Elections 2008: Please stop voting

(submitted by Brigette Rodriguez)

Time’s up. Please put down your pens. Stop the collective groaning. Why are people still doing THIS?

You can stop now. It’s over and done. Even the election graffiti art at the corner of 3rd and Lashley in Longmont shows that it’s over. Go take a look if you don’t believe me. The children and the police and the firemen? Yep…they also know.

If you didn’t like the outcome and think that the clerk is still counting ballots, she’s not. Go back and read your voting instructions, it said postmarks by Election day don’t count if they are received AFTER the election. According to Jessie Cornelius, spokesperson for the Boulder County Clerk’s office, “While it’s unfortunate that some voters miss the deadline, it’s normal to receive ballots after Election Night. This is not considered a high number. The 242 late ballots came from Boulder County, out of state and overseas.”

I personally think it’s now time to leave the Boulder County Clerk alone. She’s busy. The post office, they’re busy too. The holiday’s are coming…read all about it!

Just save your “I voted” sticker for our upcoming local elections next year…and VOTE on time.
With local elections, races can be decided by a small percentage, who knows if those 242 would have made a difference in at least one of our local races.

Was it the length of the ballot or were you catonic from all the election coverage or too busy watching those “Don’t vote!” you-tube videos? Post a comment and tell me why you may be one of those who merits a “I THINK I voted sticker.” No, we won’t come hunt you down with a sharpie and change your sticker.

And as I so loudly got to say (thanks guys!) when I was an election day judge: “THE POLLS ARE CLOSED!”

(Election Day 2008 artwork by Gamma Acosta)

Longmont Times-Call staffers invited to work as valets at owner’s Christmas party?

(Submitted by Brigette Rodriguez)

(This way for your journalism degree?)

Report the news…or park the bosses car? It’s being reported that staffers at Longmont’s Daily Times Call newspaper have been asked to act as valets at a private party for Ed Lehman, who is the publisher of the paper.
Does this include the writers? I personally hope the below article is a joke as I don’t want my editors at Examiner getting any ideas! I’m lousy at parallel parking. I also took a sharpie and drew a line on my garage wall to show me where to line up the antenna to my mini-van so I don’t plow into the house.
Hey…cool, a Lexus! Continue reading

Longmont Ice Pavilion kicks off the holiday season with FREE ice skating

(Contributed by: Brigette Rodriguez)

Looking for free things to do with the kiddies this weekend? After you’ve been “shown the money” for your college bound teenager and before you leave them at home to go for a night of Rock at the Opera, come chill at the ice rink!
Did I mention it’s FREE? Yep. The skating and the skate rental. FREE.
Grand Opening – Saturday November 15, 2008 Free Skating (this day only) from 10am – 9:00pm
The Ice Rink is operated by the City of Longmont, Recreation Services.
Located at Roosevelt Park, the Longmont Ice Pavilion is a seasonal ice rink, offering public ice skating, hockey, skating lessons and party facilities throughout the winter, weather permitting. Come enjoy the ice, get some exercise, and have a great time in the facility. Click on the above link for the season schedule and rates.
(Rumor has it that next month Santa will make this location his “drop zone” like he did last year! I’ll keep you posted as to his arrival date.)
Shop DOLO afterwards as there’s nothing like outdoor ice skating to get you in the mood for Christmas Shopping!
For more info: (303) 774-4777 or click HERE for directions
Read HERE about CHIL, the community group of citizens who have been working to keep the ice rink open in these tough economic times
Thanks to RaShelle Hindman of the City of Longmont’s Recreation Services for the event notification!

College prep workshop and free scholarships in Longmont this weekend!

(contributed by Brigette Rodriguez)

Show me the money…for college! Parents who want to breathe a little sigh of relief about their college bound students need to attend the FREE college prep workshop with their teens this Saturday, November 15th for Boulder County 8th through 12th grade students and will be held at Skyline High School in Longmont.

Students will receive college and financial aid tips and have the opportunity to learn how to access scholarships and financial aid and gain tips for the college application process.

The “Catching Your Future” College Fair will take place from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Financial aid experts and school representatives will be on hand to present workshops and to answer questions about scholarships, financial aid and the college application process.

In addition to the workshops, there will be a raffle for several scholarships as well as an iPod, Nintendo DS and many more. All student participants of the fair are eligible for the scholarships but must be present to win.

The Catching Your Future College Fair was organized by Sharing Achievement for Student Success in Education, a student-led group that works to increase the awareness of the process for applying for college, scholarship opportunities, building a resume before applying to college and resources available while in high school. The group organized out of Boulder County’s “People Engaged in Raising Leaders” training program.

The event is sponsored by Boulder County, the Knight Foundation, Longmont Youth Council, Front Range Community College, Alternatives for Youth, CollegeInvest, The Play-Off, Abbodanza Pizzeria and the St. Vrain Valley School District. CollegeInvest is a not-for-profit division of the Colorado Department of Higher Education.

For more info: Contact: Perla Delgado, Boulder County Community Action Program, 303-441-3956

(Thanks to Judy Wolfe, Program Manager for the Boulder County Youth Corps in Longmont for the above information!)

My name is Old Glory

Go outside. See how many American flags are flying today.
I counted five this morning in Longmont during carpool. They were outnumbered by the campaign signs that were still out.
Five. That’s it. Did people forget? Read these below stories about people in Longmont who can’t forget.
I still see the face of one of them when he accidentally wandered into my picture at a memorial in DC. He reminds me every year not to forget.
My father in law is probably wearing his 1st Cavalry shirt today. He reminds me every year not to forget.
My youngest son still remembers picking up and righting all the small American flags at the Vietnam memorial. He reminds me every year not to forget.
I remember the faces of the soldier statues at the Korean War Memorial at dusk. They remind me every year not to forget.
The Veterans Parade passing by the “All America City” banner on Main Street in downtown Longmont reminds me every year not to forget.
An article from the appropriately named Denver Forgotten Communities Examiner showed me that my fellow Examiners didn’t forget.
I went to Google something today. They also reminded me not to forget.

Examiner straw poll for Longmont, Colorado

(from Brigette, the Longmont Examiner)
Examiners from major cities across the country conducted a straw poll of voters to better understand their
habits leading up to Election Day. Respondents were randomly selected to participate and asked a series of questions listed below.

Question 1: Have you been polled before today on election issues?

» Results of the Examiner nationwide straw poll

Yes No
5 2

Question 2: On Election Day, did you vote for the same candidates that you intended to vote for prior to arriving at the polling location?

Yes No
7 0

(Out of 17 people polled, there were 10 people who had no response)

Question 3: What was the single most important issue to you in this election that affected how you voted?

Abortion. Future of the country. The honesty , integrity and transparency of the candidate. In general I would have to say it was the Economy. On a local level it was education (Mill levy and Bond ). Whether or not the candidate was supportive of a women’s right to choose. Conservative family values for people and free enterprise capitalism for business and the economy. Fear of Obama.

SUMMARY: As a participant in the election process on election day as well as one of the organizers for Vote! Longmont, I observed that the majority of people in this neighborhood district were prepared and knowledgeable of the issues. In addition to the above straw poll, I was informed that 80% of voters in my neighborhood district early voted or requested mail in ballots and wait times in at least two of the districts were minimal. There were also many first time voters, as well as their proud and encouraging mothers. Families showed up to vote together and if not, they made sure to check the poll book to see that their brothers, husbands, and wives had voted. There were also many young children observing their parents voting.

Due to the high turnout and newly registered voters, there was an increase in provisional ballots that were cast. In addition to that, the clerk and recorder’s office made an eleventh hour decision to accept mail in ballots at polling locations in an effort to assist voters. The clerks office is working diligently to get all those votes counted, read more HERE about how it’s going.

Conversations with others included reports of transportation provided to get voters to the polls and people knocking on doors on election day to remind voters that they have not voted. Frequently throughout the day the poll watchers outnumbered the voters at one polling location. Problems at two precincts I observed were minimal with election officials and voters alike who were tirelessly patient and friendly.

Too bad the nastiest of this election campaign couldn’t have gone as smoothly, but the “can-do” attitude won’t expire on election day and it still remains here in Longmont.

Show Schedule & Site Updates

Here is a schedule of upcoming podcasts and Longmont City Council meetings for the month of November.

November 3 – NO PODCAST

November 4 – Election Day – Abbreviated Longmont City Council meeting 5p-7p

November 10 – Podcast covering election results

November 11 – Veterans Day – Longmont City Council meeting CANCELLED

November 17 – NO PODCAST

November 18 – Longmont City Council Regular Session

November 24 – Podcast covering 11/18 and upcoming 11/25 council meetings

November 25 – Longmont City Council Regular Session

In the meantime, if you haven’t voted already, VOTE! Visit www.votelongmont.org for candidate and issue information.

Previous podcasts and blog entries can be found at www.longmontadvocate.com, where there has been a slight change. Instead of the former “launching pad”, it now goes directly to the Blogger page http://longmontadvocate.blogspot.com where you can find all the same features and links.

An upcoming addition to the site and feed is entries from Brigette, the Longmont Examiner. Something else of interest is a new podcaster in town, Melissa with Voice of Longmont, so give her a listen as well.

The best way to get this blog/podcast is through automatic email delivery. Go to www.longmontadvocate.com and in the upper right there is a form to enter your email address (don’t forget to respond to the email verification) and FeedBurner will send you whatever is posted. There is also a way to subscribe via RSS feed or whatever delivery method you prefer on that page.

Public NOT invited to be heard

There was no love coming from the City Council on Valentines Day ’06. Here is the document (dead link now) limiting your access to locally elected officials. The normally accepted procedure was to have 5 minutes at the beginning and end of each meeting for “Public Invited To Be Heard”. As an occasional speaker, it took time to whittle it down to fit that time frame in some meaningful way. Then somewhere along the line they decided to cut that time. My personal opinion is that this came about from all the Walmart protesters that would go one after another for quite some time, usually repeating each other, and may have pushed the limits of what the councilmember’s would tolerate. I waited for it seemed about 30 speakers, all about Walmart, just to get my airport issue addressed. I could’ve gone between them but didn’t want my point lost in a subject that the city had already made their mind up about.

So down came the hammer. The first step was a 5 minute limit on the first 12 speakers, but #13 on only had 3 minutes, so much for planning out your comments to fit the time allowed. Now you get 3 minutes, period, 1st, 10th, 20th, doesn’t matter. In the old days you didn’t have to put your name on the sign-up sheet, now if you don’t you don’t get your turn until the end of the meeting (regular session only, study session there is no public invited to be heard at the end). Here’s my problem with this: I usually did not put my name on the list for one reason, if someone else already spoke to my issue, I didn’t waste councils time and repeat them. If no one else did, then I’d raise my hand and speak, usually last. But now, if the only way I or anyone can be heard is to sign up, then we all will and possibly waste more of council’s time that could’ve been saved by avoiding duplication.

The bone thrown out by council was this 30 minute chitchat with a couple members of council before the session. This was to be done on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month. You have to sign up for it, and the member may spend 1 minute listening to you, or 29 minutes listening to someone else, in no order and at the discretion of the council member. Recently they cancelled a meeting, cutting these 30 minute get-togethers down to ONCE in March. They point to the possibility of contacting members via phone or email, I’ve done that plenty in the past, results are spotty. Try it for yourself.

I usually agree with Mayor Pirnack on most issues, but this is one I’ve never agreed with. One of her main goals was more public involvement in city issues, something I took to heart, hence this blog/site, etc etc. But this change in procedures (technically known as R-2006-12) goes totally against the Mayor’s stated goal, which I believe is a worthy goal.

I share that goal with my encouraging people to get involved and follow what goes on in their community. Instead of trying to have all the answers, I’d rather nudge you to ask more questions. You’re paying for it in one form or another, get your moneys worth.
UPDATE: According to the Times-Call “City Talk” section, City Council members face-to-face meetings are now only on the fourth Tuesday of every month. The above resolution still says “twice a month”. Watch for it to totally disappear.