Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Elmer’s Twomile Library: Could Diagonal Plaza be home to a branch library?

Friday, July 8th, 2011

We’ve talked a little about some longshot library-related ideas on this blog in the past, but now here’s someone with a city title doing it:

Donna O’Brien, another library commissioner, said there also could be opportunities to partner with developers to have a library presence in new retail locations. She cited the possible future redevelopment of the Diagonal Plaza center at 28th Street and Iris Avenue as a possible opportunity.

The Camera story talks in very broad terms about the city wanting a library resource for north Boulder of some kind.

What do you think — is two and a half miles to the nearest library too far?

Coyote Car Wash vows to ‘keep it clean’

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

If you’re a discerning car washer, you might be interested to know that one of our local car washes is part of a group of car washes that has agreed to hold themselves to a higher standard and to help car wash fundraisers be a little more eco-friendly:

The car washes that have signed the agreement have agreed to allow the county to inspect their sites to make sure they’re compliant with eco-friendly standards. And, some have gone beyond the basic standards and also recycle water used at their car wash bays and allow groups that hold car wash fundraisers to use their sites to avoid water pollution.

“Car washes to raise money is an All-American activity, and we don’t want to by any means dampen that,” said Bill Hayes, with Boulder County Public Health. “But when you see those fundraisers out on the streets, the wastewater is running into the gutter and going off into the streams and rivers.”

The only one in our area that agreed to do it was Coyote Car Wash, 3087 28th Street.

I should note, however, that this place has exclusively negative reviews on Yelp and Google, particularly relating to paying with a credit card – but then again, I don’t suppose I’d ever log in to give a positive review of a car wash, so maybe take that with a grain of salt. Have any of you used it?

Walmart, Amaro, Tangerine, Rocky Mountain Soccer and more updates

Sunday, July 3rd, 2011

OK, I owe you all a few things.

First, an explanation about the month of June: I got married!

It was a busy time. No neighborhood blogging managed. As a result, I’ve missed a few newsy items:

  1. Tangerine and Amaro are totally open. Tangerine seems to be quite popular already and Amaro, as of yet, lacks the critical mass of people to justify it becoming the late-night boozy hangout that I am dying for in our neighborhood. We’ve been to both places a couple of times and like ‘em plenty. Dante at Amaro made my new wife and I some celebratory drinks. Mine had dry ice in it and was otherwise mostly Bourbon from what I could tell — and my best man dubbed it the Total Protonic Reversal. Tangerine features big, delicious breakfast — which is one of my favorite things. Alec, owner of both and of Arugula, is doing a fantastic job. Have you been? What do you think?
  2. I don’t remember the name of it, but the martial arts/fitness studio that was at the southernmost end of Tebo Plaza is gone and has been replaced by a print shop.
  3. The old Flowerama building, which briefly had a sign that said “The Station” (now covered up, presumably until it opens) has been confirmed by loyal reader Andrea to be a dispensary.
  4. Rocky Mountain Soccer is moving from Willow Springs Shopping Center to Spruce and 28th on July 15th. Too bad — we really wanted to start watching some soccer games at their parties. I know, they’re not going far, but it’s the principle of the thing. This, of course, is the kickoff for speculation as to what will fill that space — it’s east of Abo’s, near Tangerine, Amaro and Arugula. My wife said Alec should open a bakery there since that’s basically the only thing he doesn’t have yet.
  5. And finally, the gossip blockbuster from the Camera: Someone apparently wants to know whether people in north Boulder like Walmart – and whether big-box retail belongs at the site of the aging Diagonal Plaza shopping center. Boulder resident Rick Wills said he received a phone call on Wednesday from a survey taker – with a Pennsylvania area code – who asked just three questions: ‘Am I familiar with the city of Boulder’s plans to redevelop the Diagonal Plaza?; would I support a 24-hour Walmart there?; would I support a ban on big-box retailers in the area?’ Wills said, repeating the questions he was asked.” Well, how ’bout that? How do you feel about a 24-hour Walmart at Diagonal Plaza?

Homeless shelter was considered for near 28th between Pine and Valmont

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

A story on last night’s public meeting over the proposed new Carriage House location said that one of the reasons the Arapahoe and Broadway spot is being considered over others is because it’s accessible to its clientele:

The Carriage House has looked at other locations near 28th Street, between Pine Street and Valmont Road, but there are concerns that it would be harder for clients to reach that location.

Well, as with just about any public space in Boulder, I’d say that there’s a portion of the “clientele” already up here, quite enjoying some of our parks, but it’s true that it pales in comparison to downtown. There was a bit of last summer where “public camping” got a touch out of hand, particularly directly on bike paths through tunnels, but for the most part I’d agree.

Hey, how ’bout 2,200 new neighbors?

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

…or a lot of new nearby vacancies?

Here’s a Boulder Blueline post about a bunch of proposed developments kinda-sorta in our area, but mostly to the south or east of what I’d really consider our neighborhood at this point.

All five projects are within or very close to one census tract, bordered roughly by 28th St. on the west, Arapahoe on the south, 55th St. on the east, and the Diagonal and Independence on the north.  In the 2000 census, this tract had a population of 6,125 and an average household size of 2.0 people, with a 50-50 split between rental and owner-occupied units.  If the new units also averaged a household size of 2.0, they would bring an additional 2,200 people to the area, raising the population in the census tract by over a third from the year 2000.

In addition to details on the locations and whatnot of the developments, the post goes on to predict more traffic and talk about how some of it is tied into the very murky future of Boulder Junction.

Which you might know better as Transit Village.

Or even better as “hey, what was that I heard that one time about a passenger train coming to Boulder eventually? Like by 2042? And isn’t it now being talked about as just a super fancy bus stop?”

Naropa’s potential move: More vacancies between 28th and 30th?

Monday, May 16th, 2011

Naropa University, whose Paramita Campus is right here in Elmer’s Twomile, over next to the Cork, is considering a move to consolidate their three campuses into one contiguous campus on a hypothetical 50-acre piece of land… somewhere.

The Paramita Campus

That would definitely mean more open land up here eventually, but it’s a long-range plan:

“Running programs at three different campuses, separated by miles, really tears at the fabric” of the school’s mission, said Brian Bissell, Naropa’s chief financial officer.

Bissell said the goal is to identify a relocation site that is at least 50 acres. He said that location may or may not be in Boulder, and that other municipalities have expressed interest in luring the university.

“We need to find the right space,” Bissell said, adding that early direction from Naropa’s board of trustees is to try and keep the university in Boulder.

But while several members of the City Council expressed their desire to keep Naropa in Boulder, they also acknowledged that it’s becoming much harder to find that kind of developable space in the city.

Boy, first my friend Barry moves out from that Stratford Park complex (directly across from Paramita and the Cork) and now this.

Columbine Elementary sees big gains in standardized tests

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

The Camera reports that our local elementary school was one of the bright spots among third grade test results:

Boulder’s Columbine Elementary, where about 75 percent of students are low-income, saw the biggest increase in its scores overall of any district school — up 25 percentage points, from 38 percent scoring proficient and advanced last year to 63 percent this year.

Columbine Principal Guillermo Medina said the school’s teachers will need to look “much deeper” than average school scores.

Columbine is one of seven Boulder Valley schools that receives Title I money from the state and can be sanctioned for failing to make adequate progress on state tests. Several other Title 1 schools also made gains, though they weren’t as large as those at Columbine.

Our neighborhood Walk Score: 78

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

We are “very walkable,” according to WalkScore.com. (I used Safeway’s address, since that’s kind of a nice, central spot in the area.)

90–100 Walker’s Paradise — Daily errands do not require a car.
70–89 Very Walkable — Most errands can be accomplished on foot.
50–69 Somewhat Walkable — Some amenities within walking distance.
25–49 Car-Dependent — A few amenities within walking distance.
0–24 Car-Dependent — Almost all errands require a car.

I like reading surface-level stuff about urban design, but in truth I don’t know a ton about it at the moment. What I do know is that I chose to live where I live largely because it’s the right combination of affordable and accessible.

Accessible to what? Well, for the full methodology, here’s a big ol’ PDF whitepaper.

But here’s a leeeettle preview of it, which should be enough for you to impress your buds at the bar later: (more…)

Timothy Foss comics in the Colorado Daily every Tuesday

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

"Bath Time" by Timothy Foss -- click to go to his site!

Timothy Foss, a swell guy and artist, lives right around these parts and his comic “Cheering! Up! Mom!” is in the Colorado Daily today and every Tuesday. Check it out — it’s weird and delightful.

Diagonal Plaza redevelopment meeting Tuesday

Sunday, April 24th, 2011

Diagonal Plaza is, of course, home to 24 Hour Fitness and other spots, as well as a bit of empty space and a parking lot that folks don’t like too much. But there may be changes afoot, as we’ve discussed here before.

The Diagonal Plaza redevelopment discussion continues Tuesday with a City Council meeting.

This is from the city’s Diagonal Plaza redevelopment site:

City Council meeting – April 26, 2011: Meeting Agenda and Packet

6:00 pm, Municipal Building (1777 Broadway)

This meeting will include a review of the ULI TAP report and BURA comments.

The staff memo to the City Council includes a proposed work plan for the remainder of 2011 and recommends that the City Council proceed with next steps in evaluating redevelopment of the Diagonal Plaza shopping center and area, including:

  • Continued communications and data gathering with property owners
  • Solicit feedback from potentially interested developers and tenants
  • Conduct a blight study

In the past, we’ve wondered what Diagonal Plaza redevelopment would look like,  and that seems to be coming into a bit better view with recommendations like “solicit feedback from potentially interested developers” and “conduct a blight study.”