This Week in History
10 years ago
• The Larimer County Department of Natural Resources released the results of a survey in which residents said they loved hiking, biking, camping and fishing opportunities and wanted local governments to spend more money on acquiring new open spaces than on managing the current recreational opportunities.
• Clay Caldwell, owner and chef of the downtown restaurant Betta Gumbo said he was aiming to bring in a new concept — made-to-order ice cream that would feature fog, flashing lights and employees in mad scientist garb. His plan was to sell ice cream frozen on the spot with liquid nitrogen while the customer waited. “It has a twist to it, a lot of pizzazz,” Caldwell said. “There’s nothing like it around here. We’re going to have everybody in lab coats, black glasses and pocket protectors and play up the geek aspect.” The shop was slated for 202 E. Fourth St.
• An online survey by the Reporter-herald revealed that Loveland residents were driving to other cities to buy natural products and that they’d like to have a Sprouts Farmers Market. The unscientific survey that was on the newspaper website drew 725 responses with 55% saying they bought organic and natural products regularly, and most of them saying they bought them at a natural grocer outside of Loveland. The respondents were asked their top choice of a natural good store with Sprouts leading followed by Trader Joe’s, something locally owned, Whole Foods Market and Vitamin Cottage. Meanwhile, representatives of several natural food stores and developers said location was the major consideration in locating a store in Loveland. The co-president of Natural Grocers said his chain had not yet opened a store in Loveland, not because of the demographics, but because the company had not found a suitable location. “Our criteria is that it has to be a great site,” said Kemper Isely, “which means it has to be on a hard corner at or near the best intersection in town, with great access and visibility.”
• Loveland residents Matthew and Shawna Schultz were in the midst of traveling the world via ship, visiting 10 countries in 100 days while they helped videotape the Unreasonable at Sea project through their Loveland-based video production company, Mass FX media. Unreasonable at Sea was a startup accelerator for social entrepreneurs who wanted to advance their companies internationally, as well as already established businesses seeking ways to scale globally, with the aim to solve world problems. ”it’s incredible how many inspiring stories there are to tell,” Matthew said via a Skype interview. “We’re seeing a snapshot of 11 companies … seeing their incredible work. Every day is a new opportunity to capture and share a story.”
• Hearts and Horses was in its first year offering a new program, Hearts and Horses for Heroes, aimed at helping veterans explore their emotions and behaviors. ”we’re showing the vets how to find rhythm with their horses and, in turn, find rhythm in their lives,” said Tamara Merritt, certified instructor for the program. The 15-year-old nonprofit had also added another five new programs, all aimed at helping segments of the population through work with horses, including a sensory trail, called the Trail of Discovery, built to engage all of the senses and provide additional options for movement.
• The Berthoud Town Board approved an emergency ordinance, immediately prohibiting the operation of retail marijuana stores and cultivation facilities within town limits. Medical marijuana businesses, which were already permitted by the town, were not affected by the new rules.
• Longtime Thompson School District employee Lanny Hass was named the new principal of Thompson Valley High
School, taking over at the end of the year when Mark Johnson retired after nine years. Hass, himself a graduate of Thompson Valley, brought more than 24 years in the education field with him to the role of principal.
• The Rocky Mountain Nature Association reached a $400,000 fundraising goal to buy the Johnson property on the west side of Rocky Mountain National Park.
25 years ago
• A report prepared by independent auditors outlined “serious issues” within the Thompson School District’s special education department, including a lack of trust, communication and money. The district was looking at how to address those issues, starting with restructuring its administration. Several weeks earlier, the director of the department announced he was resigning at the end of the school year, saying, “I’ve reached the point where I’ve taken the department as far as I can take it.”
• City officials were under pressure to find $150,000 toward a project to repair the weakening Wilson Avenue bridge over the Big Thompson River or risk losing a $608,000 grant from state transportation officials. A city engineer, looking at a number of matching grants, said he hoped City Council would approve the allocation of $150,000 from the city’s reserves for the shortfall.
• A 75-year-old Loveland man who helped supplement his income by recycling cans spoke out about his arrest for investigation of misdemeanor theft after taking cans from curbside recycling bins meant for city pickup. City officials said he had been warned that taking cans out of those bins was a misdemeanor, but chose to take them anyway until officials decided to take action. “This is how the city pays for our garbage fees at the dump,” Police Chief Tom Wagoner said at the time. “We try to be fair and compassionate, but if we allow him to do it, we have to allow … everyone else to do it.” The former plumber said he felt the charges were unjust as he was simply trying to afford the cost of living and that he had permission to take cans from those homes. “I never thought I’d see the day I’d have to pick up cans to keep eating,” he said. In Municipal Court, he was found guilty on one theft charge and pleaded guilty to a second, and the judge suspended his $185 in fines and costs for one year, meaning if he remained law abiding during that time, he would not have to pay them.
• Rocky Mountain National Park announced 3.13 million people had visited in 1997, the fourth year in a row that the park hit at least 3 million. In 1996, however, the entrance fee to the park doubled from $5 to $10 for a carload for a week in the park; officials pointed out that the increase did not affect the number of visitors to the park.
• The Larimer County Courthouse in Fort Collins announced that new security measures would debut within a week, requiring people to pass through a metal detector before entering the building that held both county offices and courtrooms. Handbags, briefcases and packages also were to be screened to increase security. A security checkpoint in place on the second floor where the courts had been located since 1993 was being replaced by the new measures designed to increase safety.
• Loveland residents Bob and Georgia Torson, who had owned the Mcdonald’s restaurants on West Eisenhower Boulevard for 24 years and at Orchards Shopping Center for 13 years, announced they were retiring from the burger business and, on May 1, would pass the spatula to new owners Gary and Sharon Koenig, who also owned a Mcdonald’s in Longmont.
50 years ago
• A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held for Sweetheart Motor and Mobile Home Sales, 3216 N. Garfield Ave., a business owned by resident Grace Clinger, who had taught in the Loveland school system for 37 years and who had sold trailers for
10. Her business moved to its new location from the former site at 2200 N. Lincoln Ave. into what she described as a larger space and a better location for business.
• Capt. Leroy “Andy” Anderson was named Fireman of the Year by the Loveland Elks Club during the annual Firemen’s Ball, a party for volunteer firefighters that was sponsored by the Loveland City Council. Bob Collar, who had been the first recipient of the annual award nine years prior, said: “Anderson answered 223 of the 320 emergency calls for 1972 with a 78% record.
He also had perfect attendance at training sessions and at his own expense received out-of-town medical and first aid training. He also attended, on his own, out-of-town firefighting classes. He was the owner of a plumbing and heating business and the father of two children.
• A 13-year-old girl died in a fire that destroyed her family’s double-wide trailer west of the Masonville store. Investigators said the mother and one daughter, age 10, went into a room to alert the father and another two daughters of the fire. The mother and 10-yearold then fled, making it out safely and rushing to a nearby home to call 911. The father threw a 17-year-old daughter out the window before escaping himself, collapsing outside where he was found severely burned and unconscious. The third daughter was unable to escape the home and died in the fire. Medics rushed the surviving four family members to the hospital. Authorities said the mother, who was being held in the Larimer County Jail in protective custody, was later charged with selling or dispensing drugs and aggravated assault from a previous stabbing incident at the home.
• Loveland Postmaster Henry J. Porter announced that a proposed new post office in Loveland has been delayed by President Nixon’s cutback on federal spending by the U.S. Corps of Engineers. He said the corps would wind up any existing projects that had already been started before handing off any projects without final approval to the Postal Service. He described some shifting of duties due to the change from a federal Postal Department to a Postal Service, and said he did not know how it would ultimately affect construction of a new Loveland facility. A location for the new facility had not been chosen, but Porter said it was expected to be about 18,000 square feet, much larger than the 8,000-square-foot facility at Sixth Street and Cleveland Avenue.
• Several Loveland business owners voiced protests to a raised median as the Colorado Highway Department prepared for improvements on U.S. 287 in north Loveland. The department planned to make the road four lanes, to improve areas and to rebuild the curve at 17th Street where the one-way system breaks into Cleveland Avenue. Business owners on North Lincoln objected to plans for a raised median, citing safety hazards as well as economic hardship for their businesses by affecting access.
• An aerial picture published in the Reporter herald showed the oneblock site in downtown Loveland where a new Safeway store was being built between Eighth and Ninth streets and Lincoln and Cleveland avenues. The 26,000-squarefoot store was to be completed later in the year, including an in-store bakery and deli, and would replace the existing Safeway at Sixth Street and Lincoln Avenue.
• High fire insurance ratings in Loveland were cited as the prime reason the state legislature would be asked to form a commission to study the entire insurance rating system.
• With plans to build a drive-up facility at the southwest corner of Lincoln Avenue and Ninth Street, the First National Bank of Loveland offered to donate two houses at the site to HOUSE Inc., but only one was deemed solid enough to move. The nonprofit that worked to provide housing for lowincome families would move the four-bedroom, two-story house to a lot at the end of East Fifth Street.
•The Loveland Planning Commission found numerous problems with the amended site plan for the Church of the Nazarene at Colorado Avenue and 29th Street, and tabled the plan due to issues with parking and traffic circulation. They also wanted landscaping between 29th Street and the traffic lanes on the property.
120 years ago
The editor of the Loveland Reporter opined on Feb. 26, 1903, that the Loveland town board needed to do something “and at once” to end the postponement of offering electricity to residents during the night. “As it now is our people have become so accustomed to street illumination that to go home in the dark is very unpleasant, but one must do so if midnight finds them at some entertainment. Then, too, the lodges have to close before midnight, whether or not they have work of importance, because the lights go out. If sickness causes trouble thru the night — or if important work is necessary at the hospitals the old time lamps must be resorted to — or die in the darkness.”