmont’s redevelopment program manager, remembers city leaders talking about the growth in the early 2000s, and trying to figure out how much was too much. Back then, the city’s rate of growth was about 2.8 percent, he said. For the past four years, it has been less than 1 percent. “You start to at least better understand the connection between what new growth and development generates in terms of sales and property taxes to help provide the basic services to the community,” he said. DelVecchio, who is retiring this year after 25 years with the city, said Longmont’s approach to neighborhoods evolved to incorporate mixed-use planning. He pointed to the Clover Basin area, which puts houses within a short distance of shops, schools and employers

Longmont Times-Call Community Review

New homes cover the landscape in east Longmont looking north along East Ninth Avenue in May 2004. (File) such as Amgen and Seagate. Longmont also now has a variety of housing types for all income ranges, he pointed out, from affordable housing to upper-end homes. “You have options now for virtually everybody, so it shouldn’t be a situation where it’s viewed as competitive (between newer and older neighborhoods),” DelVecchio said. “I think it’s very beneficial as a community to have a variety of housing types in older, established neighborhoods as well as new neighborhoods.” But with residential develop-

ment dropping off the past few years, “there’s been a lot more interest in our older neighborhoods,” he said. As the city’s community and neighborhood resources supervisor, Jon Clarke has had a front-row seat to watch Longmont’s neighborhoods morph during the past 10 years: He started his job with the city of Longmont the Monday after Thanksgiving Day 1999. “The biggest change has been the rate of growth and the economy,” Clarke said. “It’s gone from ‘How do we manage this new development?’ to ‘How do we maintain what we have?’ ”

One major reason city planners began organizing neighborhoods was to be able to communicate with residents about new development — mainly because there was so much of it going on, he said. In 2001, 24 registered neighborhood groups were active in Longmont, Clarke said. Last year, there were 65. “They’re growing, and they’re more active,” he said. But, he pointed out, in 2001, 40 percent of the neighborhood associations were voluntary, and 60 percent were homeowners associations.

Longmont Times-Call Community Review Last year, that flip-flopped: Onequarter of groups were voluntary neighborhood groups, while threequarters were HOAs, Clarke said. “Obviously any new growth we’ve had in the last 10 years, you have to have an HOA because you have to have open space and you need a group to manage that,” Clarke said. “HOAs have a mechanism to maintain themselves; the positive piece is those volunteer groups have maintained themselves as well.” Because volunteer neighborhood groups take much more work to get — and keep — going, some have dissolved over the years, Clarke said. But others have flourished. He pointed to the fact that Southmoor Park used to have one, large neighborhood group — probably too large. So residents broke it up into three, more manageable neighborhood associations, Clarke said. City organizers can’t create neighborhood “traditions” or make neighborly connections, he said. That is up to the residents: sharing tools, borrowing sugar, watching out for children. “That can and does happen in new and old neighborhoods,” Clarke said. Yes, new development is going to cause shifts in existing residential areas, he said. Is that bad? It doesn’t have to be, Clarke said. Whereas new neighborhoods are more controlled because they have HOAs and covenants that oversee what is or isn’t allowed, it’s up to residents to establish — or re-establish — the social norms and sense of community in existing neighborhoods. “Is the sense of community stronger in new neighborhoods versus old neighborhoods? Absolutely not,” Clarke said. “It’s incumbent on the people who live there.” For example, he said, perhaps people whose income grew moved into new subdivisions on the outskirts of the city. That leaves more aging homes and single-family houses in the core of the city, many of which are now rentals, he said. And rentals are 50 percent more

Sunday, March 28, 2010 . 7

Moxie Moms member Jennifer Hakanson cleans up a path at the play area at Sandstone Ranch in Longmont in April 2007. (File) likely to have code enforcement issues, he said. In response to the shifting dynamic of existing neighborhoods, city officials have launched three neighborhood revitalization programs in the past decade. The city chooses a part of town that could use a little help, and then puts money, resources and neighbors to work to make things better. It began in 2001, when the City Council decided that rapid growth had given Longmont a lot of new neighborhoods — but it had also taken attention away from the older ones. And city leaders wanted to support the older neighborhoods while planning for new ones. In 2003, the Kensington neighborhood was the first revitalization area, and received a $100,000 grant. Three years later, the Historic Eastside neighborhood got the same. But while the money came from the city (generally through federal Community Development Block Grants), the ideas came from the residents.

Neighbors worked with the city and worked together on common issues: cleaning graffiti, planting trees, clearing alleyways. But some ideas were a little less obvious. Historic Eastside, for instance, identified language as an issue and began making English classes available for Spanishspeakers and vice versa. The city launched its third — and largest — neighborhood revitalization effort last summer. The Midtown area takes in about 3,600 households, roughly between Ninth and 23rd avenues, from Bross to Meadow streets south of 17th Avenue, and from Main to Meadow north of there.

And the best way to do that in neighborhoods new and old, he said, is by getting people together. “Sense of community: That doesn’t take money,” Clarke said. “That sense of community, working as a neighbor, is universal and has been around a long time. “It’s within us all.” But Longmont still has room to grow. If it wants to. “Where does it all end?” DelVecchio asked. “We do have a physical limit to our boundary of development.” That boundary is mostly set by open space that surrounds the city and by the Longmont Area Comprehensive Plan.

The city launched the Midtown revitalization program, a three- to five-year plan using Community Development Block Grant funds, to organize the neighborhood and create improvement plans.

But city planners say Longmont will be built out and finished growing when it reaches 111,000 people — a moving-target estimate that can change depending on land use and development.

“I think it’s in every town; neighborhoods are constantly in flux,” Clark said. “I think my job is to keep that flux in an upward turn rather than a downward turn.”

“There is still ample room for new development, even though we recognize we have to be more attentive to infill development in the future,” DelVecchio said. G

8 . Sunday, March 28, 2010

Longmont Times-Call Community Review

Not business as usual

Community Review


Observers say it was an ‘erratic’ decade with more lows than highs

The 2000s began in Longmont at the height of the dot-com bubble, which was soon to burst, and ended in the Great Recession. Sandwiched in between was a rolling, then roiling, housing market; an explosion of new shopping and dining options in the city; and finally a business community eager to put the decade behind them. “I would say it was mostly

down,” John Cody, president and CEO of the Longmont Area Economic Council. “It was the worst decade, I would say, in probably 50 years.” The LAEC, formerly the Economic Development Association of Longmont, is charged with recruitment and retention of primary employers. Primary jobs are those produc-

ing goods and services locally that are sold elsewhere, which brings new money into the community. In six of the 10 years during the 2000s, the Longmont area ended the year with a net loss of primary jobs. Only in 2000, 2003, 2005 and 2007 did the year end with a net increase in primary jobs. The LAEC tracks jobs by surveying primary employers each year.

The number of jobs gained through companies moving in or adding workers is compared with the number of jobs lost by companies closing or laying off workers, leaving a net number of jobs gained or lost for the year. Taking all 10 years into account, the Longmont area ended the decade with a net loss of 4,060 jobs. From 2000 to 2009, 799 new jobs

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Longmont Times-Call Community Review

were created but 4,859 were lost. Those numbers are somewhat misleading, Cody said. Halfway through the decade the LAEC took the Carbon Valley out of its service area and stopped tracking jobs there. But it was, as Cody said, a

“down” decade for jobs, with the beginning and end of the decade accounting for most of the losses. Multiple reasons accounted for the decline in jobs, Cody said, including a continuing — and he thinks unsustainable — increase in worker productivity.

“Productivity has an impact on job growth,” he said. “Instead of having 50 guys working in the cotton gin, you have three. “In the past, enhanced productivity has always been replaced by something else. The question is, what will it be replaced by this

time?” But Cody said a bigger factor was jobs being shipped overseas. “(Offshoring) has had a big effect on us,” Cody said. “It did affect us more because it affected tech more.” For several years during the past

Business world witnessed a rough ride for housing What a difference a decade made in Longmont’s housing market. “Back in 2000 things were booming pretty well here,” said Jim Cobb, president of Cornerstone Homes. His company was competing back then for both customers and land to build on with large, corporate builders, such as Centex, US Homes, KB Home and Melody Homes. As the decade wore on, some of those companies moved on, selling off the land they had planned to build on if they could. Others went out of business. “We noticed near the end of 2000 that business was slowing, and with the advent of 9/11 ... that really put a damper on everything,” said Cobb, who has been in the industry since 1973. “From that point on, each year until the end of the decade, business was falling off. In late 2007 into the early part of 2008, “things pretty much came to a halt,” he said. Cobb said his company is “hanging on by our fingernails” but has managed to stay in business by finding work in certain places that haven’t been as affected by the Great Recession, such as parts of Boulder. The downturn at the end of the 2000s was the worst he’s ever seen, including the 1980s, when Colorado was decimated by the oil and gas bust, he said. And the aftermath is also causing problems in his industry. Home prices usually start rising as the economy improves after a recession, Cobb said. But he thinks this time is different, mainly because of foreclosures, which increased steadily in the city during the latter part of the 2000s.

GROWTH: TOO MUCH TOO SOON? As Cobb said, 2000 was a heady time along the Front Range. The metro region was growing rapidly, so Longmont and dozens of other communities signed on to the Denver Regional Council of Governments’ Metrovision 2020 program to guide that growth. Cities and counties that participated looked

Pedro Torrez, left, and Luis Lozano work on a home being framed in Shadow Grass Park, near 17th Avenue and County Line Road, in November 2007. (File) well into the future to determine how many people and how much land they could accommodate once each of their cities reached build-out. For Longmont, that meant hitting its peak population of about 102,000 by 2020, based on the current rate of growth at that time. (That amount has since been raised to 111,000 and is no longer attached to a specific year.) Then-Mayor Leona Stoecker was chairwoman of the DRCOG committee that drafted the plan. She said the plan was not without controversy. Some felt it would be too restrictive. Some thought the city’s growth at the time was already out of control. In June 2000 the Longmont City Council voted 5-2 to pass a six-month moratorium on accepting or processing any new development applications. “There was a real feeling that Longmont

should stay just as it was and it should not grow,” Stoecker said. “Another feeling was that (Metrovision 2020) was top-down. Big bad Denver was telling Longmont what it should do.” It was a tense time in the city, she said. But she maintains the new housing developments being built were needed to accommodate the numbers of workers that large companies such as Amgen and Seagate were bringing in. “We were working very hard at that time to maintain that balance of residential and commercial,” Stoecker said. “That was always really important to me — to make sure the maximum number of people could live here as well as work here.” Longmont today boasts a larger percentage of residents who work in the town they live in than any other city in Boulder county. G — TONY KINDELSPIRE

10 . Sunday, March 28, 2010 decade Colorado ranked as one of the top five states in terms of concentration of technology workers, and the Longmont-Boulder area specifically was named tops in the country in terms of concentration of software workers, according to national studies. Advantages and disadvantages come from that, Cody said. Boulder County’s wages are, on average, about 30 percent higher than the average wage nationally. But the downside of a high concentration of tech workers was felt locally in the early part of the 2000s, when the dot-com implosion ripped through the technology world. In 2001 and 2002, Longmont lost a net 3,174 primary jobs — more than double the 1,203 jobs lost in 2008-2009. The tech bust of the early part of the decade wiped out 20 percent of the primary jobs in the Longmont area, Cody said. “The most recent downturn in 2009 was not as bad as the one in

Longmont Times-Call Community Review 2000 to 2002 (for jobs), and that’s because we’re concentrated in tech,” Cody said. Aside from offshoring and increased productivity, Longmont and Colorado were hurt during the decade — and continue to be hurt — by the amount of money other states are pouring into incentive programs to lure businesses. For example, Texas has a $300 million incentive fund and Oklahoma $400 million. Colorado operates with a mere $3 million — and that’s when the state’s budget was healthy. “While we saw a lot of ... deals in the prospect stage, most of those we didn’t land,” he said.

BIG COMPANIES MADE FOR BIG HEADLINES Hard drive maker Seagate Technology was responsible for one of the biggest business headlines of the past decade just days before Christmas in 2005. The company announced it was buying Maxtor, its biggest rival, for $1.9 billion in stock. The two companies at the

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manager. The 152,218-square-foot building it leases on Nelson Road allows for plenty of room to grow, Sledge said. “We had a great year last year,” Sledge said. “We had more orders than we’ve ever had before.” Perhaps no local company saw more growth, in terms of both size and revenues, during the decade than DigitalGlobe. But the 2000s didn’t start off well for the company, then called EarthWatch. Company founder Walter Scott, now its chief technical officer, remembers it being just a few days before Thanksgiving in 2000 when the company learned its second satellite, called QuickBird, had failed to make it into orbit and was lost. It was the second satellite failure in three years for the company. “The good news was that we were already working on QuickBird-2,” Scott said, meaning little time for the company’s 200 employees to focus on defeat.

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time employed about 2,250 people locally. The deal had everyone wondering about job cuts, and those questions were answered the following May, when Seagate said it would keep just 25 percent of Maxtor’s employees. That loss of 650 jobs was the biggest hit of the decade in Longmont. Seagate remains Longmont’s largest private-sector employer, with about 1,275 people working there. But Cody points out that’s about the same number of employees it had when it acquired Maxtor. The early 2000s saw both Seagate and Xilinx, a programmable chip maker, opening their new, expansive (and expensive) Longmont campuses. The latter part of the decade saw more large multinational corporations come into town, including Western Digital, American Honda and GE Energy. GE Energy opened the world headquarters for its Control Solutions division in 2009 and employs about 180 people locally, according to Tracey Sledge, product general CR-143020

Longmont Times-Call Community Review The second QuickBird was launched successfully the following year, and was followed by WorldView-1 in 2007 and WorldView-2 in 2009. Today DigitalGlobe’s customer base for its satellite imagery is global, from governments and intelligence organizations to commercial companies such as Google. DigitalGlobe employs about 500 people, most of them in Longmont, and in 2009 it became publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “DGI.” Scott said having his company headquartered in Longmont has been great because of its businessfriendly climate and because it allows access to an abundance of the kind of workers DigitalGlobe needs: those with expertise in aerospace, software and geospatial technology. The LAEC’s Cody said DigitalGlobe is definitely an example of what went right in local business in the past decade. “They had a lot of struggles on the front end, and then they made it all up,” Cody said. “They’re a great example of performance in the face of adversity.” Another company that saw significant growth during the 2000s was Intrado. Formerly SCC Communications, Intrado was founded by two Boulder County Sheriff’s deputies who saw how advancing technology was creating a market for reverse-911 notification, allowing certain neighborhoods or even entire cities to be notified in case of emergencies. “Where we take better care of your car.”

Sunday, March 28, 2010 . 11

John Cody, president and CEO of the Longmont Area Economic Council, assisted GE Energy Control Systems in its relocation to Longmont. Cody said the last 10 years have been a “down” decade for jobs, with the beginning and end of the decade accounting for most of the losses. Photo by Richard M. Hackett

“What makes Intrado even cooler is that George Heinrichs and his partner started in a basement across from Sunset Golf Course,” Cody said. He noted that both Intrado and DigitalGlobe now have their headquarters in the 544,000-square-foot Boulder County Business Center, which, a decade before the companies moved in, had been under consideration for conversion into a medium-security prison. “It was a white elephant,” Cody said. “Now it’s 100 percent leased.” Intrado today employs more than 750 people, most of them in Longmont.

AS THE DECADE ENDS, IS IT BACK TO THE BASICS? Longmont made statewide head-

lines in 2005 when Susan Pratt, owner of Pratt Properties, sold off most of her company’s commercial portfolio. She and her company sold 45 buildings totaling 2 million square feet to Denver-based Circle Capital Partners for $142 million. Pratt Management Co. continues to operate some properties, including the Radisson Hotel and Conference Center and the Hawthorn Suites hotel, and Susan Pratt continues to be active in both the business and philanthropic communities. “Very erratic,” was her succinct assessment of the 2000s from a business perspective. “It was very difficult (in the late 1980s) but it was just one industry,” Pratt said. “What happened in the

2000s affected every industry.” Including hers, she said. She, and a lot of people, she suspects, spent the past couple of years in a “state of shock.” Adjustments had to be made and a new way of thinking emerged for her, she said. “What happened in 2009 requires massive change in how you do business,” Pratt said. “I think a lot of people are still waiting for it to come back the way it was, and it never will. It will come back, but it will be a different animal.” If there’s anything positive about the way the decade ended, Pratt said, it’s that it might bring back the concept of basic business principles, which seem to have been pushed by the wayside. G

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Longmont Times-Call Community Review

Notable chains moved into the area over the past decade While some longtime Longmont institutions made it through the 2000s — Snyder Jewelers, O’Shay’s Restaurant and Ale House, Aunt Alice’s Kitchen, Janie’s Cafe, Budget Home Center, Brown’s Shoe Fit, to name a few — the 2000s was a big decade for new restaurants and retailers popping up in the city. Longmont’s population was 53,402 in 2000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Crossing that 50,000-mark apparently caught the eye of some big national chains who’d been keeping an eye on the city’s growth. “I’m sure they were,” said Don Macy of the Macy Development Co. “They all look at the demographics — that’s what they all go after.” His St. Vrain Centre development, on the west side of Hover Street near Twin Peaks Mall, had a few stores in 2000 — Target and ShopKo, among others — but the area began changing rapidly in the early part of the decade, adding Borders, Kohl’s and Longmont’s first big-box store, Home Depot. Twin Peaks Mall was thriving at the time, and the housing developments on the southwest side of town were either being built or had been approved, Macy said. For retailers, Longmont was suddenly seen as a good place to be. “Typically the bigger retailers approach us,” Macy said. “Kohl’s approached us, and once we got Kohl’s it made it a lot easier to get Borders and PetSmart.” David Chaknova and Steven Tebo’s Crossings at Clover Basin followed later in the decade, bringing in more new restaurants and retailers. Today, what the city calls Twin Peaks Square Extended — the small center where Hobby Lobby and Wal-Mart are and the west side of Hover, from Home Depot down to the Crossings — brings in nearly 23 percent of the city’s overall sales tax. As the decade wound down, so did Twin Peaks Mall. Its sales tax revenues declined throughout the latter part of the 2000s, and lengthy conversations between its owner and the city about revitalizing the mall were derailed by, first, hesitation on the city’s part, and then the Great Recession, which hit in late 2008. Panattoni Development Co. had purchased the mall in 2007 for $33 million. But an earlier development by Panattoni on the other side of town, Harvest Junction, opened up more

Lowe’s Home Improvement, at 355 Ken Pratt Blvd. in Longmont, is framed by a commercial building under construction in March 2006. (File) shopping options when it debuted with its first store, Lowe’s, in 2005. From Best Buy to Marshalls to Chick-fil-A, Harvest Junction was successful from the outset. In 2009 the area did $80 million in sales and accounted for almost 71/2 percent of the city’s overall sales tax revenue. Pace Street and 17th Avenue and Airport and Nelson roads also saw shopping centers come online during the decade that drew customers from both the surrounding neighborhoods and from across town, given some of the unique restaurant choices there.

DOWNTOWN, COFFEE AND BEER Meanwhile, downtown Longmont started the last decade by undergoing a $2.3 million makeover called Streetscape. It divided U.S. Highway 287 through downtown and added many physical amenities designed to make the area more attractive. Kathy Weber-Harding, CEO of the Longmont Area Chamber of Commerce, was working in banking back then. She said the bigname stores that came in during the early part of the decade drew a lot of attention to the outskirts of town because the stores were all new to Longmont. But she said she has noticed downtown seeing a steady rise in the last half of the decade in unique, often locally owned stores and restaurants that help make it a unique place to shop and dine. “With the downturn in the economy you

haven’t seen as many (huge stores) opening, but there’s been a lot of small-business owners opening up,” Weber-Harding said. Coffee shops aren’t unique to Longmont, but they definitely had an impact on the landscape during the 2000s. Starbucks continued its quest for world domination, opening several locations around the city. Meanwhile, locally owned shops began springing up to challenge the venerable Java Stop. Some of those shops have come and gone, but Ziggi’s, which opened in 2004, continues to be one of the more popular meeting places downtown. Coffee wasn’t the only beverage that made news last decade. Left Hand Brewing Co. grew its production — and revenues — throughout the decade while picking up national awards for its brews. Its tasting room, built in the early part of the decade, was expanded and is filled regularly with guests enjoying the handcrafted beers. Meanwhile, when it came time for Lyonsbased Oskar Blues to ramp up production of its microbrew, it chose Longmont to locate its new brewhouse — three times the size of its old one. That company also chose Longmont for its second restaurant, in the process giving the city one of its more recognizable landmarks: the “beer can bigger than a tree.” G — TONY KINDELSPIRE

Sunday, March 28, 2010 . 13

Photo by Richard M. Hackett

Longmont Times-Call Community Review

Still growing

Community Review


St. Vrain Valley School District emerges from a decade of anxiety, and there’s no slowing down with new schools on the way Blue Mountain Elementary School principal Kristie Venrick has had four jobs in the St. Vrain Valley School District since Jan. 1, 2000: teacher, math coordinator, Loma Linda Elementary principal

and Blue Mountain Elementary principal. “Leaving the classroom was probably the most difficult decision I’ve ever made,” Venrick said. “(Teaching) was the heart of who I

was.” Since Venrick moved from the classroom in the summer of 2000, the school district discovered and recovered from a $14 million deficit; increased enrollment by

more than 30 percent; and built 10 schools from Firestone to Erie to southwestern Longmont. Rapid growth was a constant concern throughout the decade. School enrollment increased 36.2

Story by Victoria A.F. Camron PHOTO: Kristie Venrick began her career in the St. Vrain Valley School District as a teacher at Northridge Elementary School. She is now the principal at Blue Mountain Elementary School in Longmont.

14 . Sunday, March 28, 2010

percent in St. Vrain, compared with 14.9 percent statewide between 2000 and 2009. The school district rose from the 11th largest to ninth-largest, and is the seventh-fastest-growing school district in the state, according to the Colorado Department of Education. And the growth hasn’t stopped. Elementary School No. 26 is scheduled to open next year in Erie, and a new, bigger Frederick High School is expected to open in the fall of 2012. The rapid growth was one factor in the St. Vrain Valley School District’s infamous 2002 budget crisis. When preparing the district’s budget, staff projected the following year’s beginning fund balance — its savings account — as equal to the ending balance of the previous year. For example, staff assumed that the district’s beginning balance in July 1999 would equal the ending balance from June 1997. While that method would have worked in a district that wasn’t growing rapidly, that wasn’t the case in St. Vrain: In two years, enrollment increased by 1,735 students, or 9.13 percent, from 19,008 in October 2000 to 20,743 in October 2002. Because of this accounting method, the district was unknowingly spending down its beginning fund balance from more than $10 million in July 1999 (the beginning of fiscal year 2000) to $5 million in July 2000 to less than $1 million in July 2001. In November 2002, a week after voters approved a $212.9 million bond to build 10 new schools, the district announced it had a $12 million deficit. The business office had miscalculated expenses and underestimated the number of full-time employees by 150. Rumors of a deficit ranging from $2 million to $11 million circulated a few days before the district’s announcement, Venrick said. “We were living day to day on rumors,” she said, recalling the tension and anxiety that “you could read on everybody’s faces.” On Dec. 6, 2002, the school dis-

Longmont Times-Call Community Review

Purchasing agent Linda Kissner heads to work during the first day of classes at the new Mead High School in August 2009. (File) trict announced the deficit was $13.8 million, not including the $3.6 million it needed to comply with the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights. Venrick, in the third and final year of her contract as district math coordinator, had just earned a master’s degree in educational leadership. Because she had faith that district administrators would figure out a solution, she never considered looking for work elsewhere, she said. “I had too much buy-in,” Venrick said. Sherri Schumann, now principal of Silver Creek High School, was then an assistant principal at Skyline High School. She had worked for the school district for at least 15 years, and, like Venrick, never thought about leaving, she said. “It was a tough time, no doubt,” Schumann said. The deficit hit all district employees’ pocketbooks, as Colorado Secretary of State Mike Coffman’s financial-recovery plan cut all salaries by 7.125 percent and increased what administrators paid

for family health insurance. District officials slashed the central administration’s budget by $2 million, or 35 percent, and eliminated positions, including Venrick’s. Her options were to teach or become an administrator, she said. Before school let out for the summer, Venrick learned she would be the next principal of Loma Linda Elementary School. During the interview process, Loma Linda staff and parents asked her about topics that were near and dear to her heart, she said. “It was the right fit,” Venrick said. Despite the financial crisis, the Board of Education chose in February 2003 to build six of the 10 schools in the 2002 bond. Bond funds cover only construction costs, so the district had to find operating money in the general fund — the same fund that was short by $13.8 million. A year later, the school board decided to hold off even longer on building three elementary schools and one high school that were part

of that bond, even though enrollment continued to grow. The financial problems didn’t keep families from moving into the St. Vrain Valley School District, though. Firestone’s Prairie Ridge Elementary was visible from the intersection of Weld County roads 13 and 24 — 0.8 miles away as the crow flies — when it opened in 2000, said Sean Corey, who helped open Prairie Ridge and is now the principal of Legacy Elementary in Frederick. Residential and commercial development have since blocked that view. With that development came a wave of students that flooded the school. By the fall of 2003, enrollment had more than doubled, from 416 students to 842 students. Eight portable classrooms helped accommodate them. Legacy Elementary’s opening in 2004 relieved Prairie Ridge’s plight. Legacy, Alpine Elementary in northeastern Longmont and Coal Ridge Middle School in Firestone were all funded by the 2002 bond.

Longmont Times-Call Community Review With those three schools open, the school district counted 21,618 students enrolled in the fall of 2004. “I just never would have imagined ... the number of kids we would be serving,” said Corey, who graduated from Longmont High School in 1991. By fall 2005, the St. Vrain Valley School District budget was in the black but not out of danger. By law, its $4 million surplus had to be dedicated to purchasing instructional materials and supplies that the district did not buy during the financial crisis. In central Longmont, where growth was slower, the school district started creating focus programs to better prepare students for the real world. Loma Linda Elementary pioneered the concept in the district. Parents and staff decided the school would have a math and science focus beginning in 2005. “What was most exciting was that we created it together, based on what was right for our students at Loma Linda,” Venrick said. Schools throughout the district have since implemented focus programs such as International Baccalaureate at Alpine and Central elementary schools and Heritage Middle School; pre-Advanced Placement at Erie and Longs Peak middle schools; and arts at Hygiene Elementary and Sunset Middle schools. Around the district, school construction continued. Two more schools opened in 2005: Erie High in Erie and Trail Ridge Middle School in eastern Longmont. Erie High School moved to the far east side of town, while Erie Middle School stayed on Main Street, in Old Town. Not all growth occurred in Erie and southwest Weld County; southwest Longmont saw an influx of residents, as well. Silver Creek opened as a middle/senior high school in 2001 with 716 students in grades six through 10, adding juniors and seniors in subsequent years. Its enrollment grew to 1,217 in 2004, an increase of 70 percent.

Sunday, March 28, 2010 . 15

Principal Paul Talafuse directs seventh-grader Ashley Thurber to choir class at Coal Ridge Middle School on Nov. 29, 2004. The 29th was the first day of classes at the new school in Firestone. (File) Schumann, Silver Creek’s principal since 2004, said the school couldn’t establish its identity as a high school until Altona Middle School opened in January 2006. Being combined with the middle school limited academic opportunities, such as Advanced Placement classes and electives, that the high school could offer, she said. Having the younger students in the same building also affected student life because, for example, it limited what themes the high school students could choose for Spirit Week. “There’s a different feel in a building when you have 11-yearolds going to school with you,” Schumann said. After Altona Middle School opened, 944 students attended the high school; that’s increased 14 percent, to 1,077 students this year, according to the district. Available space at Altona and Erie middle schools turned out to be life rafts during the torrent of increasing elementary school enrollment. Erie Elementary and Eagle Crest Elementary in southwest

Longmont each approached enrollment of 700 students, but no new schools were even under construction in those areas. The overcrowding pushed those schools’ fifthgraders to the nearby middle schools in 2006-07 and 2007-08. Even though 120 Erie Elementary students temporarily attended class across the street, the move reduced enrollment there by only 25 students because so many new students moved in. Citing growth and ever-increasing construction costs, the school board finally decided in September 2006 to build the last four schools from the 2002 bond. That gave Venrick an opportunity she had often thought of: being the principal to open a new school. Three elementary schools — Blue Mountain Elementary in southwest Longmont, Black Rock Elementary in Erie, Centennial Elementary in Firestone — opened in 2008, and Mead High School opened in 2009. Thinking of whether to apply for one of the new elementary principal positions wasn’t easy for Venrick. “It wasn’t my intention to leave

Loma Linda after such a short time,” Venrick said. “It was a horribly difficult decision.” She eventually realized that she was in a no-lose situation because the worst that could happen was that she would stay at a school she loved, she said. During the year she had to prepare Blue Mountain’s opening, Venrick was surprised by the volume of details, which seemed automatic at an existing school, that she and her planning team had to establish, she said. “Every school has their own way of doing things,” she said, such as how and how often to communicate with the community, how long lunches will be, and whether staff meetings will be before or after school. Throughout Blue Mountain’s first year, she and the staff had to make new decisions, such as whether to have Halloween parties. In this, the school’s second year, Venrick said she feels as though the school’s identity is established. “It’s happening. It’s coming together,” Venrick said. “Now, we are starting to feel like it’s ‘us.’” G

Longmont Times-Call Community Review

Photo by Joshua Buck

16 . Sunday, March 28, 2010

Going public

Community Review


Projects big and small flourished in the 2000s, and some even got residents talking LONGMONT — The work that has come to symbolize public art in this city is also the one that is the most derided. “Flor del Llano,” a large abstract sculpture by Greg Reiche at the city’s eastern gateway on Colo.

Highway 119, is rarely referred to by its name. Most locals know it by one of many pejoratives, such as “the rabbit ears” and “pet cemetery” — the work’s main element is a pair of tall metal slabs that widen, like rabbit ears, as they

rise, and are surrounded by several hundred limestone posts that one might mistake for rough-hewn headstones. But the untold segment of the population that enjoys the sight of “Flor del Llano” as a regular part

of a commute or bike ride is rarely heard from. One thing’s for certain. The work has done much to sustain a local discussion about public art and art in general. It has done what it is supposed to do.

Story by Quentin Young PHOTO: Gamma Acosta’s murals on the side of an old building that was once a gas station and is owned by Acosta’s uncle, Jesus Villagran, embody something fundamental about public art. When he was working on his first mural — a collection of musicians’ portraits — about three years ago, he told the Times-Call that he was doing it for the community. Since that time, he has lived up to his public-minded remarks.

Longmont Times-Call Community Review “Flor del Llano,” installed in 2006, stands like a mountain peak at the emotional and chronological center of the most fruitful era for local public art. It was during the period from 2000 to 2009 that the city-run public art program acquired many of its marquee pieces, including the other gateway project, “Spirit of Longmont,” in the median of the Diagonal Highway, and “Los Arcos de Longmont,” a set of downtown breezeway structures. It was an era of generous spending. “Spirit of Longmont,” a $225,000 commission, and “Flor del Llano,” a $220,000 commission, had the biggest budgets of all Art in Public Places projects. Local public art during that period thrived not just in the Art in Public Places program but outside it as well. In 2002 many members of the community took part in the Geese Galore project, which saw large sculptures of geese decorated according to varied flights of imagination.

Sunday, March 28, 2010 . 17 Its first installation, “Brick Sculpture,” by Ken Williams, came in 1992. It was in many ways an ambitious project — a large, abstract work located in the heart of town. But the 1990s were largely a growing period for the program. Lauren Greenfield, who has run AIPP since 2000, called the 1990s the program’s “infancy and toddlerhood.”

“Flor del Llano,” installed in 2006, greets visitors who come into the city from the east along Colo. Highway 119. (Courtesy Greg Reiche) Maybe the most talked about work of public art in Longmont is a wall at Third Avenue and Lashley Street that muralist Gamma Acosta treats as a renewing piece of building-size canvas. Acosta began his always-changing work on the wall in 2007. In 2009, the Art in Public Places program celebrated a 20-year an-

niversary and, with the completion of “Spirit of Longmont,” its 50th project. The program was founded in 1987, but it was two years later that the City Council passed an ordinance that charged a 1 percent levy on large capital improvement projects to bankroll the program, giving it its first source of funding.

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It began to mature in the 2000s, especially after the 1999 approval of a $22.8 million bond issue that included the construction of the Longmont Recreation Center and the Longmont Museum & Cultural Center. The 1 percent ordinance, applied to these projects, meant a healthy infusion of funds to the program. A major project at the city’s wastewater treatment plant also spelled significant cash for AIPP. For most of the 2000s, Greenfield noted, “The economy stayed strong.” Then the Great Recession hit. In 2009, AIPP did not initiate any new projects.

18 . Sunday, March 28, 2010 The economic downturn wasn’t the only reason for this, though. All that art AIPP had collected now needed maintenance, which itself made claims on the program’s budget. “I think it speaks volumes of our community that we’re investing in the outdoor visual impact of our community,” said Joanne Kirves, who has held several leadership positions in the local arts community and is currently the executive director of the Longmont Council for the Arts. Kirves sat on the AIPP panel that commissioned “101 Faces,” a series of face sculptures installed in 2004 along the Lefthand Greenway by Longmont artist Jerry Boyle. “I like that one a lot,” she said. “It’s kind of a search and find.” The faces can be found behind leaves and rocks and in the nearby creek. Kirves said she appreciates art that offers something new every time she sees it. Boyle’s “101 Faces” does that, not least because its creekside environment is always changing. Boyle’s piece is representational. But, looking back over AIPP projects of the last decade, Boyle perceives a trend toward “more abstract or non-objective pieces,” he said. “We’ve got an eclectic collection, which I like,” he said. But he suggested that the AIPP selection panels sometimes choose art that is not exactly a reflection of the community. “The panel seems to pick not what the city is but maybe what they want the city to be,” Boyle said. But he supports the city’s public art program and said that residents who complain about its projects should participate in the process to choose new ones. In the Geese Galore project, cochaired by former Longmont Mayor Leona Stoecker, 5-feet-tall geese sculptures were sold at public auction and decorated by regional artists. Many of the geese became works

Longmont Times-Call Community Review other public art Longmont has collected since 2000, Acosta said, “It shows that there’s culture in Longmont. It shows there’s a scene here, a lot of creativity.” In the future he said he’d like to see the city install more massive sculptures like “Flor del Llano,” about which he said, “That thing’s awesome.”

Ken Kerwin, left, and Frank Lopez of the Longmont Clinic maintenance department put the finishing touches on the installation of Florence Nightingoose outside the Longmont Clinic in September 2002. As part of the Geese Galore project, goose sculptures were sold at public auction and decorated by regional artists. (File) of public art when businesses and other organizations that bought one displayed them on their properties. The Times-Call’s “Ben Franklin” goose, for example, still presides studiously at the paper’s parking lot. Stoecker, who was also involved with AIPP and experienced firsthand the controversy the program sometimes engendered, said the geese were broadly beloved. And they served as an inspiration for other arts programs. “I still, to this day, get calls from other parts of the country,” she said, “and people want to know about the geese.” She added, “I think it was just such a whimsical, wonderful way for our community to get involved directly in an art project.” The geese sometimes made news for the vandalism they endured. But as a matter of public aesthetics they have become indelibly associated with the community. Gamma Acosta’s murals have achieved a similar status. His

paintings on the side of an old building, which was once a gas station and is owned by Acosta’s uncle, Jesus Villagran, embody something fundamental about public art. About three years ago, when he was working on his first mural — a collection of musicians’ portraits — he told the Times-Call that he was doing it for the community. Since then, he has lived up to his public-minded remarks. The successive images he has created on the wall have been visually accessible and, while they can be thought provoking, they’re never unduly provocative. He’s painted a battle scene from the Middle East, movie characters, sports stars, presidential candidates and the solar system. Acosta said he knows of people who make regular passes by the wall to see what new images it bears. “I never really thought it would go on this long,” he said. “I thought they would renovate the building.” Asked what he thought about the

One obstacle to the enjoyment of public art in the age of the car is that works are mostly viewed from behind a windshield during the brief period it takes to speed past them on the road.

“Dancers,” a pair of enormous white figures next to Speer Boulevard in Denver, is often mocked as silly and ugly. The work is indeed a little silly — until you get out of the car and walk up to it. Then its sheer scale takes hold of the viewer, who suddenly realizes that the work includes a permanent music component in the form of discreet speakers.

Any true appreciation of “Flor del Llano” likewise demands a face-to-face meeting. Little about the work except its overall outline comes through when you’re whizzing past it. Get up next to its massive rusted steel slabs. Then its height becomes uplifting. Walk its two outlying paths to the east. Then you realize that from one path the slabs frame the smokestack of the old sugar mill, and from the other the slabs frame Longs Peak. Each of its 391 limestone posts represents a shareholder in the original 1871 Chicago-Colorado Colony that founded Longmont. The posts have been likened to headstones, but they actually symbolize the birth of a community. G

Sunday, March 28, 2010 . 19

Longmont Times-Call Community Review

Honoring our Community’s

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Longmont Times-Call Community Review

Here for life

Community Review


‘There has been mind-boggling changes in health care in the last 10 years’

Jenny Baker was 30 years old, a new mother and about a half-hour from dying when an ambulance arrived at the doors of Longmont United Hospital’s Emergency Department on Aug. 19, 2008. For Baker, hospital technology and facilities that didn’t exist at the beginning of the decade meant the difference between life and death. Her doctor told her the hospital’s new emergency department along with its new surgical facilities made the vital difference. “If Longmont didn’t have the ER

facilities that they have ... I wouldn’t have made it,” Baker said. It was a sobering reality. The expanded emergency department is a major component of the hospital’s growth and evolution in the past 10 years that CEO Mitch Carson said have meant an almost total renovation of the hospital, millions of dollars in new medical technology, and expansion to better accommodate the diverse health needs of a growing community.

Baker’s grandfather was on the board of directors that founded LUH 51 years ago. Her mother was a nurse and sometimes a patient there, and she’s a hospital volunteer. She and her family — six generations of them have lived in the city since its founding — have watched the evolution of health care. “I remember when the hospital was just that old part that is still on the east end of the building. It was so stark and white and uncomfortable,” Baker said. “Now with the

high rise — I remember we took a tour of it right after it was opened and it felt like a hotel.” That $28 million high rise, known as the patient tower, opened in 2000 and added private rooms and expanded the hospital’s beds to more than 200 beds from about 150 before, Carson said. It launched a decade of renovations and additions aimed at “patient centered” care. Baker’s heart attack was brought on by a blood infection she developed after the birth of her

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daughter in June 2008. She was in a coma for 10 days and had to have open-heart surgery, which was introduced at Longmont United Hospital in 2002 as part of a $10.6 million expansion of surgical rooms and services, which increased the number of surgery rooms from two to six, and consolidated the operating center and the day surgery center. “I ended up staying at that hotel for 33 days,” she said of the patient tower. “I am glad we have such a phenomenal hospital so close.” Had her heart attack struck before the hospital had so many improvements, she said her doctor believes she wouldn’t have survived because she would have had go to Denver or Boulder for the treatment she needed. Heart surgery, neurosurgery and oncology specialities have all become commonplace at the hospital. A new birthplace doubled patient capacity and pediatric wing was also built in anticipation of the number of children who would need care based on the number of births in the community. In 2008, the hospital’s emergency department doubled in size to 25,000 square feet,

Longmont Times-Call Community Review

Sunday, March 28, 2010 . 21

Dr. Greg Jaramillo has a unique vantage point on the growth of health care opportunities in Longmont and the St. Vrain Valley over the past decade. The Salud Clinic and its mid-decade expansion serve as an example of collaborations among health care providers that have expanded the depth and breadth of health care choices not only in the city, but also the region. (Joshua Buck)

giving staff more room to work. The new department accommodates about 45,000 visits per year and cost $20.3 million. Carson said that more people are arriving at the emergency department with more advanced illnesses, and emergencyroom admissions now make up about 67 percent of all hospital admissions. However, he said, the Salud Clinic, the Longmont Clinic and for-profit urgent care facilities have — anecdotally, if not quantifiably — eased pressure on expensive emergency care. “The urgent care centers are a great complement to what we do,” Carson said. In 2009, he said, the emergency department handled 30,996 patients. He attributes some of the growth in demand to the growth of the city’s population, but he also said that the hospital’s area of service has expanded with the services. Longmont United Hospital draws patients from Berthoud to the north, the Carbon Valley to the east, Erie to the south, and east Boulder to the west. “Our service area is larger than the community of Longmont,” Carson said. “Our service area goes out about 15 miles in all directions.”

Longmont United Hospital volunteer Jenny Baker had a heart attack two years ago that was triggered by a blood infection. She was taken to LUH and underwent open heart surgery, which saved her life. (Lewis Geyer)

22 . Sunday, March 28, 2010

Longmont Times-Call Community Review

Daniel Riepler of Mead works to install conduit for outside lighting as construction progresses on the new emergency department at Longmont United Hospital in May 2007. The expansion doubled the size of the hospital’s emergency department to 25,000 square feet, giving staff more room to work. (File)


He added that LUH has consistently ranked high in patient satisfaction as a result, according to hospital surveys. Carson can count Baker among those happy patients. “I am expecting my own wing soon,” she joked. Longmont United Hospital’s growth, though, only hints at the options that have grown up throughout the city in the past decade. Salud Clinic, which offers primary health care, obstetrics and dental care at reduced costs, has seen an explosion in its patient numbers in recent years. Its services have been complemented by a host of for-profit, retail health clinics in Walgreens and King Soopers and urgent care centers. Rocky Mountain Urgent Care opened in December 2007 along with a variety of specialists and other health care providers at a campus at U.S. Highway 287 and Pike Road, adding a slew of health care options to the city’s south. On a Wednesday in January, the Salud Clinic at Third Avenue and Lashley Street in eastern Long-

mont hummed with activity. The patients waiting for the dentist put off that unique nervous energy that comes with dental work — a mixture of nerves, fear and resignation. Behind a front desk clerk and through the doors, dentists and the shrill sound of their equipment crafted the city’s future smiles in the dental exam rooms. Back in the medical waiting area, a man lounged with a forlorn expression, and a couple led their crying toddler away from the pharmacy. Dr. Gregory Jaramillo, who helped to lead the clinic’s expansion, smiled broadly as he showed off the clinic that handled only between 300 and 400 patients a month when he started work in Longmont in 1998 but now treats between 3,500 and 3,700 patients a month. The clinic’s 2004 move to a 17,000square-foot, multi-service building at Third Avenue and Lashley Street is just one component of a health care network that has spent the past decade expanding and evolving to better serve more and more

Longmont Times-Call Community Review

Sunday, March 28, 2010 . 23

In Your Neighborhood! We’re proud to be part of the Longmont community with 3 locations to serve you! Ashley Moffat goes up a climbing wall in June 2006 during Longmont Clinic’s 100th anniversary celebration. The open house featured a health fair for adults and activities for the kids. (File)

residents locally.

“There has been mind-boggling changes in health care in the last 10 years,� Jaramillo said.

He credits those changes — for the better — to collaborations across health care providers. Assistance from health care touchstone Longmont United Hospital was key to the clinic’s expansion. Carson, for instance, was part of the clinic’s capital campaign committee, along with Longmont Clinic CEO Jack Campbell.

“The only way we were able to pull it off was an incredible amount of collaboration in the county,� he said. Jaramillo, like Carson, said

Longmont residents have more options to tend to their health than ever before. Jaramillo pointed to an ever-broading system that has extended beyond hospital beds, doctor visits and surgery. He said under the typical radar in Longmont is a whole complement of more focused providers, like those that tend to sexual health and wellness, the Boulder County Department of Public Health and programs like LiveWell Longmont that are directed at trying to persuade residents to make lifestyle changes for better health. Together, he said, the system is making a difference in a community that is still growing and developing. G

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Longmont Times-Call Community Review

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24 . Sunday, March 28, 2010

Reaching out

Community Review


Community groups answer the call for help When Edwina Salazar was hired as executive director of the OUR Center in September 1999, Longmont’s homeless population was somewhat inconspicuous. “It wasn’t as visible,” she said. “It existed, but people were not as visible.”

When the city first counted its homeless in 2000, it came up with 206 individuals. By last year, that number had doubled to 414.

to the U.S. Census Bureau, 71,093 people lived in Longmont in 2000. Last year, an estimated 86,000 called the city home.

rental assistance. Several organizations started up, and existing ones started offering additional services.

It’s a simple correlation, Salazar said. As a city’s population grows, the number of low-income and homeless rises with it. According

Over the past decade, the nonprofit sector has responded to the need for emergency provisions, meals, nighttime shelter and

“Now, homelessness is definitely on the radar of agencies in Longmont, and we’re making a concerted effort to address it,” Salazar

Story by Magdalena Wegrzyn PHOTO: Edwina Salazar has been the executive director of the OUR Center in Longmont since 1999. Over the decade, the countable number of homeless people in Longmont has doubled, and the nonprofit sector has responded to their needs for emergency provisions, meals, nighttime shelter and rental assistance.

Longmont Times-Call Community Review

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Longmont Times-Call Community Review


28,671 intake interviews.

hand, Salazar said.

The OUR Center, which has aided low-income and homeless individuals, since 1986, more than doubled the number of clients served over the past nine years. In 2000, OUR Center staff and volunteers conducted 9,362 intake interview with clients. Last year, they did

Construction of the St. Vrain Greenway along the city’s streams — an area where many homeless camped — displaced adults and forced them onto the streets. A lack of day laborer jobs and a steep rise in rental costs resulted in more people in need of a helping

And the decade saw two economic recessions in 2001 and in 2008. In response to the increase, the OUR Center opened a day shelter in June 2005 for single adults out of its hospitality center at 250 Third Ave. Services include vouchers for laundry and shower services,

health screenings and job assistance. Its first year, the day shelter served 194 people. It skyrocketed to 730 last year. Beginning in October 2006, Boulder County Cares stepped in to serve Longmont’s homeless. The street outreach is a program of the Boulder Shelter that provides night-

Movin’ on up Nonprofits expand their facilities to meet the needs of the community If you build it, they will come. They came. And then they came back for more. So to meet the ever-expanding needs of the community, several local nonprofits opened new facilities in the past decade. The St. Vrain Valley YMCA in Longmont broke ties with the Boulder YMCA in 1990 and began its expansion. In fall 1992, a new aquatics center was built on the 6.89-acre site. In 1999, the board of directors launched a $3.5 million capital campaign to add 20,000square-foot expansion to the facility at Ninth Avenue and Lashley Street. On May 11, 2002, the YMCA opened the doors to its larger child-care center, multi-use rooms and enlarged fitness areas. The Y was formally dedicated as the Ed & Ruth Lehman YMCA on Sept. 27, 2002. To address the burgeoning Latino population in Longmont, Intercambio de Communication began operating in Longmont in 2002. The nonprofit that English language classes and life skills training to the Latino population and sponsors communitywide intercultural events. When the nonprofit first offered English language classes in Longmont, staff and volunteers reached about 50 students. Now, be-

Michelle Caldwell jogs on the Ed & Ruth Lehman YMCA’s elevated track at the newly remodeled facility during a Community Open House in May 2002. tween 250 and 300 individuals in Longmont are enrolled in Intercambio classes, said executive director Lee Shainis. “When we saw a huge increase in Latinos from 1990 to 2000, it took a couple years to take action and figure out what to do about that,” he said. Although Intercambio was founded in 2001 in Boulder, it wasn’t until 2002 that staff and volunteers started offering services to Longmont residents. In 2006, they opened a local office on Kimbark Street. Humans aren’t the only ones getting more attention from the nonprofit sector. Two local nonprofits recently completed expansions for the animals they serve. In February 2009, Greenwood Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, which cares for injured and orphaned wildlife, opened its new building at 5761 Ute Highway. The new $2 million, 5,200-square-foot is

more than double the size of its old home. The Longmont Humane Society moved into its new 42,000-square-foot addition in August 2008. A $3.2 million capital campaign for a smaller building began in 2004. The next year, New York resident Susan Allen donated $5 million for the construction of a new facility. Plans were revised for a new facility that cost more than $9 million. After the December 2006 groundbreaking, the new Allen Center was completed in 2008. The project also renovated the existing 14,500square-foot dome, which had housed the animal shelter since 1985. The new building is designed to hold more than 400 animals and includes kennel areas for small mammals, temperament testing rooms, heating, ventilation and air conditioning. G — MAGDALENA WEGRZYN

time support to the unsheltered. On cold evenings from October through April, volunteers canvass neighborhoods and hand out blankets, warm clothing and food to people on the street. They also provide transportation to shelters, hospitals, detox facilities and warming centers. But it became apparent that these services were needed yearround, said Bray Patrick-Lake, founder and executive director of HOPE — Homeless Outreach Providing Encouragement. Boulder County Cares ended its Longmont services April 30, 2007, and HOPE began its street outreach two weeks later on May 15. “Longmont really needed something that was a Longmont-based service,” Patrick-Lake said. “There was no year-round street outreach.” Boulder County Cares returned in October and assisted with street outreach through December 2007. HOPE volunteers provide homeless residents with food, water, clothing, blankets and transportation to shelters, detox facilities and hospitals seven nights a week during the winter and five nights a week in the summer. Since its start, the nonprofit has seen a 30 percent increase in requests for services, Patrick-Lake said. During its first year, HOPE served 420 unduplicated people. In 2008, volunteers reached 462, and last year, it was 503. “We have people right now with no money, no hope of income and it’s just not getting better,” Patrick-Lake said. In 2006, Longmont resident Richard Honey opened The Well, a Christian resource center at Third Avenue and Main Street that offers weekly dinners and help with job searches to the homeless. But the need for shelter from cold winter nights was still present, said Honey, the founder of Practical Christian Living Centers, which operates The Well. “It was only after we started doing outreach from The Well that the need became apparent,” he

Longmont Times-Call Community Review

Sunday, March 28, 2010 . 27 Employee Jacob Kuhns moves a ton of dry beans at Community Food Share in Gunbarrel in March 2009. In 2000, Community Food Share distributed 1.4 million pounds of food to 86 organizations. Last year, volunteers distributed more than 6.6 million pounds of food to 59 agencies in Boulder and Broomfield counties, 18 of them in Longmont. (File)

said. In March 2007, he founded Christian Outreach and Emergency Shelters, which is an outreach ministry of the Practical Christian Living Center. Since March 2007, COrES has housed homeless at three locations — The Well and two local churches. Volunteers from 22 local churches staff the overnight shelters and provide both an evening and breakfast meal. During its first winter, COrES housed an average of 20 people on nights when the temperature dipped below 20 degrees or below 32 degrees and wet, Honey said. Now, 12 to 15 people sleep in the temporary shelters. The OUR Center opened its own warming center, which operates out of the Hospitality Center at 250 Third Ave., on Dec. 8, 2007. Although the center can accommodate 21, it usually sees about 14 people on nights when the temperature is less than 30 degrees, Salazar said. As the number of people in need of housing, sheltering and financial assistance increased, so did their food needs. In the past decade, Community Food Share nearly quadrupled the amount of food it distributes to nonprofit organizations in Boulder and Broomfield counties.

“We keep bringing it in and they keep taking it,” said Michael StaffordCrane, the organization’s director of operations since 2001. StaffordCrane joined the organization in 2001 and made growth his No. 1 priority. “We took a more business approach to it, and we literally started cultivating our donors,” he said. The approach paid off. From 2000 to 2009, Community Food Share has grown from 50 food providers to 90. Last year, Longmont was the largest population that CFS served. Local nonprofits received 55 percent of all the food distributions — more than double the 24 percent in 2000. The Good News Center, St. John the Baptist Catholic Church’s food bank, the OUR Center and Calvary Church were the top recipients. The food bank started in 1981 as a joint project of the Boulder County Safehouse, the Community Action Program, Emergency Family Assistance Association, St. Thomas Aquinas Food Bank and the Salvation Army of Longmont. To accommodate growth, it moved from Boulder to a 22,400square-foot facility near Niwot in 1998. In 2000, Community Food Share distributed 1.4 million pounds of food to 86 organizations. Last year,

volunteers distributed more than 6.6 million pounds of food to 59 agencies in Boulder and Broomfield counties, 18 of them in Longmont. For the sake of efficiency, homeless advocacy agencies began meeting in 2000 to conduct the annual point-in-time survey and make sure their services didn’t overlap. Following a retreat on homelessness in November 2003, the Longmont Housing Opportunities Team began meeting monthly. LHOT is a community partnership that includes more than 50 member organizations, including housing nonprofits, the Longmont Police Department, the St. Vrain Valley School District, local businesses and the faith community. The group released a comprehensive plan in August 2009 on how to tackle homelessness in Longmont. The first goal is to develop permanent and temporary housing for low-income people to keep them off the streets. Other goals include offering support services, maintaining sheltering and emergency assistance, creating more community awareness and providing life skills, education, training and employment opportunities. “We’re more coordinated and cooperative now, and we look at different way to provide services,” Salazar said. G

28 . Sunday, March 28, 2010

Longmont Times-Call Community Review

The graying of Boulder County has been under way for the past decade, though most residents likely haven’t noticed it. The median age of the county’s residents has been steadily ticking upward, according to Morgan Rogers, director of the Boulder County Civic Forum. As of 2008, the median age of people living in Boulder County was just over 36 — in Longmont, the median age was nearly 37. That’s “still fairly young,” Rogers told Boulder County’s commissioners in January. But Rogers added that federal government surveys and annual population estimates since the 2000 U.S. census illustrate that “we are in fact aging faster than most of the rest of the state of Colorado.” Data monitored by the Civic Forum, a division of the Community Foundation Serving Boulder County, say that more than one in 10 county residents was over the age of 60 in 2008. Some projections indicate that, by 2020, more than one in five will be older than 60. There are a number of reasons Boulder County’s population is aging faster than most other places in the state, according to the “Boulder County Trends 2009” report the Community Foundation published last fall.

And it’s “not just because ... we’re all getting older,” the Community Foundation said in its report. Boulder County is “an attractive place to retire. Aging boomers are moving here to be near their adult kids and grandkids. We have great local outdoor activities, cultural and educational events, superb dining and world-class health care.” The benchmark age for officially being a “senior citizen” can vary, depending on which agency is setting it or which business is offering discounts. But the aging population has had an impact on the services, programs and physical facilities that local governments and nonprofit agencies are trying to provide to the thousands who joined the ranks of Longmont and Boulder County’s seniors during the past decade. Past Longmont City Councils “have been good to us, and better to us than in some other communities,” said Fay Reynolds, a member of Longmont’s Senior Citizens Advisory Board. But Reynolds said that because of the current economic slump — and the resulting reductions in government revenues and donations to nonprofits — “the money isn’t there, whether for the city or the county or charities,” to afford


Senior-services staffs prepare for, and respond to, graying population

Photo by Lewis Geyer

Aged and engaged

Community Review

much in the way of new or expanded offerings to the community’s seniors. The 76-year-old Reynolds, who moved here in 1980, said past expansions of the Longmont Senior Center, at 910 Longs Peak Ave., have increased the programs, classes, events and activities in

Story by John Fryar PHOTO: Sharon Lundgren celebrates a point she scored while playing pingpong at the Longmont Senior Center.

that facility. The last major expansion and renovation of the center, which was built in 1976, was completed in late 2001, a $2 million project that added 8,800 square feet to the 12,000-square-foot building. Now, less than 10 years later, Reynolds said the office, meeting

Sunday, March 28, 2010 . 29

Longmont Times-Call Community Review and recreational space at the center — the focal point for the city’s senior services — may already be too little for Longmont, a community with a current population pegged at more than 85,000. In the years since the Longmont Senior Center’s December 2001 reopening, the building’s use has increased annually, according to Michele Waite, the city’s senior services manager since 1987. In 2000, she said, an average of 6,076 people a month participated in meetings, classes, events and other activities at the center. By 2008, that had risen to an average of 8,028 a month, Waite said. People who haven’t visited the center might be surprised at the variety of class offerings, activities and counselors that Waite and her staff have assembled, including things that don’t actually happen at the center itself. Some people may mistakenly imagine that a senior center is a place “where old people go when they have nothing else to do,” said Don Carpenter, a volunteer who manages a softball team sponsored by the city’s Senior Services Division. Carpenter, a 63-year-old associate real estate broker with RE/MAX who’s lived here since 1988, said he wasn’t familiar with all the city’s programs for seniors. But the people at the center and its city staffers “are great,” Carpenter said. “I’m a real fan.” Carpenter said the city’s support for seniors’ softball illustrates that “Longmont does a great job helping seniors stay active” in the kinds of recreational opportunities he said are likely to be popular with baby boomers.

Carpenter said players on his team, the Longmont Scrappers, are at least 50, “and most of us are older.” Another volunteer, Becky Williamson, also noted that the center is not “a lot of old people playing shuffleboard.” Williamson, who retired in 1999 as the head of circulation services for the Longmont Public Library, teaches knitting and purling at the Senior Center. Williamson, who says she’s “over 70,” said her classes have gone from eight people to an average of 40 attendees and that her Senior Center students have ranged from teenagers to a 90-year-old. “There’s a lot of laughing” and intergenerational bonding, Williamson said. Waite said volunteers have been important to Longmont’s efforts. “A third of the programs here are run by seniors themselves,” Waite said. “The older people in this community are engaged.” Waite said there has been a deliberate increase in the variety of programs her division offers, because people want more choices. “Lifelong learning is much more recognized as important in aging well,” Waite said, “whether it’s computer classes, returning to a formal adult-education program, or getting involved in other programs. It’s all growing.” Waite said, “The emphasis on health and wellness. with older adults really embracing the taking charge of their own well-being, has really grown. “It’s very exciting in terms of health-education, physical-fitness kinds of things, and emotional and cognitive health,” she said. “It’s

opened up lots of program potential and good partnerships” with other agencies and organizations. Waite said there’s also been a greater involvement in Senior Center programs by Longmont’s Latino community. “This has been a longtime goal, and I think in the last five years we’ve finally seen success with this outreach and involvement,” she said. The Senior Citizens’ Advisory Board also noted that effort in a 2009 annual report it has drafted to present to the City Council, citing “a multicultural outreach approach to increase participation in educational and social events with focus on older Latino adults.” The center has offered classes in Spanish about end-of-life, chronicillness and Alzheimer’s issues. There are now two English as a second language classes, as well as a Spanish Club that meets weekly to assist seniors who want to learn and practice Spanish. Both Boulder County and Longmont have crafted strategic plans for meeting seniors’ needs. Boulder County’s Aging Services Division issued its countywide plan, “Creating Vibrant Communities In Which We All Age Well,” in 2006. That was part of the foundation of a locally directed plan that Longmont’s Senior Services Division and the Senior Citizens Advisory Board presented to the City Council in 2007. Waite and the advisory panel told the 2007 council that Longmont’s plan focuses on such areas as: addressing basic needs; promoting social and civic engagement; optimizing physical and

mental health and well-being; maximizing independence and supporting caregivers. Last month, Waite said the county and Longmont are both getting ready to update those strategic plans. She said she expects that seniors’ needs for housing and transportation options “will become more significant” in the years ahead. Reynolds said that although a number of affordable-housing projects were completed in the past several years, the city needs more such housing that could be rented by seniors who want to stay in the community but who are forced by finances, physical conditions or other factors to sell their homes. Reynolds said that when she moved here nearly 30 years ago, “Longmont was the affordable community in this area.” That’s not necessarily still the case, Reynolds said, with some people building or buying less expensive homes in southwest Weld County. As for seniors living in southwest Weld, “we draw a lot of them here” to the Senior Center, Reynolds said. Waite said that in the last few years, there’s been a “recognition that the aging population is truly here and growing.” That’s “resulted in looking at the community — not just the Senior Center — as a place to age well,” Waite said. She predicted that “this shift will continue for the next several years, and many individuals and agencies who hadn’t been significantly involved in looking at aging will be.” G

ACCORDING TO THE 2000 CENSUS ... Boulder County’s population totaled 291,288 in 2000. The median age of a county resident was 33.4 years, and 22,670 people — 7.8 percent of the county’s total population — were age 65 or older.

Longmont’s population totaled 71,093 in the 2000 census. The median age of a city resident was 34, and 6,540 people — 9.2 percent of the city’s total population — were age 65 or older.

In 2008, the most recent year for which the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey has published estimates: Boulder County’s estimated population totaled 293,161. The median age of a county resident was 36.3 years, and 25,635 people — 8.7 percent of the county’s total population — were age 65 or older.

Longmont’s estimated population totaled 84,943. The median age of a Longmont resident was 36.8 years, and 7,717 people — 9.1 percent of the city’s total population — were age 65 or older.

Longmont Times-Call Community Review

Decade of the Tiger Mariah Bledsoe can hardly remember that first Erie softball championship, accomplished on a late fall day in 1998. As the 4-year-old daughter of the head coach, running around the dugout and paying little attention to the commotion around her, she recalls only a lot of celebration and yelling. There’s no way she could have foreseen what was happening: the beginning of a legacy, something she’d play a key role in a decade down the road. Something unfathomable in today’s athletic standards. “You guys started using that D word, and I really hated it. I just kept thinking, ‘That’s going to jinx us if you use that word,’ ” Erie High School softball coach Bob Bledsoe said. “But I think I can look back on it now and say, ‘Yeah, it was a dynasty.’ ” While many parts of Mariah Bledsoe’s life have changed between then and now — she’s seen three U.S. presidents and transitioned from kindergarten to high school — one thing has remained constant: Those same Erie Tigers have kept on winning. Since 1998, they have won 10 of 12 Class 3A state championships. They wrapped up the previous decade winning nine of 10 Class 3A titles. In 2001, the Tigers knocked off the 4A and 5A state champions

Community Review


The Erie girls softball team has reigned over the past 10 years

— and the 6A state champs from Oklahoma — en route to a No. 3 ranking in the country. They won six straight titles to open the 2000s and have sent multiple athletes on to Division I scholarships. “I think the first time I took the field as a freshman, I knew I was part of something special,” said the 2001 team’s pitcher, Melanie Mahoney — now married and known as Melanie Monarco. “I had been playing around these athletes since we were in T-ball for the Erie girls, so I knew they were something special, and I was getting a chance to play on the same team as them.” In the past 12 years, the two times Erie didn’t win the state title (1999 and 2006), they lost it in the championship game. A culture of winning hasn’t just been celebrated in Erie for the past 12 years; it’s expected. How a program can remain that consistent over so many years is the question on everyone’s mind.

A PITCHER’S PARADISE Throughout the past decade, Bob Bledsoe has been blessed with a rich crop of talented pitchers, just one of whom would be a coach’s dream. Mahoney, Joanna Brozovich, Holly Jordan, Paige Ruiz and Mariah Bledsoe all led the Tigers

Story by Justin Williams PHOTO: Softball coach Bob Bledsoe displays the 10 state championship rings he has earned with Erie High School.

Photo by Lewis Geyer

30 . Sunday, March 28, 2010

Longmont Times-Call Community Review

Sunday, March 28, 2010 . 31

After a team portrait with their sixth consecutive Class 3A state championship trophy, the Erie softball team’s human pyramid topples in October 2005. Erie beat Holy Family 2-0 for the title. (File) to state championships in the 2000s, each passing on a bit of wisdom to the next in line. “One person passed on to graduation, and you could already see the future coming through in the lower ranks,” Bob Bledsoe said. “We’ve been very fortunate. We haven’t had any down years.” As important as pitching has been to Erie’s success, Bob Bledsoe admits there were times when the offense carried the team. Brittni Carlson, Sarah Cleland and Ashlie Ortega — just to name a few — all put together outstanding offensive years for the Tigers during the run. But the consistently solid pitching has been key in all 10 championships. “The cycle of pitching has been a very important ingredient,” Bledsoe said.

softball as a supplement. “The girls started learning that to be competitive within the team, they needed to go club or competitive,” the coach said. “So as it went on, the athletes coming to us were already prepared for the high school competition, even as freshmen. Playing 120 games a year, compared to 20, makes a huge difference.” Bledsoe said that 75 percent of his players now come from competitive programs, and the 10-andunder program in Erie is thriving, with the girls craving to be a Tiger at an early age. “Erie has been very fortunate to have so many girls devote the time and money into playing summer ball, and I think it is really what has made the program so successful all these years,” said Carlson, now married and known as Brittni Wilts.



When Bob Bledsoe took over the Erie softball program in 1995, he began a change in culture. No longer was it acceptable to just play softball in the fall, nor was it acceptable to just play rec league

During Erie’s remarkable stretch, there has been just one common denominator. Bob Bledsoe doesn’t like to take any credit for what’s happened, but those around him know how much he

means to the team.


“He’s certainly been blessed with pitching and players with a great understanding of the game, but he knows what he’s doing and he’s an amazing coach,” Erie athletic director Mark Roemer said. “If you want something done, you don’t ask, you demand. Bob demands things to be done, and kids respond to that.”

Bledsoe likes to think of the 2009 championship as the end of a chapter for the Erie softball program. Although, he says, there are still many more pages to be written.

Bledsoe likes to say he’s been “lucky” and “fortunate” during his tenure, but he’s also been extremely humble.

Erie makes the jump to Class 4A, but Bob Bledsoe says that nothing has changed. Erie has always scheduled the toughest competition it can find during the regular season, so it still expects to win — no matter who sits in the other dugout.

“Look who gets the trophy,” Roemer said. “He doesn’t go out there and hoist the trophy up and look to the crowd. He stands back and allows the athletes to do that.” But the athletes know who to thank. “He has been the driving force behind all of the championships over the years,” Carlson said. “I think what it comes down to is, once you get a taste of being a state champion and the best at something, you never settle for anything less than that, and that is exactly why Erie is so successful.”

This fall, Mariah Bledsoe will shoot for her fourth championship in four years, but the competition will be slightly different for the Tigers this time around.

“For us, it’s really same ol’, same ol’,” the coach said. “The league will change a little, and it will be a little better and deeper, but our mindset has always been to play the best. We’re not looking to go undefeated. We’re looking to be challenged, so we’re prepared when the end of the season comes. “The girls have already talked about it a lot, about how much they want to win. They’re champing at the bit to keep this thing going, and so am I.” G

32 . Sunday, March 28, 2010

Longmont Times-Call Community Review

Years in Business A special salute to those businesses that make a difference in Boulder County









Carroll-Lewellen Funeral & Cremation Services Proudly Serving Families Since 1922 Longmont’s Lowest Cost Funeral Provider

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Sunday, March 28, 2010 . 33

Longmont Times-Call Community Review

Years in Business A special salute to those businesses that make a difference in Boulder County

1960 T & L Construction

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34 . Sunday, March 28, 2010

Longmont Times-Call Community Review


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Sunday, March 28, 2010 . 35

Longmont Times-Call Community Review

1988 303-772-5919 1001 2nd Ave. Longmont, CO 80501





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36 . Sunday, March 28, 2010

Longmont Times-Call Community Review

From dirt to parkways

Community Review


Transportation improvements identify, unite the region

When longtime Old Town Erie resident Dave Sullivan was first able to walk from his Briggs Street home to his mother’s house on Pierce Street without getting his shoes muddy, the year was 2000. “I remember that day,” Sullivan said. “I walked to her house on the curbs, sidewalks and streets, and on the way home I stopped by May-

or Vic Smith’s house to thank him for the pavement.” Erie was the last east Boulder County community to complete townwide paving. The undertaking, initiated in 1999, didn’t conclude until late 2000, when Briggs and Cheesman streets — once the only paved roads in town — were resurfaced.

“For years, we used to have two seasons in Erie: dusty and muddy,” Sullivan said. “Winter and spring were always muddy. Summer and fall were always dusty. If you came into town on County Road 8 in the summer, you could see where Erie was because there was always a dust cloud hanging over it. You could see it from miles

away.” The paved streets rapidly ushered in a new era in Erie. As Lawson Construction’s paving crews made their way through town, many residents opted to have their driveways paved as well. As dirt became asphalt and mud puddles became potholes, the former mining town, which still had a popula-



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tion of less than 7,000 in 2000, began to boom. Longtime Erie residents like Sullivan could feel the town’s identity shifting. “Briggs and Cheesman were always paved, but they were the only paved roads in town,” said Sullivan, who owns Wildwind Rifles at 640 Briggs St. “I used to tell my customers if they were on a paved, north-south road in Erie, they were close. Once the paving began, I had a lot more customers getting lost and calling for directions.” In the early part of the decade, with its newfound mobility, Erie launched into a massive expansion. Subdivisions were annexed, housing developments sprang up on all sides of Old Town and building permits were handed out by the fistful. By the end of 2009, Erie’s population had nearly tripled to more than 18,000 residents. Erie residents weren’t the only east Boulder County residents to see transportation improvements during the past decade. In November 2003, the $415 million, 70 mph Northwest Parkway — linking U.S. Highway 36 and E-470 — opened to traffic. The 11-milelong toll road passing through Louisville, Lafayette and Broomfield completely reshaped the commuting and commercial landscape in the north Denver metro region. In December 2004, Exempla Good Samaritan Medical Center opened its doors to patients near the Northwest Parkway and U.S. Highway 287. The massive hospital and parkway exit were immediately touted by city of Lafayette officials as the new “gateway to Lafayette.” The city dangled the toll road access point to lure such big-box businesses as Wal-Mart Supercenter, King Soopers, Albertsons and Ace Hardware — and more recently Jax and Sunflower Market — to its U.S. 287 corridor. With a parkway ramp at Dillon Road, Louisville also was forced to anticipate the impact of the Northwest Parkway not only on Dillon Road but on the connection from Dillon to downtown Louisville.

Sunday, March 28, 2010 . 37

Longmont Times-Call Community Review When longtime Old Town Erie resident Dave Sullivan was first able to walk from his Briggs Street home to his mother’s house on Pierce Street without getting his shoes muddy, the year was 2000. “I remember that day,” Sullivan said. “I walked to her house on the curbs, sidewalks and streets, and on the way home I stopped by Mayor Vic Smith’s house to thank him for the pavement.” Erie was the last east Boulder County community to complete townwide paving. (Joshua Buck)

The city received $12 million from the Northwest Parkway project to realign 96th Street south of Dillon Road to connect directly to Highway 42, bypassing the former Pine and Front streets link to downtown. “The motivation is to eliminate the negative consequences occurring along Pine, Front and County Road,” Louisville Public Works Director Tom Phare said at the time. “Local residents are getting inundated by all this regular traffic going from north of Louisville to the south of Louisville.” Regional businesses banked on inundation from the toll road. Several outlying big-box stores in the FlatIron Crossing mall complex in Broomfield cited the Northwest Parkway connection as motivating factor to build at that location. In late 2005, the Larkridge retail development — a shopping center the size of 180 football fields —

opened to the north of the parkway’s intersection with I-25, in Thornton. Last year, Louisville landed what likely will emerge as the largest employer in city history when ConocoPhillips announced it would build a corporate training and development facility in the south end of the city, at the former Storagetek/Sun Microsystems site less than a mile from the Northwest Parkway. While the parkway helped establish destination locations along its route, it also served to blur community borders. Residents of east Broomfield and Thornton suddenly found themselves just five minutes from Louisville. The toll road’s access to U.S. 287 and Louisville’s new shortcut from Dillon Road to South Boulder Road instantly put Superior residents closer to Lafayette and made Louisville more accessible from Erie.

During the past decade, east Boulder County’s four municipalities began to merge into one community. Ten years after Sullivan’s first mud-free march down Erie streets, he sees a different community outside his front door; one that is struggling to distinguish itself from its neighbors amid rapid internal growth. “It wasn’t that long ago that we still had trains running though Erie; I think it was 1991. Then the dirt roads turned to pavement. With the new (Erie Parkway) being the new center of town, it’s really taken away from Old Town,” Sullivan said. “And since the new Briggs Street pushed through, I think a lot of people have forgotten about Old Town altogether.” In the past five years, the segment of Erie Parkway near the intersection of County Line Road emerged as the social and commercial hub of Erie. The Erie Commons business development, Walgreens, Erie High School, Erie Community Center and Erie Community Library seemed to crop up along the roadway overnight. Last summer, the town broke ground on its new Community Park north of the community center, which could largely displace Coal Creek Park and the St. Vrain Valley School District athletics complex on the north end of Old Town. In a deliberate way, Erie Parkway helped the town establish an identity — albeit a new one. The parkway, in its entirety, consolidated the route between 111th Street and I-25 by replacing Isabelle Road, Weld County Road 8 and Leon A. Wurl Parkway. Erie Mayor Andrew Moore said the naming convention was part of a branding campaign for the town. “I think in the short and long term, it will allow people to understand, “Wow, this is Erie,’ ” Moore said. “One of the things we wanted to do was get the image of Erie out there in a very positive way.” That’s something muddy shoes simply couldn’t do. G

38 . Sunday, March 28, 2010

Longmont Times-Call Community Review

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Longmont Times-Call Community Review

‘We’re going to grow’

Community Review


Southwest Weld at the center of the universe in northern Colorado

Ten years ago, Firestone annexed a gas station and a fast-food place — its first commercial foothold on the east side of Interstate 25. Ten years ago, one of the big “border war� worries was whether Frederick was getting too close to Del Camino. Ten years ago, Dacono was the largest of the Tri-Towns at 3,015 people.

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“We’re in a prime spot.”

ON THE ROAD In a way, location built all three towns. Smack against I-25. Right on Colo. 52. Bumping Colo. 119. Just as train tracks helped create boom towns in the 19th century, highways did in the Carbon Valley, especially for those who wanted to be near big-city amenities without a big-city backdrop. “You have the ability to be in DIA in 20 or 30 minutes, or to be in downtown Denver in 20 or 30 minutes, or to be at some of the educational institutions … whatever it may be,” Doering said. “We’re positioned at the center of the universe in northern Colorado.” It didn’t hurt, Auer noted, that neighboring Boulder County had been keeping to a “slow growth” policy since the mid-1970s while Weld County left things more wide open. And when growth started pushing outward from the metro area, that left the Carbon Valley as one of its main available channels. “There’s been a market advantage for us in Weld County,” said Auer, a former member of the county’s planning commission. “We had a lot of land, and a lot of agricultural landowners who realized they wanted to cash in their version of a 401(k) and make their cornfield or dairy farm into a development.” It almost hit a wall at the start of the decade, however. Concerned at some of the rapid development that had already begun in the 1990s, a statewide campaign began for the slow-growth initiative known as Amendment 24. The amendment would have required communities to not only map out their growth plans, but also have those plans and any amendments approved by voters, making expansion and development a slower process and, its supporters maintained, a more careful one. It came to the ballot in November 2000. It failed miserably. “It probably would have muted some of the growth,” Auer acknowledged. “If it would have passed, I imagine it would have

The mayors of the Carbon Valley communities are, from left, Eric Doering of Frederick, Firestone's Chad Auer and Charles Sigman of Dacono. Also pictured is former Dacono mayor Wade Carlson. (Lewis Geyer) been challenging in some respects. Shoot, my house probably wouldn’t have been built.”

PIPE UP Of course, you have to have somewhere to grow to. That means building up the infrastructure: water pipes, sewer pipes, roads. In few places was that need clearer than in Dacono. Shortly after becoming mayor in 2001, Carlson was called to the offices of the local water district to discuss extending the pipes south of Colo. 52. For Carlson, it was a no-brainer, but there was a catch. “How much?” he asked. “$3 million.” Silence. “I blanched,” Carlson admitted. “I know I blanched and gulped. Then I said, ‘Where in the world are we going to get $3 million?’ ” As it turned out, the developers themselves. In a $3.9 million plan Dacono approved in 2002, each developer coming into the area had to

join a coalition to get water taps, with each member paying a share of the cost. “As it turned out, there were about 13 people — and all but two joined,” Carlson said. Road improvement in Old Town got the stamp of approval as well, but sewer lines proved harder. Voters knocked down a $5.5 million plan twice before Dacono officials finally decided to turn over wastewater services to the St. Vrain Sanitation District, which had more resources to put into play. “They took it over and paid upfront money,” Carlson said. “St. Vrain has been a good partner with us. And it’s cost Dacono residents less money than what they would have paid if it was still Dacono sanitation.”

UP AGAINST THE BORDER When growth hit, it hit big. Between 2000 and 2005, Weld County was the 68th fastest growing coun-

ty in the nation. The Carbon Valley had its share of that and kept it rolling through the decade. New businesses began to pop up — including a 530,000-square-foot American Furniture Warehouse off I-25 — and services began to grow with the population: a new regional library in Firestone, a bigger and better fire station in Dacono for the Mountain View Fire Protection District, even an 82-acre wetlands park just outside of Frederick. But it didn’t come without challenges. To start with, the towns weren’t growing in a vacuum. Even as early as 2004, Longmont officials were telling the Weld County Commission that they were concerned about how quickly its communities were approaching the border. By 2008, those concerns had been realized as Firestone approved a growth plan that bumped borders near Union Reservoir.

42 . Sunday, March 28, 2010 “I think we were surprised that things were moving as fast as they were,” Longmont Mayor Roger Lange told the Times-Call in March 2008. “I think we thought there was more time than there turned out to be.” Longmont responded with counter-annexations intended to cut off the move, and ultimately with a lawsuit over who could annex where. By December 2009, a month after two new Longmont City Council members and a new mayor came on board, the city had begun to explore the possibility of settling the case with Firestone, but an appeal is still going through the courts. Doering noted that Frederick has nearly completed an intergovernmental agreement of its own with Longmont to avoid similar problems. “Hopefully, we won’t be bumping into each other, and we’ll understand what’s important to each of our communities,” he said. For that matter, each of the TriTowns is closer to each other than to their larger neighbor. If rapid growth continues, elbow room could become an issue — enough of one, Carlson feels, that the three communities might be better served in becoming one city. “There’s just too much value in being one,” he said, noting that it would also cut down on duplicated costs. “Dacono’s problems don’t stop at the border. Neither do Frederick’s or Firestone’s. We’re so small it would make sense.” The idea’s never really taken off, though talk of a merger has been

Longmont Times-Call Community Review

Talea Michell of Firestone plays with a balloon she got for the opening day at American Furniture Warehouse in November 2006 as she and her mom, Tressen, try out chairs in the children’s section of the store. The Carbon Valley store is the second largest store in the chain, second only to the Thornton store. (File)

around since the 1950s and seen multiple attempts since the 1970s. In one instance, a proposal failed because no one could agree on whose police chief should run a consolidated department. “There’s always been that discussion and people trying to promote it,” Doering said. “If the TriTowns want to join as one entity, I’m all for it, but it’s got to be from the residents of the community. When the topic’s been raised, it’s usually been by the elected officials, and while I love elected officials, we sometimes get in the way of things.” As it stands, the three governments meet quarterly to discuss common issues. The cooperation’s held up well, Auer said, though it’s sometimes more in the nature of a

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rivalry. “There’s certainly been a competitive spirit,” he said. “And at times it’s degenerated into some pretty caustic conversations. But at the same time, there has been some good coordination.”

GROWING PAINS There’ve been other challenges as well. For one thing, many residents came for cheaper housing and a smaller community. The housing is still fairly reasonable, but the community isn’t as small as it used to be. “We run into challenges and into people who would like us to stop growing,” Auer said, adding with a chuckle, “Of course they’d like us to stop growing after they’re in.” On the other hand, Doering not-

ed, the same communities often want the businesses and restaurants they see in the larger cities. But that has a trade-off, he said — more development and more taxes. It’s a tough balance to strike, he said. “That’s always part of the process,” he said. “When you’re growing too fast, people get scared. When you don’t grow, people get scared.” “There is such a thing as growing too fast,” Auer said. “You don’t want to grow so fast you outrun your revenues.” Sometimes fast growth can burn a community in other ways. At the start of the decade, for example, Dacono had a large stack of developments on the table, including a factory outlet mall that was sup-



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INTO THE FUTURE For all the growth that has happened, there’s still one sort the Carbon Valley would like to see more of. “As we start to come out of the economic downturn — and I think we will — Firestone is going to need to strike a balance,” Auer said. “We need to find some primary employers.” Some of that has come and has paid off well. One big example for Frederick has been UQM Technologies, which last year received a $45.1 million federal grant to develop and build hydroelectric propulsion systems. The town’s also recently seen U.S. Engineering announce a move from Loveland, possibly bringing 150 jobs with it over the next year or two. “We’re well-positioned for the new energy economy,” Doering

said. But all three would like to see more. And they think they’re going to get it. It all comes back to that first point: location, location, location. “There’s not many other places the (Denver) region can grow,” Doering said. “We’re going to see continual pressure coming north … and we’re right in the path of that.” Carlson expects so, too. Even during the downturn, he said, sales taxes have been good for Dacono. And even though its growth has been slower than its neighbors, it’s been readying itself for that next wave — there’s more than 10,000 residential sites planned for, Carlson said, once the fire gets lit again. “We’re poised to go,” he said. “We have the water. We have the sewer. And someday (growth) will break out here.” “We’re going to grow,” Auer agreed. “It’s just a matter of growing well.” G

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posed to be an economic engine for the city. The mall never materialized and two of the principal developers were ultimately accused of a Ponzi scheme by the SEC and taken to court in 2003. Carlson said the mall proposal had already been before the Dacono City Council for a long time when he came on board, and that he came under pressure from the developers almost as soon as he was elected. “I was given the rush by the developers who were trying to convince me I should get Dacono to approve a building permit,” Carlson remembered. “I said ‘Wait, wait, wait. If I get the city to issue a building permit, it says the builder has a right to build. Dacono has no infrastructure there yet. There’s no sewer or water down there yet. You’d be in a position to say ‘Get it done or else!’ ” He kept getting calls from Arizona, he said, until the whole thing cratered and the SEC moved in. At times, he said, keeping out of the developers’ grip was almost amus-

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Longmont Times-Call Community Review



2000: The Longmont Film Festival is founded. 2000: Town of Erie finishes paving project that eliminates dirt roads in most neighborhoods. 2000: Alternatives for Youth moves into its new headquarters at 24 Ninth Ave. in Longmont. 2000: Inn Between buys historic Great Western Hotel at 250 Kimbark St. January 2000: Longmont has 27,634 residential utility customers, or households. January 2000: 50 patients are transferred to Longmont United Hospital’s new five-story patient tower. January 2000: The Longmont City Council agrees to count land in southwest Weld County within its Metrovision 2020 growth-tracking system. For the second year in a row, development in southwest Weld is a top priority in the council’s annual work plan. January 2000: The Longmont Area Chamber of Commerce’s Public Affairs Committee hosts discussion on taxing ecommerce. January 2000: Developers in southwest Weld County discuss The Lakes, a 1,000-home development to be annexed into Dacono. Jan. 4, 2000: Lafayette annexes Centaurus High School. Jan. 24, 2000: With plans approved for The Lakes, Dacono now has six developments under consideration, including a 140-acre factory outlet mall. The mall is never built; its land is foreclosed on in 2001. (See 2003.) March 2000: Firestone annexes 19 acres on the east side of Interstate 25. March 2000: Construction work on Prince One Reservoir in Erie violates Clean Water Act. March 2000: Executive director Kathy Coyne

Dave Fedirko with Colorado Constructors paints a portion of the St. Vrain Greenway sign on the east side of the Hover Street bridge just south of Third Avenue in December 2001. (File) retires from Community Food Share. Jim Baldwin is hired as new CEO in April 2000. March 2000: Celestial Seasonings founder Mo Siegel agrees to sell the company to The Hain Food Group. April 2000: Snow Goose Investments buys the former Staodyne building at 1225 Ken Pratt Blvd. and announces plans to turn it into a mixed-use office and retail facility. April 2000: The Longmont City Council hires Nebraska-based Adesta Communications to bring long-distance telephone, high-speed Internet and digital cable TV to residents using the city’s fiber-optic network as a backbone. April 2000: Costco opens as the first store in the Superior Marketplace, at Marshall Road and U.S. Highway 36. April 4, 2000: Three Firestone trustees are removed in recall elections, called because of their opposition to a mill-levy issue. May 2000: Erie annexes Vista Ridge neighborhood. May 2000: Norwest bank buys Wells Fargo,

keeps Wells Fargo name. May 2000: Liberty Savings Bank breaks ground on its new building at 351 Coffman St. May 2000: The 39-lot Vista Commercial Center opens east of Longmont on Colo. Highway 119. May 2000: Niwot High School’s baseball team defeats Grand Junction Central 7-6 in the Class 4A state championship game. It was the Cougars’ third consecutive championship. June 2000: The Longmont City Council votes 5-2 to call a moratorium on accepting or processing new development applications until September. June 2000: The proposed Ken Pratt Extension is presented to the public for the first time. June 2000: Maxtor breaks ground on a new building, which will consolidate workers from 12 facilities around Longmont into one. June 27, 2000: Frederick voters approve a residential development near Rinn Valley Church. Several Del Camino residents oppose the

move, noting that much of the area around their community already is marked for growth by Frederick and Firestone. July 2000: The Food and Drug Administration approves Amgen’s Longmont facility for the manufacture of Epogen. July 2000: New Storage Technology Corp. chairman Pat Martin vows to bring the company back to its former glory. July 2000: RTD’s Longmonster makes its debut. July 2000: Frederick has issued 251 building permits, compared with 33 for all of 1998. July 2, 2000: The St. Vrain Valley School District has a beginning balance of $5 million. August 2000: The 50year-old Colacci’s restaurant sign on Main Street Louisville is changed to Pasquini’s. August 2000: The completed St. Vrain Valley Open Lands and Trails master plan outlines a 33mile trail system for Boulder and Weld counties, including the TriTowns area. August 2000: The 1.5million-square-foot

FlatIron Crossing Mall opens in Broomfield Aug. 24, 2000: Prairie Ridge Elementary School, the first SVVSD school with mobile computer labs, opens in Firestone. September 2000: Borders becomes the first of several large retailers new to Longmont to open in the St. Vrain Centre in the southwest corner of town. Kohl’s opens the following month. September 2000: The Longmont City Council tells city staff to implement quality-of-life benchmarks as a tool to monitor growth around Longmont. September 2000: Ute Creek Secondary Academy starts classes at the Raintree Plaza Conference Center because the bowling alley it’s renovating does not meet code. September 2000: Longmont United Hospital announces a $28 million upgrade of its Birthplace, surgical department and intensive care unit. Sept. 8, 2000: The Weld County Tri-Area Sanitation District gets a $215,478 grant and $1.5 million loan from the state to

alleviate flooding in the Frederick, Firestone and Dacono area. October 2000: Home Depot, Longmont’s first big-box store, opens its 117,000-square-foot store at 393 S. Hover St. October 2000: With an 8-2 win over La Junta, the Erie High girls softball team wins its second Class 3A state title in three years, starting a streak of six consecutive titles and nine titles in 10 years during the 2000s. November 2000: The QuickBird satellite — owned by EarthWatch, now DigitalGlobe — fails to make orbit and is lost. Oct. 1, 2000: Student enrollment in the SVVSD is 19,008. Nov. 7, 2000: Colorado voters defeat Amendment 24, which would have required towns and cities to map out growth and have the plans approved by voters. Many in southwest Weld oppose the measure, fearing it could strangle the region’s burgeoning growth. November 2000: The St. Vrain girls gymnastics team, made up of gymnasts from all area high schools, captures the Class 4A state championship. November 2000: The population of Superior tops 10,000. Nov. 7, 2000: Voters pass Amendment 23 to increase state funding of public education. December 2000: Seagate’s new $70 million, 443,000-squarefoot facility opens on Nelson Road. It replaces nine Seagate facilities around Longmont. Dec. 11, 2000: The final plots at the Lafayette Cemetery are purchased. Dec. 31, 2000: Longmont issues 1,507 residential building permits in 2000.


2001: Louisville receives $10 million from the Northwest Parkway deal

to realign the 96th Street connection to downtown. 2001: “Los Arcos De Longmont,” the downtown breezeway structures, are installed. 2001: Longmont Clinic opens its new Clinic West building on Mountain View Avenue. January 2001: Longmont cable customers see their provider change hands twice — first this month, when AT&T Broadband takes it over in a swap with Comcast, and again in December, when Comcast merges with AT&T’s Broadband division. January 2001: Longmont has 28,848 residential utility customers, or households. January 2001: Data from the 2000 U.S. Census show that Longmont’s population is 73,344 people. Census reports show Dacono at 3,015 people, Frederick at 2,467 and Firestone at 1,908. Jan. 2, 2001: The crew at Longmont’s fifth fire station, 617 Barberry Drive, is ready for its first call, and the new 9,000square-foot station is dedicated during a ribboncutting ceremony. The city levied a special property tax on the Clover Basin neighborhood to build the fire station. Feb. 2, 2001: Brittany Chambers, 16, of Superior dies from complications related to consuming too much water after taking the drug ecstasy. Chambers’ death brings national attention to teen drug abuse, and her mother later opens the Rose Teen and Resource Center in Louisville. March 1, 2001: The Boulder County Rape Crisis Team changes its name to MESA — Moving to End Sexual Assault. March 10, 2001: Plans for a new, larger post office in Frederick are derailed when the Postal Service institutes a freeze on capital spending.

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Longmont Times-Call Community Review

TIMELINE OF THE PAST 10 YEARS Louisville voters pass the city’s new home-rule charter. November 2001: Boulder County’s unemployment rate hits 4.5 percent, the first time since 1996 that it is above 4 percent. The national rate is 5.7 percent. November 2001: The St. Vrain prep girls gymnastics team captures its second consecutive Class 4A state championship. Nov. 6, 2001: Sandi Searls is elected to the SVVSD Board of Education, joining Rick Samson, Kathy Hall, Mike Rademacher, Larry Silver, Brenda Everett and Tammy Pilkington.

A semi-truck pulls out from the stop sign at the intersection of Leon A. Wurl Parkway and 119th Street in Erie in 2002. (File) March 16, 2001: St. Vrain Valley YMCA breaks ground on expansion of the facility at Ninth Avenue and Lashley Street, which will include a larger child-care center, more multiuse rooms and larger fitness areas. Spring 2001: Work begins to expand Jim Hamm Nature Area near 17th Avenue and County Line Road and improve facilities there. Work at the 24-acre site will preserve wetlands and wildlife habitat. April 2001: Avista Adventist Hospital in Louisville begins a $32 million expansion. April 4, 2001: Firestone voters reject a slow-growth initiative requiring voter approval of annexations. May 2001: For the second straight year, Forbes magazine names the Longmont-Boulder area the fourth-best place in the country to do business. May 19, 2001: The first phase of Sandstone

Ranch — three baseball fields and one softball field — opens during an inaugural scrimmage and dedication ceremony. The city began construction in 1999 on the complex. When the entire project is completed in the next several years, Sandstone Ranch will include both the 125-acre community park and a 188-acre district park, consisting of wildlife habitat and land for passive recreation. June 2001: SCC Communications, founded by two former Boulder County sheriff’s deputies, changes its name to Intrado. By the end of the year, the company moves into its new 277,000square-foot headquarters in the Boulder County Business Center. June 2001: Intercambio de Comunidades expands services into Longmont. July 2001: The Erie Stakeholders Assessment process targets Erie Commons, Erie Corporate Center, Tebo Junction,

Price annexation and Erie Gateway as priorities. July 1, 2001: St. Vrain Valley School District teachers become the highest paid in the state, with a base salary of $30,000. July 10, 2001: Erie trustees approve the 156acre Grandview development. August 2001: Erie’s Fiesta Days, which celebrates Latino heritage, is canceled. August 2001: Amgen, already in a 450,000square-foot building, builds a 200,000-squarefoot addition. Aug. 23, 2001: Fall River Elementary School opens in northeast Longmont, and Silver Creek Middle/Senior High School opens with grades six through 10 in southwest Longmont. September 2001: EarthWatch changes its name to DigitalGlobe. October 2001: DigitalGlobe successfully launches its first satellite,

QuickBird. October 2001: Erie Skatepark opens at Coal Creek Park. October 2001: The body of infant “Mary Louise” is found near a trash compactor behind the Safeway store in Louisville. Her memorial draws more than 100 mourners. October 2001: Erie High completes a dominant softball season with its second straight Class 3A state title and its third in four years. October 2001: Firestone estimates as many as 10,000 new homes could be built in the town over the next decade. Its principal commercial development is Commerce Village — a Safeway and a gas station — but hundreds of acres have been annexed in anticipation of business growth. Oct. 1, 2001: Enrollment in the SVVSD is 20,028 students. November 2001:

Nov. 27, 2001: Erie trustees vote down a proposal to add fluoride to the town’s water supply. Nov. 25, 2001: The Times-Call notes that while growth is cooling off elsewhere in the TriTowns, Firestone has issued 458 home-building permits — 158 more than expected. December 2001: The work force at IBM’s Gunbarrel facility reaches 5,200 people. December 2001: The Longmont Senior Center reopens after a $2 million renovation and expansion that adds 8,800 square feet to the 12,000square-foot facility. December 2001: Firestone emphasizes two priorities for 2002: Widening Weld County roads 13, 15 and 24, and drawing more big-box retail to the town. Dec. 31, 2001: Longmont issued 1,641 residential building permits in 2001.


2002: Community Food Share implements Feed the Future, Mobile Food Pantry and Personal Investment Enterprise Program.

46 . Sunday, March 28, 2010

Longmont Times-Call Community Review


2002: The Inn Between buys a 12-unit apartment at 1901 Terry St. January 2002: Longmont has 29,813 residential utility customers, or households. January 2002: City planners estimate Longmont’s 2001 population was 76,098 people, a 3.8 percent increase. Jan. 12, 2002: St. Vrain Valley School District officials accuse superintendent’s executive assistant Dawn Hobson, who resigned in December 2001, of stealing up to $13,000 through unauthorized credit card use. February 2002: A women’s clinic opens in the Southwest Weld County Services Building. February 2002: Sunshine Club celebrates its 100th anniversary. Feb. 18, 2002: Dental Aid opens a new clinic in Louisville to serve children on Medicaid and Child Health Plan Plus. Feb. 25, 2002: SVVSD superintendent Richard Weber announces his resignation. Feb. 27, 2002: Longmont Meals on Wheels serves 1 millionth meal at Longmont Senior Center. March 2002: Sister Carmen Community Center opens new building in Lafayette. March 9, 2002: The inaugural Frozen Dead Guy Days, celebrating the cryogenically frozen Bredo

ConAgra. June 2002: The Louisville Kmart, the city’s top sales tax generator, closes after the company’s bankruptcy filing. June 2002: Longmont fireworks dealers are hurt when Gov. Bill Owens announces a statewide ban on fireworks because of a severe drought. June 8, 2002: The Longmont Museum & Cultural Center at 400 Quail Road opens. The 24,171-square-foot museum, which cost about $5.5 million, was funded by a November 1999 bond issue. June 13, 2002: SVVSD teachers are given pay raises of 4.55 percent, increasing base pay to $31,365. July 2002: Sculptures from the popular local Geese Galore project make their debut. Salud Clinic dental assistants Kathleen Benedict, left, and Elizabeth Gonzalez clean one of six new dental rooms in the July 2002: Construction begins on the Northwest new Salud Clinic building in Frederick in January 2003. (File) Parkway — an 11-mile toll road connecting I-25 Morstoel, takes place in on donated land at 310 announces plans for Thompson Valley School and E470 to 96th Street Nederland. Quail Road. Roosevelt Place, a threeDistrict administrator in Louisville and U.S. story, $4 million building Randy Zila is offered the March 25, 2002: The March 21, 2002: Josh Highway 36. on the southeast corner of job of SVVSD Nevarez, 18, becomes the Front Range Orthopedic July 2002: Xilinx receives Longs Peak Avenue and superintendent, with an only applicant for a vacant Center opens at its new a 2002 Renewable Coffman Street. annual base pay of location on South Main seat on the Dacono City Energy in Buildings Award Street in Longmont. May 11, 2002: St. Vrain $130,000. Council. The council for its Longmont facility instead chooses Chad June 2002: The former May 2002: Representing Valley YMCA moves into from the Colorado its new 20,000-squareAuer, who filed after the Boulder Technology all area high schools, the Renewable Energy Society. foot building at 950 deadline. Incubator, later the St. Vrain girls golf team The company built the Lashley St. Colorado Technology wins the Class 5A state March 22, 2002: The 133,500-square-foot Incubator, becomes CTEK. building at a cost of $32 championship. Skyline May 13, 2002: Winter 63,000-square-foot It later changes its name High School’s Kelly snowpack is reported at Longmont Recreation million. to the Longmont Jacques is the state’s 13 percent of average. Center opens. Part of a July 1, 2002: The Entrepreneurial Network. individual champ. Drought looms on the $22.8 million November Longmont Community Front Range. 1999 bond issue paid for May 2002: Local June 2002: Longmont Foundation ends its the recreation center, built developer Cotton Burden May 22, 2002: Foods changes its name to affiliation with the


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Community Foundation Serving Northern Colorado and joins with The Denver Foundation. July 5-7, 2002: Dacono’s BMX track gains prominence as it hosts a national competition for the American Bicycle Association. July 12, 2002: The SVVSD board approves a budget that assumes a beginning balance of $2 million. July 25, 2002: Construction begins on Exempla Good Samaritan Medical Center in Lafayette. Aug. 14, 2002: Dental Aid’s Lafayette clinic reopens for Medicaid and low-income patients. September 2002: Aspen Meadows, a 52-unit apartment for seniors, opens at 70 21st Ave. September 2002: Left Hand Brewing Co. adds a tasting room to the west side of its main building. Sept. 7, 2002: Kids Park Lafayette is built in one day and opens at Lafayette Elementary School, becoming the first wheelchair-accessible playground in Boulder County. Sept. 27, 2002: The remodeled and expanded YMCA is dedicated as the Ed & Ruth Lehman YMCA. The $3.5 million project renovates the entire facility and includes a 20,000-square-foot addition. October 2002: The Longmont Area Chamber of Commerce holds a “mortgage burning” party for its building at 528 Main St. October 2002: For the third consecutive season, Erie High’s girls softball team is crowned Class 3A state champ, the Tigers’ fourth title in five years. Oct. 1, 2002: The SVVSD has 20,743 students enrolled, putting 15 schools over capacity. Oct. 8, 2002: The Louisville City Council passes a nosmoking ordinance. Oct. 28, 2002: Dacono approves a $3.9 million plan to extend water pipes south of Colo. Highway 52. Nov. 5, 2002: SVVSD voters pass a $212.9 million bond issue to build 10 new schools. Nov. 13, 2002: The SVVSD

Longmont Times-Call Community Review


Sunday, March 28, 2010 . 47

Turf Talk With

EARLY SPRING TREATMENT OF LAWN SETS STANDARD FOR THE REST OF THE YEAR Within the next few weeks, home owners will begin the annual right of lawn care, starting with fertilization and the application of pre-emergent controls for crabgrass and other annual grasses. It’s the first step of the year toward developing a rich, beautiful lawn you can enjoy for the next six or seven months. Early Spring lawn applications are important for building stress tolerances, strong roots, healthy color and preventing unwanted annual grasses.

Construction is under way at The Crossings at Clover Basin, at Hover Street and Clover Basin Drive in Longmont, in December 2003. (File) announces it has a $12 million deficit because the business office miscalculated expenses and underestimated the number of full-time employees by 150. Nov. 30, 2002: Monarch High School’s football team knocks off Golden, 42-35, for the Class 4A state football championship. The win marks the first state title in any sport for the Coyotes. December 2002: Dental Aid is awarded a three-year, $443,039 oral healthimprovement grant from the Caring for Colorado Foundation. Dec. 6, 2002: The SVVSD announces the deficit will be $13.8 million, not including the $3.6 million in reserves needed to comply with the Taxpayer ’s Bill of Rights. Dec. 31, 2002: Longmont issued 983 residential building permits in 2002.


January 2003: Downtown Longmont’s $2.6 million Streetscape renovation wins a national award from the American Society of Landscape Architects. January 2003: Longmont has 30,621 residential utility customers, or households. January 2003: City planners estimate Longmont’s 2002 population was 77,328

people, a 1.6 percent increase from 2001. Jan. 17, 2003: The SVVSD cuts salaries for 2003 and for 2003-04 by 7.25 percent, so teachers’ base pay falls from $31,365 to $29,130. Jan. 21, 2003: Frederick’s new Salud Family Health Center sees its first dental patient. Feb. 3, 2003: Firefighters move into Fire Station No. 3 at 10th Avenue and Pace Street. The new station is much larger than the old one, at Lashley Street and Mountain View Avenue. Feb. 5, 2003: Former SVVSD employee Dawn Hobson pleads guilty to felony theft and is later sentenced to two weekends in jail, 300 hours of community service and three years of probation. Feb. 13, 2003: The Colorado Board of Community Colleges and Occupational Education approves Front Range Community College’s proposal to consolidate all county operations to one site in south Longmont. April 1: Nearly 150 lawful immigrants living in Boulder County, including 60 in the Longmont area, lose their free health care under a new law. April 15, 2003: Tom Gonzales, longtime president of FRCC, announces he will retire Dec. 31.

April 23, 2003: Salud Family Health Center breaks ground on a $3.5 million, 17,500-square-foot facility at 220 E. Rogers Road in Longmont. May 2003: The foursome of Kelly Jacques, Rachel Larson, Brianne Fowler and Stephanie Jennings leads the St. Vrain girls golf team to its second straight Class 5A state championship. May 2003: In Class 3A, the Lyons High School girls track and field team wins the state championship. It is the Lions’ first girls track title since 1987. May 2003: Median home prices in Louisville top $300,000. May 2, 2003: Brenda Everett resigns from the SVVSD Board of Education in an emergency meeting. Edwin Smith is later appointed to replace her. May 31, 2003: FRCC announces it will offer Boulder County’s first registered nursing program beginning in August. June 18, 2003: Michele Haney, vice president and CEO of FRCC’s Longmont campus, says she’s leaving to become president of Morgan Community College in Fort Morgan. July 2003: Boulder ’s Continued on 50

Poor broadleaf weed control is the major contributor to home owner dissatisfaction with lawn appearances. Cool weather can lessen the effectiveness of the applications. Professionals usually provide additional broadleaf weed control in a later application, when it is warmer. Pre-emergent controls for crabgrass can also be affected by too little or too much rain or excessive heat. The home owner should avoid seeding, thatching, heavy raking and core aeration after a preventative treatment is applied. Lawn care materials, whether purchased by the home owner or applied by a professional, such as LAWN DOCTOR, are practically non toxic as long as they are applied according to their labels. It’s a good practice to keep your family and pets off the lawn until the lawn care materials have been watered into the soil. Early Spring is also the time to check the condition of your lawn mower. Blades should be sharp to avoid shredding of leaf tips and to ensure a beautiful, healthy looking lawn. LAWN DOCTOR recommends collecting clippings, especially to avoid “clumps” on the lawn. “The purpose of this Early Spring attention to lawns is to condition the lawn for healthy root development and to promote beautiful looking turf throughout the summer and into the fall.” Says Marty Johnson, owner of LAWN DOCTOR of Longmont. LAWN DOCTOR provides Lawn Service, Tree and Shrub Care, Perimeter Pest Control as well as core aeration, over-seeding, & lawn mower maintenance. Since 1983, LAWN DOCTOR of Longmont has been servicing the Longmont area including Gunbarrel, Niwot, Erie, Mead & Carbon Valley. LAWN DOCTOR of Longmont can be reached at



n i n e m o W Business

48 . Sunday, March 28, 2010

Longmont Times-Call Community Review



Celebrating 25 Years as a Local Realtor, Pat is committed to making a difference and achievingg ns: the best results. She has obtained two new designations: ch is EcoBroker which is a green designation and CDPE which Certified Distressed Property Expert. Pat continues to improve her skills and acquire the knowledge to meet the challenging demands of a changing market. Choose a Realtor with a proven track record in the Northern Colorado area . . .





Kim, Owner of Temple Fitness Training, In Inc., is a Certified Personal Trainer through the National Tra Association of Sports Medicine Assoc (NASM) and has been involved in weight-lifting and bodybuilding weigh most of her life. An NPC jjudge and competitor, Kim has obtained a sincere and unique approach to bodybuilding and training for life. Her goal is to inspire others to obtain a healthy lifestyle with a bbalance between diet and exercise in a crazy time driven world.

Sheri ha has owned her salon in Niwot fo for over 21 years. She has been head of education for the M Midwest for one of the maj major manufacturers and has presented up to date techniques at several hair tech sshows throughout the United States. She has Un eextended education in aall areas of the beauty industry including barbering. Classic Looks bar is yyour full-service salon for the entire family.

Temple Fitness 117 S. Sunset #1, Longmont 303-883-1926

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Kahler, Lees and Landers at Re/Max Traditions 303.589.5752 • 303.772.3800 x130 • •

Nature’s Select Super Premium Pet Foods of Northern Colorado offers high-quality all natural holistic cat and dog foods as well as the finest equine fuel available. Canine formulas meet the needs of puppies and active dogs, those requiring joint support, for alleviation of digestive concerns, allergy concerns, as well as a senior or overweight formula. Our Feline Premium recipe will satisfy even the most finicky cat. Our exclusive 100% extruded equine formula is highly digestible. Our food is not only an amazing value for the quality, but we will also save you time and money by delivering right to your door for free. Our products are 100% guaranteed. We serve from Cheyenne, WY to the north, Highway 7 to the south, and most of Boulder. Choose Nature’s Select because we also care about your pet’s good health.

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n i n e m o W Business

Sunday, March 28, 2010 . 49

Longmont Times-Call Community Review

Owner Shirley is a Longmont native

With over 20 years experience in the financial services industry, Pam is celebrating her thirteenth year at St. Vrain Valley Credit Union. Her expertise is in loans with an emphasis on real estate. As the Credit Union’s External Lead Member Advocate, Pam is dedicated to being your trusted financial advocate for all your financial needs.

and, as a cosmetologist for over 30 years, takes great pride in her work and finds it challenging and fulfilling. Mystic Garden strives for a relaxing atmosphere so clients can relieve stress and get the most out of their

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spa experience.

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Owner - In Home Pet Sitting

Internal Lead Member Advocate

Linda Heil, is a Longmont native and owner of Paw Au Pair. Linda’s lifelong love of animals guided her towards creating Paw Au Pair, an in-home pet care service. We provide top-quality care for your pets in the secure familiar environment of their own home. We understand how important it is to find high quality service as well as professionalism. Linda and her staff pride themselves in providing such a service. Whether you need our services for dog walking, pet sitting, trip to the groomers or vet’s office, we can meet your needs. For your peace of mind, Paw Au Pair is bonded and insured, veterinarian recommended and a member of PSI. Linda and her staff truly love what they do and are loved by all their furry four legged clients.


As Internal Lead Member Advocate, Laura understands and recognizes the right products and services to meet the financial needs of St. Vrain Valley Credit Union members. As she enters her ninth year at the Credit Union, she is committed to being a financial advocate for Credit Union members and the community.

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St. Vrain V alley Credit Union

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Making Financial Dreams a Reality ®

Owner. Doctor of Audiology ology Whitney Swander has beenn with the rs since May Hearing HealthCare Centers of 2000, serving as the Director ector of Audiology. Now, Swander has taken ocations, over as owner of the two locations, purchasing the clinic from the previous owner in July of 2008. aring For more than 25 years Hearing ovided HealthCare Centers has provided ology to the latest in hearing technology the Longmont and Boulderr communities. For the past two years, Hearing HealthCare s-Call’s Centers has won the Times-Call’s Reader’s Choice award for best ander Hearing Center, which Swander on of attributes to the satisfaction patient results.

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For 20 years Donna helps businesses increase profits and reduce selling costs by promoting their brand, and identity, to customers, employees, and the community. The size of her business and clout in the industry, has allowed her to develop strategic relationships with the best suppliers to ensure the best price, quality, service, and delivery available. She partners with her clients in promoting their identity and message by learning about their company needs and goals.

Impressions Marketing, Inc. 805 Wade Road., Longmont 303-776-7444 ww


External Lead Member Advocate





50 . Sunday, March 28, 2010

Longmont Times-Call Community Review

TIMELINE OF THE PAST 10 YEARS Horizon Organics is acquired by Dean Foods, which previously had acquired another Boulderbased organic food company, White Wave. July 2003: FRCC opens the doors of its new Longmont campus at 2121 Miller Drive. July 2003: The SEC files suit, claiming two developers of a proposed Dacono outlet mall are running a Ponzi scheme to siphon off $3 million to themselves or their companies. July 2003: A group of Weld County residents living between Longmont and Interstate 25 proposes the creation of a new town, Freedom. A petition for incorporation stalls in court after the city of Longmont said it had begun in February and would continue annexation of a 17-acre piece of property included in Freedom’s proposed boundary.

year-old Weld County woman dies at Longmont United Hospital after contracting the West Nile virus. Her death is the first linked to West Nile in Longmont.

Then-Lt. Gov. Jane Norton speaks in front of the Mainline Toll Plaza during the grand opening of the Northwest Parkway in Broomfield in November 2003. (File) July 11, 2003: The first High Street Concerts season opens in Lyons with a performance by Mollie O’Brien. August 2003: First National Bank of

Longmont, founded in 1871, changes its name to First MainStreet. In 2005 the company merges with Centennial Bank Holdings; in 2007 Centennial Bank Holdings

merges Centennial Bank of the West into Guaranty Bank. In February 2008 all the branches take the Guaranty Bank & Trust name. Aug. 6, 2003: A 69-

Aug. 25, 2003: Superior resident Bonnie Selby gives birth to quintuplets. The community baby shower thrown for Bonnie and Brian Selby attracts 636 well-wishers — and makes it into the Guinness Book of World Records. September 2003: A Woman’s Work, a nonprofit that provides financial assistance to women for transportation, medical needs, child care, housing and other needs, is founded. September 2003: The Software & Information Industry Association announces that for the fourth straight year, the Longmont-Boulder area has the highest concentration of software

workers in the country. October 2003: The number of children being neglected by their methamphetamineaddicted parents reaches an epidemic level in Longmont, the Boulder County Department of Social Services reports. October 18, 2003: The Erie High School girls softball team makes state history. By defeating La Junta in the Class 3A championship game, the Tigers become the first softball program in state history to win four straight titles in one classification. Nov. 4, 2003: Robert Auman, Edwin Smith, John Caldwell and Merrill Bohaning are elected to the SVVSD board. December 2003: WalMart submits plans for a 203,622-square-foot store at Colo. Highway 66 and U.S. Highway 287 in Longmont. Nov. 10, 2003: The Longmont City Council


Spa Manager, Laser Tech ech Meet Julie the spa manager ger as well as the laser tech for Fox Ridge dge Laser & Sink Care. She has been with Dr. Barrett and Fox Ridge Laser & Skin kin Care since the opening of the spa in Aug 2007. Julie has beenn a long time resident of Longmont nt and prides herself connected cted with the community. Calll and to speak with one of our friendly staff members rs to learn about skin rejuvenation, hair removal, al, or any of the other thingss we do at Fox Ridge Laserr & Skin Care. Or visit us att om. Call for a timely appointment ment where the focused is on you.

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to to

sband Dave And that’s what Dawn and her husband he back handling Vaccaro do each day. Dave runs the the kitchen, pricing and supplies, while Dawn is stomer service out in front providing excellent customer as well as handling the books and working with their upbeat, loyal staff -- who shee loves. They all believe that the customers are the boss and they are treated as such. mmed up Dawn’s business philosophy is summed with her “Three C’s”: Customer Service - Cleanliness - Consistency At Red Rooster Restaurant, you’ll always be treated like family. od prepared in a You’ll, enjoy made from scratch food healthy, clean environment. And each time you come, you can depend on ou return the flavor and quality that made you in the first rst pl place ace. place.

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Dawn enthusiastically states that at she was “born in earned the the restaurant business”. Early onn she le learned ng dis ddishes hes andd business by bussing tables, washing wa wat atchi c ng her h learning an excellent work ethic byy w watching parents work hard every day.

Longmont Times-Call Community Review

Sunday, March 28, 2010 . 51

TIMELINE OF THE PAST 10 YEARS approves a citywide smoking ban. December 2003: The Longmont Concert Band is founded. Dec. 31, 2003: Longmont issued 866 residential building permits in 2003.


2004: Community Food Share begins its Feeding Families program. 2004: The Gang Response and Intervention Program, a community task force charged with reducing gang activity in Longmont, is launched. January 2004: Longmont has 31,505 residential utility customers, or households. January 2004: City planners estimate Longmont’s 2003 population was 79,321 people, a 2.6 percent increase. Jan. 12, 2004: A ban on smoking in all of Longmont’s restaurants and bars takes effect. Feb. 4, 2004: Erie voters retain Mayor Barbara Connors and Mayor Pro Tem Paul Carter in a recall election. March 2004: The SVVSD board decides to delay building four schools that were part of the 2002 bond package because the district doesn’t have the funds to operate them. March 12, 2004: Tasha Harris drains a 3-pointer with 8.3 seconds to play, lifting the Skyline High girls basketball team to a 45-43 win over Mullen in the Class 4A state championship game. It is the school’s first girls hoops title. April 2004: Rocky Mountain Christian Church submits to Boulder County its final master plan, which would double the size of its campus. May 2004: Salud Family Health Centers opens its new 17,000-square-foot, $5 million facility at 220

restrooms. Sept. 20, 2004: The Biscuit Day festival is revived in Erie. October 2004: The Longmont City Council approves plans for the Wal-Mart Supercenter at U.S. 287 and Colo. 66. October 2004: DigitalGlobe moves into its new 185,000-square-foot headquarters at the Boulder County Business Center. Oct. 1, 2004: SVVSD enrollment is 21,618 students. Oct. 2, 2004: Popular downtown bar Cheers closes after 22 years of operation. Oct. 23, 2004: Erie High wins its fifth straight Class 3A softball championship, defeating Frederick 8-0. For Frederick, it’s the first state championship game in any sport since 1956. Shoppers try to dodge the rain in front of the new King Soopers grocery store in Firestone in November Oct. 25, 2004: Carbon Valley Medical 2004. (File) Center opens in Firestone. November 2004: E. Rogers Road. also part of the team. submitted to the state. Longmont and Legacy Massachusetts-based April 2004: Roll-O-Rena, July 29, 2004: The Elementary School in May 1, 2004: Residents HRPT Properties Trust Inc. Frederick open. and city officials celebrate the last indoor roller Louisville Police buys the 543,610skating rink in Boulder the grand opening of the Department moves into its September 2004: square-foot Boulder County, closes after 25 district park at Sandstone new $3.5 million police California Actors Theatre County Business Center Ranch, part of the second years. station/courthouse at 992 opens in Longmont. for $38.5 million. May 2004: The phase of development. Via Appia. September 2004: The Nov. 2, 2004: Dacono Longmont Small Business The park covers 125 of August 2004: Storage Longmont City Council voters approve a $3.9 Association is formed. It the 313 acres at Technology Corp. throws a provides seed money to million overhaul of the disbands five years later. Sandstone Ranch. 35th anniversary party for form a visitors association. town’s streets but reject a June 2004: Longmont its 3,000 employees in May 4, 2004: FRCC In November, the related $5.5 million sewer resident Marty Okland Louisville. names Janet Gullickson, Longmont Area Visitors line project. stars on the NBC reality an instructional consultant Association is officially Aug. 14, 2004: A Nov. 2, 2004: By 128 show “Who Wants to for Minnesota State formed. welding accident starts a votes, SVVSD voters reject Marry My Dad?” Colleges and Universities, fire at the not-yet-open a seven-year, $15.34 June 1, 2004: Pam Ford as its new president, to Coal Ridge Middle School, Sept. 15, 2004: Boulder million mill-levy override starts as vice president of start July 2. causing $50,000 of County planning request. FRCC’s Boulder County damage. commissioners Nov. 4 , 2004: Erie campus. Aug. 23, 2004: In a joint recommend that RMCC May 22, 2004: Niwot voters approve the 600June 16, 2004: The meeting, Longmont City High’s baseball team wins SVVSD makes a final be allowed to add onto its acre Erie Corporate Center. Council members tell the Class 4A state school and increase the Nov. 5, 2004: EnCana payment of $418,884 to Weld County championship for the size of its sanctuary, but Energy Resources settles state to close a $4.8 commissioners they’re fourth time in seven years. million loan. that the rest of its plan be its lawsuit against concerned about how The Cougars cap a 25-1 denied. July 2004: The Firestone, filed after the quickly the county’s season with a 9-6 win Sept. 18, 2004: Longmont City Council town refused permission growth is approaching the Longmont celebrates the over Broomfield. approves hiring a to drill three wells in St. city’s boundaries. May 25, 2004: For the grand opening of new consultant for a midtown Vrain Ranch. Aug. 24, 2004: SVVSD third straight season, the soccer and football fields Nov. 10, 2004: A new revitalization study, teachers approve a Skyline girls golf team at Sandstone Ranch. The King Soopers, said to be focusing on the area contract that includes a wins the Class 5A state date marks the completion the largest in Colorado, around Main Street 0.07 percent increase to championship. Senior of Phase 2 of the park, opens in Firestone. between Longs Peak and the base pay and “step Kelly Jacques claims the which includes five Nov. 19, 2004: St. John 17th avenues. raises” for having an individual title for the July 2004: Plans to soccer/multipurpose fields, the Baptist Catholic additional year of second time in three expand Colorado two of which feature lights School opens its new experience. years. Brianne Fowler, Boulevard from south of for night games. Other 7,000-square-foot Rachel Larson and Dacono to Colo. Highway Aug. 26, 2004: Alpine improvements include gymnasium. The $4.2 Stephanie Jennings are 14 near Fort Collins are Elementary School in trails, a trailhead and million project replaces

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Longmont Times-Call Community Review


the old gym, built beside the main school building in 1926, and renovates portions of the antiquated school. Nov. 24, 2004: Firestone pulls its $6,000 in funding from the Tri-Town Senior Center, noting that only four residents are members and only one of those is active. Nov. 29, 2004: Coal Ridge Middle School opens, replacing Frederick Middle School. Dec. 1, 2004: Exempla Good Samaritan Medical Center in Lafayette opens. Dec. 9, 2004: Recognizing southwest Weld County’s rapid growth, the St. Vrain Valley school board redraws its boundaries: District G now represents the Tri-Towns, with Erie spun off into District D. Dec. 11, 2004: EcoCycle’s new drop-off center at 140 Martin St. opens. Dec. 20, 2004: Wind gusts up to 100 mph tear the roof off the Monarch High School gymnasium in Louisville. Dec. 31, 2004: Longmont issued 843 residential building permits in 2004.


January 2005: Longmont has 32,864 residential utility customers, or households. January 2005: City planners estimate Longmont’s 2004 population was 81,169 people, a 2.3 percent increase from the year before. January 2005: The 22year-old Raintree Plaza and Conference Center becomes the Radisson Hotel and Conference Center. Jan. 10, 2005: John Hall steps in as chief of the Erie Police Department. Feb. 1, 2005: Tim Parker is named chief of the Louisville Fire Department. March 9, 2005: The

Keeping busy during winter break, Sean Tilden and his sister Jen volunteer with their mother, Patricia, at Community Food Share in Niwot in December 2005. (File) SVVSD board decides to increase class size by an average of 1.5 students in 2005-06. March 15, 2005: Frederick voters reject a home-rule charter. April 2005: The Inn Between buys an eightunit apartment at 1913 Terry St. April 2005: Circle Capital Partners buys 2 million square feet of commercial/light industrial space from Pratt Properties for $142 million. April 2005: The Longmont stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints opens a new chapel in Frederick. April 23, 2005: Asik’s Meadow, the first off-leash dog park in Firestone, opens. May 2005: Longmont learns that Wal-Mart plans to build a second Supercenter and a Sam’s Club next to Sandstone Ranch. May 2005: Members of the final graduating class of Erie Middle/Senior High

School receive their diplomas. May 17, 2005: Despite losing two players from 2004 to graduation, the Skyline High girls golf team wins its fourth straight Class 5A championship — becoming the first team in state history to accomplish that feat in girls golf. Senior Rachel Larson, a Longmont High student, wins the individual title. The team includes Stephanie Jennings, Katelyn Negrelli and Christa Seitz. May 21, 2005: The Niwot High baseball team wins its second straight Class 4A state title, the girls soccer team defeats Greeley West in the 4A girls soccer semifinals and the track team picks up seven Class 4A state titles, four of them by junior Griffin Matthew. The baseball team, led by star Sean Ratliff, finishes 26-1 and during the season ties the state record for the longest winning streak (45

games). Summer 2005: YMCA summer and vacation day camp opens. June 2005: Sun Microsystems buys Louisville’s StorageTek for $4.1 billion. June 2005: After 54 years in Longmont, Hajek Chevrolet opens a new dealership in the Vista Commercial Center east of the city. June 2005: Amgen celebrates its 25th anniversary with a party at its Longmont facility. June 2005: IBM celebrates the 40th anniversary of the groundbreaking of its Gunbarrel campus. June 7, 2005: The OUR Center adds day shelter services for single homeless adults. July 2005: Louisville is named the fifth-best city in the U.S. to live in by Money magazine. July 22, 2005: Janet Gullickson steps down as president of Front Range Community College. Aug. 4, 2005: Karen

Reinertson, executive director of the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing, is appointed president of FRCC. Aug. 24, 2005: First day of school for the Carbon Valley Academy in Frederick, the first charter school in the Tri-Towns; Flagstaff Academy, a charter school in Longmont; Trail Ridge Middle School in Longmont; and Erie High. September 2005: The St. Vrain Historical Society begins reconstruction of the historic Hoverhome. Sept. 15, 2005: SVVSD officials announce the district finished the fiscal year nearly $4 million in the black. October 2005: The Longmont City Council authorizes spending $65,000 for a retail leakage study. October 2005: SpringHill Suites joins the Courtyard and Residence Inn at the Marriott campus in Longmont, bringing the

number of rooms there to 252. October 2005: Larkridge, at Colo. 7 and Interstate 25, opens its first 500,000 square feet of retail space. October 2005: Susan Allen of Southampton, N.Y., donates $5 million to the Longmont Humane Society to help the nonprofit build a state-ofthe-art facility to replace its aging, overcrowded dome. Oct. 1, 2005: Enrollment in the SVVSD is 22,639 students. Oct. 1, 2005: St. Louis Catholic School in Louisville celebrates 100 years in the community. Oct. 10, 2005: The city holds the grand opening for Rough and Ready Park at 21st Avenue and Alpine Street. The nearly 10-acre park includes a skatepark, basketball courts, a sand volleyball court, bocce ball and horseshoe courts, a play field, a walking labyrinth, a crawdad exploration area, an offleash dog area, two playgrounds, an irrigation pond, restrooms and two shelters. Oct. 22, 2005: the Erie High girls softball team is crowned Class 3A state champs, for the sixth consecutive year. Senior pitcher Holly Jordan strikes out 12 hitters in the 2-0 win over Holy Family. November 2005: Voters in the Longmont Downtown Development Authority’s General Improvement District approve the extension of the LDDA’s tax increment financing until 2012. November 2005: Discount retailer Steve & Barry’s opens a 37,000square-foot store at Twin Peaks Mall, pushing the mall’s occupancy rate to about 90 percent. Nov. 1, 2005: Southwest Weld voters dissolve the Tri-Area Ambulance district, as most of the area is now being served by the Mountain View or the Frederick-Firestone fire

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Longmont Times-Call Community Review

TIMELINE OF THE PAST 10 YEARS district. Nov. 1, 2005: Voters in the SVVSD reject a $17.3 million mill-levy override, 54 percent to 46 percent. School board president Sandi Searls is re-elected. Dori Van Lone and Rod Schmidt are elected to the Board of Education. Nov. 4, 2005: Erie Chamber of Commerce director Tammy Thomas pleads guilty to a count of felony theft. She was accused of stealing $30,000 from the chamber. Nov. 7, 2005: David Strungis, 22, becomes the youngest city councilor in Lafayette history. Nov. 7, 2005: About 1,000 people — the vast majority supporting Rocky Mountain Christian Church’s expansion request — attend the Boulder County Commissioners’ public hearing on the matter. Nov. 8, 2005: Peak to Peak Charter School’s boys soccer team upsets favored Faith Christian 1-0 for the Class 3A state title. December 2005: Phase one of The Crossings at Clover Basin nears completion, at the southwest corner of Clover Basin Drive and Hover Street. Red Robin, Texas Roadhouse and other retailers and restaurants eventually join the development. December 2005: Lowe’s becomes the first store to open in Panattoni Development Co.’s Harvest Junction on the Ken Pratt Extension. The development brings many other retailers new to Longmont, including Panera Bread, Bed Bath & Beyond and Best Buy. December 2005: Seagate announces plans to buy rival Maxtor for $1.9 billion. Dec. 31, 2005: Longmont issued 502 residential building permits in 2005.


2006: The U.S. Census

Dewey Montez greets a neighbor across the parking lot from his apartment at the Walt Self Senior Housing Facility on Railroad Road in Lyons in May 2006. (File) Bureau reports Weld County was the 68thfastest-growing county in the United States from 2000 to 2005. January 2006: WalMart’s 208,515-squarefoot Supercenter opens at Colo. 66 and U.S. 287. January 2006: Omaha, Neb.-based West Corp. buys Intrado for $465 million in cash. January 2006: A small piece of moon rock goes on display as part of “Vance Brand: Ambassador of Exploration,” an exhibit at the Longmont Museum & Cultural Center. January 2006: Longmont has 32,237 residential utility customers, or households. January 2006: City planners estimate Longmont’s 2005 population was up 2 percent to 82,798 people. Jan. 17, 2006: Altona Middle School opens, splitting the middle school

from Silver Creek High. Jan. 17, 2006: During a second public hearing on Rocky Mountain Christian Church’s expansion request, Boulder County commissioners indicate they would deny the request if not for the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act. Jan. 24, 2006: The Carbon Valley Rotary Club is chartered. Jan. 26, 2006: The Boulder County AIDS Project opens an office at 82 21st Ave. in the Powell Building in Longmont. February 2006: Teaching Peace moves into a historic house at 333 Terry St. Feb. 2, 2006: Boulder County commissioners unanimously vote against RMCC’s expansion request and direct the county attorney to request a judgment from a federal judge to see if they

complied with the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act. February 25, 2006: Peak to Peak Charter School’s ice hockey team stuns top-seeded Cheyenne Mountain in a 3-1 decision for the state title. March 2006: The Longmont Area Economic Council, formerly the Economic Development Association of Longmont, turns 25 years old. March 2006: County commissioners file a lawsuit against Rocky Mountain Christian Church in federal court, seeking a declaratory judgment. The church also files a federal lawsuit against the county commissioners, alleging discrimination based on religion and other violations of the First Amendment and RLUIPA. March 8, 2006:

Centaurus High School hoops star Devon Beitzel concludes his prep basketball career as the state scoring leader in all classifications with a 28.5 ppg average for the season. Beitzel finishes among the top 10 all-time career scoring leaders in the state. March 29, 2006: Intercambio de Comunidades — a nonprofit that provides affordable Englishlanguage classes, life skills training and intercultural events — opens a Longmont office. April 2006: Erie voters approve a bond to fund a $16.8 million recreation/community center in town. April 20, 2006: Pam Ford, vice president of Front Range Community College’s Boulder County campus, leaves the school. May 2006: Seagate

announces plans to keep just 25 percent of the employees it got when it bought out Maxtor. That equals about 650 jobs lost in Longmont. May 31, 2006: Longmont High School graduate David Pauley realizes his dream when he makes his major league debut. A pitcher, Pauley starts on the mound for the Boston Red Sox against Toronto. June 11, 2006: Longmont wins designation as an AllAmerica City. June 24, 2006: Longmont Clinic celebrates a century of service with an open house. June 28, 2006: The skatepark and adventure park at Sandstone Ranch open. The third phase of the park includes three new shelters; more parking; more ponds; a new restroom; a 24,000square-foot skatepark; and an adventure playhouse with a rock-climbing wall, and sand and water play areas. July 2006: The 450,000-square-foot former Maxtor building sells to a New York-based real estate investment trust for $60 million. Seagate still holds the lease on the building, which it got when it bought Maxtor. July 2006: Boulder County’s Aging Services Division issues a countywide strategic plan, “Creating Vibrant Communities In Which We All Age Well.” July 2006: New Louisville Public Library opens at 951 Spruce St. July 19, 2006: After more than three years of construction and several false starts, the U.S. Highway 287 Berthoud Parkway opens to drivers. July 29, 2006: Tina Ludutsky-Taylor is named FRCC’s new Boulder County campus vice president. August 2006: The 11-

54 . Sunday, March 28, 2010

acre Blue Skies Park in the Meadow Mountain neighborhood opens. The $1.26 million park includes two shelters, restrooms, a playground, a sports field, a roller hockey court, a basketball court, a sand volleyball court and a dog park. August 2006: The Lafayette City Council adopts a single-hauler trash and recycling program, the first in east Boulder County. August 2006: Fifthgraders at Erie Elementary School are transferred to Erie Middle School to ease overcrowding. Aug. 1, 2006: Regis University opens its School for Professional Studies, 2101 Ken Pratt Blvd., with about 200 students. Aug. 4, 2006: Louisville native Ryan Wilson, 22, dies after being shot by a Taser gun fired by Lafayette police officers following a foot pursuit in a field north of South Boulder Road. Wilson was suspected of growing marijuana in the area.

Longmont Times-Call Community Review

TIMELINE OF THE PAST 10 YEARS only other Jewish organization, the Longmont Shabbat Group. October 2006: The 178,000-square-foot SuperTarget store opens at 551 S. Hover St. October 2006: The 62acre Twenty Ninth Street opens in Boulder on the former grounds of Crossroads Mall. October 2006: Work begins on “Flor del Llano,” the controversial public art sculpture at the city’s eastern gateway. October 2006: A countywide walking program called Weld Walks begins, with residents logging nearly 48,000 miles by Dec. 19. The 354 participants include 102 from the TriTowns. Oct. 1, 2006: Enrollment in the SVVSD reaches 23,281 students.

Oct. 16, 2006: Boulder County Cares starts services for Longmont’s homeless. Oct. 23, 2006: After a two-day delay because of weather, Erie High plays rival Holy Family in the Class 3A softball title September 2006: The game. Winners of six Longmont Senior Center straight championships, marks its 30th Erie can’t make it seven, anniversary. falling 6-0. It’s the only September 2006: time during the decade Practical Christian Living Centers opens The Well, a that Erie failed to win the softball title. center for outreach and October 30, 2006: fellowship. University of Colorado September 2006: JC freshman Nikki Marshall, Penney opens its new 111,000-square-foot store from Mead, is named the Big 12 newcomer of the in the former ShopKo year in women’s soccer. building, more than Earlier, she was named doubling the space it had the Times-Call’s girls at Twin Peaks Mall. Sept. 12, 2006: soccer player of the year Intercambio de for the third time after a Comunidades begins to stellar career at Skyline offer English as a second High. Nov. 5, 2006: Legendary language classes to Niwot coach Bob Bote seniors. Sept. 13, 2006: The resigns after leading the SVVSD board approves Cougars’ baseball team for building the last four 28 years. He compiled a schools that were part of 459-123 record and led the 2002 bond. Niwot to five state titles October 2006: Rabbi and 18 league titles. Yakov Borenstein opens Nov. 6, 2006: A new Chabad Jewish Center in 530,000-square-foot Longmont. It’s not American Furniture affiliated with the city’s Warehouse opens in

Firestone. Nov. 15, 2006: SVVSD’s Randy Zila is name Colorado Superintendent of the Year. Nov. 18, 2006: Heading into this day, the Limon High football team had won three straight Class 1A state titles and a staterecord 50 consecutive games. Lyons puts an end to both streaks with a 2116 win that sends it to the title game, which the Lions lose to Akron. Lyons was also the last team to beat Limon before the 50game win streak began. Nov. 26, 2006: Longmont United Hospital reports it is on track to provide $25 million worth of health care to people who can’t or won’t pay — up from about $21.3 million in 2005. December 2006: Crocs buys Jibbitz, which makes little tokens that go into the holes in Crocs shoes, for $10 million. December 2006: Twin Peaks Mall owner CBL & Associates announces plans for a major makeover of the mall, including construction of a new 14-screen movie theater. Construction is to begin in the summer of 2007. December 2006: Forbes names the LongmontBoulder metropolitan statistical area the smartest in the country, based on the percentage of residents with bachelor ’s degrees or higher. Dec. 9, 2006: Weld Library District officials break ground on the Erie Community Library. Dec. 13, 2006: With all three Tri-Towns as finalists, the SVVSD awards a new elementary school to Firestone. Dacono objects, noting it has no schools within its boundaries, and cancels an agreement that provided the school district with impact fees paid by developers. Dec. 19, 2006: Former Superior Town Administrator Bruce

Sculpture artist Tim Upham of Fort Collins puts the finishing touches on his sculpture titled “These Tribes are Uniting (Coming Together Temporarily)” at Lanyon Park in Longmont in May 2007. (File) Williams is killed in an auto accident. Dec. 31, 2006: Longmont issued 282 residential building permits in 2006.

2007 January 2007: Longmont has 33,170 residential utility customers, or households. January 2007: City planners estimate Longmont’s 2006

population was 84,636 people, a 2.2 percent increase from 2005. January 2007: IBM sells 50 percent of its printing business to Ricoh Co. for $725 million. The deal creates InfoPrint Solutions, which is headquartered at IBM in Gunbarrel. Jan. 1, 2007: After nearly 30 years in Dacono, the Tri-Town Senior Center moves into the Carbon Valley Recreation Center in

Frederick. February 2007: Texasbased Whole Foods announces plans to buy Boulder-based Wild Oats Markets. March 2007: Dillard’s announces plans to consolidate its two stores at Twin Peaks Mall into one, shutting down the store on the southwest corner of the building. March 2007: The Boulder County Business Hall of Fame opens in its

new headquarters at the Radisson Conference Center. March 19, 2007: A federal judge dismisses Boulder County’s lawsuit against Rocky Mountain Christian Church, ruling that the church’s lawsuit is a better way to decide the matter. April 2007: The Well and several local churches form Christian Outreach and Emergency Shelters and begin providing emergency shelter on cold winter nights. May 2007: The Blue Parrot restaurant in Louisville comes under fire after the name of a popular menu item — the Wopburger — draws criticism from patrons. The restaurant retains the burger ’s name, claiming the term “wop” is meant to show affection for Italian heritage. May 2007: The Lafayette Police Department opens its new $6 million station at 451 N. 111th St. May 2007: The SVVSD breaks ground on Black Rock Elementary School in Erie. May 6, 2007: Homeless Outreach Providing Encouragement begins offering year-round street outreach services for Longmont’s homeless. May 17-18, 2007: Silver Creek junior Nick Koerner wins four state titles at the Class 4A state swim meet. Individually, he wins the 50-yard freestyle and 100-yard freestyle. He also helps the Raptors win the 200 medley and 200 relays. May 18-19, 2007: Longmont High School’s track team has a great weekend at the Class 4A state meet. Elizabeth Stover sets the state record in the girls pole vault, while Bethany Praska wins the 400 meters and teams with Sierra Arndt, Melissa Parker and Rachel Antoniak to win the 800 relay. In boys, Matt Butcher wins the 200 and 400.

Longmont Times-Call Community Review

Sunday, March 28, 2010 . 55

TIMELINE OF THE PAST 10 YEARS seats on the Longmont City Council, joining council member Karen Benker in a new majority. Roger Lange is elected mayor. Nov. 27, 2007: The new Longmont City Council votes to open the Longmont Ice Pavilion, after the former council had decided to close it because of budget issues. The rink opens for the season Dec. 22., about a month later than usual. Dec. 1, 2007: Rocky Mountain Urgent Care opens at 1551 Professional Lane, away from Longmont’s “medical row” near Longmont United Hospital. Dec. 1, 2007: Berthoud High’s football team wins the Class 3A state championship with a 2113 win over Falcon, capping a 12-2 season for the Spartans. Jamie Szallar, left, helps Tally Owens clean out the cab of the Owens family's horse truck in May 2008. The semi-truck Dec. 31, 2007: Longmont issued 230 was overturned on the Owens’ property along Weld County Road 44 north of Gilcrest during a tornado. (File) residential building permits in 2007. June 2007: The Council votes to anenx side of town. LifeBridge Christian Oct. 17, 2007: The Longmont Artists’ Guild and zone LifeBridge Church’s 348-acre Mead Rotary Club is celebrates its 50th Christian Church’s 348development in east officially chartered. anniversary. acre Union project. Karen Longmont. January 2008: Oct. 20, 2007: Erie June 6, 2007: Ute Creek Benker is the lone no vote. October 2007: Arsonists Longmont has 33,421 reclaims the top spot in Charter School announces A week later, Longmont burn down the Waneka residential utility Class 3A girls softball, it won’t reopen in the fall. resident and attorney Jen Lake Boathouse in defeating Holy Family 5-2 customers, or households. Gartner meets with about Lafayette. January 2008: City a dozen other residents to Oct. 1, 2007: Enrollment for its seventh state title in planners estimate July 2007: Seagate discuss plans to block the in the SVVSD grows 2.46 eight years. Longmont’s 2007 opens an 82,000-square- approval. Oct. 26, 2007: percent to 23,854 population was 85,762 foot extension at its Longmont United Hospital Aug. 24, 2007: students. people, a 1.3 percent Longmont facility. stops taking referrals for Louisville resident Hilary Oct. 10, 2007: increase from 2006. July 2007: Panattoni its 22-year-old home Cruz is crowned Miss Teen Longmont city clerk Jan. 1, 2008: Beginning Development Co. buys health care program USA. Valeria Skitt announces of the centennial year for Twin Peaks Mall from CBL September 2007: because of financial that petitioners have both Dacono and & Associates for $33 squeezes. California-based Western submitted enough Firestone. million. Digital announces plans signatures to overturn the Jan. 5, 2008: The Erie July 26, 2007: Firestone for a Longmont facility. City Council’s Aug. 14 Community Center opens. withholds $145,000 of November 2007: September 2007: vote on LifeBridge “cash-in-lieu” payments, Longmont voters pass a 2 DigitalGlobe launches its Christian Church’s Jan. 12, 2008: The Erie requested by the St. Vrain WorldView-1 satellite. percent lodger’s tax. development. LifeBridge Community Library opens. November 2007: The Valley School District to September 2007: would later drop its February 2008: Longmont Area Chamber help build what will Germany-based Hochtief ConocoPhillips announces of Commerce turns 120 become Centennial AG buys Longmont-based request to annex into Longmont. its purchase of a 432-acre years old. Elementary. The school Flatiron Construction for Oct. 13, 2007: St. site in Louisville that Nov. 6, 2007: Rick opens in fall 2008. $243 million. Francis of Assisi Roman formerly housed Aug. 8, 2007: The St. Hammans and John StorageTek. It plans to Vrain Valley Education Creighton are elected to September 2007: Planet Catholic Church, formerly Spirit of Peace Catholic develop the company’s Association approves its the SVVSD school board. Bluegrass in Lyons opens Church, moves to a new signature global new contract by the Mike Schiers unseats its new Wildflower 13,000-square-foot space Merrill Bohaning. Bob technology and corporate narrowest margin ever, 54 Pavilion music venue. at 2410 Trade Center Ave. Smith is appointed to fill learning center. Upon Sept. 25, 2007: percent to 46 percent. in Longmont, the first step the vacant District C seat. completion, the site is Residents handed over Starting pay for teachers in a long-term effort to expected to employ 7,000 petitions with more than Nov. 6, 2007: Brian remains at $30,789. Aug. 14, 2007: On a 6people. 6,000 signatures to block build a Roman Catholic Hansen, Sarah Levison Feb. 3, 2008: “Only the 1 vote, the Longmont City Longmont’s annexation of parish on the southwest and Sean McCoy win


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Oldies” show returns to the local KGUD 90.7 FM on Sundays following a brief run in 2005. March 2008: The Bertolin Barn live music and performance facility opens in Longmont. March 3, 2008: The new $9.7 million Carbon Valley Regional Library opens in Firestone, with 16,000 items checked out on the first day. March 14, 2008: Silver Creek’s girls basketball team reaches the Class 4A state championship game, but loses to Broomfield 50-34. It’s the final game in the careers of six Raptor seniors, including five — Danielle Figliola, Erin Gunther, Meghan Heimstra , Jessie Jones and Kramer — who played together since middle school. March 17, 2008: After a five-month process, Firestone trustees approve a master plan that proposes development right up to the Longmont border. The plan touches off a “border war” of annexations and counterannexations between the two municipalities, and lawsuits later in the fall. March 26, 2008: The SVVSD announces it is laying off 85 full-time employees, mostly teachers, to save $4.5 million. March 31, 2008: A federal judge dismisses some of Rocky Mountain Christian Church’s claims against Boulder County, but rules that a jury will have to decide if the commissioners violated the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act and the First Amendment. April 2008: Danish wind energy company Vestas opens its first plant in North America near Windsor. Michigan-based Creative Foam, a Vestas supplier, follows with the opening of a 70,000square-foot Longmont facility in the spring of 2009. April 2008: Oskar Blues

Longmont Times-Call Community Review


Elaine Tangbakken shows off her one-bedroom apartment at The Lodge at Hover Crossing to HUD director Marice Laporte, center, and MBA HUD fellow Abby Haeffner in December 2009. (File) opens its new 35,000square-foot, $3 million brewhouse in Longmont. The facility is 10 times larger than the space it had in Lyons. April 2008: The Lafayette City Council approves plans for the mixed-use commercial development SoLa. April 2008: Safe Shelter of St. Vrain Valley begins offering Teens Ending Relationship Abuse classes at local high schools. May 2008: Longmont Sister Cities cancels an exchange trip to Chino, Japan, after concerns about the spread of swine flu. May 2008: Only 12 percent of ninth-graders in the SVVSD opt out of a sex education class crafted around the district’s 2007 policy that allows a comprehensive health-class curriculum in place of the previous directed-abstinence policy.

May 10, 2008: Niwot High’s girls tennis team wins the Class 4A team championship, while Claire Runge and the No. 3 doubles team take individual state titles. May 12, 2008: Clients of Safe Shelter of St. Vrain Valley move into the new shelter for women and children in abusive situations. For confidentiality, the location is not disclosed. May 12, 2008: LiveWell Longmont launches a survey of 3,000 residents to determine the city’s baseline health level and develop programs based on that information to improve residents’ health. May 16-17, 2008: Longmont’s boys track and field team wins the Class 4A state title, led by Matt Butcher taking home another individual championship. For the Longmont girls, senior Elizabeth Stover wins her third Class 4A state pole vault title and sets an all-

classification state record. May 17, 2008: Silver Creek’s boys swim team wins the school’s first state title — just a few days before the soccer team — in Class 4A, while Nick Koerner takes home the third and fourth individual gold medals of his career. May 20, 2008: In an allarea final, the Silver Creek girls soccer team defeats Niwot 1-0 for the Class 4A state championship. May 22, 2008: Tornadoes hit Weld County, including a milewide one that carves a 35-mile path through Weld County, and a smaller tornado that clips a corner of Dacono. Overall, 80 homes in the county are destroyed, 770 others are damaged and one person is killed, with the biggest devastation occurring in Windsor. May 23, 2008: “Suspenders,” a musical by Lyons residents Debi Stevenson and Nina

Davis, premieres at the Longmont Performing Arts Center. June 25, 2008: SVVSD superintendent Randy Zila announces his retirement at the end of the 2008-09 school year. June 2008: Despite protests from advocates for historic preservation, the facade at Louisville Middle School, built in 1939, undergoes construction and a redesign. June 2008: Karen Reinertson, president of Front Range Community College, retires; and Tina Ludutsky-Taylor, vice president of the Boulder County campus, leaves the college. July 1, 2008: SVVSD teachers receive a 4 percent raise, increasing starting salary to $32,021. August 2008: Butterball, formerly ConAgra and before that Longmont Foods, shuts down slaughtering operations at

its Longmont facility, ending 57 years of the practice. August 2008: The Deli Zone in Longmont begins offering live music in a section of the restaurant called The Zone. August 2008: The Longmont Humane Society finishes construction and moves into its 42,000-squarefoot addition. Aug. 18, 2008: First day of school at Black Rock Elementary in Erie, Centennial Elementary in Firestone, Blue Mountain Elementary in southwest Longmont and Imagine Charter School at Firestone. Aug. 28, 2008: Erie resident Pat Waak, chairwoman of the Colorado Democratic Party, leads the local charge behind presidential candidate Barack Obama’s campaign at the Democratic National Convention in Denver. September 2008: Rocky Mountain Christian Church opens its new Frederick campus. Sept. 26, 2008: Emma Wallingford wins the inaugural Longmont Idol competition. Sept. 30, 2008: In a special election, nearly 60 percent of Firestone voters ask the town to annex the Union project of LifeBridge Christian Church. October 2008: The Lafayette Urban Renewal Authority approves final plans for Festival Plaza, a park on Public Road that includes a performance area and splash ground for children. Oct. 1, 2008: SVVSD enrollment reaches 24,917 students; the Colorado Department of Education says it’s the fourth-fastest-growing school district in Colorado. Oct. 8, 2008: The TriTown Lions put their building up for sale, asking $605,000. It sells for $425,000, and plans are made to turn it into a restaurant. Oct. 18, 2008: The Erie

softball team wins its second straight Class 3A state championship. It is the Tigers' eighth title in nine years and ninth overall. November 2008: Walgreens opens its fifth store in Longmont. Nov. 3, 2008: In federal court, a jury of seven women and two men is seated and the Rocky Mountain Christian Church v. Boulder County Commissioners trial begins. Nov. 4, 2008: Voters approve SVVSD ballot issues: A $16.5 million mill-levy override passes by about 12 percentage points, while a $189 million bond issue passes by about 8 percentage points. Nov. 4, 2008: Colorado voters approve Amendment 50, which raises bet limits and expands casino hours to create a funding stream for community colleges, including the Front Range Community College campus in Longmont. Nov. 14, 2008: The federal trial of Rocky Mountain Christian Church v. Boulder County Commissioners concludes. Nov. 19, 2008: After two days of deliberations, a federal jury decides the Boulder County Commissioners violated the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act but not the U.S. Constitution when they denied Rocky Mountain Christian Church’s 2004 request to double its size. Nov. 29, 2008: The Erie High football team finishes as state runner-up in Class 2A, losing to Olathe 2221 in overtime in the championship game. The Tigers finish with a 12-2 record. December 2008: The online radio station in Lyons, Redstone Radio, launches. December 2008: A leading health care ratings organization names Longmont United Hospital

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Longmont Times-Call Community Review


Berthoud artist Rafe Ropek speaks during the dedication of his work “Spirit of Longmont” in October 2009. The artwork is displayed at the western edge of town along Colo. Highway 119. (File) one of the best in the nation in patient satisfaction. HealthGrades ranks LUH in the top 15 percent. December 2008: Longmont United Hospital debuts its new 16-slice CT scanner, which allows doctors to probe for disease and trauma with unprecedented speed and accuracy. Dec. 5, 2008: Erie celebrates its inaugural Winterfest. Dec. 31, 2008: Longmont issued 158 residential building permits in 2008.

2009 2009: Updated population estimates show Dacono at 4,200, Frederick at 8,247 and Firestone at 9,699. January 2009: Longmont has 33,629 residential utility customers, or households. January 2009: City planners estimate Longmont’s 2008 population was 86,194 people, a 0.5 percent

increase from 2007. January 2009: Oskar Blues announces plans for its first Longmont restaurant, Oskar Blues Home Made Liquids & Solids. Jan. 1, 2009: Superior residents temporarily lose their privileges at the Louisville Public Library after officials from Louisville and Superior fail to reach a use agreement. Jan. 30, 2009: Louisville resident John Breaux, known primarily for his friendly wave and efforts to pick up trash and to recycle in east Boulder County, is killed while collecting trash along U.S. Highway 287 in Lafayette. Nearly 3,000 area residents attend his memorial service. February 2009: Intercambio de Comunidades begins offering one-on-one citizenship classes to help adult immigrants prepare for citizenship exams. February 2009: Mountain States Children’s Home opens its $1.2 million, 10,000-

square-foot Educational and Recreational Center. Feb. 1, 2009: Greenwood Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, which houses and cares for injured and orphaned small wildlife, opens a new facility at 5761 Ute Highway. Feb. 1, 2009: St. Brigit’s Episcopal Church in Frederick holds its first worship service in its new church sanctuary. The congregation had been informally meeting once a month for more than a year. Feb. 2, 2009: The OUR Center moves its Child Care Center to 501 Kimbark St. and begins to use its Infant Center at 309 Atwood St. as its new Warming Center. Feb. 19, 2009: A downtown “vision plan” for Frederick speculates the town could have 80,000 people by 2035. Feb. 21, 2009: Longmont High School senior Ryker Haddock wins the 189-pound championship at the Class 4A state wrestling

tournament. Haddock defeats Windsor’s Kohl Martin 13-5 in the championship match. March 11, 2009: The SVVSD creates three assistant superintendent positions, filling them with one new hire and two promotions. March 21, 2009: Longmont United Hospital celebrates its 50th anniversary. March 25, 2009: The SVVSD Board of Education unanimously selects deputy superintendent Don Haddad to succeed superintendent Randy Zila. March 28, 2009: Salud Family Health Clinics gets $1.1 million in federal economic stimulus money to benefit its clinics, including one in Longmont. March 30, 2009: A federal judge orders the Boulder County Commissioners to approve Rocky Mountain Christian Church’s expansion plans within 45 days. The county’s later appeal of the verdict negates the order. April 30, 2009: Boulder County Commissioners unanimously decide to appeal the jury’s verdict against in the Rocky Mountain Christian Church land-use lawsuit. May 2009: Lehman Communications Corp. opens the new $20 million Lehman Printing Center in Berthoud. The plant had been planned for 10 years. April 2009: The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. takes over Greeley-based New Frontier Bank. The FDIC warned the bank in December to halt its “unsound” business practices. April 23, 2009: The Longmont Children’s Council changes its name to the Wild Plum Center for Young Children and Families. Three months later, the organization receives federal stimulus money to expand services.

May 2009: Vista Ridge Golf Club in Erie changes its name to Colorado National Golf Course and becomes the home course to the University of Colorado golf teams. May 2009: The Muse Gallery introduces its new exhibition space, WestEnd, with the inaugural show “Palettes to Portraits.” May 9, 2009: Niwot senior Molly Joyce wins the No. 2 singles state title at the Class 4A state tournament in Pueblo. Just 7-5 during the regular season, she has a 6-1 record in the postseason. May 15-16, 2009: Several area track athletes take home state titles. In Class 4A, the Silver Creek boys 800-meter relay team are first, while the Berthoud boys 400-meter relay team is victorious. In Class 3A, Lyons’ Rachel Hinker wins the girls 100meter dash and helps the Lions win the 800-meter relay. Also in Class 3A, the Erie girls win the 400meter relay. May 19, 2009: The Skyline girls golf team — Amy Hodgkinson, Gina Larson, Mikayla Tatman and Callie Hodgkinson — claims its fifth Class 5A state championship. May 19, 2009: In girls soccer, the Alexander Dawson squad finishes as state runner-up in Class 3A. The Mustangs lose to St. Mary’s in the finals 21. May 21, 2009: Contract negotiations between the SVVSD and the St. Vrain Valley Education Association break down; both sides declare an impasse. May 30 and 31, 2009: The inaugural Sounds of Lyons music festival takes place in Lyons. June 2009: The city’s first-ever economic development director, Brad Power, assumes his new duties. June 17, 2009: FRCC’s chief academic officer, Andy Dorsey, is named

58 . Sunday, March 28, 2010

the school’s new president, effective July 1. June 20, 2009: The inaugural Carbon Valley Summer Festival opens in Dacono. June 24, 2009: Linda Curran, interim provost for Metropolitan State College of Denver, is named vice president of FRCC’s Boulder County campus. June 25, 2009: The inaugural Downtown Longmont Summer Concert Series opens with Denver blues band The Delta Sonics. July 2009: The Longmont Area Economic Council first proposes the idea of a rail-served business park in the city. It would be the first newly created commercialindustrial park in the city in decades. July 2009: One of Longmont’s newest senior housing communities — the three-story, 42,000square-foot, 50-unit Lodge at Hover Crossing, 2127 18th Ave. — opens to provide housing for lowincome seniors. July 2009: The city of Louisville is named the No. 1 city in the country to live in by Money magazine. The town of Superior ranks 13th on the list. July 5, 2009: Justin Wilson, who lives in Dacono, wins the Indy Racing League’s Camping World Grand Prix. It was the first IRL win for Wilson. July 23, 2009: Imagine! breaks ground on its new Longmont SmartHome at 1608 Otis Drive. July 25, 2009: The new local music festival Jamalama takes place at the Boulder County Fairgrounds. July 21, 2009: Longmont’s sixth fire station, at 1070 Terry St., is dedicated with a “hose uncoupling” ceremony in place of a ribbon cutting. The fire station houses a three-person engine crew, a four-person ladder crew, a two-person ambulance crew and one on-duty

Longmont Times-Call Community Review


John Robinson, an employee at UQM Technologies, works on a Coda motor in December 2009. (File) officer. August 2009: Habitat for Humanity breaks ground on the first home through Apostle’s Build, a program in which 10 local churches partner together to build a home. Aug. 5, 2009: UQM Technologies of Frederick learns it’s getting a $45.1 million stimulus grant to research and build hydroelectric propulsion systems. Aug. 19, 2009: Mead High School opens with more than 300 freshmen and sophomores. Aug. 20, 2009: More than 400 residents pack into the Longmont Recreation Center for U.S. Rep. Betsy Markey’s health care reform listening session. Aug. 29, 2009: The first Longmont Airport Expo takes place at Vance Brand Municipal Airport. Aug. 30, 2009: Rapper Coolio performs at The Zone. Aug. 31, 2009: Attorneys for Boulder County file their appeal of the jury’s verdict and the judge’s order, arguing that the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized

Persons Act is unconstitutional. Aug. 31, 2009: St. Vrain Community Montessori School opens with about 90 students in kindergarten through second grade. September 2009: Longmont’s Art in Public Places program celebrates two milestones: its 20th anniversary and the installation of its 50th work of art. September 2009: FRCC officials finalize a lease to keep the school on Miller Drive until 2020. Sept. 1, 2009: Longmont native Cade Courtley debuts as host of Spike TV’s “Surviving Disaster.” Sept. 12, 2009: A new $1.9 million fire station for the Mountain View Fire Protection District opens in Dacono. Sept. 28, 2009: A 40year-old Longmont woman dies from complications of the H1N1 swine flu virus. October 2009: DigitalGlobe launches its $450 million WorldView2 satellite, doubling the company’s daily imagegathering capability.

Oct. 1, 2009: Enrollment in the SVVSD increases 3.95 percent to 25,902 students. Oct. 6, 2009: Alexander Dawson High School’s Peter Hassan is a surprise winner in the Class 3A state boys golf tournament. During the regionals, he barely qualifies for state, but turns it on at state, winning by one stroke. Oct. 9, 2009: The Friday Longmont life drawing group presents its firstever exhibit, at Muse Gallery, featuring its artists’ nude portraits. Oct. 12, 2009: Oskar Blues Home Made Liquids & Solids opens, featuring a live music venue and a silo painted to look like a beer can. Oct. 23, 2009: The 82acre Bulrush Wetlands Park, a wetland mitigation bank, opens just outside Frederick. Oct. 24, 2009: Once again, the Erie High School softball team rule Class 3A. The Tigers win their third consecutive 3A championship and their 10th in 12 years. It is the final 3A title for the Tigers, who move up to 4A in

2010. Nov. 3, 2009: For the second time in four years, Frederick voters reject home rule, this time with 75 percent of the vote. Nov. 3, 2009: Debbie Lammers and Bob Smith are elected to the SVVSD Board of Education. Incumbents Dori Van Lone and Rod Schmidt, who each ran unopposed, are re-elected. Nov. 3, 2009: Selfproclaimed “dark horse” Bryan Baum unseats Longmont Mayor Roger Lange, and challenger Katie Witt ousts longtime Councilwoman Karen Benker in a landslide for the Ward 2. Councilman Gabe Santos and Alex Sammoury beat out Kaye Fissinger, Bill Van Dusen and Edward Dloughy to win the two at-large council spots. Nov. 4, 2009: Attorneys for Rocky Mountain Christian Church and the U.S. Department of Justice file replies to Boulder County’s appeal, saying the evidence supported the jury’s verdict, so the U.S. Court of Appeals has nothing to decide. Oral arguments are scheduled for March 8, 2010. Nov. 7, 2009: The city opens the new 3-mile stretch of St. Vrain Greenway trail, which extends the Greenway from Colo. 119 to Sandstone Ranch. The St. Vrain Greenway now runs for 8.1 miles, from Sandstone Ranch to Golden Ponds. Nov. 8, 2009: Longmont product Kody Lostroh wraps up the Professional Bull Riders’ season title. It is the first world title for the 24-year-old. Nov. 9, 2009: Dacono Mayor Wade Carlson ends his term and, with it, a 34-year career in public service: 16 as a school board member, eight on the Mountain View fire board, one as a Dacono councilman and nine as mayor. Nov. 12, 2009: The

SVVSD and the teachers’ union agree on a contract that gives teachers a 2.5 percent raise and a 0.5 percent stipend. Base pay for teachers is $32,822, not counting the stipend. Nov. 11, 2009: The Niwot boys soccer team defeats Rock Canyon 1-0 to claim the Class 4A state championship. Santiago Velez scores the only goal in the championship game and finishes with five goals during the playoffs. Nov. 12, 2009: SVVSD superintendent Don Haddad announces that state cuts to education funding are expected to take at least $11 million from the 2010-11 budget. Nov. 14, 2009: The Longmont Symphony Orchestra premieres a work by local 18-year-old composer Yuri Boguinia. Nov. 16, 2009: Access Counseling, a 35-year-old agency that provides lowcost counseling services, closes its Longmont location. December 2009: The Longmont Housing Authority leases 10 apartments to homeless families. Dec. 5, 2009: The Longmont High School football team plays in the Class 4A state championship game for the first time since 1991. The Trojans lose to Heritage 42-28, but finish a remarkable season with an 11-3 record. Dec. 15, 2009: The Longmont City Council instructs its attorney to begin discussions with Firestone on options for settling an annexation lawsuit. Dec. 31, 2009: Longmont issued 63 residential building permits in 2009.


January 2010: City planners estimate Longmont’s 2009 population was 86,303 people, a 0.1 percent increase from 2008. G

Sunday, March 28, 2010 . 59

Longmont Times-Call Community Review

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Longmont Times-Call Community Review




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A decade of change in the St. Vrain Valley

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