BARBWIRE BOB – Ramblin’ around the corral with bob sweeney

BY BOB SWEENEY

My good neighbor and friend Larry McLaughlin, retired Air Force academy graduate, came by Sunday morning to make sure that my sprinkler system is working properly.  Being mechanical minded Larry assists me in keeping my lawn green, even with cranky sprinkler controls.  Doesn’t help that I back my car over one of the sprinkler heads.

We both expressed our concern over the western state’s severe drought and the approaching demands upon dwindling water supplies.  All of our water here in Colorado comes from mountain snowfall and storage.  A few shortfall snowy winters and we are in big trouble.  The western slope is suffering from lack of snow and this leads to trouble downstream with Lake Mead at record lows.  This lake provides electricity and water for Las Vegas and Phoenix, along with farmland crops.  Larry believes, and I agree, that water is going to be one of the most scarce and valuable commodities in the very near future.  Thank heavens for the Aurora and Denver water departments that have done a masterful job of obtaining water for the growing metro area.  However, their success depends totally upon winter snowfall in the mountains.   Water conservation should be at the top of the list for all residents and elected leaders.

We might add transportation to a fix/it list with the annual weekend traffic jams heading west and return trips. The highway heading west is in poor repair with ruts and potholes along with traffic creeping for hours.  Meanwhile we have some express lanes closed in both directions.  These express lanes are a bad joke, including the new one  on the stretch of highway by Highland’s Ranch.  Since all taxpayers support the roads why do we have toll road lanes for the affluent?  Seems unfair and a useless waste of already crowded highway space. 

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As one of the top tourist destinations in the world we should have a clean, beautiful state with immaculate highways.  Maybe some of the future road and bridge reclamation will improve the situation.  But, even with the funding, where do we find the labor force to do all of the intended work?  

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One of my best friends is Doctor Bronwyn Bateman, the ophthalmologist who came to Denver from UCLA in the 1990s and worked with the Lions Clubs of Colorado and Wyoming to start the Rocky Mountain Eye Institute at Fitzsimmons.  It was the first building to be constructed at that Aurora military site leading the movement out of Denver to that Aurora military base in the early 1990s.   Dr. Vince Fulgineti and Dr.  Bronwyn Bateman led the initiative to move the medical campus from landlocked Colorado Boulevard to Fitzsimons.  The rest is history and the generosity of the Anschutz’s families, both Sue and Phil, have been historic and massive in their generous foundation grants to the now CU Anschutz Medical Campus.  

The location now hosts Children’s Hospital, the new VA hospital, and the vast CU medical campus  along with hotels and new area business firms.  The once doomed army base has blossomed, once again thanks to the brilliant leadership of many people including the many doctors and nurses at the Sue Anschutz Eye Center and CU hospitals.

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I’m especially pleased with service clubs.  Larry, aforementioned, is an active Rotarian where the local club is now having their annual Palisade peach drive to aid in funding world polio prevention.  Order Rotary Club peaches at: centennial
rotarypeaches.com

In having lunch with Denny Dressman, our new sport’s editor. We discussed the popularity of sports and how sporting events bring us all together.  The nation is so politically polarized at the moment that we can hardly discuss politics openly.  But, we can stand and cheer for the Rockies, Nuggets, Avalanche, and Broncos united in team support.  I hope owners and leagues will endeavor to keep politics out of sports and we don’t need two national anthems.  The same with service clubs, we just don’t talk politics and it is amazing the good works that can result in all of us working together without regard to political persuasions.

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Coming up this coming weekend is the annual Arapahoe County Fair, east of town at their great fair facilities.  It’s time for some fun, games,  food booths and prize animal exhibits.  Get the full schedule at araphoecountyfair.com

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Littleton Business Association is continuing downtown events on weekends with music, outdoor dining, and entertainment.  When you plan on dining out, support the family-owned restaurants in that community. Wherever you reside, support your retail business firms.  Small business is the backbone of our American free enterprise system and these firms have been hard hit with COVID-19.  Some have failed, but most have prevailed through hard work by dedicated owners who have fought valiantly to save their businesses.  It’s great to have them open again and tip those servers well, they are truly essential workers who we highly respect!

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The Villager is contemplating new office headquarters on a ground level location.  We can share space as an option.  We notice many signs around the DTC area with offices for rent or lease.  Please call me if you can assist. 720-313-9741.  bsween1@aol.com

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