Solar-powered snow removal in Boulder, CO is a flop, and more

A LITTLE MORE ACCOUNTABILITY, A LITTLE LESS ENABLING

By Max R. Weller

Read Boulder weather: Mostly sunny with a high of 37 in the Daily Camera. The fallacy inherent in Boulder, CO’s “solar-powered” snow removal strategy is quite obvious this morning — slushy snow from yesterday afternoon has frozen overnight and it is very ICY and very DANGEROUS out there! These conditions may linger for a couple of days.

This is a City of Boulder snowplow, in case you’ve never seen one in your neighborhood:

 A snow plow heads north on Ninth Street in Boulder on Thursday.

 (Cliff Grassmick / Daily Camera 2014)

Sidewalks are just as treacherous as streets, further proof that a city ordinance requiring snow removal there for the safety of pedestrians like me is a farce as well.

Before I moved here to America’s Smartest City in early 2008, I had lived in cities back in Missouri which took snow removal seriously; by comparison, Boulder is incompetent and not enough taxpayers are calling for the scalps of Boulder City Council members.

BTW, if the lack of timely and effective snow removal doesn’t piss you off enough, there is a whole range of other issues for which BCC is escaping accountability . . . Municipalization, transients from Denver and elsewhere consuming resources which could be going to Boulder County’s own homeless people, city policy dictated by the PLAN-Boulder cabal to the detriment of the middle class and working poor, etc.

Interesting column by Bob Greenlee (who has been kind enough to mention my blog in re homelessness) from the DC: Caution! Off-ramps ahead? Quoting from it below:

The entire electric utility industry is undergoing a tremendous reformation of its century-old business model in electric generation as well as its delivery systems and networks. Today both investor-owned as well as community-based electric providers face consumers who want to be more efficient in their use of electricity as well as more empowered in how they access and employ this vital commodity. There’s little doubt that today’s electric utility providers are seeking ways to fundamentally change their business model and practices even though such changes are difficult to achieve due to the highly-regulated environment they face.

Of particular interest was the staff’s review of what has occurred in Minneapolis, the home base of Xcel Energy, Boulder’s current electric utility provider and the target of misplaced local ire. Minneapolis was considering forming its own muni at about the same time Boulder was. Instead, a short-term franchise agreement was entered into by Xcel and Minneapolis largely because the two entities identified similar goals related to employing more renewable energy as well as the promise of more consumer- and environmentally-friendly operating practices. This is an alternative that Boulder should consider to achieve its energy future goals without the excessively expensive, unpredictable, and risky course it now finds itself pursuing.

Three Stooges x 3: Boulder City Council

All of you ignorant people who think that police officers should NOT take fools who point what might be a pellet gun at them as a deadly threat should read this story from the Denver Post: Erie man dies after accidentally shooting himself with pellet rifle. Yes, it’s true that a protective vest typically worn by cops will stop a pellet, but what if that projectile were to strike the officer in the eye? Do you think it might have sufficient energy to penetrate into the brain, in addition to causing permanent blindness? Time to stop making excuses for stupid drunks who get themselves shot after threatening police officers with deadly force — and it’s not even necessary to concern ourselves with pellet guns that are designed as lookalikes of more powerful weapons. Anything firing a projectile can kill or seriously injure another person; a lesson most of us are taught at a very young age by responsible parents.

As long as my toes are bright red when I step into the shower room at Boulder Shelter for the Homeless, shortly after 6AM, I know that I don’t need to worry about frostbite turning them black and causing autoamputation, which happened to a homeless friend of mine a few years ago. If I recall correctly, two of his toes fell off after quite a while. I wonder if he saved them, as a reminder NOT to get drunk and pass out in snowy, subfreezing weather . . .

That’s all for today, since I need to get to King Soopers earlier than noon if I hope to find hot & spicy chicken breast sandwiches still available.

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