Park - Units
5 & 6 -
A Woodside Newsletter? Yes, this is the inaugural issue of the Woodside Bugle. After you have thoroughly read it, you should store it in a sealed mason jar for posterity. It will certainly become a valuable historical document, prized by collectors, in the years to come.
All kidding aside, congratulations on receiving the first issue of the Woodside Bugle. Hopefully, it is the beginning of improved communications within the Woodside community.
Community newsletters are an important means to share information within a community but their value often goes beyond "information sharing." They often bring communities together to work toward a common goal — the health and well being of their communities. The residents of Woodside 5 & 6 already share this common goal. This newsletter will, hopefully, enable all of us to keep focused and working together.
Deciding to publish this newsletter was an easy decision for me. I have some basic skills to apply, a little time to spare, and most importantly, an opportunity to serve my community.
Each of us serve our community in different ways, some more visible than others. Certainly, the Woodside HOA Board of Directors are often the most visible in their service. Their service, however, is no more important than the community service each of us does every day. It may be as simple as keeping your property presentable, picking up trash along the road, supporting a charity, helping a neighbor in need, and most importantly, showing respect and consideration to everyone you encounter.
That is enough lead in. I don't want to waste your time telling you what you already know. Instead, let's talk about what this newsletter is and is not.
Goals and Expectations
I have but one goal for this newsletter. It is simply to facilitate the communication between neighbors in our community. Sounds simple enough but only time will tell if we are successful. I purposely chose the word "we" because the success of the newsletter is dependant on each of you. I will do all I can to make this newsletter successful but, I am unable to do it alone. If fact, failure to achieve the goal is virtually guaranteed if I am the only person within our community who thinks good community relations are important.
While the goal is simple, the expectations are a little more difficult. First and foremost, I need everyone's support and contributions. Certainly, my expectations are very high for the WPHA Board of Directors (BOD) and Committees. In their positions as Board and Committee members, they are often the first to receive information that affects our community. Secondly, but equally as important, are your contributions to the newsletter. Sometimes, however, your contributions may not be as much "news worthy" as they are concerns, observations, and questions. Yes, communication is a two-way street. Hopefully, each of us will give as much as we receive.
What the Newsletter is Not
This newsletter is not an official or approved publication of the WPHA. It is, however, a means for everyone within our community to share information. Certainly, the WPHA BOD will likely use this publication to share information. I do not, however, wish this newsletter to become a BOD "bully pulpit." Since I am not a member of the BOD, I am in a good position to ensure "fair and balanced" representation within our community. Whoa! Do I really want to do this?
In addition, this newsletter is not a place for whining, complaining, or personal attacks. That said, constructive criticism is always welcomed provided it is well founded in fact, without prejudice, and is expressed in a manner you would expect from others.
Yes, there will be content. Exactly what that content will be is yet to be determined. Certainly, the WPHA BOD and Committees will provide information to keep us abreast of "what's happening." The rest, however, is in your hands. Perhaps, you want to announce the birth of a new child or grandchild, promote a charitable activity, sell a sofa, or just about anything else that is on your mind. Over time, this newsletter will settle into what ever it is going to be. Right now, the door is wide open for your input.
Periodic or Aperiodic?
When I retired, I got rid of the two things that had too much control on my life. No, not my wife and children….my watch and calendar. These things often dictated when and where I would be every hour of everyday. I do not wish to return to those days. The newsletter will, for now, be published when content and available time dictates. Perhaps, if all goes well, I will eventually settle into a routine that you can depend on.
So, with that in mind, the newsletter will be published often enough to keep you informed but not so often to become a burden to you or me.
Why a Paper Newsletter?
I decided on publishing a hardcopy newsletter because I wanted to make sure everyone got a copy, including property owners who live outside our community. Even though their primary residence is outside our community, I am sure they are just as interested in "community news" as you are. Besides, everyone likes to get mail that is not a bill or an advertisement.
I will also publish the newsletter on MyWoodside.com for the convenience of those who prefer to read it in softcopy and to maintain a database of all the prior issues.
What is MyWoodside.com? If you have to ask, perhaps a brief explanation is in order.
MyWoodside.com is our community website. I maintain the website for the benefit of our community. It is, however, a personal endeavor (much like this newsletter) and not fully sanctioned by the WPHA. I and your Association use it to host important (and, not so important) information about our community and surrounding area. It also has information about the WPHA including officers and committee members, covenants, architectural standards, and by-laws. In addition, I use the web site to post upcoming events including scheduled meetings and, of course, the all important "Flamingo Party" calendar.
If you are not familiar with YOUR website, time is past due for you to check it out. You never know, you just may find it helpful.
Well, I think that is enough explanation for now. Let's get on to what's really important…Woodside News.
Tired of High Gas Bills? by Steve, Mary and Jim
If this was a $64,000 question, I would be rich! Of course you are tired of it! Unlike many of us, however, Steve and Mary did something about it….they started complaining. After a few emails to key people, they received the following note from Colorado Natural Gas:
Colorado Natural Gas will be filing a request with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission next week to lower the gas cost portion of your bill. This action has been delayed due to a change the CPUC requested we make in our tariffs, which took about 3 months to write and have approved. This change will show up on the August bills, and will be the price CNG expects to maintain through the 2006/2007 heating season. For your area this will mean a decrease in your gas bill unit charges to about $1.57/therm, or an equivalent price compared to propane of $1.44 per gallon. (1)
We apologize for the delay in this price reduction. As you may be aware, the wholesale price of natural gas is a pass-through cost. CNG is not allowed to make a profit on this cost. Over the past few months, as wholesale prices have fallen, the difference between the price we paid for the wholesale gas and the regulated price as fixed by the CPUC last November has been deposited in an account and the balance of that account will be returned to our customers with interest as part of the upcoming rate decrease.
Isn't it amazing how quickly the consumer feels the increase of the wholesale price of gas and how slowly the retail price drops when the wholesale price drops? Obviously, this is the little known, but widely felt, Newton's Law of Price Increases.
Thanks Steve and Mary. More of us need to follow your lead.
Flamingo Party by Jim
When we were searching for property to build our home, we had certain criteria to base our decision. Most criteria is pretty standard but we put a high value on the "community" we were moving into. Needless to say, the Woodside community got very high marks and was a significant factor in our decision.
Even before we actually purchased our property, we were impressed with the friendliness of the residents. We felt welcome long before we actually moved into our new home. If fact, an invitation to a "Flamingo Party" was a welcome opportunity to meet our neighbors before the first log was laid in our new home.
I hope no one has to ask, "What's a Flamingo Party?" But, if you just came out of hibernation, I'll explain.
Once a month, someone in our community hosts a Flamingo Party at their home. It is usually the last Saturday of the month and begins around 7pm. What is nice is that the host has very little to do – except maybe a little dusting and cleaning. Those attending are asked to bring "something", perhaps an appetizer, dessert, beverage, or just a smile to share with their friends and neighbors.
The gatherings are usually well attended, but I think we could do better. It does not matter if you happen to live in Unit 5 or Unit 6; all are welcome and encouraged to attend. Even if you can only stop by for a few minutes, it is a great opportunity to meet and get to know your neighbors a little better. Meeting your neighbors once a year at the annual meeting is hardly the best place to get to know them. The Flamingo Party is a much better opportunity and a lot more fun!
The gatherings are extremely informal, even by Colorado standards. The conversation is light; the mood is warm and friendly, and most importantly, the food great! What better way to spend an evening than relaxing and getting to know your neighbors a little better. Who knows, you just may become friends.
I have posted the Flamingo Party schedule on MyWoodside.com for everyone's reference. However, schedules are made to be broken so expect to receive a personal invitation in your mailbox prior to the next party. I hope to see you there!
Oh, I almost forgot. There is a down side to hosting a Flamingo Party. The host is required to place a "Pink Flamingo" (yet to be named) in their yard on the day of the party. I know, it is hardly a native Colorado bird, but it helps everyone find your home and it really doesn't eat very much. Don't have a Pink Flamingo? Not to worry, one will be provided, like it or not.
MyWoodside.com Updates by Jim
As many of you know, I send out periodic update notices for MyWoodside.com. I try to keep the update notices to a minimum so as to not burden you with unnecessary email. Usually, I send out a notice when the updates are important or timely. For example, I will always send out a notice in advance of a WPHA BOD meeting, annual meeting, or for any information that is time sensitive. By now, many of you are accustomed to receiving my update notices. Some even appreciate them. There is, however, a small problem with sending out email updates. I do not have an email address for everyone.
Currently, I have email addresses for about 90 percent of our residents. If you have never received an email from me, chances are I do not have an email address for you. If you wish to be notified by email of important community information, please drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will include you in my notices.
Should you have concerns about making your email address public, rest assured that I have great respect for individual privacy. When I send an email to our members, I always place the recipients email address in the BCC (2) portion of the email. In that way, your address is not available to any of our membership. In addition, I would never publish or disseminate your email address without your permission.
MAG Chloride – Stuff Really Works! by Jim
Several of my neighbors on Meadow Drive went together to apply magnesium chloride on the street to help control the dust. The stuff really works! We put it down and it has not stopped raining since! No more dust!
Seriously, after careful consideration, several folks on Meadow Drive applied a light coating of magnesium chloride on the road. It begins to work almost immediately by absorbing moisture from the air (if there is any) and dampening the dust just enough to keep it at bay.
Magnesium chloride was selected over other chlorides because it is the most environmentally friendly product available. According to one manufacturer:
In addition, this manufacturer also cites several benefits of using magnesium chloride for dust control, including:
There has been significant research and testing of chlorides used in dust control. If you want to know more about this product, visit www.meltsnow.com for information on a variety of dust control products, including MAG Chloride.
Of course, we would not need to be concerned about the dust on Meadow Drive if folks would simply show a little consideration by driving slowly when dust conditions are at their worst. What a concept!
Tanglewood Update by Jim
In future issues of the Woodside Bugle, I expect to publish updates on the Tanglewood (3) development and associated water rights and covenant issues. Hopefully, these updates will be provided by the WPHA BOD. My comments on this issue are based on news reporting and may not be complete or up-to-date.
As you well know, the WPHA is protesting many assertions presented by the Will-O-Wisp (WOW) Metropolitan District over water rights within Woodside Unit 5 and their proposal to construct water handling facilities within our residential community.
To bring you up-to-date on the WOW proposal, I have obtained a copy of the proposed site plan that shows the infrastructure necessary to collect and distribute water from Elk Creek. (4) It was submitted with the WOW Water 1041 application. A copy of the application is at the Park County Library.
The site plan shows the locations of the infiltration gallery near Glasman Ditch, the location of the pump station and generator structure, service access road, and the location of underground water lines. The infrastructure proposed is labeled "Easements to be acquired" and are located in Woodside Unit 5, Lot 133 and Lot 134. It is interesting to note that no water handling infrastructure is proposed for Lot 132.
What is not shown on the site plan is the much discussed "reservoir." Apparently, the WOW Metro District is suggesting that the reservoir, if needed, will be constructed at a later date. Needless to say, an "open ended" proposal raises many questions and, in my judgment, represents an incomplete application. However, I am not on the Park County BOCC (5) and what I think has little value.
This site plan, while informative, is very likely to change significantly over the coming months as the approval process and ongoing litigation continues. As new plans are developed and formally submitted, I will make them available on MyWoodside.com.
The root of the issue is, of course, an additional source of water is necessary for the WOW Metro District to provide adequate water to Tanglewood, a 450-home development near Pine Junction. Without an additional source of water, the Tanglewood development will be unable to achieve full build out.
I have also posted a recent article (6) from The Flume addressing the controversy between the WOW Metro District and the WPHA. It is a very interesting and informative article that explains, in some detail, the positions of both parties.
The most recent article is the latest of a series of articles published by The Flume over the past several months. All of the articles have been posted on MyWoodside.com for your benefit and reference. (7) I have posted these articles on our website so that a chronology of events is duly recorded and available to our Association members over an extended period of time. If you are not familiar with the Tanglewood development, these articles will provide useful information and bring you up-to-date on many of the issues.
While published news articles are not always the best source of information, I have gleaned a few bits of information from the most recent article in The Flume that are worth noting. They include:
The reasons for the continuance pose additional questions and concerns, especially related to "lack of easements."
It is not clear, to me anyway, exactly how the WOW Metro District plans to gain those easements and to what extremes they will go to if easements are not granted. Of course, even if the WOW Metro District was able to obtain the necessary easements, there are still many hurdles ahead, namely the WPHA covenants which restrict Woodside property to "residential use only."
The expression "wrap up loose ends" is vague at best. Since the site plan submitted by the WOW Water 1041 application did not indicate any reservoir, would this be considered a "loose end?" Perhaps, but we will have to wait until a new application is formally submitted before we will know.
I am sure the Park County Commissioners public hearing, scheduled for August 30, will be well attended by all parties involved. I certainly plan to attend. Not because I have anything to contribute, but because I want to witness first hand how the Park County BOCC address and resolve this controversial issue. Perhaps you should make plans to attend as well. After all, the members of the BOCC are your elected officials and it is important to understand how well they protect the rights of property owners in Park County.
Finally, a hearing has been schedule for March 2007 to rule on the WPHA and Christie Investments petition for declaratory judgment. While it will certainly be a step forward to finally have a ruling on the declaratory judgment, it remains unclear what actions, if any, will occur after the ruling is rendered. Regardless of the outcome of the ruling, could there be appeals on the horizon? Perhaps, but only time will tell.
Stay tuned. I am sure there is much more ahead before this issue is finally resolved.
Zip Code Confusion Sorted Out by Jim
The following are a few excerpts from an article in The Flume by Caroline Welch, Flume Intern, May 26, 2006. The complete article can be found on MyWoodside.com.
Whew! I am glad that issue is finally put to rest. Anyone interested in having our mailing address changed to Pine Junction?
Molly Marie – A Grandparent's Delight by Jim
Raising children is a wonderful thing. The hours are short, the pay is great, and they are always well behaved and mind their parents. Well, that is how it was in the Brady Bunch.
As any parent knows, however, raising children is hard work. Fortunately, there are many rewards along the way to keep us going but, perhaps, no reward is greater than grandchildren.
Doug and Mary would like to introduce you to the latest addition to their family.
Mollie Marie is six months old and is certainly destined to be a Gerber Baby candidate. She sure is a cutie! Obviously, she takes after Mary instead of Doug.
Now don't forget your obligations — spoil them good and leave the discipline to Mom and Dad. Congratulations Grandma and Granddad! Thanks for sharing your joy with us.
Fences Make Good Neighbors by Jim
This old saying is certainly true in the suburbs of Washington D.C. where I lived for 60 plus years. In Colorado, however, fences serve another purpose. They are usually to keep horses out of the street and serve to remind elk that the grass is always greener on your side of the fence. Occasionally, however, fences out live their usefulness. Such is the case at Doug and Mary's house.
One day this week, I heard some "banging and whacking" at Doug and Mary's house. Being a nosey neighbor, I inquired: "Hey! What's going on?" Doug indicated that his fence had out lived its usefulness and it was time for it to come down. Of course, I offered to help (as any good neighbor would) but Doug insisted he had all the help he needed…..Mary.
It seemed that Mary got some degree of satisfaction at "whacking the fence" and enjoyed helping Doug with the project. From someone who spent a career in federal service, I know first hand how she feels.
Keep up the good work Mary! I'll try not to help you out of your therapy.
Welcome Home Dick!
It is with great pleasure that I extend, on behalf of your many friends, a sincere and heartfelt
If you have anything to contribute to the next issue of the Woodside Bugle just contact me any way that is convenient to you. I can be reached by:
Please don't be shy. I have not bitten anyone in years.
This wraps up the inaugural issue of the Woodside Bugle. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed pulling it together. If you did, perhaps you will join with me in making the next issue even better. I sure hope so.
Thanks to everyone who contributed to this inaugural issue of the Woodside Bugle. The success and continued growth of your newsletter is directly attributed to your participation and support.
The Woodside Bugle is a private publication. The views and opinions expressed are those of the author and/or editor. It is not endorsed or sponsored by the Woodside Park Home Owners Association.