Briefs | CU hosts legalization forum

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CU hosts legalization forum

The University of Colorado at Boulder chapter of Students for Sensible Drug Policy is hosting a conference on campus from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 6, to educate community members about efforts to legalize marijuana and reform other drug policies.

The event is being held in the Benson Earth Sciences Building, Room 180.

High-profile speakers from the legalization movement will participate throughout the day, including Rick Doblin, founder and president of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies; Aaron Houston, executive director of Students for Sensible Drug Policy; Mason Tvert, executive director of SAFER (the Safer Alternative for Enjoyable Recreation); Steve Fox, director of state campaigns at the Marijuana Policy Project; and Brian Vincente, executive director of Sensible Colorado.

The conference will provide students and community members with information on issues such as psychedelic drug research, medical marijuana regulations, drug policy roadblocks to scientific research and efforts to legalize marijuana in Colorado in 2012. More than 100 students from throughout Colorado are expected to attend. Doblin will give the keynote speech.

“Students overwhelmingly support marijuana law reform,” SSDP Associate Director Jon Perri said in a press release. “With medical marijuana dispensaries already raising millions of dollars for the state, Colorado is poised for legalization, and young people will play an important role in that movement over the next few years.”

Tickets are $10 for students and $20 for non-students. Registration information may be found at www.ssdp.org/events/2010-mountain-plains-regional-conference. For more information, contact Christopher Pezza at 401-528-9159.

City facility goes ‘off the grid’

Less than two weeks after celebrating the implementation of solar photovoltaic panels just outside its gates, Boulder’s Wastewater Treatment Facility (WWTF) reached a new milestone last week, going “off the grid” completely for two and a half hours on Oct. 28. Going “off the grid” means that all power necessary to operate the facility came from sources other than Xcel’s traditional fossil fuel supply.

Coordinator of Wastewater Treatment Chris Douville said the plant was able to draw all of the energy it needed, roughly 1,200 to 1,400 kilowatts, from the solar array and from its two co-generation (co-gen) system engines. The co-gen engines capture and burn gas coming off the anaerobic digester process tanks, using that gas to generate additional power instead of releasing it into the atmosphere. The solar array, at its peak that day, was generating close to 800 kilowatts.

Douville said the milestone was due to a combination of factors, including relatively low wastewater flows, less demand than usual, a clear day and cool temperatures.

The ultimate goal is for 50 percent or more of the facility’s power to come from alternative sources over a monthly or annual basis, Douville said. The city hopes to meet that goal through a combination of energy efficiency efforts and maximizing its alternative supplies.
For more information, visit www.bouldercolorado.gov/energyfuture.

Technical library issues resolved

Three local library computer circulation systems were out of commission from Oct. 28 to Nov. 1 after a routine file-maintenance procedure caused a technical problem.

The system that runs the catalog and patron databases for Boulder, Louisville and Broomfield public libraries were shut down during the period.

Patrons were expected to regain the ability to request materials through the Prospector system this week.

On Nov. 1, library staff members were working to catch up on processing returns and getting materials shelved again after using a manual system over the weekend.

“We apologize for the inconvenience to our patrons during this outage,” said Boulder Public Library Acting Director Donna Gartenmann. “Library staffs were able to continue checking materials out, but it took longer than usual, and materials that were returned over those days are being sorted to allow staff to check them in and get them back onto shelves.”

The libraries affected will not charge fines to patrons as a result of the delay in being able to check materials back in during the computer problems.

Sustainable ag forum on tap

The Boulder County Parks and Open Space Department will host a forum on sustainable agriculture on Saturday, Nov. 6, from 3 to 6 p.m. at Silver Creek High School in Longmont.
Discussion topics will include the meaning of sustainable agriculture in Boulder County and how to create policies that promote a sustainable system but are flexible enough to adapt to changing sustainable agricultural practices.

The event will start with a keynote speech by Pamela Ronald and Raoul Adamchak of the University of California at Davis, co-authors of Tomorrow’s Table: Organic Farming, Genetics, and the Future of Food.

A facilitated panel discussion with regional experts will follow. The event will end with a question-and-answer session with all of the panelists.

Registration is available on the Parks and Open Space website at www.bouldercounty.org/openspace/management_plans/cropland_policy/index.htm. Contact Resource Planner Jesse Rounds at 303-678-6271 or croplandpolicy@bouldercounty.org for more information.

Coot Lake work begins Nov. 1

The City of Boulder’s Parks and Recreation Department began walkway improvements and shoreline stabilization work at Coot Lake this week.

Coot Lake is located at 5600 N. 63rd St., adjacent to Tom Watson Park. The project is anticipated to take three to four weeks. Shoreline stabilization work will include replacement of the existing rock walls on either side of the fishing pier with a reinforced, stable surface.
The Coot Lake parking lot will be closed during construction. Visitors are asked to park at Tom Watson Park and use the crosswalk across 63rd Street to access the lake. A lakeside walkway detour will be provided. For park improvement updates, visit www.BoulderParkNews.org.

Commuter workshops offered

Community Cycles, a local nonprofit organization that educates and advocates for the safe use of bicycles, has kicked off a new program called “Clever Commuter.” Community Cycles will offer brown bag workshops through local employers to help employees learn how to combine bicycle commuting with public transportation.

The Clever Commuter workshops will cover route finding and scheduling, using bus bike racks and loading a bike beneath a bus, navigating bus stations on a bike, properly locking a bike on a rack at a bus stop or station, how to apply for and use a bike locker at a bus station, and how to carry what you need for work on your bike.

As part of the program, Community Cycles Bike Ambassadors will work closely with individual participants to help them “practice” bike/bus behaviors and routines. Organizers plan to host the workshops at large employers in the Boulder area, in addition to working with social service providers and companies that have a large percentage of low-income employees.
For more information or to set up a workshop, contact Sue Prant at 303-564-9681.

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