Despite petition drive, prairie dog fence at Vance Brand Airport in Longmont is removed

Vance Brand Airport prairie dog fence

You knew something was up when many advocates for prairie dogs filed into the Longmont City Council chambers last Tuesday night to make pleas on behalf of the ongoing issue of prairie dogs at Longmont’s Vance Brand Airport. Others channeled world leaders and one was very persistent in being disruptive and placing signs within camera view of the live meeting.

But, speakers also stated that 3,500 people had sent emails and letters in support of the prairie dogs. Continue reading

City Council needs to re-visit mosquito policy

misquito-bite(1)Below is the (required 300 words or less) opinion article I submitted to the Daily Times Call, which was printed today 6/18/09 with their headline of : “You can avoid spray

An extended version of this was also printed in my column over at and ran as a link on

I am a mosquito magnet, and so is one of my kids…so I was very attentive to the advice given during a conversation at a recent Boulder County Parks and Open Space meeting. The speaker was encouraging vigilance with mosquito repellent. She noted that we have received a lot of rain recently and temperatures will probably heat up, bringing out the mosquitoes and she was predicting that it’s going to be a “bad year”. I’ve heard stories from and know people affected by contracting West Nile virus from mosquito bites, so this was not good news.

Yet just last month, four of our Longmont City Council members (Hansen, McCoy, Benker and Levison) recommended changing our mosquito spraying policy and now will only do this when set traps in and around the city catch 100 or more mosquitoes showing positive testing for West Nile virus.

I’ve watched while some people in Longmont have voiced their concerns at council meetings about pesticides and how the fogging affects them. When fogging has occurred in the past, we get out of our hot tub and go inside. I have a garden alongside my fencing and should fogging occur, I will cover it up with plastic sheeting. Should my dog be outside during spraying, I will bring him in during this temporary spraying event. It’s not that difficult to avoid being “fogged.”

The City of Longmont often boasts about our outdoor spaces and our many parks. They also are offering many outdoor events this summer and need the income generated from citizens attending. There are millions of projected income dollars tied up in some of these events.

We live next to an open space that collects a lot of water every rainfall…let’s hope the mosquitoes are the only ones to have a bad year.

Longmont City Council-Public invited to be heard 6/16/09

The following is my text from my speech at the public invited to be heard portion at the Longmont City Council meeting on June 16, 2009.

I’d like to talk about more than one topic tonite.
Firstly, I am a writer for the Longmont community for a variety of media publications and I think it’s a disservice to the Longmont citizens for councilmember McCoy to suggest that any other paper besides the Daily Times Call should be looked at as a source for local announcements, in particular legal notices. Why? The Times Call has the largest circulation in town and if you really want Longmont residents to best be aware of these notices, the Times Call is the best place to do that. I’ve also heard Councilmember Benker make comments about the paper being “a conservative paper” and have heard that she wants to pull city business out of the paper. They do seem very happy with the pricing Lehman Communications does for providing printing services for the new upstart Longmont Life “newspaper.” I really don’t see why this is being made a problem. Continue reading