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iď Š iď Š fort   c ollins:   a   tale   o f   t wo   c ities zď ş

free  :  a  quarterly  print  supplement  :  summer  2011


zď ş

a  storehouse  of  wonder  :  fort  collins ,  co  :  free


? examining   n orth   a nd   s outh   f ort   c ollins   a nd   t he   g reat   d ivide   :   a rticle   b y   a nne   m acdonald


’m straddling my bike on the railroad island at Drake crossing. I’m torn: half of my body wants to return south—to pay bills, call kids, clean the house, do the laundry, mow the yard; the other half wants to head north and to the Bean Cycle, work through a new short story. What to do? Return to south Fort Collins, to the Pink Floydlike dystopia of comfortable numbness, or north, to that struggling stronghold of foolish, misguided straw-bale vegans? I’m stuck in the netherworld of indecisive soullessness; I live in Fort Collins. Worse than that, I live in south Fort Collins. Worse than that, before kids, I lived in north Fort Collins. I can’t get off this railroad island to save my life.

Rick is a raptor biologist. He commutes to work on his bike, is a professional wildlife photographer, and travels from Mongolia to Montana to save thousands of raptors from a horrible death by utility electrocution. When KH¡VQRWKDQJLQJRXWDW&RRSHUVPLWK¡VGRZQWRZQKH¡VÀVKLQJKLNLQJOHDGLQJ northern Colorado raptor tours, or traveling around the world picking up and counting electrocuted eagles, owls and hawks. Rick is an ecological consultant wedged between the ethos of capitalist America via a successful engineering ÀUPDQGWKHFRGHRI ZLOGOLIHELRORJ\5LFNOLYHVDQGZRUNVLQVRXWK)RUW Collins. His kids have been raised and have moved on, but he has no intention of moving to north Fort Collins. He has a one-hour commute to the airport, an affordable house, friendly neighbors, and he can ride his bike to work. Rick spends no time on railroad islands. There are 69,748 of us south of Drake. Statistically, we’re segmented into Up and Coming Families (24.5% of us) and Ex-urbanites (8.7%). We’re a mix

of Gen Xers and Baby Boomers. Eighty percent of the 26,936 households are families. Most of us live in new singlefamily homes; more than half the housing units were built in the last 10 years. The families play softball at Fossil Ridge Park, take the kids to the zoo during spring break, and visit theme parks in the summer. They rent comedy, family and action/adventure DVDs. They frequent Spooner’s in Front Range Village, Dazbog for informal meetings, and walk or ride bikes to a string of restaurants along Harmony Road. This group listens to country, soft rock and contemporary hit radio. The average age is 34.5. The Ex-urbanites are 45-65 years old, physically active. We boat, hike, kayak, downhill ski, attend live theater. We watch college basketball and professional football at Old Chicago or Jackson’s on Harmony. We not only listen to public radio but we contribute to it, participate in civic activities, serve on committees of local organizations, address public meeting, and help with fundraising. That’s how the national marketers segment us, anyway. Jimena was a single mother and college student when she moved from north to south Fort Collins. To afford a nice place in Old Town or the university area, Jimena would have had to pay $900-$1,200 a month. She found a twobedroom, two-bathroom apartment with a new kitchen and a pool near Trilby for $725 a month. In south Fort Collins, there are 7,370 renter-occupied housing units; in north, there are 16,141. Jimena tells me that she actually enjoyed living in south Fort Collins. She made a trade—giving up the urban atmosphere of Old Town with its shops, coffee houses, restaurants, walking areas, decent bus service and ability to bike around—for affordable housing. South Fort Collins offered her a green EHOWEHKLQGKHUDSDUWPHQWFRPSOH[IRUMRJJLQJWKHIDPLO\ÀOOHG)RVVLO&UHHN continued on page 4


 Farm  to  School

The  Perils  of  Clicktivism

Mall  People

By  C.E.  Greer     pg.  3

By  Maggie  Canty-­Shafer pg.  10

By  Charles  J.  Malone pg.  18

By  Tim  Maddocks pg.  26

agriculture    :    bicycles    :    book  reviews    :    travel  &  adventure    :    photography    :    local  culture  &  activism






june  -­  august  2011

M A T T E R H O R N  exists  because  good  news  exists.  The  good  news  is  that  our  community  changes   constantly.  Our  neighbors  are  innovative  and  creative.  Amidst  the  dynamo  of  Fort  Collins,  we  support   these  forward  thinking  activities,  we  applaud  those  who  earn  it.  We  are  interested  in  good  ideas  paired   with  right  action  wherever  they  occur.   When   necessary   we   also   sound   our   horn   to   call   attention   to   wrongheadedness   and   missed   opportunity.   We   exist   at   a   vibrant   nexus   between   journalism   and   the   literary   arts.   We   believe   in   interviews,  information,  research,  thoughtful  exploration,  and  poetry.   We  aspire  to  do  better,  to  reinvent  ourselves  incessantly.    We're  driven  by  our  community,  we   encourage  everyone  to  participate,  to  think,  to  write,  to  engage  the  issues  at  hand.  We  crave  feedback   and  interaction.

wolverine  farm  publishing ’ s


A  Quarterly  Print  Supplement # 2  summer  2011

managing  editor Charles  J.  Malone online  content Beth  Kopp contributing  writers Anna  Fagre Maggie  Canty-­Shafer Anne  Macdonald Tim  Maddocks Heather  Manier Mary  McHugh  Nick  Newlin poet C.E.  Greer interns Laura  Wilson Abby  Yeagle publisher/designer Todd  Simmons board  of  directors Bryan  Simpson Gary  Wockner special  thanks The  Matter  Bookstore  Volunteers,  The  Bean  Cycle,  Elliott  Johnston,  Laura  Katers,  Foothills  Mall  patrons  and  employees.     The  Fell  Types  used  in  this  newspaper  were  digitally  reproduced  by  Igino  Marini.     Everything  herein  ©  2011  Wolverine  Farm  Publishing.  All  rights  held  by  the  individual  authors  and  artists  unless  otherwise  noted.   Send  monetary  donations,  comments,  questions,  story  pitches,  books    and/or  music  to  review,  agricultural  tools  to  try  out,  bicycles  to  ride,  etc.,  to:   Wolverine  Farm  Publishing,  PO  BOX  814,  Fort  Collins,  CO  80522   Especially  seeking  letters  to  the  editor  .  Please  send  in  by  August  1,  2011.  For  more  info  visit:

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june  -­  august  2011



IN  CASE  OF   GENTRIFICATION: A  Documentation  of  ‘Mall  People’ Article  &  Photographs  by  Tim  Maddocks


%XWDW5HQ]LRV,KHDUDORWRI RWKHUTXHVWLRQVWRR´:KHUH¡VWKHERRN s a child I spent a fair amount of time in malls. I spent hours at a time store? Where’s the knife store? Where’s the Gap? Weren’t they going to put a wandering around the mazes of halls and stores waiting for my mother 'LOODUG¡VLQKHUH"Âľ DQGVLVWHUVWRĂ€QLVKWKHLUVKRSSLQJ,XVXDOO\HQGHGXSLQDWR\VWRUHDUHFRUG 0\IDYRULWHLV´:KDWKDSSHQHGWRWKHPDOO"Âľ store or book store. I perused books and music, eating a pack of Pop Rocks As I began to spend day after day at the mall. A new mall pattern and sipping on an Orange Julius. It wasn’t a bad way to spend a long slow day emerged to me, one I had never noticed before. at the mall. But as I grew up, I became less enchanted with each trip. The controlled DWPRVSKHUHEHFDPHVWLĂ LQJ)URPPDOOWRPDOOSDWWHUQVHPHUJHGWKHVDPH In the mornings I drive to the Foothills Mall, where I work in the food court plastic plants, the same types of fountains, identical kiosks, the same brand selling gyros at Renzios Greek Food. name stores. As I walked around the ceramic-tiled loop and passed by all Foothills Mall is surrounded by half empty strip malls and a confounding of the stores and kiosks it began to feel like I was in some type of a gaudy series of oddly directed drives and empty parking lots. The massive parking contemporary billboard museum. infrastructure suggests that the mall at one time required space for droves of It wasn’t an exclusive feeling towards one mall or another. All indoor commuting shoppers. I drive in through shopping malls have that same television-set In a typical shift I do about two hours of the northeast entrance, marked by a feel to it: the same types of food courts, the vacant youth activity center and an empty same types of departments stores, similar actual work, which is during the brief and gravel lot where there once stood a J.C. tiling, dulcet tones, and elevator music. It’s a Penney. From this entrance I enter into underwhelming lunch rush. The rest of the type of manufactured reality. maze of drives and curbs and empty Over time my trips to the mall were time I fend off the boredom by watching the the parking lots. I blow by all the meaningless reduced to one annual Christmas time visit, my only solace the taste of a delicious peculiar habits and patterns of the mall people. stop signs and park just past the vacant Mervyn’s department store. Orange Julius beverage. (I usually order the On my way in, like clockwork, I see Phil getting off the bus stop right VWUDZEHUU\Ă DYRU  in front of the food court. He’s one of the many ‘mall people’ I’ve grown So last fall when I had the opportunity to move up in the world of food accustomed to seeing. Mall people are the folks who come to the mall with service and earn a dollar-an-hour raise I grudgingly accepted a job at the remarkable regularity, but are in no way required to do so. IRRGFRXUWLQWKHPDOO,KDGEULHĂ \ZRUNHGWKHUHĂ€YH\HDUVDJRVR,NQHZWKH Now that the mall is a mausoleum, the mall people have risen to the owners and how the store operated. I thought I knew what to expect. forefront. Some don’t make it in every day, but mall people are a persistent When I went in to talk to the owner about scheduling my shifts at the bunch and most of these folks I see at least every other day. QHZMRE,ZDVVXUSULVHGWRĂ€QG2UDQJH-XOLXVVWDQGLQJGDUNDQGGRUPDQWLQ Phil, however, is an everyday guy. As I’m parking I usually see him the corner of the food court. Unlike other vacant mall stores, it couldn’t even trudging towards the mall from the bus stop. He’s a more-than-six-foot-tall hide behind closed doors. giant of a man with a rosy complexion and auburn-red hair that protrudes 0\Ă€UVWTXHVWLRQWRP\ERVVZDV´:KDWKDSSHQHGWR2UDQJH-XOLXV"Âľ from beneath his ball cap. Every day he wears a different ball cap which he +HTXLFNO\GLVPLVVHG´,W¡VJRQHPDQÂľ rotates in colors from red to white to blue to green. He wears his hat with the As I started working I quickly learned why he was so dismissive. rim pulled so far down over his eyes that he can barely see. When he walks he With our shop right next to the former Orange Julius, people felt has to lift his head high toward the sky to give his eyes a slit to see through, compelled to ask us about it. but his eyes focus downward in an attempt to view sure footing. ´:K\GLGWKH\OHDYH"ÂľWKH\DVNHG,KHDUGLWHYHU\GD\(YHQWXDOO\D The way he wears his hat causes him to constantly strain to see where popcorn stand took its place, and the empty corner wasn’t there to prompt the question as often. continued on page 10

in-­depth  look:  foothills  mall  




continued from front page

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Park for her and her son, and easy access to her son’s school. Though Jimena and her new husband, Ernesto, now live in the university area, they still make weekend outings to Front Range Village on Harmony--Council Tree Library, Panera’s, Super Target, and an ice cream for her son at Spooner’s. North of Drake? There are 78,730 of you. Your median age is 28. Twentythree percent are College Town types, 13% are Dorms to Diplomas. You’re focused on your education and expect to stick around town after graduation. Fiftynine percent of the College Town and Dorms to Diplomas are enrolled in college or graduate school. Most of you work part time. Those who are full-time, work in the service industry, holding on- and off-campus jobs in educational services, health care, and food preparation. College Town and Dorms to Diplomas residents attend rock concerts, college basketball and football games, play pool, and go to movies and bars, most likely Town Pump, New Belgium, Odell’s and Road 34. You listen to alternative music, tune into public radio, and watch Comedy Central, shop at discount stores but prefer to buy branded clothes from Old Navy, Gap. According to the national marketers, you love Super Target. There are more Republicans registered in south Fort Collins than north Fort Collins, but only by 2% (30% Democrat; 32% Republican). In north Fort Collins, there are 11,493 registered Democrats and 6,588 registered Republicans (36% vs. 21%). Independents out-register Democrats and Republicans in both the north and the south. Forty-three percent of the registered voters in north Fort Collins are Independents, 38% in the south. Are we all stuck on that railroad island? Are we two communities occupying one bi-polar frame of mind? Or, are we one community stuck in a celebrated dissection of differences? What is south Fort Collins, anyway? What is it like to live there? Who lives there? Is it just a funny place with weird people? Or, a peculiar place with uninspiring routines? Is there any there there? Fort Collins people must be agile, innovative, and creative to thrive here. The City cites an innovation economy as a Fort Collins indicator, an economy that sets new standards for agriculture, education and community building. In 2009, 427 patents were registered to resident researchers, scientists and entrepreneurs, more patents per capita than anywhere in the world. We are a clean energy community, a magnet of research labs, an epicenter for UHQHZDEOHHQHUJ\HIÀFLHQWHQHUJ\WHFKQRORJ\JUHHQEXLOGLQJVWUDWHJLHVDQG energy best use practices. I’m inside O’Dell’s Tap Room on a rainy Wednesday afternooon. It is surprisingly packed with an after-work crowd. The odor from wet coats, tired sweat and ale taps smells like an old-guy Glasgow pub, right here in Fort Collins. We’re on our third day of rain, and we’re resorting to life as east-side Glaswegians. I’m here to meet with a group of young environmental professionals, that agile, innovative, creative type that inhabits Fort Collins. Why did they FKRRVHWROLYHZKHUHWKH\OLYH":KHUHGRWKH\ÀWLQWRWKHQRUWKVRXWK dichotomy?

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Nick, a twenty-something Minnesota transplant, works as an air quality engineer, a professional who works with industry and government to obtain air quality emission permits required by those spiky, angry, sometimes contradictory things we call EPA regulations Nick lives in north Fort Collins. For Nick, south Fort Collins is a different cultureâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;a subconscious sense of GLIIHUHQWEXWGLIIHUHQWQRQHWKHOHVV´,W¡VMXVWEODQGGRZQWKHUHÂľKHVD\V'RHV he see Fort Collins as one or two separate communities? Just one. Nick soon discovers that weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve set up a tab in this tap room. North/ south discussion? Done. Nick heads for the bar. Chuck is also an air quality engineer, originally from Oklahoma, but arrived in Fort Collins nine years ago via North Carolina. Chuck, like Nick, lives in north Fort Collins. He wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t consider moving south. South Fort Collins is where his brother and his family would live, full of soccer moms, WUDIĂ&#x20AC;FDNLGDWPRVSKHUHVSUDZO7KHGLIIHUHQFHLVPRVWQRWLFHDEOHGXULQJ election seasonâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;more Republican signs in the south, more Democratic signs in the north. Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll stay north, thank you very much. Chuck eyes the tabbed tap. Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s out of here. These air quality specialists can tell you: Air pollution is most poisonous on commuter roadways. There, carbon monoxide, particulates, and nitrogen oxide become a witchâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s brew of lethal air that will eventually kill all of us. <RXVKRXOGQ¡WGRDQ\WKLQJWKDW´HPLWVYRODWLOHRUJDQLFFRPSRXQGVÂľLQWKH PRUQLQJV7KHDLULQ)RUW&ROOLQVLV´QRQDWWDLQPHQWÂľDQGGRHVQ¡WPHHW WKHQHZR]RQHVWDQGDUGV7KDWLVGRQ¡WSDLQW\RXUKRXVHĂ&#x20AC;OO\RXUJDVWDQN or mow your lawn in the morning. Those volatile organic compounds act as a precursor for ozone later in the day. These guys love roundabouts. 5RXQGDERXWVLPSURYHDLUTXDOLW\VWRSDQGJRWUDIĂ&#x20AC;FSROOXWHVWKHDLU Todd and his wife, Caroline, join me. Todd is an air quality compliance specialist and Caroline is a veterinarian. They live in north Fort Collins, but use south Fort Collins unashamedly for destination shopping, especially Super Target. Everyone loves Super Target; itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s like in Fort Collins, the north is for biking and walking, restaurants and coffee houses. South Fort Collins is for Super Target. Caroline tells me that Fort Collins is one community, a community with both an environmental conscious, and a live-local consciousness. From local beers to local business ownership, local farm CSAs to locally-roasted coffee, ´OLYHORFDOVHHPVWRKROGWKHFRPPXQLW\WRJHWKHUÂľ  7KRXJK7RGGDJUHHVRQWKH´ORFDOÂľDVSHFWRI )RUW&ROOLQVDVDWKUHDG that brings the community together, the real glue is the music scene, he says. Todd belongs to a band, the Arrhythmics, made up of four veterinarians, a lawyer and Todd. Todd suggests that if Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m looking for something interesting about south Fort Collins, something that balances it with north Fort Collins, I should visit Spotlight Music. Spotlight Music is a gathering spot for local bands. It adds uniqueness to south Fort Collins.  .LSDQDWPRVSKHULFFKHPLVWDJUHHV´)RUW&ROOLQVLVDOODERXWEHHUELNHV DQGEDQGVÂľ.LSKDVEHHQLQ)RUW&ROOLQVIRUDERXWWHQ\HDUV+HFRPPXWHV to work on his bike, and in his spare time he works with 6SRNHV%8==LVDQRQSURĂ&#x20AC;WGHGLFDWHGWRIRVWHULQJDQGSURPRWLQJ)RUW Collins bands nationally; assisting artists with promotions and high-visibility

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gigs. Last year, they raised enough money to send eight bands to the South by Southwest Festival in Austin. But wait. This isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t working. Everyone here is from north Fort Collins. Where is the south contingent? They promised me half north and half south. My goal here is to show that south Fort Collins is full of normal, north-type people, with the same values and priorities. Kenny steps in. Kenny is an air quality technical engineer who has lived and raised his family in south Fort Collins for eighteen years. Kenny uses Fort Collins as one communityâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;Old Town for wandering; south side for GHVWLQDWLRQVKRSSLQJ´)RUW&ROOLQVLVVHWXSIRUSHRSOHZKROLNHWKHRXWGRRUV who enjoy wandering and gathering in the older area, jogging, riding bikes on the bike paths and trails, and a community with a unique and tolerant DWWLWXGHÂľ+HOLNHVOLYLQJLQWKHVRXWK´,W¡VYHU\IULHQGO\LQVRXWK)RUW&ROOLQVÂľ The rest of the south contingent? Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m told they all (blandly) went home after workâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re the ones married with the 2.5 children. Exceptâ&#x20AC;Śthe average size of a family in south Fort Collins is 3.08, in north Fort Collins, 2.81. Crossing the Horsetooth and Drake arterials on the Power Trail is more frightening than listening to a love song by the Poguesâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;you want to do it, but itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s scary and cring-y and you hope it doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t last very long. There are hundreds of us in southeast Fort Collins who commute to work using the north/south Power Trail, crossing Horsetooth, crossing Drake, crossing Harmony. Hundreds of high school students also use it, heading to Fort Collins High, or south, to Cinemark, Cold Stone, or Preston. The impression by those of us living in south Fort Collins is that weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been cheated when it comes to bike trails. Oh, sure, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got the deathdefying, Darwinian-selection bike lanes on each arterial, but these are the private purview of forty-something male vehicular bike commuters. The rest of us have the City-required Home Owners Associationsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; walking paths, which may or may not lead to anywhere useful. When all is said and done, ELNLQJWRDQ\ZKHUHVLJQLĂ&#x20AC;FDQWRUXVHIXOLQVRXWK)RUW&ROOLQVLVDKDUGIRXJKW pissed-off experience. D.K. is the Fort Collins bike coordinator. D.K. is an easy-going, Fort Collins guyâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;tall, healthy-looking, bike-coordinator type. Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been in Fort Collins since 1996, and as the City bike coordinator, is working hard to change both the perception and the reality of the south area bike culture. I dash through the rain on my lunch hour to meet D.K. at the Bean Cycle. Anticipating my questions, D.K. tells me right away that there are actually more miles of bike trails and paths in the south than in the north, not even counting the arterial bike lanes. He tells me that new developments are required to provide bike lanes that connect neighborhoods to activity centers, and in parking lots, to provide 5% of the total car parking spaces for bikes. 1RUWK)RUW&ROOLQVLVDOODERXWHQJLQHHULQJDQGUHWURĂ&#x20AC;WWLQJKHWHOOVPH6RXWK Fort Collins is all about encouraging a bike culture and connectivity. When I whine about the lack of connectivity among the bike paths and WUDLOVLQWKHVRXWKDUHD'.HVVHQWLDOO\WHOOVPHĂ&#x20AC;UVWVWRSZKLQLQJWKHSDWKV trails and underpasses will come. Secondly, a bike path or trail costs about

june  -­  august  2011


$450,000 per mile. They are funded by GoCo grants and one-quarter cent tax for natural areas. There is a lot of maneuvering and politicking getting them in place. D.K. opens a Fort Collins bike map and spreads it across the table. He points out the number and length of the south area bike trails already in place and those in the planning stages. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m actually surprised by the number: Power Trail from Edora to Kruse Elementary; Battlecreek to Trilby, with plans to continue to Fossil Creek Regional Openspace, and a planned east path connecting Bacon Elementary to Kinard and Zach Elementary. Other paths include a southwest Fossil Creek Drive connection to Fossil Creek Trail in the Cathy Fromme Natural Area. But, I still want underpasses on the Power Trail at Drake and at Horsetooth. And, what about crossing Timberline? Every path/trail heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s pointed out crosses Harmony, Timberline, Shields, and/or Trilby, and no underpasses are indicated. He circles the trouble spots, explaining that many of them are already in the Cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Master Plan, shovel-ready and just need dedicated funding. We have a disagreement over those arterials again. D.K. contends that ´EHJLQQHUVDQGIDPLO\ULGHUVÂľMXVWQHHGWROHDUQWKHVDIHW\LVVXHVJHWVRPH training and get on those arterials. I suggest that we, in the south area, are QRWUHDOO\´EHJLQQHUVDQGIDPLO\ULGHUVÂľ,QIDFWLQP\OLIH,¡YHFRPPXWHG from Berkeley to Oakland on my bike, ridden from Pasadena to Huntington Beach on my bike. I still wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t ride on Harmony or on Timberline. Drivers DUHSXWWLQJRQPDNHXSWDONLQJRQFHOOSKRQHVVKXIĂ LQJWKHLUL3RGVDOOZKLOH theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re driving to and from work. Drivers are scary people in charge of a OHWKDOZHDSRQ%HVLGHV,WHOO'.WKRVHDUWHULDOVDUHUHDOO\JHQGHUVSHFLĂ&#x20AC;F Nationwide, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s two-to-one males over females riding on arterials. I whine more: Crash statistics about major highway bike lanes are skewed because the same thirty experienced vehicular bike guys ride on them over and over again, all around the world. In any case, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m glad D.K. is our bike coordinator. His goal, he tells PHLVWRPDNH)RUW&ROOLQVWKHQH[W´'XWFKÂľELNHWRZQ,OLNHWKDW,¡OOVWRS whining now. Carson and Heather live in southwest Fort Collins. As far as I know, they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t whine about anything. Carson is an IT manager for the Library District, and Heather is a jewelry artisan who sells her art in stores and galleries in New York and San Diego. They have two young children, attend Faith Evangelical Christian Church, and moved to the southwest area for a larger house at a good price; Heather needed room for her in-home business. Carson commutes to work on his bike. He considers our bikes our ´PRGHUQVWHHGVÂľWKH\JHWXVZKHUHZHZDQWWRJRWKH\OHWXVZDQGHUURDP the town as we wish. Carson, like many of the south area residents I spoke with, would like to see east/west bike trails (not just arterial bike lanes); north/south bike trails to make commuting a way of life for everyone. Carson and Heather consider themselves environmentally aware in the tradition of the westâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;making sure the environment is not mis-used or wasted, that we IXOĂ&#x20AC;OORXUREOLJDWLRQWRSUHVHUYHDQGSURWHFWDQGDSSUHFLDWHLWWRNHHSRXU values unpretentious, self-aware. This, above all else, is the glue that holds Fort Collins as one community. Oh, and the music scene.

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Carson, like many of the Fort Collins types Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve met, has a band. Edgewater Juke is made up of six tech-type guys. They perform throughout the community. Most recently, Edgewater Juke performed at the Earth Day celebrations and at Spotlight Music. Carson tells me to check out Spotlight Music Store if I want to understand south Fort Collins. When you walk into Spotlight Music, you become a better person. No matter how we describe ourselves politically or divide ourselves socially, America is a country of music. Jazz is our wholly-owned invention, blues came from jazz, rock and roll came from blues, and Spotlight Music Store came from rock and roll. The three and a half days of predicted rain is down to its last half-day. I rush across the parking lot. Another Glasgow scent: morning grass mixed with the odor of moisture-studded tar and concrete. Inside Spotlight Music, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m greeted by Jen Curci, who, along with her husband, Rob, and his parents, Joann and Bob Curci, own Spotlight Music 6WRUH-HQLVDQXQSUHWHQWLRXVIULHQGO\VHUHQHO\LQWHQVLYHIRUPHUĂ&#x20AC;IWK grade teacher, who, right off, tells me she never in her life expected to run a business, any business, any where. But here she isâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;her whole life, her whole family is now this business, and she loves it, and sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s proud of it.  ´,W¡VDOODERXWWKHPXVLFÂľ-HQWHOOVPH´7KDW¡VRXUPLVVLRQWRVXSSRUW PXVLFDQGPXVLFLDQVÂľ:H¡UHVLWWLQJDWDVPDOOWDEOHLQIURQWRI DWZHQW\ foot performance stage. Any band or singer-songwriter can perform on the Spotlight Music Store stage, no cost, no fee, no charge. They just have to ERRNWKURXJKWKHZHEVLWHRUFRQWDFW-HQDWWKHVWRUH´0XVLFLDQVFRPHWR hang out, support each other. The community supports musicians. Everyone JURZVWRJHWKHUÂľ  7KHVWRUHRIIHUVRYHUĂ&#x20AC;YHKXQGUHGPXVLFOHVVRQVDZHHNZLWKHOHYHQ studios and twenty instructors. There is a keyboard sales room, a percussion room, an acoustic guitar room, where Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m struck by the gilded tranquility of hundreds of acoustic guitars and ukuleles hanging from the walls, ceiling and pillars--a rich and mellow abundance of potential sound. When I ask why they chose south Fort Collins, Jen says that Old Town was never considered. Spotlight Music Store is a serious band store, where performers might just want to run in to pick up strings. They need easy parking. This does not lend itself to Old Town, with parking problems, noise, WUDIĂ&#x20AC;FDQGRWKHUGLVWUDFWLRQV Each year in September, Spotlight Music holds an all day music festival. They build a stage, choose the bands to perform, and let attendees either buy a ticket, bring a canned good for the Larimer County Food Bank, or make a donation to the American Red Cross Northern Colorado Chapter. . Spotlight Music Store is the largest guitar store in Colorado. But itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s much more than a guitar store. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a family business. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a performance venue. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a cafĂŠ. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a musicianâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hangout. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a center for music lessons. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s HYHU\WKLQJ\RXZRXOGZDQWDPXVLFVWRUHWREH$QGLWH[HPSOLĂ&#x20AC;HVVRXWK)RUW Collins in 16,000 square feet. Susan is an American Indian, who lives and raised two sons in south Fort Collins with her biologist husband. Susan is a writer and research specialist on American Indian adoptees during the Eisenhower era, of which she was one. She currently works as a research associate at CSUâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Tri-ethnic Center. Susanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s book, Mixing Cultural Identities through Transracial Adoption: Outcomes of the Indian Adoption Project (1958-1967), came to the attention of Peter Gutowski, a playwright and owner of Germanyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Theater Hitenlinks, a mid-size theater that focuses on plays dealing with social issues and social justice. Peter had written a play on American Indians and the effects of colonization from 1600 to the present, a counter-narrative to the Germansâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; romantic notion of American Indian life. At his invitation, Susan spent nearly two weeks in Krefeld, Germany, leading discussions for adults, answering questions about her own experience, and for the school children performances, she attempted to break down myths of the American Indians. I meet with Susan at Jacksonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Sports Bar in south Fort Collins on a rainy Sunday afternoon. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s unusually quiet in Jacksonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s today. A scattering of families and several couples occupy the cavernous sport bar. Over a local brew, I ask Susan her impressions of Fort Collins, especially

south Fort Collins. Susan values the sense of community throughout Fort &ROOLQV´(YHQWKRXJKWKHWRZQLVSHRSOHWKHFKDQFHVRI JRLQJ GRZQWRZQDQGVHHLQJVRPHRQH\RXNQRZLVSUHWW\KLJKÂľ7KHUHLVDOVRDQ environmental ethos that threads its way throughout Fort Collins, north and VRXWK´$Q\RQHFDQULGHWKHZHOOPDLQWDLQHGELNHSDWKVZDONWKHWUDLOVRI WKH city open areas, participate in the Gardens at Spring Creek, shop at sustainable local marketsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;all of this promotes a sense of place that everyone can SDUWLFLSDWHLQÂľ This south part of Fort Collin sometimes feels vast. Sometimes, I pull out of my driveway, head down Caribou and see the horsetooth gap against the blue VN\:KHQ\RXĂ \RYHUWKLVVRXWKDUHDKHDGLQJQRUWKZHVWWKHDUHDDSSHDUVDV a checker-board pattern; devoid of trees, twisted with hollow roads, splattered with well-set cookie-cutter homes. Stereotypically, on cold misty autumn GD\VWKRXVDQGVRI VRFFHUPRPVDQGGDGVĂ&#x20AC;OOWKHSDUNVDQGJUHHQDUHDVZLWK their K-6 kids, catching the crisp air between shouts of encouragement (or just shouts). In spring the same parks are full of softball moms and dads, practicing their own games. Periodically, I see a group of Southeast Asians playing cricket. The Balloon Boy lived in south Fort Collins. Once a single-engine private plane crashed two blocks from hereâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;three dozen ten-year-old boys descended on that twisted bit of burned metal in a whoosh pure as pistons shooting out of an engine. Fossil Ridge High School is in south Fort Collins. Fossil Ridge is the newest high school in the Poudre School District. The building is a LEED HQHUJ\HIĂ&#x20AC;FLHQWDZDUGZLQQLQJIDFLOLW\ZKLFKLVDLU\EULJKWDQGVSDFLRXV 7KHNLGVH[FHOLQVSRUWVPDNLQJLWWRWKH$VWDWHVHPLĂ&#x20AC;QDOVZLQQLQJWHQQLV swimming, and golf tournaments. Six years ago, the Fossil Ridge Marching Band started with 75 reluctant and untrained students, the smallest marching EDQGLQWKHUHJLRQDQGWKHRQO\RQHLQ3RXGUH6FKRRO'LVWULFW7KDWĂ&#x20AC;UVW \HDUWKH\PDGHLWWRWKHVWDWHĂ&#x20AC;QDOVRQO\WREHVZDOORZHGXSE\WKHPDVVLYH FRPSHWLWLRQĂ&#x20AC;HOGDQGWKHPRUHH[SHULHQFHGEDQGV6LQFHWKHQWKH)RVVLO Ridge Marching Band is a major player in the 5A league. When the City conducted a branding process several years ago, friendly was a key indicator of how visitors saw Fort Collins, and how Fort Collins residents saw themselves. Visitors rated friendly as the number one value that came to mind when they experienced Fort Collins. Fort Collins residents themselves rated friendly second, after an education hub and before excellent quality of life. When asked how Fort Collins differs from the rest of Colorado, both visitor and resident cited strong sense of community. Community development cannot just concentrate on growth in income and jobs. There needs to be a higher process that improves the opportunities and quality of life for people. People-based communities are successful communities. People are the real assets, the primary building blocks of a VXVWDLQDEOHFRPPXQLW\:HVKRXOGDOOUHIXVHWREHGHĂ&#x20AC;QHGDQ\ORQJHUE\ RXUGHĂ&#x20AC;FLHQFLHVE\W\SHFDVWLQJ,QVWHDGZHVKRXOGGHĂ&#x20AC;QHRXUVHOYHVE\ our recognized and unrecognized resourcesâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;our neighborhoods, our environment, our past times, our commitments, our priorities. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m back at that railroad island at Drake crossing. My personal hell of schizoid tendencies has lessened a bit. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m reminded of the highway signs we run across in Scotland: Change Priorities. Perhaps, these signs should be scattered about Fort Collins. They should read, Keep Those Priorities Changing. Al and Janeen moved to Fort Collins over thirty years ago. Before kids, they lived in the north, with kids they moved to the south, once the kids were grown, they moved to Old Town. Al tells me that if I really want to know the difference between north Fort Collins and south Fort Collins, get my car ZDVKHG´)RUWZHQW\\HDUV,VSHQWWZREXFNVZDVKLQJP\FDUGRZQWKHUH 1RZXSKHUH,WKURZLQDTXDUWHUDQG,JHWMXVWDVJRRGDZDVKÂľ $QQH0DFGRQDOGOLYHVDQGZULWHVKHUQRQĂ&#x20AC;FWLRQLQVRXWK)RUW&ROOLQV6KHZRUNVDQG ZULWHVKHUĂ&#x20AC;FWLRQLQQRUWK)RUW&ROOLQV

cover  story








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june  -­  august  2011



Packing House, January C.E. Greer Forty big trucks idle in line beside the highway at a spreading concrete edge of the small cityâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;




 Sentinels C.E.  Greer

blocky outlines self-lit, chugging fumy vapors into hard cold under small starsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;gathered here

We couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t feel the cactus sticking our palms and piercing denim to bellies and thighs until after we lay there,

after racing their disparate miles across plains, waiting their turns to enter and back at one of the yawning docks,

FKLQVĂ&#x20AC;VWEUDFHGRQĂ&#x20AC;UPSRZGHUHGHDUWK H\HVĂ&#x20AC;[HGXSWKURXJKVSDUHJUDVVVWHPV at two young antelope suddenly appeared on the close, bright crest.

WKHQLQDPXIĂ HGVWDPSHGH RIĂ RDGWKHVHVKDSHVYLVLEOH through trailer slots: ear, haunch, shoulder of animals shifting little,

2QHEXFNSURĂ&#x20AC;OHGDJDLQVWFOHDQEOXH searched downwind where grazing would take the herd

conditioned to the crowded suspension between life phasesâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; summer pasture to winterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, to sale yard, feed lot, and now

while the other swept meticulous gaze unblinking through morning glare, stopping hard on the strange, prone pair of forms which would not move

waiting again for relief from thirst and hunger, sway and motor roarâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;while across the great complex

through all that moment of only sun and wind on undulating land, only the bright tan and white daggered neck pattern, wrought obsidian horns and high black eyes set so wideâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;

sixty men in a loose crowd stretch, exhale deeply, amble with hands in jacket pockets, hard hats tilted back, wait with thoughts, I suppose, of bars or bedrooms when the shift is done, household chores or shopping when next the night is gone, until a bell draws them back inside, and strapping on aprons they take up tools LQWKHKXPRI WKHJOHDPLQJHIĂ&#x20AC;FLHQW cavern of their work.

all perfectly made, OLNHĂ HHWQHVVLWVHOIDQGZDULQHVV of that moment on those plains.

C. E. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Charlieâ&#x20AC;? Greer spent his childhood in the Fort Collins area, including Rist Canyon DQGWKHXSSHU%XFNKRUQ&DQ\RQDQGQRZOLYHVZLWKZLIH6XH DOVRD/DPENLQ KRUVHVDQG dogs near Wellington.

June  27th,  7:30pm   Frank  O'Hara  Discussion now accepting nominations for

fort collins poet laureate

August  29th,  7:30pm     Wendell  Berry  Discussion

To  nominate  someone  to  be  the  2012  Fort  Collins  Poet   Laureate,  please  send  in  one  of  their  poems   and  the  following  information:  

October  24th,  7:30pm     The  Bell  Jar   and  poetry  by  Sylvia  Plath

1.  Poetâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s  Name  &  Contact  Information 2.  Does  this  poet  currently  reside  in  the  city  of  Fort  Collins? 3.  Would  this  poet  want  to  be  Poet  Laureate,  with  some   degree  of  service  to  the  community  part  of  the  honor?  (The   type  of  service  would  be  decided  upon  by  the  poet.)   4.  Why  should  this  poet  be  the  Poet  Laureate  for  Fort   Collins?

Please  check  for   full  event  list  and  specific  information.  

Include  one  sample  poem  and  mail  to:  WFP,  PO  BOX  814,   FORT  COLLINS,  CO  80522,  o n  o r  b e f o r e  No v e m b e r  1 s t ,   20 11.

144  N.  College  Avenue  :  Fort  Collins,  CO Inside  the  Bean  Cycle  :  970.472.4284




Save water, save rivers 1.  In  the  house:    Buy  a  water  saving  washing  machine,  dishwasher,  and  toilet. 2.  In  the  yard  and  garden:    Xeriscape  your  yard,   and  water  grass  and  garden  only  as  needed. 3.  In  the  kitchen:  Use  the  dishwasher  only  when  full,   DQG¿[GULSSLQJIDXFHWV

The   Cache   la   Poudre   River   is   one   of   the   most   endangered   rivers   in   America!     2011   will   be   a   huge   year   for   Save   the   Poudre’s   efforts   to   protect   and   restore   this   wonderful   river.     Four   proposed   dam   and   reservoir   projects   will   release   Environmental   Impact   Statements   in   the   next   18   months   with   thousands   of   pages   of   technical   documents   for   public   review.     Save   the   Poudre   is   gearing   up   for   the   scientific   and   legal   fight   to   keep   this   river   alive   for   generations   to   come.     We’ve   made   huge   progress   so   far—not   one   ounce   of   cement   has   yet   been   poured   in   the   Poudre   River.     The   biggest   threat   to   the   Poudre—NISP   and   its   Glade   Reservoir—is  over  5  years  late  and  $150  million  over  budget.    Thank  you  for  your  support  for  the  beautiful  Cache  la  Poudre  River!

w w w. s av e t h e p o u d r e . o r g




continued from page 3 heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s walking. It must create a type of peripheral blur, keeping the ground hidden from view. I get the feeling that some greater force is causing Phil to shield the world from his view. Whenever people try to approach Phil he backs away and says in a loud OXPEHULQJYRLFH´1R1R*HWDZD\IURPPHÂľ Rushing in from the parking lot, I easily beat Phil through the door. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a strange sensation to hurry up to get to work, only to do nothing when you get there. But thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s what itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s like at the mall. I spend most of my time staring out from the Greek Restaurant into the nearly-empty food court. While I watch and stare, I stack paper bags that we serve the pita sandwiches in up against the wall. Stacking the bags kills time. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a task that I can make last two minutes or 20 minutes. In a typical shift I do about two hours of actual work, which is during the brief and underwhelming lunch rush. The rest of the time I fend off the boredom by watching the peculiar habits and patterns of the mall people. From my spot behind the counter I look out past the popcorn stand and towards the smoothie stand and I see people come and go through the food court doors. They either head straight for the food court or they wander in either direction around the loop of the mall. I see Phil fade from my view to the other side of the food court. I see morning mall walkers pass by custodians who mill about windexing the glass food court doors. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a couple of older men who usually sit at nearby tables and â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;people watch.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know their names but they oftentimes sit in the food court for more than an hour at a time. I sometimes think that they must be watching me watching them watching me. A young couple passes by holding hands. We all watch them, managing in our own ways to make it look like weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not. Not long after Phil and I arrive at the mall, an older man, an everyday guy named Pat, arrives by bus. Pat is a taller man who sports a graying twoday stubble. His features are sharp, but not overly so. Sharp nose, sharp chin, gangly and thin, all elbows and knees. Pat told me that heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been coming to the mall for almost ten years. The boss man likes us to make sure Pat gets free fries when he comes in to eat because he usually looks a little malnourished. When Pat enters he goes straight to the table where Bob and Phyllis sit by the ice cream vendor. Bob and Phyllis, a friendly elderly couple, have been coming to the mall for 15 years. In a very animated exchange, Bob stands up to shake Patâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hand. Pat always cracks a joke that I canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t quite hear. Then thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s actual ribbing, as Pat mockingly pats his elbow against Bobâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s rib cage. Pat sits down and he and Bob have a very expressive discussion. After a couple minutes Pat moseys over to his usual table by the Mexican vendor where he spends the next two hours â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;people watching.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; %REDQG3K\OOLVVLWDQGĂ&#x20AC;QLVKWKHLUFRIIHHEHIRUHWKH\WDNHWKHLUKDOID lap around the mall for Phyllisâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; therapy. After that they go home, then they come back in the afternoon and do it again. Bob is a white haired man who wears army fatigues, either green or black, and a black beret with a rim. He likes to joke around with children who wander by his table. Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll say things OLNH´:DWFKRXW\RXQJIHOODÂľ Phyllis is a gray haired woman with a friendly, welcoming smile. She uses a wooden cane and often wears what-appear-to-be homemade sweaters. I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know if sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s quiet or if she just seems quiet in comparison to Bobâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s jovial outbursts. About the time Bob and Phyllis disappear for their walk, I can see Phil again, with his baseball cap tipped completely over his eyes heading towards the bathroom in his slow methodical pace. The woman whose little brown greyhound smells cancer passes by the VKRS6KHOLNHVWRFRPHLQWRWHOOPHDERXWDQRWKHU´SDWLHQWÂľKHUGRJKDV saved. She once told me that sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been coming to the mall for 25 years.

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I watch the custodians re-windex the same glass doors, that they already cleaned. I slowly see the mall take on a little bit of life as one or two people come through the doors looking for an early lunch. But they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t come in my direction. I can no longer stack any more bags without the wall of bags crumbling beneath its own weight. All thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s left for me to do is to try and not watch the clock and to wait for our lunch customers to start trickling in. )LQDOO\DIWHUEHLQJRQWKHFORFNIRUPRUHWKDQDQKRXUP\Ă&#x20AC;UVWFXVWRPHU comes in. He looks up at the menu, then out into the food court. Then he asks, ´:KDWKDSSHQHGWRWKH2UDQJH-XOLXV"Âľ I recently caught up with the owner of Orange Julius, Michelle Chavez. She also owns the Dairy Queen at the mall and two other DQ locations in town as well. Michelle Chavez and her father ran the Orange Julius in the mall for 30 years. +HUIDWKHUĂ&#x20AC;UVWERXJKWWKH2UDQJH-XOLXVIUDQFKLVHLQZKHQKHZDV in the Navy and traveling through California. Back then people were lined up LQGURYHVIRUWKHVPRRWKLHVVKRXWLQJ´*LYHPHDQRUDQJH-XOLXVÂľZKHQWKH\ ordered their drink. A chief caveat of the Orange Julius franchise is that they can only be established in shopping malls, so it wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t until 1980 that Chavezâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; father opened his franchise by the J.C. Penney in Foothills Fashion Mall. In 1987 Dairy Queen purchased the Orange Julius franchise and the two became a dual functioning operation. ´,WZDVDJRRGVWRU\DQGLWZDVDJUHDWIUDQFKLVHÂľ&KDYH]VDLG´0\GDG bought it for something like $2,500 and in one year here back in the day we ZRXOGHDUQRYHUZLWKWKHRQHIUDQFKLVHÂľ After the food court was built in 1989, Chavez moved the Orange Julius to the other side of the mall, in its corner slot in the food court and she opened up the Dairy Queen next door. Chavez said that after General Growth Properties bought the mall and the mall lost its two anchor stores, that sales began to decline. ´(DFK\HDUJRWZRUVH,WJRWWRWKHSRLQWZKHUH,ZLVKHG,FRXOGKDYH just punched a hole in the wall and ran the Dairy Queen and the Orange -XOLXVZLWKMXVWRQHSHUVRQÂľ&KDYH]VDLG´3HRSOHDUHQ¡WJRLQJWRNHHSJRLQJ WRDSODFHZLWKDOPRVWYDFDQFLHVÂľ When the mall let the smoothie store, Inta Juice (now called Berry Blendz,) move across the hall by the food court entrance and then in the next year let a hot dog stand move across the other hall, it spelled the end for Orange Julius. ´:HVROGVPRRWKLHVDQGZHVROGKRWGRJV:KDWZHUHZHJRLQJWRGR"Âľ &KDYH]VDLG´,WZRXOGEHOLNHDQRWKHUJ\URVVWDQGRSHQLQJXSDFURVVIURP 5HQ]LRVÂľ Last summer she pulled the plug on Orange Julius and decided to focus solely on the Dairy Queen franchise. ´0\GDGDQG,WRRNDZDONDURXQGWKHPDOOWKHRWKHUGD\KHNHSW VD\LQJÂś:RZLW¡VGHDG¡¾&KDYH]VDLG´7KH\¡UHQRWGRLQJDQ\WKLQJWRPDNHLW appealing. In some stores you can see ripped up carpet. You see slapped-up VLJQVRUEDQQHUVDQGPDNHVKLIWVKHOYLQJÂľ Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s too bad, because I really think that Fort Collins needs an indoor mall. I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want to walk around in the snow when I shop. They need to do VRPHWKLQJZLWKLWRUWHDULWGRZQÂľ Once the lunch push passes, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m left to fend off the boredom of the mall. There are swells throughout the corridors from time to time, small random waves of curious folks passing through. But it doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t necessarily mean anybody is hungry for a gyros.

in-­depth  look:  foothills  mall  

continued on page 12

u. yo

Good fo r

tf Grea

or the world.

Keynote Speakers 250 Exhibitors 75 Workshops Real Food Local Beer Live Entertainment Hands-on Activities

Clean Air Lawn Care Eldorado Water Fort Collins Food Co-op Gallegos Sanitation High Country News JCL Architecture Lotus Design Public Service Credit Union Trees Water People ReSource SpokesBUZZ Shaped Productions Colorado Yurt Company Be Local NoCo Everence Financial Grant Family Farms




continued from page 10

Most of the business we receive in the afternoon consists of mall employees coming in on their lunch break. They ask me how business is. I tell them whether the lunch was busy or slow. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s usually slow. They usually tell me that itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s dead over at their shop too. Employees at the other stores sometimes tell me that theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re envious of our consistent lunch business. I at least know that customers are going to come in and buy our product. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve heard stories from other retail sales people telling me about how theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll work an entire shift and not sell anything. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a bleak atmosphere. I get the impression that it canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t last this way. Since I started in September Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve seen eight stores leave the mall and I know of at least one more thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s leaving. I recently walked around the mall and tallied 23 empty store fronts. With stores leaving at such a rapid rate, thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not a lot of appeal for other stores to move in. As it is now, the mall is just a giant piece of property taking up space and collecting what little rent it can for a once-bankrupt corporation. (By the way I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t think I know what bankruptcy means. A recent Wall Street Journal article pointed out that top executives at General Growth Properties earned $158 million in bonuses for navigating the company out of bankruptcy.) ,I DPDOOLVDQHFRQRPLFHQJLQHWKHQWKHSHRSOHZKRĂ RZWKURXJKWKH corridors are its fuel. I imagine that back in 1989, when the Mervynâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s and the food court were brand new and local retail competition was minimal that SHRSOHĂ RZHGWKURXJKWKHPDOOOLNHDUDJLQJULYHUZDYHVRI IRONVSDVVLQJ WKURXJK:KHQ,Ă&#x20AC;UVWZRUNHGKHUHĂ&#x20AC;YH\HDUVDJRLQWKDWIXHOZDVLQ short supply. Mervynâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s had just left. J.C. Penney was on its way out. But there was still enough people passing through to provide power. Now itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just a trickle. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s like the tide went out sea never to return and in its wake it revealed a community of people that donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t need new stores or big brand names to thrive. After lunch I restock the food line, change the bag that we store our gyros PHDWLQDQGGUDLQWKHJUHDVHWUDSIRUWKHJULOO,WRQO\WDNHVPHDERXWĂ&#x20AC;YH minutes. Then Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m back at my perch watching the mall show. ,VHHWURXSHVRI PHQWDOO\GLVDEOHGSHRSOHIURP)RRWKLOOV*DWHZD\Ă&#x20AC;OH WKURXJKWKHIRRGFRXUWGRRUVLQDGLVSHUVHGW\SHRI Ă RFN6RPHVWUDJJOLQJ behind from the group, others moving too far ahead. They settle on a section of tables and then sprawl out. They usually bring bag lunches and camp in the food court for about an hour. With its dull lighting and quiet ambience, the mall offers a good place with plenty of space for cognitively disabled communities to come to. I think it also helps that there arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t a lot of people around. A couple of the Foothills Gateway caretakers slink away from the group to order pizza. I sometimes watch the other employees at the restaurants throughout the food court, staring out at me staring out at them. I picture each of us as a different type of caged animal pent up in our specially designed habitat. A menu of rice and beans for the Mexican exhibit. A menu of spring rolls and chow mein for the Chinese exhibit.

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A bored mall employee wanders toward the sandwich cage dressed in his business casual uniform, khakis and a white button down. In stark contrast, the bus rats wander past, wearing their sagging torn jeans and their Insane Clown Posse T-shirts. I call them bus rats, because theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re arrival to the mall is in accordance to the bus schedule. Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re a group of kids that ride the bus from public place to public place looking for a space to loiter. When the weather is nice Old Town Square is another popular place for kids to kill some time. I watch their mischievous stroll past the smoothie stand. They used to steal the tip jar so the smoothie vender tethered to it the counter. When the kids disappear around the corner, a pair of security guards wearing Ranger Rick hats appear following behind. They follow the bus rats closely, but not too closely, keeping them just within sight. I try to break up the tedium a little bit by wiping down the already-clean counters and tables. Then I start to pace back and forth a little, like a tiger stretching its legs. As the Foothills Gateway folks amble out the mall I spy a young mother, kids in tow, wandering over from the indoor playground on the other side of the mall, probably looking for snacks for her children. They pass by the Greek food, opting for hot dogs instead. From another direction the toothless-mullet-haired jersey guy appears. He wears a different sports jersey every day. His shtick is to wear the jersey of a team that has an upcoming match against a Colorado sports team in an attempt to get a rise from other mall people, like myself. It usually works. Then Phil comes into view again, the rim of his hat covering his face. As he heads through the food court making his way back out to the bus stop he carries a blue back pack in one hand and a soft drink in the other. Barely bending his knees as he walks, he waddles more than he walks. The soft drink and the back pack act as counter weights. Measuring each step through a slit of daylight beneath the rim of his cap, he makes a quick downward nod LQDQDWWHPSWWRVHHKLVIHHW7KHQKHĂ&#x20AC;[HVKLVKHDGEDFNWRZDUGWKHFHLOLQJ Another couple of steps. Then another quick downward nod. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a slow go. One vendor in the mall has told me everything I know about Phil, which isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t much. Apparently he has a combination of mental and physical disabilities and he wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t supposed to live longer than ten years and now heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s in his thirties. But I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t need to know any of that to know that Phil is a remarkable man. After Phil disappears again, the bus rats move out to catch the bus as well. The ice cream vendor has retreated into her back room. So has the smoothie girl. I hear Michael Bolton singing from the ceiling speakers in the IRRGFRXUW,QRWLFHWKHEHLJHSLQNWLOHVFUHHSDORQJWKHĂ RRUXSWKHZDOOVDQG up the structural columns supporting the food court. I look out into the empty space. Tim Maddocks is a freelance writer, a food service specialist and is earning his MFA in FUHDWLYHQRQĂ&#x20AC;FLWLRQDWWKH8QLYHUVLW\RI 3LWWVEXUJK

in-­depth  look:  foothills  mall  

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                 IN-­DEPTH  LOOK:  FOOTHILLS  MALL

Anatomy of a Dying Mall Article & Photographs by Tim Maddocks

The Descent Into Blight In the last decade the mall has experienced the loss of two of its anchor stores, change of ownership, bankruptcy by its new ownership, and has been declared blight stricken by the city, twice. Yet, despite the fact that for the last decade the Foothills Mall has been ORVLQJWHQDQWVDQGLWVVDOHVKDYHFRQWLQXDOO\GLPLQLVKHGFLW\RIĂ&#x20AC;FLDOVDQGPDOO management remain hopeful for future mall redevelopment and that the once thriving marketplace can return to its vibrant form. The mall was built on a plot of farmland on the edge of town in 1973 by Bob Everitt, a local developer and philanthropist. At the time it featured only two department stores connected by a lone corridor. In 1980 Everitt added a J.C. Penney as a third department store. In 1989 Foothills Fashion Mall (as it was then called) was built up to its fullest form when Everitt Enterprises added a food court and a Mervynâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s as a fourth anchor department store. 7KHPDOORIIHUHGLWVVKRSSHUVDIXOOĂ&#x20AC;JXUHHLJKWORRSRI FRUULGRUVDQG shop fronts connected by four heavyweight department stores creating 600,000 square feet of indoor shopping. It loomed as one of the regionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most popular shopping destinations, drawing people from as far as Nebraska and Kansas. 7KHVKRSSLQJFHQWHUVHUYHGDVRQHRI WKHFLW\¡VPRVWDIĂ XHQWVWUHDPVRI  sales tax revenue. According to numbers compiled by the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s department of sales tax in 1990 the mall accounted for over 13 percent of the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s total VDOHVWD[UHYHQXHZKLFKJRHVLQWRWKHFLW\¡VJHQHUDOIXQGKHOSLQJWRĂ&#x20AC;QDQFH


city operations and public improvements. In 2000 the mall still accounted IRUFORVHWRWHQSHUFHQWRI WKHFLW\¡VWRWDOVDOHVWD[UHYHQXHDVLJQLĂ&#x20AC;FDQW contribution to the general fund, but a decrease nonetheless. City economic advisor Josh Birks pointed to the dot-com bubble and the post 9/11 economic climate as the beginning of the mallâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s struggles to gain traction in moving forward with further redevelopments. ´7KHFLW\RI )RUW&ROOLQVUHDOO\KDGDPXFKJUHDWHULPSDFWIURPWKHÂśWHFK bubble post-9/11â&#x20AC;&#x2122; recession in terms of primary employment and income ORVVWKDQLWKDVKDGIURPWKLVPRVWUHFHQWUHFHVVLRQWKDW¡VKDSSHQLQJÂľ%LUNV VDLG´,QWKHHDUO\SDUWRI WKHGHFDGHZKHQ*HQHUDO*URZWK3URSHUWLHVZDV buying the mall the (economic climate) had the affect of suppressing their RSSRUWXQLWLHVÂľ In May 2003 a Coloradoan article reported that mall was in talks to add DĂ&#x20AC;IWKDQFKRUWRWKHPDOOQHDUWKHPDLQHQWUDQFHWRUHLQYLJRUDWHLWVUHWDLO SUHVHQFH'LOODUG¡VZDVPHQWLRQHGDVDSRVVLEOHĂ&#x20AC;IWKDQFKRU7KHQODWHUWKDW year in December mall owners Everitt Enterprises and Westcor Ltd., unable to make the necessary renovations, sold the mall and its adjacent properties to General Growth Properties, a publicly traded real estate investment trust based out of Chicago. GGP purchased the mall with the intention of redeveloping the shopping center. However instead of redevelopments and growth, the mall witnessed an exodus of tenants leaving its premises and a slow deterioration of the property. In 2005 Mervynâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s closed its doors when the company went into bankruptcy. In 2006 J.C. Penney moved down the street to the then vacant Shopko, a 98,000 sq. foot big-box style store. In 2007 the city declared the mall as a blighted area and offered GGP tax incentives in the form of an Urban Renewal Authority to redevelop. But by 2008 GGP was slipping into bankruptcy and the city withdrew the URA and the tax incentives from the table, which it could do because the property YDOXHRI WKHPDOOZDVDFWXDOO\GHFUHDVLQJ$QGLQ**3Ă&#x20AC;OHGEDQNUXSWF\ According to Crainâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Chicago Business journal at the time of its bankruptcy Ă&#x20AC;OLQJ**3ZDVELOOLRQLQGHEW After the loss of the two anchor stores, the mallâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s slow decline turned into more of a free fall. In 2010 Foothills Mall only accounted for 2.99 percent of the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s overall sales tax haul. The corridor that was once connected by J.C. Penney and Mervynâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s became a dying stretch of retail littered with empty store fronts. A recent walk around the mall tallied 23 empty store fronts out of 111 units. If kiosks and photo booths are included like they are on their on-line directory the mall only has 85 stores. It once boasted having 120 stores. Notable stores that have

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b i ng o   c u lt u r e

a  photoessay  by  rachel  robichaux

book  reviews





Absence  Is  Such  a  Transparent  House  Aby  Kaupang Reviewed  by  Mary  McHugh

In Aby Kaupangâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s book of poems $EVHQFH,V6XFKD7UDQVSDUHQW+RXVHthe contents of the house overwhelm. It starts relatively calmly, with sparse words, lots of space on the page, VLPSOLFLW\%XWWKH´3UHOXGHÂľLVD funeral of sorts, for language, or more VSHFLĂ&#x20AC;FDOO\IRUWKHXVHIXOQHVVRI  ODQJXDJHLQDVSHFLĂ&#x20AC;FVLWXDWLRQ WKLV death), and later in the book, in all VLWXDWLRQV,Q´DZRPDQFKRRVHVDELUGWKHQEXULHVLWÂľWKHĂ&#x20AC;UVWSRHP LQWKHERRNWKHOLQHV´ZKHQKHUIXQHUDU\EODQNHWZLWKHUVLQ\RXU SDOPDV\QRQ\PÂľUHYHDOWKHUHVLJQHGGHVSDLURI RQHZKRFDQ¡WWUXVW ODQJXDJHHYHQZKHQODQJXDJHLVDOOWKDWLVOHIW7KH´3UHOXGHÂľFRQFOXGHV ZLWKWKHTXHVWLRQ´ZKDWFDQ,ZULWHWRKHOS\RXFKDU\RXURZQVSHOO"Âľ The implication is that rest of the book will be compulsory, for the speaker at least. And thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s pretty much how it feels for better or worse; the reader is informed, again and again, that the speaker is helplessly RYHUVWLPXODWHG ´,¡PULPPHG,¡PVWLPPLQJ,¡PVWLPPLQJÂľVKHZULWHV LQ´,KDUGO\UHPHPEHUWKHGD\VÂľ $QGLW¡VXQFRPIRUWDEOH$QGLW¡V understandable, as the process of grieving while the world still exists tends to contort previous and comfortable modes of conception (multiple senses of the word can be applied), and grieving is the impetus for these poems. The procedure is less transparent than the LQVSLUDWLRQELJLGHDVGHDWKJRG EXWH[SOLFLWO\ZLWKDOLWWOH´JÂľ ELUWK rebirth, and sex are treated with an almost dissociative pragmatism, which makes for a unique method of de-centering concepts of truth, DQGFHUWDLQO\EHDXW\7DNHDVDQH[DPSOHWKHSRHP´RQHWDNHVRQH¡V SODFHLQDSRVHÂľ WKHLQWHQWLRQDOJDSLV.DXSDQJ¡V ZKHUHVKHZULWHV 




every beginning then requires a smudging a giving off of the pelt near the seem a new glass for the squinting of the eye Here there is an almost numb, matter of fact tone, a result of a prolonged constant preoccupation with death and god, and the ritual of perception. But it is precisely this distance that lets the poem be perceptive, and those moments of insight are the most rewarding in the book. It is in those moments that these big ideas become less distant, and somehow less powerful (if not less urgent) by their IUHTXHQF\DQGPXWDELOLW\+HUHGHDWKLVDSX]]OHKHUHDPHUHĂ&#x20AC;JXUHLQ an equation to explain Heidegger, and when the speakerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s relationship with god becomes stale in the same way lovers tire of one another, death becomes a prize. Anything can be god. Anything can be death. :RUGVFDQPHDQDQ\WKLQJWRRDVLQ´,DPDIRRORUZLVHWKLVWRRLV VHPDQWLFVÂľ

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What keeps these poems from being too scattered, or too inclusive, is the idea that a connection can always be made, especially when the idea that language is arbitrary is treated as a useful notion. 7KHVHFWLRQVDUHFDOOHG6\PSK\VLV,,,,,, ,9UHIHUULQJWRWKHZD\ ERQHVJURZWRJHWKHUDQGPD\EHPRUHVLJQLĂ&#x20AC;FDQWO\WRWKHOLPLQDOSODFH where they connectâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;that line that points to an intentional bond that wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t always there. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a surprising bond, where heavy solid things shouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t necessarily move, but there it is. And this is why god can change, and become more or less tiresome with our moods and our grieving, and this idea is not unholy or irreverent. From {Ecclesia cont...} (brackets Kaupangâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s): it is possible reverence but a belief in dying in all things a toll 


is nothing

DGRYHWDLORI WRLODĂ&#x20AC;VWIXORI ZLQG the cords of tranquility sparring

There are times in the book when the dismay regarding death and JRGRYHUWDNHVWKHFUDIWZKHQWKH´VWLPPLQJÂľRFFOXGHVWKHSHUFHSWLYH insight and restrained but ample diction, or when the elegiac qualities of certain poems become a bit too effusive (as in {adventum} at the end of Symphysis IV), but these moments are rare, and they are mitigated by Kaupangâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ability to return to god and deathâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;god and death mind youâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;in wholly unpredictable ways. The removed but not XQIHHOLQJREVHUYDWLRQVRI WKHJDUGHQWKHWUHHVWKH´\RXÂľLQWKHSRHPV WKURXJKWKHOHQVHRI JULHIDVLI WKHVSHDNHUZHUHZDWFKLQJDĂ&#x20AC;OPRI  herself, will be familiar to anyone who has suffered loss, or considered absence on an all consuming level. But very few poets can manage these complex themes without crossing over to the mawkish, or worse, appearing too removed. That takes true craftsmanship, which Kaupang GLVSOD\VEHVW,WKLQNLQ´VSDUURZVLQWKHFROGGLHÂľ bees die in the sun burrowing furs in the dim earth die stars die in the void of universes tragedy too might die silent rim-silent eye The music, restraint, structure and sentiment of this poem convey Kaupangâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sentiments beautifully in this poem, as she catalogs, observes, and synthesizes. She often pushes syntax to achieve unexpected results, but here she excels. In this moment above all the others in the book, the reader has a chance to participate in the ORQJLQJIRUGHDWKZLWKRXWIHHOLQJPRUELGDERXWLW$QGWKDWLVDĂ&#x20AC;QH acheivement.

All reviews written by Matter Bookstore volunteers, and all books available at Matter Bookstore.


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0DNH<RXU3ODFH $IIRUGDEOH6XVWDLQDEOH1HVWLQJ6NLOOV Raleigh Briggs Reviewed by Anna Fagre In 0DNH<RXU3ODFH$IIRUGDEOH6XVWDLQDEOH 1HVWLQJ6NLOOV, Raleigh Briggs delivers a gamut of easy and functional DIY projects for the domestic sphere. Charismatic drawings and Briggsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; clever sense of humor make this hand-drawn collection both easy to navigate and hard to set down. Free of hard chemicals DQGWKHLPSUDFWLFDOĂ XII WKDWVRPHGRPHVWLF how-to guides tote, there is truly a little something for everyone. Briggs not only offers extensive lists of herbs and DIY salves for a number of health ailments, but also provides a number of non-toxic house cleaners and gardening instructions. I followed Briggsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; illustrated step-by-step guide on getting a basic compost pile started, in addition to some of her basic gardening tips. The concise instructions are foolproof and for steps that could give one trouble, she has notes, tips, and sometimes warnings written in the margins. On one SDJHODEHOHG´7KH%XGG\6\VWHPÂľVKHOLNHQVGLIIHUHQWSODQWVWRVXSHUKHURHV ZKRKDYHVSHFLDOSRZHUVDQGEHQHĂ&#x20AC;WIURPWKHKHOSRI DVLGHNLFNDQGWKHQ JRHVRQWROLVW´JRRGEXGGLHVÂľDQG´EDGEXGGLHVÂľIRUHDFKRQH I also decided to pick out a random concoction and give it a whirl. My roommateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s cat, Conan Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Brien, is generally a pretty good sport when I offer him up as a guinea pig, so I made the dry kitty shampoo (corn starch to DEVRUERLOVDQGFUXVKHGODYHQGHUĂ RZHUVIRUWKHLUDQWLEDFWHULDODQGFDOPLQJ properties). Though Conan is still rather bitter about the whole ordeal (though he smells lovely) and would likely not recommend this book, I think the little guide makes a handy go-to for any home library.

Palo Alto James Franco Reviewed by Nick Newlin This is me doing my best to keep this review to Palo Alto and not the silly awesome James Franco. However there are a few things we need to get out of the way. He hosted the Oscars and was accused of being stoned throughout the telecast, had a well-received painting exhibition, received an MFA and PHD in creative writing. Mr. Franco is currently enrolled in a second PHD program for literature, is teaching a class ON HIMSELF at Columbia University, is an Oscar nominated actor, is directing an adaptation of Faulknerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s $V,/D\'\LQJ, is a guest star on General Hospital (yes, that General Hospital), is a volunteer for 826DC and Art of Elysium, is receiving an undergraduate degree in painting from the Rhode ,VODQG6FKRRORI 'HVLJQÂłDQGWKLVLVDOOLQWKHODVW<($5  7KHZKROHWKLQJLVWROGĂ&#x20AC;UVWSHUVRQE\ERUHGDQGUHVWOHVVDGROHVFHQWV coming of age in Palo Alto but the ennui is certainly not limited to California. It comes off as much more universal. However, his staccato style might irk VRPH´0\FRXVLQLVP\EHVWIULHQG+HLVJD\+HVPRNHVPHQWKROVÂľ´+H wanted me to get in the pool and I said no. He took his clothes off. He had a swimmerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s body-like an Israeli hero. Freshman year he looked too pretty, like DJLUOÂľ1HYHUWKHOHVVWKLVLVDIHURFLRXVO\UHDGDEOHERRNDVORQJDV\RXDUH aware that you are reading teenagers and therein reading all the best and worst parts of the American high school experience. Palo Alto does a great job of bringing us in and out of some of the darker aspects of coming of age. We all look back and laugh at embarrassing things but we block out all the sad, lonely and despicable things that we did on our path to adulthood. Palo AltoLVQRWMXVWDERXWĂ&#x20AC;QGLQJDGDWHIRUSURP EXWDOVRGULYLQJGUXQNIRUWKHĂ&#x20AC;UVWWLPHDQGUXQQLQJRYHUDVWUDQJHU:KDWGR you do? You just go home and pretend nothing happened. You just live with it. Every time you visit go back home, you pass by that same corner. Whatever happened, happened in Palo Alto.

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1.   Cloud Collectorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Handbook by Gavin Pretor-Pinney The Cloud Appreciation Society has put together the perfect companion for summer afternoon cloudgazing and stormwatching. Both entertaining and educational, this little book even has a place for you to record all your cloud-collecting points. The rarer the cloud type, WKHPRUHSRLQWV\RXHDUQ 2.   ,QYLQFLEOH6XPPHU$Q$QWKRORJ\ by Nicole J. Georges 7KHĂ&#x20AC;UVWHLJKW]LQHVRI ,QYLQFLEOH6XPPHU bound into one book. This whimsical collection is written and illustrated by Portland zinester and chicken-raiser Nicole J. Georges. 3.   The Best Fort Collins Hikes by John Gascoyne A conveniently pocket-sized guide to 20 of the best hikes within an KRXURI )RUW&ROOLQV)URPHDV\XUEDQVWUROOVWRGLIĂ&#x20AC;FXOWPRXQWDLQous treks, this book contains a wide variety of trails, all selected, mapped, and photographed by the Colorado Mountain Club. 4.   The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman Tom Rachman makes his literary debut with this critically acclaimed novel about the staffers (and one reader) at an English-language newspaper in Rome. 5.   ,/RYH0\%LNH by Matt Finkle and Brittain Sullivan Do you love your bike as much as the super-cool cyclists featured in this coffee table book? If you live in bike-friendly Fort Collins, you probably do and will undoubtedly love this photographic collection of bicycle riders from across the country. 6.   Horoscopes for the Dead by Billy Collins In his ninth book of poems, former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins speaks to the major themes of life, death, love and loss. Often described as one of the most readable poets today, Collinsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; poems can be enjoyed by even the most novice of poetry readers. 7.   Modern Homestead: Grow, Raise, Create by Renee Wilinson With its spectacular photography and easy step-by-step instructions, this urban homesteading book provides inspirations to any city dweller looking to live a little closer to the land. The author shares her tried and true food and canning recipes, building plans, animal raising tips, and more. 8.   7KLV/LIHLVLQ<RXU+DQGV2QH'UHDP6L[W\$FUHVDQGD)DPLO\8QGRQH By Melissa Coleman Melissa Coleman, the daughter of farmer and author Eliot Coleman, tells about her back-to-lander childhood in this honest and revealing memoir. 9.   )LUH6HDVRQ)LHOG1RWHVIURPD:LOGHUQHVV/RRNRXW by Phillip Connors 3KLOLS&RQQRUVDVXPPHUWLPHĂ&#x20AC;UHORRNRXWIRUWKH*LOD1DWLRQDO Forest, recounts his days and nights spent in a 7â&#x20AC;&#x2122; by 7â&#x20AC;&#x2122; tower. Both memoir and natural history, this book explores our relationship with wilderness and each other. 10.   $9LVLWIURPWKH*RRQ6TXDG by Jennifer Egan Edgy and imaginative, this highly reviewed Pulitzer prize winning novel depicts the lives of a music producer and his assistant through a series of loosely linked short stories.

Books will be available at Matter Bookstore all summer long.




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left the mall include: Chik Fil A, Gap, Cutlery and More, Satherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Leading Jewelers, Orange Julius, Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Your Move, and Fred Meyer Jewelers. Where Did All The Shoppers Go? Mall Manager Cynthia Eichler said that GGP has been working on redeveloping the mall all along, but that a lot of factors have come in to play WRSUHYHQWDQ\VLJQLĂ&#x20AC;FDQWLPSURYHPHQWV Eichler cited local and national economic climates as well as retail trends as reasons for the lack of development. She pointed out that the mall doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have control over its tenantsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; corporate structures. For instance, Mervynâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s went bankrupt nationally. In the case of J.C. Penney, the 62,500 sq. foot mall VWRUHQRORQJHUĂ&#x20AC;WWKHLUQDWLRQDOPROG7KH\PRYHGLQWRWKHODUJHU6KRSNR building because that particular building had the square footage that better suited the J.C. Penney franchise. ´7KDWSDUWLFXODUXQLWZDVREVROHWHÂľ(LFKOHUVDLG´$W\SLFDO-&3HQQH\ department store is usually at least 100,000 sq. feet. So the size we had doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t ZRUNIRUWKDWW\SHRI WHQDQWÂľ Earlier this year, GGP demolished and razed the former J.C. Penney to make way for future development. The mallâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s descent into malaise has indeed been caused by a combination of factors: a nationwide slump in retail as seen in an increase in bankruptcies of national chains like Circuit City, Ultimate Electronic, and Linens â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;n Things, among others., a â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Great Recession,â&#x20AC;&#x2122; the advent of open air shopping centers, and increased popularity of Internet retail. Another key factor leading to the decline of mall popularity has been the expansion and development of regional retail. As the landscape of the city and the Front Range evolved over the last 10 years, commerce moved from the mall to other retail centers causing the mall to lose the vibrancy it exhibited in the early 90s. Big box retail stores like Kohlâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s and Bed, Bath and Beyond sprung up along College Avenue and the Harmony corridor. A Super Wal-Mart was built on Mulberry Street. Promenade Shops at Centerra, an open air mall whose shoppers drive cars at a walking pace around an asphalt loop, emerged in Loveland along I-25. Front Range Village, another open air shopping center opened on Harmony Road. According to a 2010 study of retail trends in Northern Colorado by Everitt Real Estate Center, a branch of Colorado State Universityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s business school, the mallâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s decline coincides with increased revenue in other parts of the city, especially the Harmony Corridor. The study showed that revenue from retail didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t drastically decrease in the region, but instead experienced D´VKXIĂ LQJRI GHFNFKDLUVÂľZKHUHVKRSSHUVFKRVHWRVKRSDWQHZHUUHWDLO centers. Steve Laposa, CSU real estate professor and an author of the aforementioned study of retail trends said that when the mall failed to replace its vacant anchor spots, it lost appeal with local shoppers. ´$PHULFDQVOLNHWRVKRSDWQHZSODFHV:LWKDQFKRUVJRLQJGRZQDW)RRWKLOOV DQGRQHUHFHQWO\JRWGHPROLVKHGZKDW¡VWKHUHWRJRWRWKHUH"Âľ/DSRVDVDLG ´3HRSOHOLNHWRVKRSDWZKDW¡VFDOOHGHFRQRPLHVRI VFDOHÂłZKHUH\RXFDQJHW a variety of things and cross-shop. When the mall is losing that pull and that JUDYLW\SHRSOHJRHVHOVHZKHUHÂľ Light At The End Of The Tunnel Last November General Growth Properties emerged from bankruptcy and in May the city put a new Urban Renewal Plan on the table. These WZRIDFWVDORQHKDYHFLW\RIĂ&#x20AC;FLDOVDQGPDOOPDQDJHPHQWKRSHIXOWKDWPDOO redevelopment is in the works, again.

(LFKOHUGHVFULEHG´OLJKWDWWKHHQGRI WKHWXQQHOÂľDQG%LUNVVDLGWKDW ´DEVROXWHO\UHGHYHORSPHQWLVRQWKHWDEOHÂľ Both Birks and Eichler said, that with negotiations on the table there wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t much they could talk about as a far as further development is concerned. But a recent vote by Fort Collins City Council for a new Urban Renewal Authority may pave the way for redevelopment along South College Avenue, including the Foothills Mall. On May 17th Fort Collins City Council voted to approve a Midtown &RPPHUFLDO&RUULGRU([LVWLQJ&RQGLWLRQV6XUYH\RIĂ&#x20AC;FLDOO\GHFODULQJWKH majority of South College Avenue blighted. The approval of the study allows the city to move forward in establishing an Urban Renewal Authority, that FRXOGDOORZIRUWD[LQFHQWLYHVWRKHOSEXVLQHVVHVĂ&#x20AC;QDQFHUHGHYHORSPHQWDORQJ College Avenue, from Prospect Road to Harmony Road. The survey found the area to exhibit characteristics of blight that state statutes require for a city to establish a URA. Citations of blight in Midtown include: defective landscaping, broken curbs, faulty gutter systems, among others. The survey also found that the area includes 655,000 sq. feet of vacant retail space. The establishment of a URA will allow the city to use tax increment Ă&#x20AC;QDQFLQJ 7,) WRRIIHUEXVLQHVVHVFDSLWDOWRUHGHYHORSEDVHGRQIXWXUH increase of property taxes The vote by council approved the Existing Conditions Survey and sends it on to the Larimer County Board of Commissioners, Poudre School District Board of Education and City Planning and Zoning Board where it must also pass votes for approval. If it passes through those governing boards, City Council will vote on it again on June 19th ZKHWKHUWRRIĂ&#x20AC;FLDOO\HVWDEOLVKD85$ City Economics Advisor, Josh Birks described the URA as an area that ZLOODOORZWKHFLW\WRWXUQRQWD[LQFUHPHQWĂ&#x20AC;QDQFLQJOLNHVSULQNOHUV\VWHP DORQJWKHFRUULGRU(DFK]RQHZLOOWKHQDFFUXHWD[LQFUHPHQWĂ&#x20AC;QDQFLQJRYHUD \HDUWLPHVSDQ7KHĂ&#x20AC;UVW]RQHWKDWWKHFLW\LVSODQQLQJWRWXUQRQLVDVPDOO area just south of Prospect Road where a new student housing plan is in the works. The Foothills Mall, Birks said, was also a pivotal piece of the new plan and will most likely be the second zone of TIF that the city will turn on. The Midtown survey was complimentary to a Midtown Redevelopment Study, a $250,000 analysis of the Midtown Corridor initiated in 2009. One RI WKHĂ&#x20AC;QGLQJVRI WKHVWXG\ZDVWKDWUHGHYHORSPHQWRI WKHPDOOZKLOH challenging, is a key component of revitalizing the Midtown area ,QWKDWSODQWKHFLW\GUDIWHGWZRSRVVLEOHUHFRQĂ&#x20AC;JXUDWLRQVRI WKHPDOO One plan outlined the possibility of turning the mall into a completely open air outdoor shopping center. Another proposed that the mall retain two anchors and one corridor to be complimented by open air shops. In either case, the study found that the mall is no longer viable in its current shape and form. Real estate professor Steve Laposa agrees saying that the mall wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t continue to deteriorate the way that it has been. ´6RPHWKLQJLVJRLQJWRKDSSHQZLWKWKHPDOO,W¡VWRRLPSRUWDQWWRWKLVFLW\ and to the region. ´'RZHQHHGLWDVDPDOODQ\PRUH"*RRGTXHVWLRQÂľ


What do you think we should do with the Foothills Mall? Send your ideas to:

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march  -­  may  2011


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june  -­  august  2011

: e c u rod

P o t d e g a ck a P From Poudre School District moves forward with local farms, but not without some weeding.

Artiele by Maggie Canty-Shafer


s childhood obesity and diabetes diagnoses continue to climb, parents and advocacy groups are taking up arms â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and the school lunch system makes an easy target. The system is a complex one, balancing 86'$UHJXODWLRQVOLPLWHGĂ&#x20AC;QDQFHVSDUHQWDOFRQFHUQVDQGFXVWRPHU satisfaction all within what many experts are calling a broken food system. A system based on trying to feed as many as possible for the lowest cost. As the cultural food climate shifts value from quantity to health and sustainability, the community and the lawmakersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; push to connect schools with local producers has grown stronger and the Poudre School District has been challenged to keep up while lacking the budget and manpower to match. And with the daily tasks of preparing, serving and cleaning up after 12,000 meals, the Department of Nutrition has their trays full and not a lot of leftover energy to explore a new system. Local farmers have demands of their own, and have been reluctant in the past to give up higher prices and fewer regulations of the farmersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; market DQG&6$VWRVHOOWRFRPSDUDWLYHO\LQĂ H[LEOHVFKRROV:LWKWKHDGGHGFRVWV of meeting the strict delivery, safety and production guidelines necessary for PSD, the two have largely given each other the silent treatment and left it up to larger distributors to play translator. But after taking a closer look, the silence isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t because they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get along. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s because they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t speak the same language. The major players in the gameâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;the district, the farmers, and the surrounding communityâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;are all admittedly dependent on each other for a sustainable, healthy food system. The system is dependent on communication between the parties involved. Farmers must know what the schools need, schools must know the realities of the farm, and the community must XQGHUVWDQGWKDWVKDNLQJDĂ&#x20AC;VWZLWKRXWOHQGLQJDKDQGZLOOQRWOHDGWRFKDQJH And with the health of our economy, our children and our community on the line, the stakes are high and we are all involved. Farm-to-school From The Ground uUp Farm-to-school may be a familiar term in the educational system today, but in the over 50 year history of the School Lunch Program, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s still just a seedling. The movement to reconnect our nationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s children with healthy, local food got its head start in 2000 with the National Farm-to-School Program, a project led by the Center for Food and Justice and funded by the USDA Initiative for Future Agriculture and Food Systems. The goal was simple: improve student nutrition and school meals, support local and regional farmers, and increase agriculture and nutrition education in schools and communities nationwide.  ,Q&RORUDGR/HJLVODWXUHSDVVHGWKH´)DUPWR6FKRRO+HDOWK\ .LGV$FWÂľLPSOHPHQWLQJD&RORUDGRVSHFLĂ&#x20AC;FWDVNIRUFHFRPSULVHGRI  representatives from numerous stakeholders and designed to study, develop DQGUHFRPPHQGSROLFLHVDQGPHWKRGVIRULPSOHPHQWLQJD&RORUDGRVSHFLĂ&#x20AC;F farm-to-school program.  ´7KLVLVPXFKELJJHUWKDQMXVWJHWWLQJORFDOIRRGLQWRWKHFDIHWHULDÂľVDLG

Lyn Kathlene, the senior research associate at Colorado Systems Integration DQG&RORUDGR)DUPWR6FKRRO3URMHFW'LUHFWRU´,W¡VDZKROHQHZHUDWKDW VFKRROVDUHZDGLQJLQWRDQGWKH\¡UHQRWDWWKHLUFRPIRUWOHYHO\HWÂľ The task force progress appears slow, only having met a few times since their formation in late 2010. But what they hope to accomplish isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t a band aid but open heart surgery, requiring tedious education, research, communication and understanding among the members. Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve succeeded thus far in making global statements, setting goals for what they want to accomplish and laying the groundwork for others to move forward after their dismissal in 2013. According to Kathlene, they are looking at what is happening now, deciding whether itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sustainable and identifying the missing pieces, including the areas where more publicity is needed. Although WKHWDVNIRUFHGRHVQ¡WSODQWRVHWXSGLVWULFWVSHFLĂ&#x20AC;FSURJUDPVGLUHFWO\ the members aim to provide the tools and resources for schools to equip themselves.  ´7KHWDVNIRUFHKDVGHGLFDWHGSHRSOHZKRDUHPRWLYDWHGDQGKDYHD JRRGUHSUHVHQWDWLRQRI DOOSDUWVRI WKHV\VWHPÂľ.DWKOHQHVDLG´7KH\KDYH rich conversation at the meetings and I expect great things to come from WKHPÂľ Because the task force has been given a limited time, much of their work will be making connections between the numerous programs that have sprung up around the state with similar values and goals, and eventually institutionalizing these networks as part of the Colorado food system.  ´<RXFDQQRWWUXO\KDYHIDUPWRVFKRROZLWKRXWDQHTXLSSHGIRRG V\VWHPÂľVDLG.DWKOHQH´:LWKRXWWKHSURGXFHUVJURZLQJWKHULJKWWKLQJVLW GRHVQ¡WZRUN7KHIRRGV\VWHPLVWKHNH\FRPSRQHQWÂľ Fixing a food system may sound daunting, and for any one group, it would be. But with so many eager for change, Kathlene believes hope is on the horizon.  ´,WGRHVQ¡WKDSSHQRYHUQLJKWEXWOLWWOHE\OLWWOHÂľVKHVDLG´<RXOHDUQ \RXEHJLQWRFKDQJHWKHSURFHVVDQGWKHQ\RXUDPSLWXSÂľ Digging In The District In April, the Poudre School District put out a bidâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;a formal request detailing produce needed for the 2011-2012 school yearâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;and opened it up to all farmers in the area. Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve come alongside other schools in Northern Colorado to form a sort of food co-op, allowing them to pull together resources and buying power and learn from districts who have been more involved with farm-to-school. According to the PSD Department of Nutrition, theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re ready and willing to accept items from farmers that can meet their guidelines.  ´7KHUHLVDPLVFRQFHSWLRQWKDWIDUPHUVDUHWU\LQJWRJHWLQWRVFKRROV DQGZH¡UHNHHSLQJWKHPRXWEXWWKDW¡VQRWWKHFDVHÂľVDLG&UDLJ6FKQHLGHUWKH 36''HSDUWPHQWRI 1XWULWLRQGLUHFWRU´:H¡UHZDQWLQJWREXLOGUHODWLRQVKLSV If itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s safe, if itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s quality and if we can afford it, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll buy it. We can do EXVLQHVVÂľ




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 +RZHYHUWKHVFKRRO¡VGHĂ&#x20AC;QLWLRQRI VDIHTXDOLW\DQGDIIRUGDEOH doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t always match up with local farmers. The schoolâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s health and safety guidelinesâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;set by the USDAâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;are much stricter than those of most farmerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s markets, restaurants and CSAs and can be inconvenient for smaller farmers.  ´7KHQXPEHURQHFRQFHUQRI WKHVFKRRO¡VLVÂśLVWKHIRRGVDIH"¡¾VDLG .DWKOHQH´:LWKELJJHUYHQGRUVWKH\GRQ¡WKDYHWRZRUU\DVPXFKDERXWWKH VDIHW\RI WKHIRRGEHFDXVHWKHGLVWULEXWRULVÂľ Other limiting factors for the school include Coloradoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s limited growing season and the type of crops most often grown hereâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;largely wheat, corn and soyâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;when the schools are looking for produce, and a lot of it. With the schools committed to feeding thousands of mouths daily, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s easy to see why DVPDOOHUIDUPHUPLJKWĂ&#x20AC;QGRWKHUPDUNHWVPRUHPDQDJHDEOH Although establishing a direct relationship with the nearby farmers has been challenging, Schneider believes PSD is ahead when it comes to buying localâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;they just use a larger vendor to do it for them. This means food is often picked up in Northern Colorado, taken to Denver to be sorted and packaged, and then brought from Denver back to Fort Collins, tacking miles and days on the food before the schools ever see it. Cutting out the middle man and unnecessary travel is something Macha and Schneider said they wish they could do, but have thus far not had the opportunity nor the tools to map it out practically. Currently, the larger vendors play the vital role of translating what the schools need to what the farms are capable of.  ´7KHUHDUHWLPHDQGUHVRXUFHEDUULHUVÂľVDLG6FKQHLGHU´:HDUHJLYHQ only so many people, and right now it takes all our time to get everything RUGHUHGGHOLYHUHGFRRNHGDQGFOHDQHGXSÂľ For Poudre, Farm-to-school will always fall second to getting the children fed, their job above all else. But without any connection to the food source, the real costs are adding up, and kids themselves will be picking up the bill. Lessons From The Land Balancing the need to produce enough food to meet the schoolâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s demand without losing the quality of the food itself is a challenge that more and more farms are starting to take on. Grant Family Farms, WKHODUJHVWORFDOFHUWLĂ&#x20AC;HGRUJDQLF vegetable farm in Colorado, got involved with farm-to-school two years ago after being approached by Weld County School District. What started as a rudimentary program limited to lettuce has expanded to various produce and multiple districts all over the state. With no perfect template to follow, the growth and success of the program for Grant is largely due to trial and error.  ´:HGRLWEHFDXVHZHIHHOOLNH LW¡VWKHULJKWWKLQJWRGRÂľVDLG6DUL 6FKDXHU&6$EXVLQHVVPDQDJHUIRU*UDQW)DPLO\)DUPV´7KHNLGVJHWWRWU\ VRPHWKLQJQHZDQGZHJHWWRHVWDEOLVKRXUFXVWRPHUEDVHIRUWKHIXWXUHÂľ  7KHELJJHVWFKDOOHQJHIRU*UDQWKDVEHHQĂ&#x20AC;QGLQJFRPPRQJURXQG between the schedule and expectations of the farms and the districts. Schauer said that in order to work with Grant and especially with smaller farms, VFKRROVQHHGWRKDYHPRUHPHQXĂ H[LELOLW\)RUH[DPSOHVFKHGXOLQJDPRUH JHQHULF´IUHVKIUXLWÂľYHUVHV´IUHVKVWUDZEHUULHVÂľJLYHVWKHIDUPHUVPRUHURRP to breathe.  )RVVLO&UHHN)DUPVDDFUHFHUWLĂ&#x20AC;HGRUJDQLFIDUPLQ)RUW&ROOLQVDOVR started selling to schools just over two years ago. Although they canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t sell at as high a price as at farmerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s markets, they have been successful with selling greater guaranteed volume. A worthwhile trade off for the farm.  ´:H¡YHDSSURDFKHG36'EHIRUHDQGWKLV\HDUWKH\VHHPWREHRQ ERDUGÂľVDLG6WHYH0DLWODQGRZQHURI )RVVLO&UHHN´,WVHHPVWREHZRUNLQJ in other districts and expanding. Why truck it in from California when youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve JRWLWULJKWKHUH"Âľ  %RWKIDUPV¡Ă&#x20AC;UVWVFKRROGLVWULFWEX\HUZDV:HOG&RXQW\ DOVRNQRZQDV Greeley-Evans) School District 6. One of the stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s leading districts in farmto-school, they are proof that a successful relationship between growers and VFKRROVLVQRWRQO\SRVVLEOHEXWEHQHĂ&#x20AC;FLDODQGHYHQQHFHVVDU\WRERWKSDUWLHV  ´<RXKDYHWREHVWUDWHJLFDQG\RXKDYHWRVWDUWVPDOOÂľVDLG-HUHP\:HVW WKHGLVWULFW¡VQXWULWLRQVHUYLFHVGLUHFWRU´,W¡VQRWHDV\DQGLWWDNHVWLPHDQG commitment of resources. Change happens when you start putting systems LQWRSODFHÂľ For Greeley, that change has happened rather rapidly. The year that West came into the nutritional director position, the district spent $300 on local foods. One year later it had expanded to over $12,000 and is projected at over $60,000 this year. One reason theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been able to successfully expand the program is WKHLURZQĂ H[LELOLW\ZRUNLQJZLWKOHVVVSHFLĂ&#x20AC;FPHQXVWUDLQLQJVWDII IRUPRUH preparation work and equipping kitchens for even simple tasks like lettuce washing.  ´7KHUHLVPRUHSUHSZRUNLQYROYHGÂľKHVDLG´:HKDGWRUHPLQG

june  -­  august  2011


ourselves that dirt and worms on lettuce is normal. It means itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fresh and it FDPHIURPRXURZQEDFN\DUG:HMXVWKDYHWRZDVKLWÂľ Unlike Poudre, however, the district has had some outside help. Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve received grant aid from the Fresh Fruits and Veggie Program, as well as support from an Americorps Vista volunteer. West knows these factors give Greeley a foothold that other districts donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have, which is why he has made efforts to make a template out of their system for other schools to follow suit.  ´)DUPWRVFKRROLVQHZIRUXVEXWRWKHUVWDWHVOLNH:DVKLQJWRQDQG 2UHJRQKDYHEHHQGRLQJLWIRU\HDUVÂľVDLG:HVW´:H¡UHFDWFKLQJXSDQG VORZO\ZDGLQJLQÂľ The Real Food Reality Most districts that have been successful with connecting to their local food sources have one thing in common: an individual who is committed to it.  ´7KHZDQWIRUVRPHWKLQJGRHVQ¡WQHFHVVDULO\OHDGWRDFWLRQÂľVDLG-XOLD (UOEDXPRI 5HDO)RRG&RORUDGR´7KHUHLVDOHDUQLQJFXUYHDQGLW¡VDPDWWHU RI FRPPLWPHQWWRRYHUFRPHWKDWEDUULHUÂľ Real Food Colorado is an organization working to organize and establish regional food hubs with the purpose of connecting schools and community establishments to their local growers. Erlbaum believes the biggest road block between schools and the food grown in their own backyard is communication, and a misunderstanding of what each party needs for a symbiotic relationship. Real Food wants to act as translator.  ´,W¡VDPDWWHURI FUHDWLQJDGLDORJXHÂľVDLG(UOEDXP´LW¡VDYDOXHRI  PLQHWRZRUNZLWKDQGNQRZERWKVLGHVDQGĂ&#x20AC;OOLQPLVXQGHUVWDQGLQJV(YHU\ stakeholder has their own vocabulary. They speak their own language and WDONLQJWRHDFKRWKHULVOLNHYLVLWLQJDIRUHLJQODQGÂľ  5HDO)RRG¡VĂ&#x20AC;UVWIRRGKXELVSODQQHGIRU1RUWKHUQ&RORUDGR,WZLOO serve the purpose of collecting minimally processed goods, organizing and preparing them for use in schools and the surrounding community. The idea would be to aid both producers and GLVWULFWVLQWHUSUHWLQJ´WKHIRUHLJQ ODQJXDJH¾³WKHWHUPVVWDQGDUGV requirements and expectations of both parties. Eventually, Erlbaum hopes to have a network of these KXEVDFURVVWKHVWDWHWRHIĂ&#x20AC;FLHQWO\ make use of the different regional goods.  ´6FKRROVDUHUHJXODWHGDQGPXVW PHHWFHUWDLQJXLGHOLQHVÂľVKHVDLG ´%XWWKDWGRHVQ¡WPHDQIDUPVFDQ¡W meet those guidelines. They just donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have the adequate vocab to FRPPXQLFDWHEDFNWRWKHVFKRROVÂľ The food hubs and Real Food Colorado will not take over already existing farm-to-school programs nor micromanage new ones. But what WKH\ZLOOGRLVDFWDVWKH´FRPPLWWHG LQGLYLGXDOÂľIRUWKRVHGLVWULFWVWKDW donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t otherwise have one. Or donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have the time and resources to pay one.  :LWKWKHĂ&#x20AC;UVWIRRGKXESODQQHGIRU1RUWKHUQ&RORUDGR3RXGUHMXVW PLJKWĂ&#x20AC;QGLWVHOI ZLWKDKXJHDVVHWLQWKHQHLJKERUKRRG  ´%HLQJDQXWULWLRQGLUHFWRULVDKDUGMREÂľVDLG(UOEDXP´3HRSOHDUH quick to assume things. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s great that Poudre is now willing to sit down at the WDEOHDQGVD\ÂśKRZFDQZHGRWKLV"¡¾ The Farm-To-School Future The farm-to-school movement may be better for the environment, the economy and the health of our children, but at itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s very core, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s telling a story. The story of how a seed in the ground becomes lunch on a tray. And contrary to what todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s third graders might say, it wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t because of Safeway.  ´7KHUH¡VDQLQFUHGLEOHYDOXHLQNQRZLQJZKDWIRRGLVDQGZKHUHLWFRPHV IURPÂľVDLG(UOEDXP´$KDQGVRQIRRGHGXFDWLRQLVLPSRUWDQWLI \RXZDQWWR pass that knowledge down. I would hate it if my kids could only identify food E\LW¡VODEHOÂľ For PSD, this movement is just starting to take root, and according to Erlbaum, will need a lot of attention from the community if itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ever to grow. Fostering dialogue, listening to and understanding the needs of both the SURGXFHUVDQGWKHVFKRROVDQGĂ&#x20AC;OOLQJLQWKHPLVVLQJOLQNVLVQRWMXVWWKHMRERI  the director of nutrition, but the entire community. It wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t one person who broke the food system and it wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be one SHUVRQWRĂ&#x20AC;[LW,I WKHSHRSOHRI )RUW&ROOLQVZDQWWRVHHDFKDQJHWKH\KDYH to step forward and demand it. And then be willing to put in the work to make it happen.  ´7KLVLVVRPHWKLQJWKDWLVZRUWKWLPHDQGLQYHVWPHQWÂľVDLG(UOEDXP ´7KHVXFFHVVRI IDUPWRVFKRROZLOOKDYHORQJUHYHUEHUDWLQJHIIHFWVRQQRW only our kids, but the entire community. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s investing in ourselves, and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s LPSRUWDQWWKDWLW¡VORQJWHUPÂľ 0DJJLH6KDIHULVDUHSRUWHUOLYLQJLQ)RUW&ROOLQV&RORUDGRZLWKDEDFNJURXQGLQIHDWXUH food and entertainment writing and a passion for social justice. Follow her online at





hď ¨

june  -­  august  2011

The Perils of Clicktivism:   Activism in the Age of Social Media?

Article by Charles J. Malone Photographs by Kristopher Hite



DQ\EHIRUHPHKDYHJRQHWRMDLOIRUMXVWLFHÂľ7LP'H&KULVWRSKHU FDOOHGRXWWRWKHFURZGDIWHUKLVFRQYLFWLRQ´DQGLI ZHDUHJRLQJWR DFKLHYHRXUYLVLRQPDQ\DIWHUPHZLOOKDYHWRMRLQPHDVZHOOÂľ DeChristopher is facing ten years in prison for disrupting the sale of gas and oil leases on public lands in Utah. These leases were later cancelled by Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. By bidding 1.8 million dollars for these parcels of land to prevent development, DeChristopher apparently FRPPLWWHGWZRIHORQLHV,VD\´DSSDUHQWO\ÂľEHFDXVHWKHMXGJHLQKLVFDVHGLG not allow jurors to hear that the leases were later deemed inappropriate by the Obama administration. This is the risk of Civil Disobedience. DeChristopher makes the hopeful and grand assumption that there is a common vision for environmental justice in the US, and the path to that kind of change takes us through the perils of protesting creatively and tirelessly in opposition the status quo. In an interview with after his conviction, he lamented some of the dominant trends in HQYLURQPHQWDODFWLYLVPWRGD\´,W¡V evolved into this kind of one-click activism that tries to make it really HDV\IRUSHRSOHÂľKHVDLG´7KHUHDOLW\ of the situation is, this isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t going to be easy and thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no witty message in the world thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s going to win this for us. We have very real opponents: the fossil fuels industry. Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re very powerful and theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not going to give XSÂľ Several times a week my inbox LVĂ&#x20AC;OOHGZLWKSHWLWLRQVIRUYDULRXV groups: the kind of no sweat, no dirt opportunity DeChristopher worries about. One click takes me to the petition where I get a cursory, and likely biased, glance at the issue. Another click adds my name to a list that gets forwarded off to the appropriate congressperson. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s easy, painless, and calling it activism is generous.

The following Tuesday LaFarge had the area all cleaned up. Kris said he IHOW´WRWDOVKRFNÂľDWKLVVXFFHVV Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s important to applaud LaFarge here, not for digging a seemingly LQĂ&#x20AC;QLWHQXPEHURI JUDYHOSLWVLQWKHUHJLRQEXWIRUSD\LQJDWWHQWLRQDQGGRLQJ the right thing where they could. I wrote to one of LaFargeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Communication 'LUHFWRUV-RsOOH/LSVNL5RFNZRRGZKRVDLG´/DIDUJHZRUNVYHU\FORVHO\ with the communities in which it operates and is an integral part of those communities. We make every effort to respond to our community concerns DVVRRQDVSRVVLEOHÂľ 0RUHWRWKHTXHVWLRQ/LSVNL5RFNZRRGDOVRZURWH´6RFLDOPHGLD provides another great avenue for our communities to reach out to us and vice versa. As a company that has direct involvement with the local communities in which we operate, but also as part of a public multi-national, it is our responsibility to be aware and listen to what our stakeholders have to VD\Âľ)RUWKLVUHDVRQ/D)DUJHPDLQWDLQVDSUHVHQFHRQ)DFHERRNDV/D)DUJH Live, on Twitter, on Linked-In, and on YouTube to participate in conversations about safety, sustainability, and innovation. As companies and politicians recognize the importance of either controlling or participating in these conversations to keep their reputations intact, or because theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re good-hearted members of our communitiesâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;or, as Hite recalls /RXLV%UDQGLHV¡VPD[LP´VXQOLJKW PDNHVWKHEHVWGLVLQIHFWDQW¾³VRFLDO media gives activists new tools. Is WKLVWKHVDPHVDFULĂ&#x20AC;FHIUHH´RQHFOLFN DFWLYLVPÂľ'H&KULVWRSKHUWDONVDERXW" I ask Hite about this question RI VDFULĂ&#x20AC;FHDQGKHUHVSRQGHG´, knew I could get into trouble, but how much? This isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t my land, but LWLVP\FRPPXQLW\DQG,¡YHWULHGWRGRDORWIRUWKHULYHUÂľ:HKDYHDURYLQJ conversation punctuated by moments when we realize weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve touched on a key understanding of what it means to take care of our community. He hands me D-RKQ0F3KHHERRNSDUDSKUDVLQJ´JRYHUQPHQWLVWRRIDWWRGRWKHVHWKLQJV SHRSOHQHHGWRGRWKHVHWKLQJVÂľ I ask if we can bike by the site and he grabs a trash bag remembering that he saw a bunch of garbage scattered throughout the intersection of Plum and Shields. We can pick it up on the way. When we get to the intersection thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s trash everywhere. As we pull over to pick it up, a truck with two city employees sits at the intersection watching XVZRUNDVWUDIĂ&#x20AC;FEX]]HVE\GDQJHURXVO\FORVH([KDXVWDQGURWWLQJIRRG swirl in the wake of passing vehicles. The city workers watch us through their windows as if trying to prove McPheeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sentiment. I ask Kris about where he got the fortitude to take responsibility for his

It seems the real risk here, from DeChrisopherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s perspective, is that people will click these petitions, do a good deed, and stop there. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a local activist who offers some other ways to think about this issue. Around the time interviewed DeChristopher, Kristopher Hite, a Fort Collins resident, who writes at his homepage Tom Paineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Ghost, hopped a fence by the Poudre river on the northwest edge of town and took some pictures of a LaFarge junkpile made of old cement-mixers and semi-truck carcasses piling up behind a growing wall of tires. When Hite posted these pictures on Facebook and Twitter he was quickly surprised that LaFarge responded under WKH)DFHERRNSURĂ&#x20AC;OH/D)DUJH/LYHQRWZLWKFRPSODLQWVDERXWKLVWUHVSDVVLQJ EXWZLWKDSRVLWLYHVROXWLRQPLQGHGUHVSRQVH´1RWRQO\GLGWKH\UHVSRQGEXW WKH\KDGSHRSOHRQWKHJURXQGĂ&#x20AC;[LQJLWÂľ+LWHVDLG activism

continued on page 30

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Jake Lloyd (born in Fort Collins, 1989) Film actor. Played young Anakin Skywalker in 6WDU:DUV(SLVRGH,7KH3KDQWRP0HQDFH +DWWLH0F'DQLHO OLYHGLQ)RUW&ROOLQVRQ&KHUU\6WUHHW /DWHĂ&#x20AC;OPDQGWHOHYLVLRQDFWUHVV:LQQHURI DQ$FDGHP\$ZDUG   Starred in Gone with the Wind. Jon Heder (born in Fort Collins, 1977) Actor. Starred in 1DSROHRQ'\QDPLWH David Burroughs Mattingly (born in Fort Collins, 1956) Illustrator and painter best known for his numerous ERRNFRYHUVRI VFLHQFHĂ&#x20AC;FWLRQDQGIDQWDV\OLWHUDWXUH Temple Grandin (resides in Fort Collins) An American doctor of animal science and professor at Colorado State University, bestselling author, and consultant to the livestock industry on animal behavior. As a person with high-functioning autism, Grandin is also widely noted for her work in autism advocacy and is the inventor of the hug machine designed to calm hypersensitive persons. *UDQGLQLVOLVWHGLQWKH7LPHOLVWRI WKHPRVWLQĂ XHQWLDOSHRSOHLQWKHZRUOGLQWKHFDWHJRU\´+HURHVÂľ Byron Raymond White (born in Fort Collins, 1917) Associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. One of two justices to dissent IURPWKH5RHY:DGHDERUWLRQGHFLVLRQ$Q$OO$PHULFDIRRWEDOOSOD\HUQLFNQDPHG´:KL]]HUÂľZKRZRXOGODWHUJRSUR John Magnie (resides in Fort Collins) Musician. Most well-know for his work with the Subdudes. Jon Cooper (born in Fort Collins, 1986) Center for the Minnesota Vikings. 'DUQHOO0F'RQDOG ERUQLQ)RUW&ROOLQV 2XWĂ&#x20AC;HOGHUIRUWKH%RVWRQ5HG6R[ Derek Vincent Smith (born in Fort Collins) Musician with Pretty Lights Tickle Me Pink (formed in Fort Collins) Band. Currently signed to Wind-Up Records. Debut album Madeline. wwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww

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Kris Hite is savvy about his use of technology, or maybe ballsy is a better, if gendered, word. Like a lot of people he blogs and heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s very present on Facebook and Twitter. At the same time Hite counters the vacuum of the internet in creative ways. When he posted the pictures of the junk he tagged WKH&RORUDGRDQ-RKQ.HIDODVDQGRWKHURIĂ&#x20AC;FLDOVZLWKHQYLURQPHQWDO credibility. Similarly, Timothy DeChristopher and his supporters keep a web presence up at and, groups like the Sierra &OXEDQG'HIHQGHUVRI :LOGOLIHDOOZRUNWRHPSOR\WKHQHZHVWĂ DVKLHVW and most effortless tools to widen participation in conversations that matter to them. The real issue here, the real question DeChristopher raises is about HIĂ&#x20AC;FDF\'RWKHVHHIIRUWVWDQJLEO\FKDQJHDQ\WKLQJLQWKHZRUOG" I wrote the Sierra Club to ask how effective their petitions are, ZRQGHULQJLI VLJQLĂ&#x20AC;FDQWVXFFHVVPLJKWWURXEOH'H&KULVWRSKHUV¡VWKUXVW towards martyrdom. Instead of speaking to the effectiveness of these measures Carrie Anderson from Sierra Club Information stated that it is much more effective to take extra time to use the language in their petitions in personalized letters and phone calls to our congresspeople. Gary Wockner the Executive Director of Save the Poudre, and a board member here at Wolverine Farm, recently was able to collect more WKDQVLJQDWXUHVLQĂ&#x20AC;YHGD\VRQDSHWLWLRQWKDWKHZLOOEHWDNLQJWRWKH 2IĂ&#x20AC;FHRI (FRQRPLF'HYHORSPHQWDVSDUWRI KLVJURXS¡VHIIRUWVWRSUHYHQW the damming of the only designated Wild and Scenic river in Colorado. :RFNQHUVD\V´ZKHQ\RX¡UHGRLQJWKLVNLQGRI ZRUN\RXGRZKDW\RX FDQWRPDNHDGLIIHUHQFHÂľ+HVD\VWKDWKLVJURXSLVWU\LQJWRWDNHDGYDQWDJH RI QHZDQGFKDQJLQJGHYHORSPHQWVWRKHOSRUJDQL]HWKHLUHIIRUWV´,W¡VD new form of organizing and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s different. Maybe our concept of activism DQGRUJDQL]LQJQHHGVWREURDGHQÂľ In a constantly evolving world of communication, what works is not a static category. $VDUHVXOWLQIRUPDWLRQDERXWWKHHIĂ&#x20AC;FDF\RI WKHVHSHWLWLRQVYDULHV widely from cause to cause, and from group to group. This makes it hard to counter DeChristopherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s criticism, but I do sense an important semantic distinction. Engagement is a better label for this kind of work, and activism EHWWHUĂ&#x20AC;WVZKDW'H&KULVWRSKHU+LWHDQG:RFNQHUDUHXSWR:RFNQHU¡V point about this being one aspect of a broad approach to grassroots activism and organization is important.

2ZQHUV5LOH\)XUPDQHN -RUGDQ7ZLJJV Email: Location: PO Box 422 Fort Collins, CO 80522 6L]H'HSHQGVRQWKHVL]HRI \RXU\DUG Number of Workers: Riley, Jordan, and volunteers. Years Around: First Season 3ULPDU\&URSV9HJHWDEOH :LOG)ORZHUV 1HZ7KLV<HDU7KHZKROHWKLQJ Current work: Building plant supports from recycled materials, Ă&#x20AC;QLVKLQJWUDQVSODQWLQJHVWDEOLVKLQJORFDOFRQQHFWLRQVDQGFXVWRPHUV and getting a place in the interweb world. Biggest Challenge: Getting a late start with the wet season we've had, Ă&#x20AC;QGLQJFXVWRPHUVWRSXUFKDVHSURGXFHDQGKDUQHVVLQJYROXQWHHU work. Unique Farming Practices: Catering to folks who have a passion for growing produce for themselves and their community by using unused plots at houses around town. (QMR\VPRVW(YHU\VLQJOHPRPHQWRI LW For more information, visit:

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When it comes to environmental justice, to wanting to make a difference, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s clear that if itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s easy, it probably doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t make a difference. The other side of the coin is that if itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s easy you might as well do it. If you really care, you have to get more than a mouse cordâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s length away from the computer. Doing something and then blogging about it is a degree better that blogging about what someone else does. Or, what Kris Hite did is better than what Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m doing here. Both DeChristopher and Hite know when theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re taking risks, and what they are risking. Putting the emphasis on action means knowing whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s at stake. There may be a direct relationship between the amount of risk you take and the amount of good you do. Anyone can make themselves look like a hero on Facebook, and anyone can take a minute to clean up trash in the street. Neither of these requires a doctorate or special permit. Kristopher Hiteâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s work cultivates good habits of engagement and activism. Hiteâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s example shows that we can make real, physical change--LaFargeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s junk is gone. For DeChristopher, risking his future to save this land was worthwhile and he is in a great position to raise the bar for anyone who claims the word activism. Before we left his house, Hite, a fan of potent quotables, pointed to WKHSRVWHUZHSULQWHGRI (GZDUG$EEH\DQGWKHTXRWH´VHQWLPHQWZLWKRXW DFWLRQLVWKHUXLQRI WKHVRXOÂľ




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