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Sarah Heger: Reconnecting: Piano teacher seeks former students

I moved to Boulder from New York City in June 1990 and fell in love with beautiful, friendly Boulder immediately. Now due to the necessity of wearing masks and social distancing, friendly strangers no longer smile and nod at each other.

COVID-19 has forced me to teach on Skype and I miss the daily knock on the door of my studio from students. Some students have dropped out altogether. Piano teachers are suffering along with everyone else.

At this depressing and worrisome time, it would lift my spirits to hear from former students on my 30th anniversary. Do you still play the piano? Do you remember your piano lessons? Where are you in life just now?

I am hoping that the vast local reach of the Daily Camera will help me to reconnect with students of the last 30 years. In the 1990s I taught under my former name, Farah Biel. If you read this, please call me at 303-449-4733 or email me at

I would also be happy to hear from any of my fellow Boulderites. I love all the good, idealistic people of Boulder, including the homeless.

Thank you also, Daily Camera, with which I have started each day for 30 years with my morning cup of tea.Dr. Sarah Heger

Private Piano Studio


Peri Shaplow: Dining: Al fresco, for a price

When Gov. Polis announced this week that restaurants can now reopen with strict safety measures in place, our beloved Boulder establishments quickly sprang into action. Social posts flooded my feed with reopening updates and news of costly alterations to their spaces to ensure they’re are in cooperation with the laws. All of this done while they are in the red. Deep in the red.

We’re about to see Boulder reach next-level utopia status with folks eating and drinking and smiling and laughing in places where cars once clamored for parking spots. The street closings downtown and on the Hill are creative solutions to help restaurants get up and running again, and I commend City Council’s quick and progressive action.

“I hope they keep it like this forever” will surely be heard as you pass by tables. It will appear that business is booming, with every table filled and long wait times. We’ll breathe a sigh of relief through our masks, “Ahh, things are getting back to normal again.”

But not so fast.

With the mandatory changes to capacity and table spacing, restaurants are operating at a fraction of what they used to. Servers will be making longer trips to and from the kitchen and tables will most likely not “turn” as quickly as folks take in the al fresco ambiance.

In order to help our restaurants bridge the gap, I propose an al fresco flat fee along with an automatic tip of 20% added to every tab. For discussion, let’s say the fee is $10. Funds would be used at the establishment’s discretion and wouldn’t impact servers’ tips. “I was already planning on giving a really big tip,” you say. To which I say, you are not everyone.

Dining outside is a luxury we have all missed, but let’s not miss out on compensating the owners and staff who have worked so hard to bring our favorite places back to us. Let’s eat.

Peri Shaplow


Gary Miller: Drilling: BLM should pause oil, gas leases

The COVID-19 pandemic unarguably is consuming more and more of every citizen’s energies during these uncertain times. Adapting and making drastic changes in our lives from “business as usual” to new demands  is not a trivial undertaking for any of us.

A case in point is the current Bureau of Land Management proposal to sell oil and gas leases on key wildlife and sagebrush habitats of North Park in Jackson County. These lands are known to be some of the most important wildlife habitats of the sagebrush steppe ecosystem in Colorado.

While accommodating high-priority big game habitats may be fairly straightforward, addressing other wildlife and ecological issues is much more complex, demanding focused consideration to avoid unintended and irreversible consequences. Indeed, Colorado’s State Wildlife Action Plan, developed in 2015 with the best science and extensive public, academic and agency input, identifies no fewer than 65 species of Greatest Conservation Need potentially affected by oil and gas leasing in sagebrush habitats. Adding to this complexity is the role these lands could play as range expansion corridors and connectivity to Rocky Mountain National Park.

In light of these complexities, and the competing demands we all — public as well as BLM, CPW and other agency resource professionals — are facing during these times, clearly the responsible and sensible thing to do is to take a pause in the leasing process, including an extension of the public comment period.

The cost of such a pause is minuscule compared to the benefit of better decisions regarding lands to be leased. Once we have adjusted to our “new normal” we can address the myriad ecological concerns with a comprehensive and unencumbered focus. These critical public lands and the wildlife they support deserve it.

Gary C. Miller

Estes Park