Michelle Jung: Environment: Take time to care for your property
I moved to Boulder in 1985. The general population truly cared for the environment. I feel ashamed at Boulder today. Most of the population considers themselves an environmentalist.
But looking around, most homes seem seriously neglected. Plenty of money spent remodeling the interior, but the exterior, what a mess! Trash lies in the yard for weeks until the next rain or windstorm takes it away. Landscaping consists of obnoxious weeds flowering, scrub trees reaching to the sky. Do you know what this does for the environment? I believe it decimals it. Take time each week to pull weeds, mow, pick up trash. The internet can help identify weeds.
Some houses attempt to pass off three-foot weed fields as a lawn. I witness the irrigation dutifully run each and every morning. Even multiple times! Weeds do not need water. They remain green, flower and then seed into thousands of new plants in the most extreme droughts.
Air conditioning runs day and night. It takes a small effort to open the windows in the evening and close them in the morning. Coming home to an 80-degree house can take a bit to get used to. Be strong!
And please, do not idle your car to charge your telephone and run the A/C. It kills insects and landscaping, pollutes enormously, and the stench! Cozy up at stoplights to allow for the greatest number of cars to make the light.
I know, there are things you’d rather do. Chores are a pain. Boulder builds townhomes and condominiums at an ever-quickening pace to serve your no-chore needs.
Take care of our struggling environment.
Michelle Jung, Boulder
Joseph La Camera: Perilous times: Love takes work, but it is worth it
Many acquaintances of mine have asked me, since my wife Deanna died in 2019, how we were able to have such a long marriage of 47 years. I usually say that we had fun together. However, it is a bit more complex than that. We did have fun together, but we had a long friendship before we got married. Her first husband, Don and I were best friends. None of us expected that he would die of cancer at the age of 37. We both experienced his loss of him as a defining moment that led to our decision to marry. We had friendship, respect and love all tied together. But, to make this work, we had a common goal, to raise Don and Deanna’s son Don Jr., who is now my son. But most of all, we had daily communication. We were a team, totally committed to each other. This was not rocket science, but complete dedication to each other. It took work, and boy did we work at it.
When we ordered our wedding rings, we had inscribed “Time is Not” from a poem, which goes: “For those who rejoice, Time is short, for those who grieve, Time is Long, for those who love, Time is Not. ”
After Deanna’s death, our friends, Ronnie and Allan sent the poem titled “Remember Me” by Margaret Mead that I keep close to my heart. It goes in part:
“To the living, I am gone.
To the sorrowful, I will never return.
To the angry, I was cheated,
But, to the happy, I am at peace.”
We live in perilous times, but if we love, “Time is Not.”
Joseph LaCamera, Boulder
Linda Leiseca: Solar: Fee for self-generated energy is greedy
Solar power is the future of electricity production. According to the Colorado Public Utilities Commission, the state ranks 11th in the nation for solar capacity and this usage is growing quickly. Coloradans’ use of solar power increased faster than in 43 other states, as of 2020.
Not only is solar power better for the planet, but also it is better for Coloradoans’ pocketbooks. The average Colorado household save can save thousands of dollars in power consumption over the lifetime of each solar panel they use. Given these benefits, it’s hard to imagine why someone wouldn’t choose to install panels on their roof. That is unless they live in the City of Loveland.
Loveland Water and Power, the utility owned by the city, actively punishes Loveland residents for installing solar panels on their roofs. While the municipal utility imposes a monthly base fee of $16.05 for residents without solar panels, depending on the capacity of self-generation, that base fee can rise to $26.36 for residents generating their own solar power. That amounts to a $124 annual fee for investing in green power, investing in homes, and investing in Colorado.
I moved to Loveland in 2017, and solar power was not on my radar. But after years of hearing stories from friends and family members who started putting panels on their roofs, I to investigate making this investment in my own home. Last year, I purchased 18 solar panels for my roof and am very proud to say that my panels have been generating an average of 900-kilowatt hours in electricity. That’s power that didn’t have to be generated by coal or other fossil fuels. It is clean, sustainable power from the sun.
The City of Loveland’s municipal utility put a damper on that joy by penalizing me and every single other resident who chooses to invest in our community by installing solar panels. On its website, the utility claims that it strives to be recognized by the community “for excellence and integrity.” When I look at my utility bill and see a penalty for generating solar power, I see neither excellence nor integrity. All I see is greed and injustice. All I see is a municipal utility that would rather put money in the pockets of fossil fuel companies than support its residents’ efforts to create a greener, cleaner Colorado.
Linda Leiseca, Loveland