What's the frequency, Kimsey?

Here at All Politics is Local, we know that you know we take covering meetings very seriously.

But sometimes even a maven can get thrown off her game.

Take Wednesday. I got to the sixth floor of the Clark County Public Service Center at 10 a.m., ready for three work sessions: one on Secure Communities, one on the findings of an energy audit and one on sustainable practices.

The first work session I was on it, live-Tweeting while also taking more detailed notes for an article. But then — and this is what my editor gets for making me Tweet, giving me access to the outside world — I saw on my Twitter feed a re-Tweet that made me freeze: R.E.M. had officially called it quits.

Now, never mind that I only started listening to the band because my older brother liked them (so that made it cool) or that it has been awhile since they put out an album that I truly loved. I needed time to reflect on the 31-year career of my all-time favorite band. I wanted to go home, gather up all my R.E.M. CDs and try to compile a list of my Top 20 songs. (Later I found this guy’s list, and while I don’t agree 100 percent, it’s a pretty good list.)

Problem was, the work session on Secure Communities was over. Auditor Greg Kimsey was up, but I couldn’t bring myself to pay attention. Like a line from, “What’s the Frequency, Kenneth?” I felt “brain-dead, locked up, numb, not up to speed.”

I can assure you that had Kimsey been delivering bad news, or even controversial news, I would have rallied. Instead my mind drifted to memories of seeing R.E.M. live, from the big time (sold-out show at the Red Rocks Amphitheater in Colorado) to not-so-big-time (not sold-out show at the Sleep Country Amphitheater.) Here’s Michael Stipe in Ridgefield:


So my point is, Kimsey had good news to deliver and I couldn’t bring myself to even take notes. Something about a leaky roof at the jail was fixed?

Fortunately, Holley Gilbert of the county’s public information office was sitting next to me and she wrote up the work session for the county’s employee newsletter. I’ll let Holley tell you about the energy audit findings:

“An audit of the $8 million energy conservation project started
three years ago shows Clark County’s heating and electricity use
has declined and the improvements are paying for themselves.

The project is based on the county’s commitment to conserve
natural resources, a pledge incorporated in the sustainability policy approved by the Board of County Commissioners in 2007.

Energy conservation construction focused on: lighting; heating,
ventilation and air conditioning equipment and how it is set to
operate; and solar technology for electricity and heat.

It included upgrading more than 8,000 light fixtures, adding solar roof panels for generating electricity or heating water to the Public Service Center, Center for Community Health, Juvenile Justice Center, General Services building, Clark County Jail and Jail Work Center, and replacing the roof and boiler at the Jail.

The work was financed through a 20-year capital lease with debt
payments made from the energy savings, rebates and operational

Thank you, Holley, for that report.

By the session on sustainable practices, I’d recovered enough to resume Tweeting. Clark County has reduced total greenhouse gas emissions by 17 percent from 2008 to 2010 … R.E.M’s 1988 album, “Green,” features one of my Top 20 songs, “Orange Crush.”

OK, maybe I need another day.

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