Apr 032013

Author: Logan Martinez

Wanting an escape from all the construction clinging and clanging? Next fall, you will have a home away from home.

rams bookstore

The Rams Bookstore, on the corner of Laurel and Mason Streets is implementing The Boot Grill. Photo by Logan Martinez

The Rams Bookstore, located at 130 Laurel St. since 1970, is implementing The Boot Grill, a CSU themed sports bar and grill. It will feature the restaurants well known prime rib, house-made green chili, a vast burger menu and a variety of daily lunch specials, while still hosting textbooks and CSU merchandise.

Griff Kull, owner of the Rams Bookstore since 1977, said due to the fluctuation in textbook sales throughout the year, with high sales times at the beginning of each semester, it was time to consider a new way to utilize the space.

“We are looking to do something different with the building at this point because we have half of the space allocated for college textbooks, which is only necessary for about four or five months of the year, and the rest of the year that space isn’t used as much,” Kull said.

The Boot Grill has been open for two years at a locally owned Loveland location. The opportunity to move to this location near campus arose and they wanted to cater to the CSU audience of students, faculty and fans. The bar will feature live music, much like their Loveland location. Marlena Bartlett, assistant general manager of The Boot Grill, is looking forward to creating a fun and inviting atmosphere for their Fort Collins audience.

“We want to bring in fun customers that are looking for a delicious meal — lunch or dinner — and want to enjoy country and classic rock music,” Bartlett said. “We have seen success at our Loveland location and many of our guests tell us that they look forward to having a place like The Boot Grill in Fort Collins.”

Kull is looking forward to this fun atmosphere to compliment the bookstore.

“We were looking for something to complement the apparel and gift business, imprinted Colorado State officially licensed merchandise business,” Kull said. “It seemed like having someone come in with a sports bar and grill would be beneficial for both of us.”

In the tri-level store, The Boot Grill with be located half on the main level and take up the full upper level of the building. On the main level and anticipated rooftop patio, patrons will be able to enjoy looking out onto the Mason Corridor and MAX transit system.

“We will offer live music on Friday and Saturday nights, as well as a roof top outdoor patio and a comfortable welcoming atmosphere,” Bartlett said. “We want it to be a fun environment, lively, and a place where people really enjoy their dining out experience.”

Implementing The Boot means food and beverage near campus, but does not mean textbooks are leaving The Rams Bookstore.

“We are partnered with a company with a good online presence, so it is going to allow us to rent more books and be more competitive with our rental prices,” Kull said. “Throughout the semester, if you are waiting to buy the book until you are sure you need it, we should have good prices available.”

The bookstore will still be open throughout the renovation and is planning to have both sides open for the kickoff of fall semester.

Mar 052013

Author: Ricki Watkins

What does it feel like to have the entire community supporting your great idea? Or, how does it feel to donate to a great cause and get some cool swag in return? Well, it feels like Community Funded.

Photo courtesy of Community Funded.

Photo courtesy of Community Funded.

Community Funded, a Fort Collins-based company, helps individuals, for-profit and nonprofit organizations and groups connect to the people within their community to raise money for worthwhile causes.

How does it work exactly? Well,say the owner of a small business wants to expand but does not have the money to do so. After submitting an idea to CF and having it approved, the owner has a certain number of days to raise a set amount of money. Individuals and organizations can then go to CF’s website and learn more about the proposed project. If they like the project, they can choose to either donate money to the cause or purchase what CF terms as “giftbacks.” Giftbacks are either products or services donated by the project creator — “project giftbacks” — or by other organizations — “in-kind giftbacks.” For example, you can buy a case of Odell beer or a Mugs Coffee Lounge gift card and donate to the project at the same time.

If the project creator is for-profit and makes their fundraising goal within the timeframe, they get to keep the money they raise. If not, the donations are returned back to the donors. If the project creator is a nonprofit, regardless of whether they meet their fundraising goal or not, they receive the money raised.

“We really set out to build this tool that helps people create awareness of good ideas while uniting a community,” said McCabe Callahan, CF co-founder and owner of Mugs Coffee Lounge.

Callahan, along with co-founders Blue Hovatter and Ryan Stover, built CF off of existing crowdfunding websites. What sets them apart is that instead of fundraising to a faceless crowd, the founders wanted to focus on community.

“What defines you is really the relationships you have in your life,” Callahan said. “If you have heard the saying ‘It takes a village to raise a child,’ I think it really takes a community to make a great idea happen.”

Individuals and organizations have raised almost $290,000 for their projects through CF since the company’s launch a little less than a year ago.


Photo courtesy of Community Funded.

Photo courtesy of Community Funded.

What’s your ‘it’?

And remember that small business owner that wanted to expand? Well, meet Charly Clifford. Owner of Charly Bar, an energy bar company, Clifford utilized Community Funded and raised over $15,000 within his timeframe.

Charly Bar is Clifford’s “it” as CF says. What is an “it”? According to CF, your “it” is what you’re passionate about.

“We like to ask people, ‘What’s your it?’ because no matter what ‘it’ is, it can be Community Funded,” said Stover, who is also CF’s Creative Director.

“Times are crazy right now with money, and loans are not necessarily the best way to go about things, especially if you are not tried and true and you just want to try something and you don’t want to necessarily jump off the deep end and get a big loan and have to pay that back forever,” Clifford said.

Clifford, who donates one percent of his profits to youth health and wellness programs, has already moved to a new kitchen and purchased new equipment with some of the money he raised.

“I am looking forward to growing the business and having a lot more community impact,” Clifford said.

What is Stacy Sebeczek’s ‘it’? The Fort Collins Bike Library, where anyone can checkout a bike for free. As director of the Bike Library, Sebeczek was looking for some way to find funding for 2013, as the Bike Library’s five-year federal grant would be expiring in December 2012.

Through CF, the Bike Library raised $10,000. Coupled with contributions from New Belgium, the City of Fort Collins and the Downtown Development Authority, the Bike Library raised enough money to keep its doors open for 2013.

“It raised a ton of awareness for our cause,” Sebeczek said. “Part of our transition after funding ran out in 2012 was not just a simple ‘we need some money to operate next year,’ it was a very comprehensive ‘we are transitioning from a grant-dependent model to something that is more sustainable with community collaboration.’ So, it was important for us to use that community piece for the awareness and exposure of our cause … Community Funded really helped us with that, especially having their strong team behind it; it is a very passionate group of individuals and they are so well connected and so willing to push projects and help them get the exposure they need.”


How do I get involved?

So, you are a college student, how can you get involved with CF? In three ways, according to Callahan.

One, you can support ideas and projects in your community by donating or buying giftbacks — you get some sweet swag that you were already going to buy, but now that money goes to a great cause.

“It is a great way for students to support great ideas and community while getting something back in exchange because a lot of students don’t have disposable income and a lot are tight with money and have student loans,” Callahan said. “So, instead of feeling like you have to come up with this extra money, what Community Funded allows for is this ability to shop for things you are going to use and do anyways, but also having impact in your community, which is a cool feeling to know that you are actually causing things to happen.”

Two, if you have a great idea, shout it out and use Community Funded to make that idea reality.

“Whether it is a class project or a big goal that they have in life, it is an opportunity to share what they are passionate about and get the support of the people that already support them,” Stover said.

Speaking from experience, Clifford said he believes having the support of your community is extremely motivational.

“It’s a lot of encouragement just to know that people believe in what you are doing … it makes you want to go out and try harder, it gives you definitely something to strive for,” Clifford said.

Three, spread the word.

“Just because you can’t fund a project actually and you don’t want to start one, doesn’t mean you don’t see a good idea like the Bike Library and be willing to talk about it,” Callahan said. “By talking about it, you are also supporting that project, so you become this hero, this cheerleader for the different ideas on the website.”

Bottom line: “Even you can have impact on your community through tools like this,” Callahan said.


The future of CF

What is the future for CF? Growth and greater impact.

“Fort Collins is definitely community-centric and it is full of big ideas and people that are passionate about creating change in the world, so it definitely makes sense that it started in Fort Collins — it was fertile soil for this kind of idea, but really, the next step to this is to grow this outside of Fort Collins and really become a national movement,” Stover said.

With more than 2,000 registered individuals and almost 400 registered organizations from all over the U.S., and growing, it looks like CF is well on its way to success.

“My hope is that as many people that need to use it, use it to cause greater impacts in their communities and if that is worldwide, I am okay with that,” Callahan said.



Secret CSU Cookie Society Selling Cookies with CRU

 Beats, The Munchies, The Well  Comments Off on Secret CSU Cookie Society Selling Cookies with CRU
Feb 272013

Author: Jack Krause

Closeup of a chocolate chip in a freshly baked...

Closeup of a chocolate chip in a freshly baked cookie, still on the pan. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

While many delivery services bring food right to your door, a start-up cookie delivery service wants to bring it to you in style. The “Secret CSU Cookie” delivery service was planned to be a new service that brought baked goods to you in a 007 fashion, with couriers wearing all black and sunglasses. Unfortunately, some roadblocks came up along the way.

The idea came to Ana Akana and Cailley Baigini following one of their missions’ trips to Malawi, a South African country notorious for its poverty rate and malnourishment. They felt the benevolent desire to further help by donating to the Malawi Children’s Mission charity. Now all they needed was an idea. They found that since they both could bake, and there wasn’t a current baked goods delivery service for dorms, that the “Secret CSU Cookie” was a good idea. They set out and began delivering, and yet there was an obstacle.

Colorado State’s Sales and Solicitations policy states that what they were doing, though noble, is not permitted. Unlicensed products can’t be sold on campus, particularly food products. “Non-approved vendors will not be authorized to sell or solicit sale of products or services, solicit donations, or hand out or post advertising on campus.” The policy explains this prohibition is due to a lack of regulation. The policy was instated 4 years ago after cases of food poisoning and other related mishandling incidents occurred.

“We should have done this before we started, but we were just eager to start making cookies and getting money as soon as possible… SLiCE was really excited about the idea but they told us that selling homemade goods was against regulation policy,” Akana said.

Down, but not out, they decided to work with CRU, a Christian organization on campus, and are now selling their cookies through the meetings they have every Thursday. So though you may not have them delivered to your door, you can still get some delicious desserts and donate to a good cause.

The first time you’ll ever say no to bacon

 Beats, The Munchies, The Well  Comments Off on The first time you’ll ever say no to bacon
Feb 262013

Author: Jack Krause

Backpacking in the Grand Teton National Park, ...

Backpacking in the Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As we anticipate warmer weather while we brace ourselves and loved ones in these cold months, camping season is approaching. We all know what we normally pack, but when you actually look at what you bring for food and the nutritional values associated, its plain to see we just aren’t eating right while around the campfire. CSU Recreational Centers Outdoor Club’s Leif Mattern explained some healthier food choices to make while packing for an adventure.

“For breakfast foods, I would say plain oatmeal with a little brown sugar or dried fruits would be great,” Mattern said. These foods are easier to pack and are definitely filling, giving you energy for your entire adventure. For dinner, Mattern says rice with any kind of sauce and vegetables are great for you, and the rice can be substituted with quinoa.

“A lot of people think that just because you’re camping, that you are restricted to dried packaged foods. The truth is you can be pretty creative with meals, just like you are at home,” Mattern said. He also explained that you can stick with diets but remember to remain conscious of the weight of materials, as you will be carrying them around with you. Canned foods are better than jars because they weigh less and you can bring vegetables and fruit with you.

One food group to stay away from is meat. Bacon and other meats attract bears and other animals to your camp. “Always remember to practice bear safety. Storing food properly in bear proof containers away from where you sleep. Bacon is tasty, but it stinks to high heaven and the smell will remain on your clothes.” Definitely not a good idea if you’re camping in backcountry.

With these tips, you should be well on your way to surviving and thriving while having a great time travelling and camping.


How to Keep Your Muscles, Traveling to Brussels

 Beats, Fit & Fine, The Well  Comments Off on How to Keep Your Muscles, Traveling to Brussels
Feb 242013

Author: Kendall Greenwood

Hiking is a great form of exercise that gets you outside and seeing the sites! Photo Courtesy of Sylvia

Hiking is a great form of exercise that gets you outside and seeing the sites! Photo Courtesy of Sylvia Usery.

Hiking, kayaking and biking. CSU senior, Sylvia Usery, 21, did these activities every weekend during her study abroad in New Zealand in spring 2012. Not only could she check out the scenery and be social, but she could stay healthy during her time away.

Traveling can create a challenge for a healthy lifestyle. There can be decreased food options and no gym to do normal exercise routines. To stay fit while traveling abroad requires a balance of two things: nutrition and exercise.

According to Albert Powell, 33, a strength and conditioning personal trainer at Anytime Fitness, the two most dangerous foods to eat when traveling are starches – like bread, rice and noodles – and sugars.

“The starch is your bricks and your sweets are basically the concrete,” Powell said. “So what you’re doing with your body is you’re blocking everything up [with starches] and [with] the sweets you’re pasting everything.”

This can create future unhealthy habits, but it also has adverse effects on the health you gained.

“So you go on this vacation, you look and you’re like ‘man, I put on five pounds,’” Powell said. “Well, you’ve been eating nothing but carbs and sugar.”

Usery adapted to meals in a similar way while in New Zealand.

“I actually paid for a whole semester of dining hall food, but I stopped going because it was just disgusting,” Usery said. “They have like 5 kinds of potatoes and bread every night.”

Instead, she bought her own food at the grocery store to give herself more balanced meals. She was able to afford some healthier options on a student budget. Avocados were cheap so she was able to eat plenty,Usery said.

Exercise is the other important key to staying in shape. According to Powell, exercising while traveling is very easy.

Workout routines can be easy to keep up when you have been properly trained. Photo by John Sheesley

Workout routines can be easy to keep up when you have been properly trained. Photo by John Sheesley

“If you want to stay in your room and [workout] for a quick hour,” Powell said. “[Get a] resistance band and exercise ball.”

These two objects can work your biceps, shoulders, back, abdominals and legs with the right movements. The exercises will keep your muscles toned and ready for when you can get back into the gym.

“As soon as my clients come back and we pick back up where we left off,” Powell said. “They felt like they never left.”

Plus, they are not a strain on luggage.

“[The exercise ball] comes with a pump so you can just take the air out and hold it in your luggage,” Powell said. “The pump is small, so it’s easy to travel [with].

Target has resistance bands available for anywhere from $12.99 to $19.99. Exercise balls at Target are priced from $19.99 to $29.99.

When Usery was abroad she chose to participate in activities where she could see the scenery and connect with people.

“Every weekend we would go somewhere,” Usery said. “Hiking is always fun and they had such beautiful terrain there that it didn’t feel like you were exercising, because you were just looking at everything around you.”

Powell says you can incorporate this group dynamic into resistance band and exercise ball exercises by doing partner and group workouts.

He has experienced first-hand what these kinds of workouts look like. Before becoming a personal trainer, Powell played international basketball. As his team traveled they had to alter their normal workouts.

“When you’re on [season], you don’t want to come in and lift a bunch of weights because it throws your shots off,” Powell said. “So a lot of what we would do is what I’m telling you [about].”

For Usery, being able to mix exercise and friends added to her experience.

“I would definitely say stay active,” Usery said. “It’s a great way to meet people and just get around the country.”

Not quite an iPad, not quite an iPhone, but certainly quite Apple

 Beats, Goods & Gear, The Well  Comments Off on Not quite an iPad, not quite an iPhone, but certainly quite Apple
Nov 292012

Author: Jack Krause

Image representing iPad as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

With the upcoming holiday season, gift ideas are getting harder and harder to come by. This fall, the innovators at Apple have unveiled the iPad Mini. What it essentially boils down to is a smaller iPad2, but it still carries with it the aesthetic quirkiness that each product seems to have. The major benefits to this device are the portability it allows, and the larger screen that provides a bigger workspace.

Now, the question needs to be asked, whether or not this device is right for the recipient. If they read a large amount, or watch a lot of television or movies on the device, then the Mini is right up their alley. If they plan to use it as a mobile computing solution, then it may be better to ante up and get an iPad. The smaller screen and lack of the “Retina” display give off a buffered experience when it comes to power using. The same goes with if they only plan to listen to music with it; it may just be a smarter investment to go with an iPod Touch or iPhone. Its relatively cheaper, and will be used to its maximum while keeping your wallet slightly full, though with Apple, full is an exaggerated term.

Hands on reports and reviews of the iPad Mini say it is a great device that caters to a specific demographic of people, and if your family or friends don’t fall into that category, just invest in one of the other more tiered products. Pricing ranges from $459 to $659.