October 15, 2019

Golden Fire Update: March 30, 2011

"Thank You Firefighters" The photo is a little awkward but the sentiment isn't. Golden firefighters were very excited to see this written in chalk on a street in Mountain Ridge.

The Fire
We haven’t seen any sort of official notice that the fire is completely out – it might actually take a while – but for all intents and purposes the Indian Gulch Fire is done. Jefferson County crews spent the weekend getting a few hot spots and doing some mitigation work behind Mountain Ridge (where fire crews had dug fire line). There may be some more mop up on the fire, and there will be more mitigation work required as well, but the fire itself is over.

The fire wrap-up: It burned a total of 1,570 acres. No homes were lost and there were no injuries. The city’s emergency response systems worked extremely well, and our staff is already analyzing what we did, where the few hiccups were, and how to do it even better next time (whenever it is that next time comes). Jefferson County Sheriff Ted Mink deserves a special mention: his department did a great job coordinating the response, managing the dozens of agencies that sent crews to help, and managing the handoff to the federal incident team when they arrived.

Kudos
As you all know, our firefighters did a fantastic job all the way through the fire and even afterward (we sent a crew down to Douglas County to help them with their own fire). I also want to call out the many other City of Golden staff that stepped up. Our water department focused on keeping the water pressure up, Parks & Recreation de-winterized the Splash in a matter of hours so that we could provide firefighters with hot showers and a place to stage, our police department worked hard to make sure our firefighters had the room and access they needed, the communications team was in overdrive, and so on. And the work continues even now, such as the work our streets crew is doing to protect our water supply.

Plenty of folks posted information, photos, and stories during the fire, but I want to call out two in particular:

Councilor Bill Fisher did something cool as well, pulling together news articles and other links. I’d love to know about any other web sites or blogs where folks posted their images, recollections, and other info. That was a week to remember, for sure.

Lessons
I learned a lot this past week, not the least of which was the power of Facebook and Twitter during a crisis for both sharing information and listening, and Council Fisher and I will gather our thoughts and share what we learned in the next few weeks. In the meantime, I also learned that the fire retardant slurry dropped by the air tankers also contains some fertilizer and seed to help with revegetation after the fire.

Celebrating
Finally, among the most amusing and heartwarming moments for me was hearing so many Mountain Ridge residents express their deepest gratitude to the firefighters and insist on throwing a party to thank them, while simultaneously hearing our firefighters express their deepest gratitude to the Mountain Ridge residents, and insist on throwing a party to thank them! Chief Bales mentioned the other day that you usually have to worry about your firefighters losing too much weight during a fire, and he joked that his firefighters were so well fed and cared for by the Mountain Ridge neighborhood that he was worried last week about the opposite. In any case, this seems like a win-win opportunity for everyone to throw a party, thank each other for stepping up as only Golden neighbors can do, and express our collective gratitude that we didn’t lose any homes or suffer any injuries. I’m under the impression that the Mountain Ridge folks actually want to plan something in the coming weeks, and the City, City Council, and I are all happy to help and support. Whoever has already started to plan this please let me know and we can make sure everyone is on the same page.

I can’t say enough about this community, and every hour of the fire I was reminded how blessed I am to get to live here. Neighbors looked out for each other, people came to help Golden and Jefferson County from all over the state, community organizations banded together to provide even more aid and support, and despite the number of moving parts and the potential for chaos we somehow all made it work. Even our use of email, Twitter, and Facebook – among the things that Councilor Fisher and I focused on – wouldn’t have worked so well if so many other folks didn’t repost, retweet, and forward. Even the communication efforts ended up being an incredible community collaboration.

My heartfelt thanks to everyone.

The Indian Gulch Fire: Protecting Golden’s Water


Golden’s streets crew are the folks that do such a good job of keeping our streets free of snow, keeping them clean, and doing the maintaining and repairing in town. It turns out they also know to protect Golden’s water after a fire. In addition to the many City of Golden firefighters and other city crews focused on the fire itself last week, we also had crews focused on the fire’s longer-term threats to Golden. One critical concern is protecting our water supply, and even during the fire last week we had some of our public works focused on that. Among the strategies: construction of a water quality settling pond in the Indian Creek basin to trap sediment before it gets into Clear Creek.

Golden's Water: Free and Clear of Chromium

The Denver Post reprinted a Washington Post article over the weekend about problems associated with hexavalent chromium in drinking water. Public Works Deputy Director Anne Beierle gave the following update:

In short, the story reports on research that analyzed drinking water from 35 communities that have relatively high total chromium values to see if they also have high hexavalent chromium (hexavalent chromium is the “bad” component of total chromium).  The answer, in short, was yes. I wanted you to be aware of this press coverage because the lab has already received inquiries about Golden’s chromium concentrations from residents who read about the study over the weekend.  Good news for Golden: we regularly test for total chromium and have never detected it.

If you have any questions, just give our water lab a call (303-384-8181) or shoot them an email (esdiv@cityofgolden.net).

Golden’s Water: Free and Clear of Chromium

The Denver Post reprinted a Washington Post article over the weekend about problems associated with hexavalent chromium in drinking water. Public Works Deputy Director Anne Beierle gave the following update:

In short, the story reports on research that analyzed drinking water from 35 communities that have relatively high total chromium values to see if they also have high hexavalent chromium (hexavalent chromium is the “bad” component of total chromium).  The answer, in short, was yes. I wanted you to be aware of this press coverage because the lab has already received inquiries about Golden’s chromium concentrations from residents who read about the study over the weekend.  Good news for Golden: we regularly test for total chromium and have never detected it.

If you have any questions, just give our water lab a call (303-384-8181) or shoot them an email (esdiv@cityofgolden.net).

The City of Golden's Water Plant: Making Sure Golden Has Clean Water

Earlier this year, the city’s Public Works Director Dan Hartman and I took a walking tour of Golden’s water plant, starting at Clear Creek and working our way through the entire plant. If you are interested in learning more about how we get, purify, and test our water, check out this video. It won’t win any Oscars, and I’ve already received a bunch of great suggestions about shooting video for the next one, but it gets the job done.

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/12124812]

The City of Golden’s Water Plant: Making Sure Golden Has Clean Water

Earlier this year, the city’s Public Works Director Dan Hartman and I took a walking tour of Golden’s water plant, starting at Clear Creek and working our way through the entire plant. If you are interested in learning more about how we get, purify, and test our water, check out this video. It won’t win any Oscars, and I’ve already received a bunch of great suggestions about shooting video for the next one, but it gets the job done.

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/12124812]

Golden Sustainability Awards 2010: Woody's, Golden Real Estate, and More

Last week the City of Golden’s Sustainability Advisory Board announced the winners of the 2010 Sustainability Awards, which we presented on Thursday night at the City Council meeting. The awards offer a great way to highlight folks in the community doing great things as well as underscoring just how compatible doing the right thing can be with saving money and business success.

The winners:

  • Lloyd Athern and Povy Atchison – Individual Award for a garage restoration that is both historic and sustainable and numerous other sustainable elements of their East Street neighborhood home.
  • Woody’s Wood-Fired Pizza – Business Award for its photovoltaic system, recycling efforts, and other sustainability features.
  • ABC Car Wash – Business Award for their water conservation and water quality efforts.
  • Golden Real Estate – Business Award for their solar photovoltaic installation, energy efficiency improvements, and other efforts.
  • Robbie the first grader – Student Award for selling reusable cloth napkins to raise money to feed hungry Colorado children.
  • Institute for Environmental Solutions – Community Group Award for their Contaminants of Emerging Concern program, educating and reducing the impacts of household contaminants into our waterways.

Golden Sustainability Awards 2010: Woody’s, Golden Real Estate, and More

Last week the City of Golden’s Sustainability Advisory Board announced the winners of the 2010 Sustainability Awards, which we presented on Thursday night at the City Council meeting. The awards offer a great way to highlight folks in the community doing great things as well as underscoring just how compatible doing the right thing can be with saving money and business success.

The winners:

  • Lloyd Athern and Povy Atchison – Individual Award for a garage restoration that is both historic and sustainable and numerous other sustainable elements of their East Street neighborhood home.
  • Woody’s Wood-Fired Pizza – Business Award for its photovoltaic system, recycling efforts, and other sustainability features.
  • ABC Car Wash – Business Award for their water conservation and water quality efforts.
  • Golden Real Estate – Business Award for their solar photovoltaic installation, energy efficiency improvements, and other efforts.
  • Robbie the first grader – Student Award for selling reusable cloth napkins to raise money to feed hungry Colorado children.
  • Institute for Environmental Solutions – Community Group Award for their Contaminants of Emerging Concern program, educating and reducing the impacts of household contaminants into our waterways.

Vancouver's Ambitious Vision

The city of Vancouver, British Columbia is getting some attention for its new Vancouver 2020: A Bright Green Future city strategy and vision document.  Their new vision statement eloquently highlights the links between environmental and economic health:

We envision a bright green future that couples economic prosperity, health, and happiness with decreasing greenhouse gas emissions. We envision less pollution and cleaner air, less machine noise and more birdsong, less pavement and more green space, fewer sick days and healthier people. We want to send a clear and compelling message to the world: prosperity and environmental stewardship can be partners, not opposing forces. We can meet the challenge of climate change in ways that will improve the quality of life for our children, and our children’s children.

Their new city plan sets a high bar for community visions:

  • Create 20,000 new green jobs.
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions 33 percent from 2007 levels.
  • All new construction is carbon neutral.
  • Improve the energy efficiency of existing buildings by 20 percent.
  • The majority of trips in the city (more than 50%) are by foot, bicycle, and public transit.
  • Reduce per capita solid waste going to the landfill or incinerator by 40%.
  • Every person walks within a five-minute walk of a park, beach, greenway, or other natural space.
  • Plant 150,000 additional trees in the city.
  • Reduce per capita ecological footprint by 33 percent.
  • Always meet or beat the strongest of B.C., Canada, and World Health Organization drinking water standards.
  • Reduce per capita water consumption by 33 percent.
  • Always meet or beat World Health Organization air quality guidelines.
  • Reduce the carbon footprint of our food by 33 percent.

In case you haven’t looked at it in a while, I inserted our own Golden Sustainability Initiative goals below.  Vancouver is definitely setting an ambitious bar, but the comparison is encouraging because ours goals, while they are ambitious, are pretty moderate by comparison.  The Sustainability Advisory Board will be reporting to City Council in the near future on their progress toward meeting our goals.  We’ll figure out where we are at and what adjustments we need to make to help the board, city staff, and community groups keep the ball moving forward.

Golden Sustainability Initiative Goals adopted Aug. 2007

Vancouver’s Ambitious Vision

The city of Vancouver, British Columbia is getting some attention for its new Vancouver 2020: A Bright Green Future city strategy and vision document.  Their new vision statement eloquently highlights the links between environmental and economic health:

We envision a bright green future that couples economic prosperity, health, and happiness with decreasing greenhouse gas emissions. We envision less pollution and cleaner air, less machine noise and more birdsong, less pavement and more green space, fewer sick days and healthier people. We want to send a clear and compelling message to the world: prosperity and environmental stewardship can be partners, not opposing forces. We can meet the challenge of climate change in ways that will improve the quality of life for our children, and our children’s children.

Their new city plan sets a high bar for community visions:

  • Create 20,000 new green jobs.
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions 33 percent from 2007 levels.
  • All new construction is carbon neutral.
  • Improve the energy efficiency of existing buildings by 20 percent.
  • The majority of trips in the city (more than 50%) are by foot, bicycle, and public transit.
  • Reduce per capita solid waste going to the landfill or incinerator by 40%.
  • Every person walks within a five-minute walk of a park, beach, greenway, or other natural space.
  • Plant 150,000 additional trees in the city.
  • Reduce per capita ecological footprint by 33 percent.
  • Always meet or beat the strongest of B.C., Canada, and World Health Organization drinking water standards.
  • Reduce per capita water consumption by 33 percent.
  • Always meet or beat World Health Organization air quality guidelines.
  • Reduce the carbon footprint of our food by 33 percent.

In case you haven’t looked at it in a while, I inserted our own Golden Sustainability Initiative goals below.  Vancouver is definitely setting an ambitious bar, but the comparison is encouraging because ours goals, while they are ambitious, are pretty moderate by comparison.  The Sustainability Advisory Board will be reporting to City Council in the near future on their progress toward meeting our goals.  We’ll figure out where we are at and what adjustments we need to make to help the board, city staff, and community groups keep the ball moving forward.

Golden Sustainability Initiative Goals adopted Aug. 2007