Club’s sunny banner hopes to mark dawn of solar era

What’s up with the sun banner on the Boys & Girls Club building? And what does “Solarize La Plata” have to do with Boys and Girls Club? I thought off-site advertising was not allowed in Durango. – Just Curious

February could be a banner month at the Boys & Girls Club of La Plata County, so allow Action Line to shed some light on the situation.

Let’s start with Solarize La Plata: It’s a grass-roots effort to increase the number of solar electric panels in the county.

Coordinating the initiative are the nice folks at 4CORE, the Four Corners Office for Resource Efficiency. 4CORE helps people lower their energy bill, build better new homes and weatherize homes not built well in the first place, which pretty much means most of the dwellings in La Plata County.

Anyway, Solarize La Plata uses collective purchasing power to offer solar equipment at below-market rates. Then it streamlines the process, from free guidance to initial decision-making to financing options to installation.

But there’s a catch: There’s a lofty goal, and it’s only for a limited time.

If 50 more households sign contracts with Solarize La Plata before the end of the month, then Shaw Solar will donate a free solar system to the Boys & Girls Club – and to the Women’s Resource Center.

Thus the sunshine banner on the side of the Boys & Girls Club building.

Instead of those “thermometers” that measure fundraisers or membership drives, Solarize La Plata is using a sun, with each ray documenting 10 new contracts, according to our friend Gregg Dubit, executive director of 4CORE.

If you’re enlightened and contemplating photovoltaic, daylight is burning on the discount period. Signing up and consultation is free at or call 259-1916.

So, back to the initial question about the banner. Is it legal under Durango’s sign code?

Yes. It’s considered a temporary on-site sign, which is allowed under certain conditions of Section 10-3 of the city code.

That section, by the way, offers an astonishing 7,828-word explanation of what can and cannot be displayed.

Thank goodness there are city staffers who know this stuff, so folks can apply for a permit rather than read the tome that is the sign code.

Solarize La Plata got the city OK for the sun banner. Coincidently, the name of the planning department approver was Shine, as in Scott Shine.

Drats! If only Scott’s name were Sonny. Then we’d have an awesome headline: “Sonny Shine Signs Off On Sunny Sign.”

Could you answer this question on Monday? Is it President’s Day, Presidents’ Day or Presidents Day. I’ve seen it all three ways. Which is correct? Sign me, Dwight House

Actually, none is correct. Today is “Washington’s Birthday,” a federal holiday declared for the third Monday each February.

According to the U.S. government’s official Web portal, “Contrary to popular belief, neither Congress nor any president has ever officially changed the name of the holiday to ‘Presidents’ Day.’ ”

Note the spelling: The feds opt for plural possessive, which is also in line with the Chicago Manual of Style.

Meanwhile, the Associated Press Stylebook, which this newspaper follows, insists on no-apostrophe “Presidents Day.”

Interestingly, the Land of Enchantment celebrates President’s/President’/Presidents Day on the Friday after Thanksgiving Day, ostensibly so New Mexico state workers could have a day off that they would take off anyway.

Which is good idea when you think about it.

However, Alabama takes the cake in meddling with presidential birthdays.

The southern state celebrates “Washington and Jefferson Day” today. It commemorates the birth of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, one of the Founding Fathers and the author of the Declaration of Independence.

Trouble is, Thomas Jefferson was born in April.

Seems even after nearly 150 years, Alabama still has a beef with Abraham Lincoln.

Email questions to or mail them to Action Line, The Durango Herald, 1275 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301. You can request anonymity if you ever wondered how Jefferson could own slaves and still write “all men are created equal.”

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