Endorsement: Amy Beatie for Colorado House District 4

I’m excited to endorse Amy, she has been a tireless champion for Colorado in her role at the Water Trust. Here’s the press release from Amy’s campaign:

Amy Beatie, Executive Director of the Colorado Water Trust since 2007, announces her endorsement by statewide and local leaders in the Democratic primary for State Representative in Denver’s House District 4. The endorsements come from Ruth Wright, second woman ever in Colorado to become the House Minority Leader, a role that she held from 1986-1992; Gail Schwartz, former State Senator from Crested Butte; and Jeni JAMES Arndt, current State Representative from Fort Collins.

Although she had been considering running for public office for some time, Beatie’s campaign began to truly take shape after her graduation from the Emerge triaining program of 2016, a program that trains progressive women to run for office. “Seasoned leadership matters now more than ever. I have dedicated my career to public service and working tirelessly for Colorado’s environment, but for years I had been feeling such a strong push to do more. I want to be part of helping create a cohesive, progressive, and strategic Democratic party in this state. This incredible northside community also wants someone who will improve our education system, our healthcare system, and our environment. Having been in leadership for most of my career, I’ll be ready to hit the ground running on day one.”

Sen. Schwartz endorsed Beatie saying that, “Amy has dedicated her career to the preservation of Colorado’s natural resources and public service to the people of Colorado. She has distinguished herself as the leader of one of Colorado’s most effective conservation organizations for over a decade. As a former State Senator, I know that Amy’s proven ability to work with diverse interests and communities, along with a deep background on statewide issues, will make her an excellent representative.”

Beatie successfully guided the Colorado Water Trust over the last decade to return over 7 billion gallons of water to over 375 miles of rivers and streams in the State of Colorado and Jeni Arndt, State Representative from Fort Collins, was impressed with Beatie’s knowledge of the state’s water issues. “Effectively managing our state’s water is critical to our shared future. Amy has been a leader on water conservation in Colorado for a decade and having her knowledge and experience in the legislature would be an invaluable contribution to our state’s efforts to plan for one of the most valuable resources in our state.”

Ruth Wright, second woman ever to become the House Minority Leader, a role that she held from 1986-1992, and former board member at the Colorado Water Trust spoke glowingly of Beatie’s ability to lead. “Amy has taken the Trust from an organization on the brink of closing and turned it into one of the most successful environmental organizations in the state. Amy infused the Trust with her vision and passion and I can see that same vision and passion in her run for the state house.”

Amy will be hosting her campaign kickoff on September 21st at the Historic Elitch Carousel Dome at 3775 Tennyson Street, Denver, CO 80212, including guest speakers Gail Schwartz and Rep. Jeni Arndt. All are welcome.

Adiós Cassini, beautiful scientific research robot

From Universe Today (Nancy Atkinson):

“With Cassini, we had a rare opportunity and we seized it,” said Linda Spilker, Cassini Mission Scientist.

And on Friday, September 15, we say goodbye to this incredible spacecraft.

Since 2004, Cassini has been orbiting Saturn, exploring the magnificent gas giant planet while weaving through an incredibly diverse assortment of 60-plus icy moons, and skimming along the edges of the complex but iconic icy rings.

Cassini’s findings have revolutionized our understanding of the entire Saturn system, providing intriguing insights on Saturn itself as well as revealing secrets held by moons such as Enceladus, which should be a big iceball but instead is one of the most geothermally active places in our solar system. And thanks to the Huygens lander, we now know Saturn’s largest moon, Titan is eerily Earthlike, but yet totally alien.

“The lasting story of Cassini will likely be its longevity and the monumental amount of scientific discovery,” Cassini Project Manager Earl Maize told me last year. “It was absolutely the right spacecraft in the right place at the right time to capture a huge array of phenomena at Saturn.”

But after 20 years in space, the Cassini spacecraft is running out of fuel, and so Cassini will conduct a sacred act known as ‘planetary protection.’ This self-sacrifice will ensure any potentially habitable moons of Saturn won’t be contaminated sometime in the future if the drifting, unpowered spacecraft were to accidentally crash land there. Microbes from Earth might still be adhering to Cassini, and its RTG power source still generates warmth. It could melt through the icy crust of one of Saturn’s moons, possibly, and reach a subsurface ocean.

For a mission this big, this long and this unprecedented, it will end in spectacular fashion. Called the Grand Finale — which actually began last spring — Cassini has made 22 close passes through the small gap between Saturn’s cloud tops and the innermost ring. This series of orbits has sent the spacecraft on an inevitable path towards destruction.

And tomorrow, on its final orbit, Cassini will plunge into Saturn’s atmosphere at tens of thousands of kilometers per hour. Like the science-churning machine it has been throughout its mission, Cassini will continue to conduct science observations until the very end, sending back long-sought after data about Saturn’s atmosphere. But eventually, the spacecraft will be utterly destroyed by the gas planet’s heat and pressure. It will burn up like a meteor, and become part of the planet itself…

But I’ll also leave you with this: Instead of feeling like the mission is over, I prefer to think of Cassini as living forever, because of all the data it provided that has yet to be studied.

September 11, 2001

Via WallpaperMaven.com

On the morning of September 11, 2001 I was in my office at home at the computer and my son came into the room.

“Papa, a plane just hit the World Trade Center,” he said.

What a journey the U.S. has been on since then. The current administration just announced another troop surge into Afghanistan, now our longest war with no end in sight.

“They won’t give peace a chance” — Joni Mitchell

@infiniteharvest: An indoor hydroponic vertical farm

Vertical farming graphic via VisualCapitalist.com.

Click here to go to the website:

Infinite Harvest

Infinite Harvest is an indoor hydroponic vertical farm located in Lakewood, Colorado. Through our unique growing system we provide fresh and nutritious produce year-round that is consistent in flavor and superior in quality, all grown with little environmental impact. We sell our products to local restaurants and food markets along the Colorado Front Range. Ask your favorite retailer if they offer our products and see what delicious foods can be made with our products.

Infinite Harvest and the Future of Food Production

The ability to grow food and feed people today is becoming more difficult every year. Diminishing farm land contends with erratic weather patterns, growing population and diminishing natural resources. Localized farming and urban farming are two solutions to feed local populations with fresh food while sustainable agriculture and organic farming are movements to combat environmental damage caused by large scale farming. Infinite Harvest hits the sweet spot between all these farming movements.

As an Indoor vertical farm, Infinite Harvest is able to grow produce all year long and in places where farming could never occur – in large cities and industrialized communities, in vast desserts and mountainous regions. By building vertical farms anywhere, we can feed people everywhere. Equally important, the environmental impact of Infinite Harvest’s vertical farm is significantly less than that of a traditional farm, even an organic farm.

Infinite Harvest’s year round growing cycles means seasonality is no longer an issue. Want to eat arugula in July or March, with Infinite Harvest that is no problem; neither is Thai Basil in December or Micro Greens in April or Bibb Lettuce in October. This is a game changer for restaurants and their customers. We provide local, farm fresh and high-quality produce at any time of the year because at Infinite Harvest, it’s always the growing season.

From The Denver Post (Joseph Rios):

Walk down the aisles of the 5,400-square-foot building, and you’re flanked by green, leafy plants growing on white tiers.

Infinite Harvest’s crops are grown in a controlled environment — lights, humidity, temperature, gases (think carbon dioxide), nutrients and fertigation, can all be regulated. Fertigation provides nutrients to plants and soil through an irrigation system.

“We can’t control the sun, but we can control the LED lights. The only thing unnatural (about our farming methods) is our ability to control the environment,” said founder Tommy Romano.

Infinite Harvest’s methods also differ in other ways from those used on many traditional farms, Romano said.

“We don’t use any pesticides or herbicides, no foliar sprays whatsoever. What you eat is 100 percent plant. We have a phrase that we pretty much use: We are ‘going beyond organic,’” Romano said.

“Going beyond organic” means producing crops in a way that is better for the environment, Romano said. He estimates Infinite Harvest uses 95 percent less water than a traditional farm with the same harvest.

“We bring the water right to the plants rather than letting it seep through the soil. We don’t spray, we don’t irrigate through sprinkler systems. We save a lot of water from that standpoint,” Romano said.

Infinite Harvest, which was 5 years old when it made Lakewood its home in 2014, is currently growing about 60,000 plants. Romano said it has the capacity to feed roughly 2 percent of the more than 140,000 people who live in Lakewood, based on average annual consumption rate. It’s owned by a group of shareholders interested in boosting efficiency in modern farming. One example of Infinite Harvest’s efficiency: It can grow and harvest year-round with no worry about weather damage.

@WaterValues podcast: A Different Approach to Ag Water and Soil Health with Jimmy Emmons

Click here to listen to the podcast:

Jimmy Emmons, a 3rd generation Oklahoma farmer, describes the benefits of no-till farming combined with a soil health program. Jimmy explains how no-till farming uses less water, fits within the natural water cycle and reduces nutrient run-off and soil loss. You will be amazed as Jimmy explains the results of his conversion of his farmland to the no-till method with soil healthy practices.

In this session, you’ll learn about:

  • Jimmy’s background and why he switched to no till farming
  • The natural water cycle on the prairie
  • Why cover crops are an important piece of the ag water puzzle
  • Why and how traditional farming method practitioners view cover crops
  • How yields are impacted by the conversion to no till farming and soil health practices
  • How farm equipment manufacturers are reacting to the increased use of no till farming
  • Gary Bostrom leaves a water legacy — @CSUtilities

    Southern Delivery System construction celebration August 19, 2011 via The Pueblo Chieftain

    From Colorado Springs Utilities (Jerry Forte):

    Earlier this week, our community lost a great visionary and leader. While many may not think twice about getting a glass of water from the tap, taking a shower or watering their lawns, Gary Bostrom was always planning ahead to ensure our community had the water needed to grow and thrive. It’s thanks to people like Gary that our customers don’t have to think about their water.

    Gary retired from Colorado Springs Utilities as the Chief Water Services Officer in 2015 after 36 years of service on most all facets of the water system, from Homestake to Southern Delivery. His career spanned a variety of leadership roles from water supply acquisition, water and wastewater infrastructure planning and engineering, and developing regional partnerships.

    Earlier this year, Gary received the Bob Appel Friend of the Arkansas Award at the Arkansas River Water Basin Forum. The award is given annually to honor an individual who has served and worked to improve the condition of the Arkansas River in southeastern Colorado. It was a well-deserved recognition.

    A few of Gary’s career highlights include:

  • The design, development and negotiations for the completion of the Southern Delivery System
  • The development of the Arkansas River Exchange Program
  • The completion and implementation the 1996 Water Resource Plan
  • The establishment of the Fountain Creek Watershed Flood Control and Greenway District
  • The development of the Fountain Creek Corridor Master Plan
  • The development of Colorado Springs’ Arkansas River Exchange Program
  • Gary’s career was more than getting water to our community. He also believed in using water wisely. Under his direction, our 2008 Water Conservation Master Plan and 2015 Water Use Efficiency Plan incorporated measures that accumulate a permanent, water use reduction in our community of more than 10,000 acre feet by 2030. That’s a savings of more than 3 billion gallons of water!

    Throughout his career, Gary was actively involved in a number of water organizations.

  • Director of the Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District
  • Past President of the Fountain Valley Authority
  • Past director of the Aurora-Colorado Springs Joint Water Authority
  • Member of the Homestake Steering Committee
  • Past President of the Twin Lakes Reservoir and Canal Company, the Lake Meredith Reservoir Company and the Lake Henry Reservoir Company
  • He was a true water champion for our community and region. Thanks in part to Gary’s vision and direction, Colorado Springs has a secure water supply and is a leader in water reuse in the state.

    He was brilliant as an engineer and perhaps even better at building relationships and collaborating with others – even staying involved in regional water organizations after retirement.

    He was a dear friend and will be missed.

    From The Pueblo Chieftain:

    A key figure in development of the $825 million Southern Delivery System, died unexpectedly on Monday while bicycling near his home in Colorado Springs. Cause of death has not been determined.

    Gary Bostrom, 60, was the retired water services chief for Colorado Springs Utilities and shepherded SDS from its inception in the 1996 Colorado Springs Water Plan toward its eventual completion in 2016. Along the way, he fostered cooperation with Security, Fountain and Pueblo West as partners in SDS, while working to assure a clean drinking water supply for the future of Colorado Springs. He retired in 2015, but remained active in water issues. Bostrom joined the Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District board of directors in 2009 and was vice president of the board.

    “This is a great loss for the water community,” said Bill Long, president of the Southeastern board. “Gary’s knowledge about water, and his hard work to help achieve common goals will be sorely missed.”Former Chieftain editor and reporter Chris Woodka, who went to work for the Southeastern district last year, agreed.

    “I met Gary about 27 years ago, and we were what I would call ‘friendly adversaries’ for many of those years,” Woodka said. “Over the years, our relationship evolved into a true friendship. He was always positive and truthful even when I’d ask him tough questions while I was a reporter. As a board member, he was top-notch, and I enjoyed getting to know him better. He was a wonderful individual to spend time with.”

    Officials in Colorado Springs, including Mayor John Suthers, Utilities CEO Jerry Forte and former City Council members expressed their shock and sadness at Bostrom’s death.

    Bostrom was active in the community as well and was a member of the Colorado Springs Parks and Recreation Advisory board. He is survived by his wife, Sara, four children and three grandchildren. Services will be at 2 p.m. Sunday at Village Seven Presbyterian Church, 4040 Nonchalant Circle South, Colorado Springs.

    From The Colorado Springs Gazette (Ellie Mulder):

    Gary Bostrom, one of the driving forces behind Colorado Springs’ $825 million Southern Delivery System, died Monday while cycling on a trail along Monument Creek.

    Bostrom, 60, had worked for Colorado Springs Utilities for nearly two-thirds of his life before retiring in 2015.

    “He was just a prince of a man,” said John Fredell, former SDS program director who worked with Bostrom for many years. “All of us wish we were more like Gary Bostrom.”

    Bostrom’s body was found shortly before 7 p.m. along a section of the trail near North Nevada Avenue and Austin Bluffs Parkway, said police Sgt. James Sokolik. The cause of death has not been determined, but police do not suspect foul play.

    “We all wanted and expected another 30 years with Gary,” said former city Councilwoman Margaret Radford.

    She said she got to know him soon after she was elected in 2001, and they stayed in touch after she left the council in 2009.

    “Gary was always one who could find the good in anyone … and bring out more good, if that makes any sense,” she said.

    Bostrom worked at Utilities for 36 years before retiring two years ago, Mayor John Suthers said in a post about Bostrom on his Facebook page.

    “Gary spent his career making sure that our community had good, clean water and plenty of it,” Fredell said. “You can’t find many people who have done that for their community, and spent their careers doing it.”

    On April 26, the Utilities engineer was given the “Bob Appel – Friend of Arkansas” award at the Arkansas River Water Basin Forum.

    The SDS, a massive series of pipelines that funnels up to 50 million gallons a day of Arkansas River water to Colorado Springs, Fountain, Security and Pueblo West, began serving customers in 2016.

    Decades of planning went into the project, which is made up of 50 miles of 66- and 90-inch-diameter pipelines, including a 1-mile tunnel under Interstate 25, Fountain Creek and railroad tracks.

    Bostrom helped ensure the project was finished on time and under budget, Fredell said.

    “(Bostrom) was instrumental in getting the permit in place and moving the Southern Delivery System forward,” said Larry Small, executive director of the Fountain Creek Watershed, Flood Control and Greenway District.

    “As far as water resources, there just wasn’t anybody better,” said Small, a former city councilman and vice mayor. “I don’t know of one person who knew Gary who would say one bad thing about him.”

    Radford said she’s still grateful for what Bostrom taught her about “how valuable our utilities system – and in particular, our water system – is.” She said it altered her perspective and influenced her work as a councilwoman.