Flood of ’97 took out CSU campus

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Jul 312007
Authors: Jessi Stafford

No one would have guessed that an unobtrusive, peaceful stream running through the small city of Fort Collins would, in a matter of mere hours, become the source of miles of destruction.

Yet, 10 years ago, the usually tiny Spring Creek forced its way into local businesses and hundreds of homes in one night of tragedy.

CSU and its landscape were forever changed by the Flood of ’97. While some buildings and property were simply replaced or renovated after the water subsided, much of the university’s history was either ruined or lost.

Carmel Bush, assistant dean of Morgan Library, was one among the many witnesses who watched helplessly while the lower levels of the library filled with mucky water, consequently ruining more than 500,000 books.

“I watched the water come up the stairwell and then all of the alarms in the building started going off and the lights started flickering,” Bush said. “I didn’t know what to expect, there was a lot of uncertainty.”

People outside of the building later told her the building looked how a ship must look when it’s sinking.

“I felt a bit of sadness because all the materials downstairs were just submerged in water,” Bush said.

While Bush was waiting out the storm in the upper level of Morgan Library, across the plaza, Amy Satterfield, the Collegian adviser at the time of the flood, was watching the same violent waters take hold of the Lory Student Center.

Mario Caballero worked with Satterfield at Student Media and was also on campus when the water came rushing in.

“The entire lower level of the student center was basically blown out by this wall of water that came through here from Spring Creek,” said Caballero.

The wall of water that forced the doors of LSC to open completely occupied the basement levels within seconds.

“That’s the thing about flash floods, they come dramatically, quickly and then they go away and you don’t know where they are going to hit or how dramatic it’s going to be,” Satterfield said.

This time, the water came so quickly that it had already destroyed everything in the lower levels of the LSC before anyone could have prevented it.

“We were literally watching our computers and all our stuff float out of the windows,” she said. “Student Media was completely under.”

Both Bush and Satterfield watched the flood take away places that were dear to them, but both felt thankful for what they still had. Despite the many people on campus that day, including the thousands who were enrolled in summer classes, there were no human casualties at CSU.

“Everyone was safe at the university, but there was so much damage,” Satterfield said.

The bookstore lost the $5 million inventory for the upcoming fall semester.

And Student Media was completely devastated, losing almost everything, which forced the Collegian, KCSU and CTV to relocate and start from scratch.

Today, passersby can see a high-water mark in the LSC stairwell, not far from where the bowling alley was completely destroyed.

It took more than a year and hundreds of workers to sift through the damage and bring campus back to shape. Over 30 buildings were damaged, and garbage and saturated furniture littered the campus in the aftermath.

“During the first year after the flood, we worked a tremendous number of hours, and it took several years to get a settlement,” Bush said.

Eventually CSU did receive an insurance payout, which helped alleviate the more than $100 million in damages.

And although the university has recuperated from the devastating experience of the 1997 flash flood, all the materials lost have certainly not been replaced.

“Not everything has been restored,” Bush said. “You can’t really replace everything that had been accumulated over 100 years.”

News Managing Editor Jessi Stafford can be reached at news@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

VIDEO: Fort Collins flood of ’97

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Jul 312007
Authors: Jessi Stafford

It’s been a decade since violent waters ripped through Fort Collins, buffeting buildings, lifting up cars and claiming the lives of five people. Residents and rescue workers were taken by surprise when one of the largest rainstorms in state history caused Spring Creek to overflow, creating a flash flood that engulfed much of the city and the heart of the CSU campus.

The night of July 28, 1997 unexpectedly became one locals would remember for years to come.

Certainly, for Captain Steve Fleming of the Poudre Fire Authority, or PFA, the seemingly ordinary day turned into the most dangerous night of his career. It is a night that he will never forget, a night that seems like a bad dream.

He looked solemn as he slowly recounted the details.

After having dinner with a couple friends and his two children, Fleming said he began to notice the heavy rain as he listened to the emergency broadcast on the local television channel, warning Larimer County of a possible flash flood.

“Then, around 9:30, my pager went off for all off-duty fire fighters to report with any and all personal flotation devices,” Fleming said.

He knew then that the situation was serious.

When Fleming made it to the scene, on College Avenue and Johnson Drive , near Dairy Queen, he saw waist-high water flowing at great speeds, cars and debris passing by and homes already destroyed.

“I saw a guy hanging from a tree in very fast moving water,” Fleming said. “He was screaming for help.”

Fleming watched police rescue the man as he climbed out of his own vehicle, carrying all of the personal flotation devices, or PFDs, that he owned, and began forcing his way into the chaos.

“I was right smack in the middle of it. I mean right smack in the middle of it,” he said, still in disbelief.

He would soon learn that rescue workers, including Fleming himself, were unprepared for such a disaster. They lacked training, human power and PFD’s.

Danger unparalleled

“I could hear people screaming for help,” Fleming said. “So, I grabbed some rope and some PFDs and started wading through the water.”

The dark, polluted water was 6 to- 7 feet deep where Fleming was swimming.

“I could smell gasoline,” he said. “The water was just oily.”

Fleming made his way to Johnson Center Mobile Home Park, behind Dairy Queen, where he found two families trapped on rooftops. Behind the mobile homes where the families were perched, a mother and her 8-year-old son were stuck in a tree.

“I got both the mother and her child onto the roof, and then I started calling on the radio for a boat of any kind,” Fleming said.

But two of the boats had already been destroyed by the floating debris. So, search and rescuers brought in an 18-foot ski boat instead.

“Then, I heard on the radio that a train had derailed,” Fleming said. “Within 20 minutes of the train derailment, a liquor store exploded and two trailers caught on fire.”

As he retold the events of the infamous night, he shook his head, still shocked at what he was up against, what everyone was up against.

There were about 40 members of the PFA, along with the Larimer County Dive Rescue Team, receiving orders from all over the area, and due to the fires that needed attention and the train wreck, the situation had quickly become more crucial than before.

Wayne Wiggins, a fire fighter also on the scene, was assigned to help put out the fires.

“There was way more going on than we had personnel that could handle,” Wiggins said. “Our help was spread thin.”

Yet, Wiggins and Fleming both knew they had to do what they could with what they had, which meant saving lives in a high risk environment with a short supply of PFDs and not enough rescuers.

“There were a lot of obstacles moving under the water that we couldn’t see,” Wiggins said. “We were concerned about our safety.”

Fleming knew things were getting worse.

“As a fire fighter, I am trained to do a risk profile, which basically says that you should risk a lot to save a lot,” Fleming said. “This risk level was a 10 out of 10, I knew there was going to be death.”

Fleming made his way from home to home, searching for what life he could find.

In one duplex, the water was just below the ceiling, and a dog was frantically paddling back and forth at the top of the water.

“By this point it was late at night, so it was really dark, but the strange thing was that all of the lights were still on in the duplex,” he said. “So, I climbed through the window to save the dog, but he was scared and was pushing me underwater.”

He managed to get the dog to a safe place after a brief struggle.

“The rest of the time I spent searching for more people who needed rescuing,” he said.

Fleming was on the Larimer County Dive Rescue Team for 11 years, yet, even with all his years of training, nothing could prepare him or anyone else for an event such as this.

“In 31 years, this was a career incident,” he said.

It’s a sentiment shared by most fire fighters on the scene that night.

“This happens once in a lifetime,” Wiggins said. “You don’t get too many of those.”

Searching for the dead

Like revisiting a vivid dream from 10 years ago, Fleming searched his memories. He remembers the small details amid the overwhelming series of events, many of which are gloomy memories of looking for, and expecting to find, submerged bodies.

“A room air conditioner was still running underwater in one home; it was freaky looking,” he said. “When I touched the front screen door of that home, I got zapped. I was tasting metal.”

In the days after, Fleming was part of the search team assigned to sort through the mobile home parks, and behind every door he opened, he expected to see the storm’s cold and motionless victims.

“It smelled like the dead,” he said, shaking his head and looking at the floor. “We were sure we would find someone dead.”

In one home, a door would not budge as rescuers tried forcing the door open. When they finally broke the door in, they saw that the room was completely full of diapers that had expanded with water and had taken up all of the space in the room, forcing the door shut.

“It added to the weird,” Fleming said.

Also adding to the dreamlike aftermath, was the train derailment, and not only because a train overturned right in the middle of the flood.

“The train was filled with beans,” Fleming said. “There were beans all over the ground.”

It was the stuff typically saved for storybooks.

“It really was surreal,” Fleming said. “No one had ever seen anything like it before.”

A city of loss

Five people died during the flash flood. 54 were injured. One rescuer was injured.

“We reflected a lot afterward,” Fleming said. “I felt very relieved and pleased and very sad about those that lost their lives.”

Looking back, Fleming said the quickness of the event was the scariest part.

“What made this one freaky, was that it was a flash flood. The rain started at 7 p.m., its peak was around 10:30 p.m. and it was essentially gone by 6 a.m.,” he said. “And it flooded a creek that you can step over most of the time.”

Many people, particularly those who lived in the mobile home parks behind Dairy Queen, lost their homes.

“I felt so bad that so many people went to their home and it wasn’t there,” Fleming said. “These poor folks had no address, no home, nothing.”

And as hundreds of people shifted through the rubble, he was saddened and surprised at what they decided to keep.

“One woman picked up a pot that was full of mud and all banged up,” he said.

Fleming shrugged his shoulders as he envisioned the woman treasuring her beaten pot and gave a look of clarity.

“But it was something to have,” he said.

The community also stepped up to help in the days following the flood.

“Something struck me later,” Fleming said. “Once the community knew that this was a serious situation, we started getting a lot of help, especially from the college students.”

Wiggins spent the many days following the flood helping people walk through the wreckage as they searched for what few belongings they could find.

“Emotions were very high, and we get a little used to that in our line of work,” he said. “But you never get used to a loss of that capacity.”

News Managing Editor Jessi Stafford can be reached at news@collegian.com.


Fort Collins Flood of ’97 Facts

5 fatalities

12-15 inches of rain at Hugh’s Stadium

more than 30 campus buildings damaged

54 people injured

more than 200 homes destroyed

500 recorded rescues

1,500 homes and businesses damaged

$100 million in damage at CSU

$200 million citywide damage


6:30 p.m.: Heavy rain begins.

7:20 p.m.: Flash flood watch is issued.

8 p.m.: homes begin to flood.

9:40 p.m.: flash flood warning is issued.

10:29 p.m.: Lory Student Center floods.

10:30 p.m.: The rain stops.

10:59 p.m.: Johnny’s Liquors explodes.

11:00 p.m.: trail derails and two mobile homes catch fire.

2:10 a.m.: last recorded rescue.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Cookin’ fajitas on the fly

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Jul 312007
Authors: Liz Sunshine

I had the pleasure this week of not cooking. Every once in a while it is nice to have someone else cook for you, especially when that person is more of a foodie than you are.

This week an old friend from high school, Jonathan, came up to the Fort to find a place to live for the school year. This was only his third visit to our city, so he asked me to show him a few good places.

In return for my chauffer services Jonathan offered to cook dinner. I told him it was my night to cook for this column and because of that there is a budget and a few guests to cook for as well. Rather than deterring him, this information only seemed to spark more interest, so I agreed.

After a long day of looking at apartments, meetings on campus and of course a visit to one of our breweries for a tasting, Jonathan and I ventured our way to the grocery store.

We started at the meat/seafood counter where the attendant told us what he would give to us for half price. It was pretty late in the day, and he was trying to get rid of a few overstocked/old items and everything on his list was seafood. Jonathan’s immediate response was anything not on that list.

After settling on a flank steak we headed over to fresh produce grabbing limes, cilantro, jalapenos, tomatoes, avocados and onions. For whatever reason, this was also the point in which Jonathan was inspired to add dessert to the menu as well but was disappointed when he realized that would throw us over budget.

I reassured him that it would be OK if he did go over budget since it was dinner and dessert and off we went again, grabbing peaches before we left produce but also grabbing vanilla ice cream.

After reassuring Jonathan that I had a few ingredients at my apartment (i.e. bell peppers and balsamic vinegar) we checked out and head home to cook.

Jonathan is a loner in the kitchen, so all I had to do was sit and chat while he did the hard work. Marissa and Katie showed up and joined in the sitting and chatting while the steak was on the grill.

Joining the steak was a few jalapenos Jonathan decided to grill, which sounded like a great idea at the time, but he was the only one to sweat through one. Marissa and I both tried and only got one bite in before returning happily to our fajitas.

For dessert Jonathan grilled peaches and reduced balsamic vinegar to put over ice cream. I was allowed to help this time around by scooping ice cream (I was a big help, promise).

My first instinct regarding putting the vinegar on my ice cream was, well not to. The smell of reducing balsamic vinegar is quite strong, but I gave it a try and the syrupy vinegar added depth to a great dessert.

All around it was fun having Jonathan here and nice not to cook. Enjoy these last remaining days of summer before school starts.

L’Chaim and B’Tay Avon (to life and eat well)



1 flank steak

2 teaspoons garlic powder

juice of 2 limes

half a bushel of cilantro

2 jalapenos (change according to spice preference)

1/4 cup canola oil

Chop jalapenos and cilantro then combine garlic powder, limes and oil to create a marinade. Marinate steak for at least 30 minutes and grill for five minutes a side (timing is based on how hot your grill is, the steak should be pink in the middle). Serve on a tortilla with bell peppers, onions, guacamole (recipe to follow) and any other fajita/taco filling you desire (cheese, sour cream, salsa, etc.)


3 ripe avocados

1 hot house tomato

2 jalapenos (change according to spice preference)

1/4 white onion

3 or 4 sprigs cilantro

juice of 1/2 a lime


Chop everything to your texture liking, I like mine chunky and combine. Rather than covering the bowl to refrigerate, cover the actual guacamole to avoid browning.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Poll shows lack of faith in Republican candidates

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Jul 242007
Authors: Sean Reed

A recent AP-Ipsos poll revealed that 25 percent of Republicans are undecided on which they favor in the forthcoming presidential race.

What’s more, among those that have taken sides, Senator Fred Thompson, who isn’t even officially running yet, is tied for first with Rudy Giuliani.

For the candidates that have been hitting the campaign trail for months now – that’s got to hurt.

Of course, to anybody that’s actually been following the campaign, this shouldn’t be too surprising.

The Republican candidates, all trying hard to separate themselves from the pack, have only succeeded in doing so in a negative way.

Giuliani has frightened the base because, as I heard in a Starbucks recently, he’s “New York Republican.” Throughout his campaign he has expressed views contrary to the evangelical Christian base that is so important to the Republicans. In particular, they are worried because of his pro-choice leanings.

Mitt Romney has even bigger issues.

Being a “New York Republican” is bad, but how about a “Massachusetts Republican?” Until Romney, I never knew such thing existed.

On top of the struggles he is facing because of his religion, Romney has a lot to prove to other Republicans before they are willing to accept him to the fold. Many of former stances, including previous support of gay rights, have some conservatives concerned.

Adding to this, the recent reports of Romney staffers being given fake badges to intimidate the press and to gain entrance to secured areas have cast shadows on his campaign.

This, of course, is nothing compared to John McCain’s staff woes.

Earlier this month he was handed the resignation of his campaign manager and two of his top aids. More losses followed.

Before that, McCain struggled to keep pace with fundraising efforts of other candidates. According to the New York Times, he currently has less money left in the bank than any other serious candidates. At the beginning of July, it was reported only had about $2 million.

These developments, however, were just another in a long series of high profile problems for McCain. His unflinching support of the Iraq war has fueled speculation for months that he was soon to be on the outs.

Out of all this mess, enter Fred Thompson.

He has managed to remain untainted by the controversies surrounding the others and, what’s more, the evangelicals seem to like him. But why is this man who isn’t yet officially running so popular?

The evangelicals like him because, during his entire political career, according to a New York Times report, he voted for every bill to restrict abortion, and every bill to prevent government money from going to such procedures.

Of course, there has been a recent stir that Sen. Thompson spent about 20 hours lobbying for a pro-abortion rights group once, but, in the end, I think, his voting records stands for itself, any critics will find it hard to attack him on it.

The general public, however, likes him because of a little role he played on the show called “The West Wing.”

In a time when many Americans can’t even name the president of the United States (don’t believe me? Watch Jay Leno sometime), even a small role on a television show can assure a candidate that he, at least, is a familiar face.

I can see no other reason why a candidate that isn’t even officially running would score so high in the polls.

But then again, maybe there’s something I don’t see. Maybe, Republicans are hoping for the next Ronald Reagan.

If that’s the case, I’d rather it be Schwarzenegger.

Editorials editor Sean Reed is a junior political science major. His column appears weekly in the summer Collegian edition. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Thanks for caring Fort Collins

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Jul 242007
Authors: Collegian Editorial Staff

With all of the media attention surrounding the Spring Creek Flood of 1997 come the horrible memories of lives lost, possessions taken and homes broken. Ten years have come and gone since the waters engulfed the streets and caused the city $200 million in damage, a huge chunk of that being at CSU. Yet, something that has scarcely been talked about or mentioned in the plethora of articles written is that Fort Collins, as a community, stepped up to the occasion. Numerous local businesses opened their doors and gave supplies, food and shelter to those in need. Arby’s on College Avenue, allowed the members of the search and rescue team to come in and eat for free for days following the flood, Sam’s Club sent free clothes and boxes of dry socks and High Planes Scuba gave gear that helped rescuers during the flood- just to name a few. Individuals donated time and money in the days after the flood in order to restore everything that was ruined or lost. Our own student media wouldn’t be the same if it weren’t for the hard work and the donations of numerous individuals. We, at the Collegian, just want to give credit where credit is due and ask people to remember the good that came out of the bad. So, thank you Fort Collins for your undying support and commitment to keeping good old Fort Fun an exceptional place to be.

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Cheney in charge: Bush, Baio, unavailable.

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Jul 242007
Authors: Ryan Nowell

Last Saturday, between 7:44 and 9:24 in the morning, Dick Cheney was officially in charge of the country.

Now, for a lot of people, the only news here is the “officially” finally got tacked on. Cheney has always exuded something of a demented Gepetto vibe, and our brave leader, Yale graduate though he may be, has never said or done anything that would suggest he’s even remotely capable of making USA-PATRIOT into an acronym.

Those not convinced of the puppet-show took note, though, and as the transfer of power approached, some crouched diligently beneath their desks and rocked away the seconds till the missiles would start flying, while others revved their Roles Royce engine’s with anticipation, for at last, the rich white men of this country would finally have their day.

It’s a strange and not entirely flattering comment on Cheney’s character that an hour and forty minutes under his authority passing by annihilation-free is the surprise that it is. Short of nu-cu-lar winter, one expects something to happen, at least a Halliburton contract or police action, maybe a pack of irate Nazis rising from a bog somewhere. But no. It was an entirely uneventful morning.

The president’s routine colonoscopy having not caused the end of the world, resident conservatives in office betting pools across the country will surely be flaunting their winnings for weeks to come, now finally able to afford those pro-life, “Hang’em High” vanity mud-flaps (much to the chagrin of their liberal co-workers, who will now have to wait to get their fair-trade hemp t-shirts to support the Organization for Gluten-Free Wheelchair-Bound Tibetan Single Mothers of Blind Kids for Peace).

The incident does bring notice to a peculiar way in which liberals may take the president for granted, though. For all the issues people have with Bush, for all the protest songs and charred effigies and clever picket line slogans, he has acted, throughout his presidency, as the thin prophylactic ensuring no direct contact between the nation and Dick ever occurs.

Sure, one still gets the distinct impression we’re hurdling towards (another) disaster, but Bush exudes a folksy ignorance that makes it difficult for other nations to rebuke us for our actions. So he botched the occupation of a country he invaded under false pretenses, will the UN tell him he set foreign relations back several decades and cost hundreds of thousands of people their lives?

No. I mean, people don’t go around slapping special ed kids, right? They’re going to pin that international debacle right up there on the fridge and give him a gold star for trying. Why do you think the island is named after Gilligan?

Cheney, of course, can’t carry this off. With every consideration paid to bi-partisan fairness, he may be the most blatantly evil public official to grace the social conscious since the bad guy from Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (with whom he shares a disconcerting likeness). Mocking him is difficult in some ways, because humor thrives on insight, and Cheney, unlike many politicians, has no poker face. He really doesn’t care if you know he’s evil.

One doesn’t even have to broach his political track record. Just look at him. He goes around glowering all the time, has the posture of something that lives under a bridge, and talks down to just about everyone he graces with an interview. It’s hard to gauge how he treats his enemies, but when he shoots his friends in the face, one can only imagine.

Considering this is the side of himself he shows the public, what is there to say about the guy that isn’t already strikingly obvious to anyone familiar with Dr. No, Scrooge McDuck, or the basic aesthetics of a gothic doorknocker?

I don’t know, maybe some of us owe the vice-president an apology for thinking he would reduce the world to a smoldering ball last Saturday, but then, with Dick Cheney, that’s always more of a wait and see sort of thing.

Ryan Nowell is a junior English major. His column appears weekly in the summer Collegian edition. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Music for the summer

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Jul 242007
Authors: Brian Park

Summer is geared up in full right now – it’s nearing the end of July, the heat is a-blazin’ and hopefully you’ve already created a few stories you’ll remember for the rest of your life. Every season needs a soundtrack, so use these songs for whatever you desire: as a backdrop for a taking a load off by the Poudre River, sneaking into your neighborhood pool late at night or searing your skin til’ it resembles bacon strips.

/ “Boys of Summer” – Don Henley (1984): From the opening guitar to the point where the former Eagles front man sees a Deadhead sticker on a Cadillac and knows he can never look back, and you can’t either, this quintessential pop song is summer. Don’t even think about replacing this with the Ataris version.

/ “Sweet Child O’ Mine” – Guns N’ Roses (1987): The opening guitar riff is legendary and should kick any road trip or night o’ debauchery into full swing. Not a power ballad but not too heavy either, this ode to Axl Roses’ girlfriend at the time walks the fine line between bad-ass rock ‘n’ roll and sentimental aching.

/ “Do You Want to Dance” – Bobby Freeman (1958): One robust aspect that summer never will lose is twistin’ the night away. Even if you’re a wallflower or if it’s like a full body dry heave when you groove, everyone needs to stomp that foot once in awhile, and that’s exactly what this 1958 staple is asking you to do.

/ “Can’t You See” – Marshall Tucker Band (1973): Melding acoustic guitar and floaty flute lines, this is the song that will make everyone on the front porch sing-a-long after consuming to much cheap hooch. Can’t you see, can’t you see, what that __ (whatever your sexual preference is), been doin’ to me.

/ “Sippin’ On Some Syrup” – Three 6 Mafia (2000): I don’t know where you were in the summer of 2000, but anywhere I strolled the “siz-erp” was blaring on the radio. Toting one of the best lines ever in a rap song – “I’m trill working the wheel, a pimp not a simp; keep the dope fiends higher than the Goodyear Blimp; we eat so many shrimp, I got iodine poisoning” – this takes the Oscar.

/ “Golden” & “One Big Holiday” – My Morning Jacket (2003): The former is a sprawling echo of vocals careening around a simple beat, while the latter is an epic guitar-driven stomper that will surely get your blood pumpin.’ One contributes to getting $90 speeding tickets while out for a night on the town, the other’s for recovering the morning after.

/ “Kokomo” – the Beach Boys (1988): One of the most noteworthy cheese-ball songs of all time, it’s more than fitting for the soundtrack to I’m-the-most-rad-80s-bartender-ever Tom Cruise in “Cocktail.” So swirl the blender or pop some Bartles & Jaymes, and find that someone who’ll put out to sea looking to perfect your chemistry.

/ “Dancing in the Street” – Martha & the Vandellas (1964): From the get go this is an ultimatum to boogie it up – “Calling out around the world, are you ready for a brand new beat, summer’s here and the time is right, for dancing in the street.” Over 40-years-old, this record never sounds stale.

/ “Rockin’ in the Free World” – Neil Young (1989): While some folks think Bruce Springsteen or John Mellencamp deliver the archetypal Americana tunes, I’m putting my weight behind this rocker, albeit he is a Canadian. Screw the acoustic version, go straight for the gut with the electric one; it’s a fist-pumping glorious piece of work.

/ “It Was A Good Day” – Ice Cube (1992): A tasty breakfast, rolling dice and slamming dominos, plus brew, chronic and not even having to use his AK, pre-Barbershop Mr. Cube knows how to make the most of his 24 hours. Bob your head to this one when you’re trying to hit the three-wheel motion.

Brian Park is a senior journalism and political science major. He recognizes he left numerous summer standards off this list, from Jimmy Buffet to “Summertime” by Fresh Prince & DJ Jazzy Jeff. Send your own list of summer jams, or rants and feedback to letters@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Why I am a conservative

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Jul 242007
Authors: Joseph Haynie

Why am I conservative?

At first blush the response is simple: because of my parents. I was born into a conservative household and, like most people, adopted the political views of my parents. Please do not discount or discredit my comments because of this. I, like the rest of you, am now an agent unto myself.

Having had to stretch my wings and leave the nest I have been able to develop my own views of the world in which I live. For the majority of my formative years I was able to live abroad. As a result I gained an appreciation and strong reverence for this country of ours. Albeit flawed, it is hard to find anything better.

I believe in a living and loving God who has and continues still to watch over this nation. From its foundation, a Divine hand has guided and directed us in all of our endeavors. I believe that this faith, or, as the forefathers stated in the Declaration of Independence, “a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence”, has sustained our leaders and citizen soldiers in the most harrowing experiences, and given them the courage and confidence to overcome their trials. I do indeed believe the collective successes of this nation to be the result of Divine engineering.

I believe in the sanctity of life. Life is the first unalienable right stated in the Declaration of Independence. The founders of this great nation recognized its importance, and, I believe, sought to instill this virtue in the generations to follow.

Abortion, or the infringement upon the right of the unborn to live, does not fit into this plan. Although I believe us to be agents unto ourselves, possessing a divine right to choose, I believe we have an obligation to make the right decision, especially when life is in the balance.

I believe in limited government. I don’t feel safe with a governing body of my peers and equals endowed with more power than is necessary to lead and direct the functions of this nation. Big government bares a striking resemblance to malignant tumor. If left unchecked and uncontrolled, it will overtake the body, ultimately leading to death.

I believe in low taxes. There is no need to excessively tax the populous. Small coffers can be sufficient for a country’s needs if they are modestly managed with sobriety and frugality. Washington is overflowing with waste and reeks of pork. Cultures of corruption have grown accustomed to the accessibility of public funds and have thrown caution to the wind when it comes to spending. Prudence, unfortunately, is not evident in most of the daily dealings of those in charge.

I love America. However I fear for the future if certain ideologies get control of the reins. There are those that seek to distance America from its rich heritage of faith in a higher Being. There are those that wish to desecrate life in favor of an easy out, an escape from the consequences of poor decisions. There are those that wish to expand the influence of government, inviting them to oversee every aspect of their lives, including their pocket books.

You ask why I am conservative. I’ll tell you. It’s simple. There’s no better way.

Joseph Haynie is a senior political science major. His column appears occasionally in the summer Collegian edition. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com

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Photos related to Javad Marshall-Fields murder case

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Jul 242007

Beyond what has already been published and made available to the public at large, these are the only records the Collegian has related to Javad Marshall-Fields, Sir Mario Owens or the case against Owens.

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Local business feels loss of students

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Jul 242007
Authors: Ricki Dugdale

Some Fort Collins’ business can’t wait for the fall semester.

For nine weeks, local business suffers as CSU students leave town. Finding a way to survive the summer becomes top priority for any business dependent on the income provided by students. With students spending about $19 million a month in Fort Collins, the loss of money takes a toll on many small businesses.

Some businesses, like Revolution Donuts on Mulberry Street and Qdoba on Shields Avenue, have even cut their hours over the summer.

And students working over the summer have noticed their workloads lessen this summer.

Andy Foth, 20, has had a little more down time at Pop-A-Lock, a locksmith company in Fort Collins.

“Business has dropped because all the college kids are gone,” Foth said. “They are usually the ones that lock themselves out.”

Restaurants, like Jimmy John’s, are also seeing a decline in their college-aged consumers.

“Dinner time is when we notice a big difference,” senior CSU student Liesl Brcindenbach said. “We get less college students and more families.”

Usually consumed by the amount of students visiting throughout the day because of their location right off of campus, Jimmy John’s employees have had to deal with hours of little to no traffic.

With business slower than they are used to, students still make the best of what they are given.

“There is a difference during the summer compared to the spring but it’s not enough to get mad about,” Foth said.

David May, president and CEO of the Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce said businesses can expect a couple things when summer comes.

“There are two general impacts: a drop in some types of purchases and a change in work force as some part-time workers leave for the summer,” May said.

Although summer does leave an impact on the smaller businesses around town, larger corporations have been able to skirt around the decrease in sales.

Working at the Fort Collins branch of the United States Department of Agriculture, sophomore biology major Tamara Higgs works on experiments behind the scenes and sees little business endeavors.

Of the endeavors conducted, Higgs has seen minimal business being conducted with the general public.

“We don’t do much business with the public, and so there really hasn’t been a change in the lab,” Higgs said.

With a balance between small business and large corporations, Fort Collins’ economy has managed to maintain itself.

Even though the economic impact has not been quantified, according to May, a general indication that the economy stays afloat is evident.

According to city-data.com, Fort Collins has a balanced economy thanks mostly to the mix of manufacturing and service-related businesses that reside in the city.

Manufacturing companies such as Hewlett Packard, Anheuser-Busch and WaterPik help keep the economy afloat by offering jobs to residents. Being less dependent on college students’ business also allows the manufacturing companies to go on as normal.

Colorado State University and Poudre Valley Hospital contribute more than 10,000 job opportunities between them, according to CNNMoney.com, giving residents job security even when summer comes and business is tight.

When smaller businesses lose their part-time help or must cut back employee numbers to make their profits, the larger companies balance out the losses.

Residents are able to experience a lower cost of living and an increase in household income that leads to an increase in their buying power.

Colorado State University’s research facilities have also made it easier for more companies to relocate to Fort Collins, enabling a greater balance in the economy.

Fort Collins businesses, large and small, and their student employees have managed to overcome the shift in business that occurs over the summer, but fall semester is still eagerly awaited, as students flock to town and business bounces back.

Staff writer Ricki Dugdale can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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