Strange days indeed

After being involved with the Vance Brand Airport and attending Airport Advisory Board meetings for years, figured it was time to finally apply for this board and serve the community.  Despite some pretty shady and underhanded maneuvers by some council members, your humble editor/publisher received a majority of votes to become a regular member for 3 years.  Also, Council member Katie Witt has replaced Sean McCoy as council liaison.  Now there’s some change we can believe in!

More misdirected blame by Sean McCoy

During the September 26, 2009 Coffee with Council, Council member Sean McCoy couldn’t hold back his disdain for previous administrations.  An attendee asked a question about the airport issue in regards to the prairie dogs “Which is more important to Longmont?  People, safety, or short tailed furry rats?”  Of course Mr. McCoy couldn’t have any of that as he answered “let me straighten that out there as he went into yet another incoherent rant.

Immediately he went into blaming Leona and Bernie Stoecker, she being a former mayor of Longmont (1993-2001) and he being a hangar owner out at the airport.  Mr. McCoy blamed them for not being aware of the prairie dog and raptor problem, actually called them shortsighted.  I guess I gave Mr. McCoy too much credit in airport issues considering he’s on the Airport Advisory Board, as this comment shows a few levels of…well, I’ll be nice and say “incorrectness“.
Anyone with an ounce of common sense, and a little knowledge of the history of the airport, and the Airport Advisory Board itself, would know that Mr. and Mrs. Stoecker often had to recuse themselves from voting on airport issues.  On one hand Mr. McCoy acknowledges their business interest at the airport, but can’t put 2 and 2 together (remember, this is an educator) that by that very interest they couldn’t possibly be in on those decisions, or maybe he didn’t read votes on council or the AAB during that time.  

Whenever you hear Mr. McCoy or his loyal lapdogs complain about past councils, and the “old guard“, you should never forget who was on council during that time.  You’d think Mr. McCoy might remember – his dad Tom McCoy.  He was mayor between….nevermind.  I don’t personally have anything against Mr. McCoy the elder, but since Sean McCoy brought it up, I got a tip that somewhere around 1996-1997 Tom McCoy was instrumental in some vote (possibly the Wildlife Management Plan, but I’m still digging) that was exactly the cause of this prairie dog problem not just near the airport, but citywide.

I always talk to oldtimers out at the airport, and like any normal pilots, they don’t want those prairie dogs or the birds that hunt them anywhere near the airport.  I know, common sense and all, but it’s lost of some people.  They also tell me these prairie dogs weren’t an issue until the late ’90’s.  And now, for Sean McCoy who endlessly brings up his dads long council career and his own years of service to the city, to have no clue about the history of this situation – and taking zero responsibility for it – is just ridiculous.

What is it with these radical leftists who must place all blame to those that came before and sit around and complain and procrastinate?  I see Mr. McCoy is taking a cue from his hero Barack Obama, but is this an innate feature, or the product of some kind of indoctrination?  No matter who you have to pick up the pieces from (not that the city was in shambles by any stretch of the imagination, example All America City), it gets really old when all you can do is blame your predecessors and offer nothing to resolve the issues facing the city.

Mr. McCoy also said citizens don’t want knee-jerk responses from their elected representatives.  Like that idiotic prairie dog fence the city just wasted money on?  That kind of knee-jerk response?  The FAA saw through that and is using it against the city to withhold grant money, real smooth move.  About $14,000 down the drain.

In a quite shocking comment, to me anyway, Council member Brian Hansen acknowledged the importance of the airport, even mentioned expansion!  This will not make some of his supporters happy, they are quite often on the front lines of anything anti-airport.  He pointed out what many of us have been saying for years: when it comes to this often discussed “economic development” the airport is a vital piece to our economic potential.  But don’t tell that to the flat-Earth no-growthers, they won’t like Mr. Hansen saying it’s a “valuable asset“, which of course it is.

Considering everything, maybe Mr. Hansen should take over Mr. McCoy’s spot on the Airport Advisory Board – at least he can finish a sentence and be understood.

Longmont City Council-Public invited to be heard 6/16/09

The following is my text from my speech at the public invited to be heard portion at the Longmont City Council meeting on June 16, 2009.

I’d like to talk about more than one topic tonite.
Firstly, I am a writer for the Longmont community for a variety of media publications and I think it’s a disservice to the Longmont citizens for councilmember McCoy to suggest that any other paper besides the Daily Times Call should be looked at as a source for local announcements, in particular legal notices. Why? The Times Call has the largest circulation in town and if you really want Longmont residents to best be aware of these notices, the Times Call is the best place to do that. I’ve also heard Councilmember Benker make comments about the paper being “a conservative paper” and have heard that she wants to pull city business out of the paper. They do seem very happy with the pricing Lehman Communications does for providing printing services for the new upstart Longmont Life “newspaper.” I really don’t see why this is being made a problem. Continue reading…

Longmont feels the heat, starts killing prairie dogs

In what’s sure to be yet another hot topic in the city of Longmont, Colorado, the wholesale extermination of prairie dogs at the Vance Brand Airport is under way.  What’s going to be interesting is the interaction between the city staff that moved forward on it, and a few on city council who spoke out against it – and of course a few vocal citizens. Continue reading…

Longmont’s prairie dog solution a bad joke

In the FoxNews report in my previous story, it said the City of Longmont “planned to spend up to $14,000 to build a newbarrier fence” to keep prairie dogs out of the airport movement area.  The fence is built, and I thought you might like to see where and how your money was spent.    You know what they say about how you should hold on to your wallet when talking about governments?  In this case, due to laughter, hold on to your stomachs… Continue reading…

Longmont Airport prairie dogs could cost city federal funding

It appears the Longmont airport prairie dogs have brought the local FoxNews reporters here in light of the news that because the prairie dogs are creating a hazard, the city may lose federal funding. I also received word that people in Florida saw the TV coverage and are now talking about our airport/prairie dog dilemma.  Continue reading…

Longmont’s prairie dog situation makes national news

The scourge of Longmont’s Vance Brand Airport, its prairie dogs not its vocal pilots, are now national news. FoxNews did a piece called “Cute, Cuddly Menace”.

In the piece the sum of “quarter of a million dollars” was mentioned, but in all reality it’s much higher. Over the years, Longmont has accepted over $3 million from the Airport Improvement Program, a fact the U.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Aviation Administration reminded the city of in an April 8, 2009 document. (Full disclosure, I am an employee of the DOT/FAA, but not from this branch and have no impact on this matter). The document further states: Continue reading…

One of the biggest scandals in our midst

As suggested in the Longmont Times-Call’s call-in, one way to solve the prairie dog problem at Longmont’s Vance Brand Municipal Airport without exterminating them might be to trap them and see how many of the caring people who show up at these public hearings step forward to take them home to keep in their own backyards.

But because these cute little rodents are known carriers of the dreaded bubonic plague through infestation of fleas, that’s not a good idea. And due to their tunneling ability, of course, building fences and putting up plastic barriers to control them are usually a waste of time and money. Prairie dogs not only attract coyotes, which feed on them, but share their burrows with rattlesnakes. Continue reading…

For city, airport safety falls somewhere behind prairie dogs

I received the following letter and think it’s important enough to spread around. As many of you know, I have defended the airport in the past against city officials who didn’t have its best interests at heart and screwball neighbors who’d rather it close, destroy its businesses or worse.

An ongoing problem at the airport are prairie dogs. Forget about the politics of it that we hear endlessly at City Council meetings, and look at the safety aspect of it. As you’ll see in this letter, and other places in the past, the proximity of prairie dogs, or any wildlife for that matter, to runways and airplanes is a dangerous mix. Continue reading…

Behind The Blue Skies

You may have heard of a donation recently to help keep the Roosevelt Park Ice Rink open this year. The good people at Mile-Hi Skydiving presented the $10,000 check to the city from the Jeff Sands Memorial Blue Skies Fund. You may have also heard of the Blue Skies Neighborhood Park on the southwest side of town, it also was in part a tribute to Jeff Sands. With the anniversary of his untimely passing coming up, I thought some of you would like to know a little more about my friend, Jeff.

Continue reading…