Monday, August 19, 2013

Finally Facebook Friendly

Dear Readers,

This blog is moving to Facebook under the name "Mayor Marjorie Sloan." I hope you'll join me there, where I intend to submit much more frequent entries about issues, events, and general happenings in Golden. Here is the link:
I will appreciate your joining me there (even liking), sending comments, and bearing with me while I learn the nitty-gritty of Facebooking.

In the meantime, I thought I'd share the photo I took last week at White Ranch Open Space Park (near the west entrance). The park is a wonderful escape a little more than 30 minutes outside of our city limits. The county describes it as "home to abundant wildlife and encompasses open meadows, forested foothills, a pristine canyon, buttes, rock formations and Van Bibber Creek along the southern border. It also boasts 20 miles of multi-use trails over both gentle and rugged terrain." The park is all that and more.  For directions and more information visit

See you at Facebook -- or in person on an open space trail; a Golden pathway or street; or at a local event, restaurant or store. We live in an absolutely wonderful place.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Council Update and Youth in Government Opportunity

Executing the City of Golden/CDOT Agreement, July 11, 2013

 At last week's meeting, council approved the Golden Plan agreement with the Colorado Department of Transportation. The agreement formalizes design standards and principles for future highway projects on the 6/93 corridor within Golden city limits -- bringing the state's plan for the corridor in line with Golden's vision. After a  6-1 vote, CDOT director Don Hunt and I signed the agreement while council looked on.

  Other important decisions were reached during the same meeting. Council approved (6-1) an ordinance refining the administration of Golden's residential growth management (1% growth) system, strengthening the City's commitment to managed growth by lowering allowable growth to an average of .9% starting in 2015 and, at the same time, allowing the potential for a transit supportive project. In addition, it unanimously approved ordinances establishing a Downtown Development Authority for downtown Golden if approved by electors in November 2013.

 A great opportunity for high school students just showed up in my email inbox. The Colorado Municipal League is holding a first-ever Youth in Local Government Day. featuring sessions on communicating effectively with a city council, staying involved in government, municipal use of technology and social media, Amendment 64's implications, a tour of the Capitol, and a visit with Speaker of the House Mark Ferrandino.  All high school students are invited to this all-day event, to be held Friday, August 9th event at CML headquarters, 1144 Sherman Street in downtown Denver. It would be great to have some Golden students attend and become even more engaged in our community. Further details can be found here.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Summer Salad

First year for simultaneous garden lettuce and tomatoes

One definition of "salad" is "a varied mixture" and that's an apt description for this post. As usual, there's a lot of summer news.

Snack N Wagon Reveal at Farmers Market
While you're at the Farmers Market this Saturday (June 29) take a tour of the Snack-N-Wagon, the Golden Backpack Program's new mobile pantry. The group will launch its summer lunch program at two pilot locations in Golden, CO. Volunteers are welcome and needed. For further information see the program's Facebook page.

Independence Day Weekend
The Golden Lions Club is sponsoring its traditional event at Lions Park. This classic, small-town 4th of July celebration features live music, children's activities, raffle prizes, food vendors, and games. Though the fire danger has cancelled the fireworks display (and grilling in the park), the partying is unaffected.

Our First Friday street fair follows on the heels of the July 4th party. Come to Washington Avenue the evening of July 5th for specials, entertainment, extended hours, free horse-drawn carriage rides, street food, local beverages, and other attractions at downtown merchants.

Signing of City of Golden/CDOT agreement
At the July 11 City Council business meeting, Golden and CDOT Director Don Hunt will sign a Memorandum of Understanding to define future US 6 and SH 93 transportation improvements and document the joint commitment to Golden and the surrounding region. If you'd like to be present at this historic step toward achieving Golden's transportation goals, the meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall, with people starting to gather around 6:00 pm.

Downtown Streetscape
Downtown is everybody's neighborhood, so GURA is inviting all Golden residents, employees, and business owners to an open house to share ideas and reactions to some potential next-generation streetscape ideas. Stakeholders are encouraged to participate early in the process to help shape the future look of downtown Golden. The workshop will be held Monday, July 15 from 6-8:00 pm at the American Mountaineering Center. For questions, call GURA Executive Director Mark Heller, 303-279-4162 or email him at

Insider Information on Golden
Through a series of seminars, Leadership Golden has long educated emerging volunteers and leaders leaders about our town's opportunities, and challenges. Participants learn about the Golden community as it relates to government, education, the arts, and business. It's the way to engage with the many interesting people and opportunities in Golden. Over 90% of Leadership Golden graduates become active in the community. Applications for this year's program, which are due August 1,  can be found here.

Another great (and free) program will have its inaugural year. The "First Annual Citizen's Academy," presented by the Golden Public Works Department, will show you all you ever wanted to know about Golden's water system, street maintenance, mapping, road signs, and more. The Public Works Department is will show participants how things get done in Golden through presentations, activities, tours, and field trips. You can register until Friday, August 16 on the City's website.

Mayor's Awards of Excellence
Summer's in full swing, but it's not too early to begin thinking about who you will nominate for a Mayor's Award of Excellence, to be presented September 25th at the Mountaineering Center. Award winners are chosen for their outstanding contributions to our community based on criteria such as initiative, leadership, problem-solving and community values. More information will be coming out soon on how to nominate candidates and -- teaser alert -- about the internationally known speaker who will energize and inspire us with his ideas for fast, experimental, citizen-driven community design.

Monday, May 27, 2013

A Bucket List: 10 Things to Do in Golden Before Summer Dies

With Memorial Day as a marker, it's official -- summer has arrived. During the long summer days and breezy nights, we can do so much right in our own city. Here is a no-pressure, non-exclusive list of suggestions for summer recreation, with further details available on the city website at or

1.    Golden is a prime location for water play. Along Clear Creek you can kayak, tube, wade, or splash. And speaking of Splash, the water park is open daily for swimming fun. 

2.    Many special events take place in Golden. Mark your calendars for the Golden Music Festival (June 14-16), Fourth of July Celebration, Buffalo Bill Days (July 24-28), National Night Out (August 6), and the Fine Arts Festival (August 17-18). 

3.    We also have repeating events: First Friday Street Fairs, Golden Cruises (bike--last Tuesday--or car--first Saturday), Farmer's Markets (Saturday mornings), Movies and Music in the Park (August 2, 9, 16, 23).    

4.  Golden's cultural venues are amazing. View artwork at Foothills Art Music, attend plays at Miners Alley Theater, appreciate the quilts at the Golden Quilt Museum, learn from displays at the American Mountaineering Center, and listen to live music throughout downtown. 

5.    Golden's history runs deep. Schedule a history immersion day and visit the Railroad Museum, Golden History Museum, Clear Creek History Park, and Historic Neighborhoods. Learn some local history from resources at the Golden Library.

6.    The 5K and 10K Golden Gallop, a fundraiser for the Golden Schools Foundation, will be held on October 6. Commit to training for it by walking, jogging, or running on Golden's streets, sidewalks, and trails.

7.    Golden is surrounded by nearly 8,000 acres of regional open space. Start at the Golden trailheads for hikes on Apex Trail, Clear Creek Trail, Chimney Gulch, Cressman Gulch, Golden Cliffs, Nightbird Gulch, Triceratops Trail, Tucker Gulch, and many more. 

8.   Public transit is now convenient in Golden. Ride the Call N Ride and get off anywhere that looks interesting to you, including the W Line Light Rail Station. You can even bring your bike.

9.   Golden residents are committed to sustainability efforts. Plan a tour of local solar and wind installations, NREL and the Golden Oldies Cyclery Museum.

10. For extra credit -- don't go anywhere. Enjoy your own backyard. Request a grant for a block party to reconnect with your neighbors. While you're at it, invite the mayor or councilors over for a MIMBY (Mayor in My Backyard) event.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Same month, same stomping grounds, same community values -- different weather

Elk west of  6th Ave., May 2013
Gathering in Heritage Dells west of 6th Ave., May 2013
US 6 and Highway 93 Update

The beautiful elk photo above was sent to city council by Tom Russin for our community conversation on the Golden Plan. It is just one example of helpful input from residents before and during council's May 9 meeting. At the meeting, staff's presented details of the Plan, the public offered their comments, and then council voted 6-1 in favor of the Plan. The City will now work to formalize an agreement with CDOT that adopts a shared vision for the State Highway 93 and United States 6 corridor in Golden. With this agreement, Golden and CDOT will recognize the need to improve our community's livability and safety and reduce congestion. In essence, the Plan calls for the improvements and mitigation important to Golden (as first specified in the earlier Muller Plan) and yet respects regional needs. Complete information on the Plan and a draft of the agreement can be found at Many thanks and kudos are due to Golden's residents, city councilors, and staff; CDOT representatives; and regional partners. Together we've taken a major step toward protecting and directing Golden's future.

Heritage Dells MIMBY

And neighborhoods are the cornerstone of Golden's future. Heritage Dells residents showed their neighborhood spirit on Saturday with a well-attended gathering that connected neighbors; informed city councilor Saoirse Charis Graves, mayor pro tem (and hot dog griller) Joe Behm, and myself about residents' issues; and raised funds for a sign designed to give the neighborhood a sense of place. Super organizer Jenn Harenberg planned the party, obtained i-Golden Neighborhood Grants, walked door-to-door publicizing the time and place, contacted local businesses, and generally made sure everyone had a good time. Heritage Dells can serve this summer as a template for other neighborhoods' gatherings and community-driven projects. In the fall, Golden will hold a neighborhood summit for representatives of active neighborhoods (with or without HOAs) to compare ideas, share best practices, and work in partnership with the City. A good place to start is the city website description of i-Golden grants Or just send me an email or call me at 303-279-0088 to set up a MIMBY (mayor in my backyard) event.