Coyote Gulch


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  Saturday, April 7, 2007

Fundraising numbers for May election

Denver Politics: "The candidates have filed their March 2007 campaign finance reports, and the results are unsurprising."

"denver 2007"
11:40:30 AM     

War on terror

From the Grand Island Independent, "A new national study recommends that water utilities and sewer treatment plants stop receiving chlorine gas shipments by train...

"The study by the Center for American Progress said that while there is nothing wrong with facilities using chlorine gas to treat drinking water, there is concern terrorists could easily target trains carrying the deadly gas. Exposed to air, the chlorine forms a fog that can spread ten miles."

"2008 pres"
11:33:20 AM     

Global warming: The Earth is a beautifully complex system
A picture named coalfiredpowerplant.jpg

Here's the link to the IPCC's Working Group II Contribution to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fourth Assessment Report, Climate Change 2007: Climate Change Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability.

Thanks to beSpacific for the link.

"2008 pres"
11:14:34 AM     

? for president?

Daily Kos: "[Romney] Pandering to the NRA crowd must have seemed such a great idea on paper."

Daily Kos: "On Wednesday I had the opportunity to interview presidential candidate, New Mexico governor, and former Secretary of Energy Bill Richardson before he spoke to several hundred Dartmouth College students and other New Hampshire residents. Perhaps the most striking thing in hearing Richardson speak, one on one and before an audience, is his focus on diplomacy - quite a contrast with the current president, and one that implicitly denies legitimacy to Bush's war-as-first-resort model. I'll post more soon on this week's presidential candidate events in New Hampshire, but here you get Richardson in his own words...

"2008 pres"
11:04:09 AM     

Women and the presidency

Chris Nolan: "Maybe it's me but this presidential election, more than any I can remember, feels more centered around women's voting preferences...

"But some of it's also due to real, palpable desire for change and change now. It's a convenient excuse to say that the presidential cycle has started early because primaries have moved up. It's more accurate to say that enthusiasm for the presidential cycle has moved up because the current administration has done almost everything it's attempted to do with an ineptitude and level of insouciant corruption that's dismaying, even to party loyalists."

"2008 pres"
10:52:55 AM     

? for Denver City Council?

From the Rocky Mountain News, "They're unopposed, but five Denver City Council incumbents seeking re-election have continued to raise thousands of dollars for their campaigns. And they have no plans to stop."

Denver Politics takes issue with Denver City Council candidate Waldo Benevidez view that Denver is a sanctuary city.

George In Denver: "There is, of course, the inevitable question why a candidate, any candidate, for reelection to city council who is unopposed, except for the possibility of write-ins, would, firstly, grub for big bucks for their campaign and, secondly, spend a substantial portion of the fruit of that grubbing on yard signs?"

Thanks to Denver Politics for the link.

Denver Direct: "Upcoming candidate forums."

"denver 2007"
10:40:05 AM     


Dave Winer: "Critics ask if blogging is a field of banality but arming citizens against big corporations is becoming an important part of our economy, and it's for the good. Today, when I tell a company that's taking unfair advantage that I have a blog, nothing happens. In a few years I don't think it'll be like that.

"People may think we can't reform the legal system, and make lawyers accountable. But they haven't found out yet what a blogger can accomplish, simply by making sure the process is visible. I certainly won't be the first, just doing my part to help make things work better, and more fairly."

The other night Jason Bane and Ol' Coyote were talking about part of this picture. The people that read your blog. How does your influence spread in their network?

10:26:43 AM     

Powers of the president
A picture named measuringsnowpack.jpg

Check out today's Day by Day. The tussle over executive privilege is just what we need right now.

"2008 pres"
9:51:16 AM     


Talking Points Memo: "The Senate Judiciary Committee will reportedly look into the circumstances of the mass resignation in the office of the U.S. Attorney for Minnesota."

Josh Marshall: "There was a lot of buzz today about a corruption case in Wisconsin from last year. A Bush-appointed US Attorney indicted a government bureaucrat in a case that implicated the state's Democratic governor. But yesterday a circuit court threw out the conviction saying the evidence against the convicted official was 'beyond thin.'"

"2008 pres"
9:30:12 AM     


From the Denver Post, "Colorado Democratic Sen. Ken Salazar said Friday that Congress should not cut off funding for the war in Iraq while U.S. troops are still there, a stance that puts him at odds with his party's leadership. Salazar also criticized President Bush, saying he had worsened 'the extreme partisan divide' on Iraq by questioning Democrats' support for the troops. Salazar, a first-term Democrat who often stakes out independent positions on major issues, released the text of a letter he sent to Bush and key Senate Democrats, which said, 'I do not believe that we can or should cut funding for our troops in Iraq or Afghanistan while we anticipate that our troops will be in harm's way.'"

More from the Rocky Mountain News, "'I am deeply concerned about the extreme political polarization over the future of Iraq and the funding for the war effort,' Salazar wrote in a letter sent a day earlier to Bush. 'I was very troubled by your statements about Democrats in Congress and your view that they do not support our troops.' In a speech this week, Bush said that congressional Democrats are engaging in actions that 'undercut the troops'. 'I am afraid your statements will further build the extreme partisan divide over this fundamental issue of war and peace,' Salazar said in the letter. At a news conference at his Denver headquarters, Salazar called Bush 'a divider of our country, not a uniter.'[...]

"He called on the administration to 'embrace and legislatively endorse' the 79 recommendations presented late last year by the bipartisan Iraq Study Group...Salazar said that if Bush doesn't back away from his plan for a 'troop surge' that would send thousands more U.S. troops to Iraq, he would sponsor legislation designed to implement the study group's recommendations."

Colorado Confidential has video of the Senator's announcement along with the text of his letter to President Bush.

Political Wire: "The Washington Post notes McCain 'will launch a high-profile effort next week to convince Americans that the Iraq war is winnable, embracing the unpopular conflict with renewed vigor as he attempts to reignite his stalling bid for the presidency.'"

Juan Cole (via The Nation): " How to get out of Iraq."

"2008 pres"
9:18:39 AM     

A picture named measuringsnowpack.jpg

Snowpack news from the Mountain News, "Latest statistics compiled by the Natural Resources Conservation Service show statewide snowpack decreased from 92 percent of average March 1 to 75 percent of average April 1. Significant decreases were measured in all the major river basins in the state this month as warm and mild weather patterns prevailed across most of the state. For the first time this season, snowpack totals are below average in all the major river basins of the state. Snowpack percentages range from 58 percent of average in the combined San Juan, Animas, Dolores, and San Miguel basins to 94 percent of average in the South Platte Basin, Allen Green, state conservationist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service, said...

"Snowpack remains significantly below that measured last year at the same time throughout most of the state. Statewide totals this year are 80 percent of those measured a year ago, and are well below totals last year in all except the South Platte, Arkansas and Rio Grande basins. In the Gunnison Basin current snowpack is 70 percent of that measured last year. The latest surveys are discouraging for most water users in Colorado."

"colorado water"
9:08:18 AM     

Elk Creek water for Tanglewood?
A picture named uppersouthplattebasin.jpg

Here's an update on the status of the Will-O-Wisp Metro District's 1041 permit, from the Fairplay Flume. From the article, "About 125 citizens packed Park County's Board of County Commissioners' hearing room and streamed down two hallways on the second day of testimony in Will-O-Wisp Metropolitan District's Special Development Project 1041 permit hearing on March 28. The permit, commonly called a water 1041 permit, is required by Park County to address impacts associated with water development projects. The metro district needs a permit to expand its water system to serve the Tanglewood Reserve development just west of Pine Junction. On March 28, public comment was closed and the commissioners continued the hearing to April 11 at 9 a.m...

"Richard Toussaint, attorney for the metro district, sent a memo in late February addressing Wyatt's 13 recommended conditions for approval. According to Wyatt, the three main issues after the first hearing had been addressed. They were as follows:

"1) Is the water demand forecast of 175 gallons per day per household adequate? Originally, 280 gallons per day per household was used to forecast water demands, then it was revised to 175 based on current average use in the district. The industry standard is 280 gallons. Wyatt said 175 gallons was adequate because the water augmentation plan and the subdivision covenants did not allow outside watering. The district's contract with Tanglewood's developers limited household use to 200 gallons per day per house. Water required for fire protection will be stored in water supply storage tanks as required by Elk Creek and Platte Canyon Fire Protection Districts...

"2) Does the metro district own sufficient water rights to provide water to Tanglewood? Park County Water Attorney Jeff Kahn said a letter from Mountain Mutual Reservoir Company stated that it has sufficient water to augment water from Elk Creek pursuant to the metro district's ownership of company shares. As to the right to use the Glasmann ditch diversion point, Kahn said the location was surveyed as being 330 feet from the point the metro district plans to use. Kahn said some believe the creek has moved over the past century. Water Commissioner Roger Mlodzik testified at the December hearing that the district could use the proposed point. According to Kahn, the Division of Water Resources determines if the proposed point is in compliance with law as to its proximity to the decreed point. Kahn stated that the ownership of the diversion point and the Elk Creek water was not an issue for the commissioners to evaluate. That issue must be decided in water court...

"3) Can impacts from the project to Elk Creek be mitigated? The Colorado Division of Wildlife submitted a letter saying it conducted an R2Cross analysis of Elk Creek on March 2 to determine stream habitat quality. DOW uses R2Cross to measure average stream depth, average water velocity and the percent of wetted creek perimeter. These criteria must be at adequate levels to maintain aquatic habitat. DOW determined a flow of 2.2 cubic feet per second is needed to maintain all three criteria and 2.1 cfs is needed to maintain two criteria on Elk Creek. A cubic foot of water is equal to 7.481 gallons."

Here's a report from the Will-O-Wisp 1041 hearing on March 28th, from the Fairplay Flume. They write, "Several citizens at Will-O-Wisp Metropolitan District's water 1041 permit hearing on March 28 expressed displeasure - during and after the hearing - on the procedure used by Park County's Board of County Commissioners during citizens' presentations. Before breaking for lunch, Board Chairman Leni Walker announced that organization representatives would be allowed 10 minutes to speak and individuals would be given 3 minutes. That left some organizations scrambling over the lunch break to cut their presentations. United Mountain Communities representative Briggs Cunningham assumed that people would be allowed to donate their time to presenters who needed more time. He told The Flume that had been the commissioners' practice for several years. In fact, some people sign the speakers' list just for that purpose. During Cunningham's presentation, Walker told him the commissioners were not going to allow others to donate their time to speakers. He had timed his presentation at 30 minutes and told the commissioners that. He was not allowed to finish his presentation, even though many raised their hands and said they would donate their time to him...

"After the hearing, during Patrons' Comments (on non-agenda items), Michael Schaefer also said the law and Park County regulations state that all in attendance shall be heard. He said: 'You don't have a right to limit testimony to 3, 5, or 10 minutes, as your attorney said.' Schaefer said the Supreme Court had ruled that arbitrary time limits can not be set. Also during Patrons' Comments, Lynn Louvar, metro district board member, said that after the commissioners set a 10-minute time limit, they let some go over and some were cut off...

"The Flume called all three commissioners to ask why the past practice of allowing people to donate their time to others was changed for this meeting. Commissioner Doc McKay said they weren't trying to change past practice but trying to manage the time at this particular meeting due to the large turnout. He said people had told the commissioners that 300 people were coming to the meeting. He said he wasn't aware of the donation of time as a past practice. McKay took office in January 2007. He said he wanted all opinions heard and donating time to others could have limited the number of people who were able to speak...

"Cunningham had several questions he felt were important to raise regarding the two lists, such as how a six-acre-feet reservoir water right became three different one-cubic-foot-per-second Glasmann Ditch rights. Another questions he had: Is it important that a Glasmann Ditch #2 right was changed to a Glasmann Ditch right, considering the fact that the #2 right is very junior and the Glasmann Ditch right is very senior? Cunningham said maybe someone could explain the mechanics of the lists that are used to place calls on the river according to seniority. But he was concerned that five water rights seemed to have been changed into eight water rights and moved up the priority list One went from 87th to 10th and 10 Elk Creek water rights senior to it totaled 10.75 cfs. 'It may mean nothing, but the questions should have been allowed to be raised,' he said. Other examples of information not presented or fully explained include more information on Colorado drought history and how senior water rights on Elk Creek might not be satisfied. He had calculated that withdrawals at a rate of 0.31 cfs would dry Elk Creek up to seven weeks every year and questions about the mechanics of measuring stream flows and how the metro district would limit withdrawals. Cunningham also noted that the Colorado Department of Wildlife's letter said they had been given 144 measurements of Elk Creek flows between March 2002 and April 2004, yet flow data in the application showed 61 measurements during the same time period. Cunningham said he didn't even get to what he considered the biggest issue - that if approved, the metro district, a government agency, would then violate the spirit of Colorado law by taking property through condemnation from one private landowner for the benefit and use of another private landowner. That part of his presentation would have taken approximately five minutes."

Here's a look at three lawsuits that have been filed over the proposed use of Elk Creek Water for the Tanglewood subdivision by the Will-O-Wisp metro district, from the Fairplay Flume. From the article, "Woodside covenants - Woodside Park Units 5 and 6 Homeowners Association and Christie Investments filed the first lawsuit in December 2005. It states that the subdivision's covenants prohibit any use of the subdivision lots other than for residential purposes. And the district's proposed water facilities, including a reservoir proposed on Lot 132, violate the covenants, it says. The lawsuit also cites the 'undefined irrigation ditch easement' plat notation that is across Lots 132-134 in Unit 5 and says it isn't legal because it doesn't meet the requirements as to specific purpose, specific use and specific grantee/grantor...

"Condemnation case - The condemnation case was filed by Will-O-Wisp in Park County District Court on Dec. 19, 2006. It asks the court to condemn a portion of Lot 134, Woodside Park Unit 5 and a small portion of the Hidden Valley Ranch, both owned by the Magness Land Holdings LLC. A trial date has been set for May 8, 2007. The purpose of the condemnation is to construct an access road, water pipeline, pumping station and related facilities, including a temporary construction easement. The motion also asks the court to set a fee based on real property values as compensation for the condemnation and grant the immediate possession of the property to the district...

"Dunwodys' lawsuit - The third case was filed in District 1 Water court on March 15, 2007, by Drayton and Vera Dunwody. They claim title to the 1913 decreed one cubic-foot-per-second water right, the Glasmann Ditch and its headgate (the diversion point on Elk Creek). It's the ditch and diversion point that the metro district planned to use for the reservoir in Woodside. It is also the same diversion point and location of the Glasmann Ditch 2 that the district plans to use to pump water from Elk Creek to serve the Tanglewood Reserve development. The district's reservoir decree used the 1913 Elk Creek water and diversion point that the Dunwodys are challenging to augment evaporation losses in the reservoir."

"colorado water"
8:43:35 AM     

Denver Water reservoir levels
A picture named dilloncolorado.jpg

Here's a short report about Denver's reservoirs from From the article, "The snow and rain has helped boost reservoir levels in parts of Colorado. Dillon Reservoir in Summit County hasn't been this full heading into spring in 24 years. After many years of drought, things are looking up: compared to April of 2003, when it was 48 percent full, this year it is 96 percent full...Denver Water said the water levels are good because the South Platte basin is also looking good. Nearly 25 percent of Denver's drinking water comes from Dillon. Cheesman Reservoir is at 98 percent, and Chatfield Reservoir is overflowing with 104 percent capacity, and Gross Reservoir near Boulder is only 55 percent full."

"colorado water"
8:17:50 AM     

Global warming: The Earth is a beautifully complex system
A picture named katrina829am.jpg

William Gray is in the news this week predicting a fairly active hurricane season along with blasting Al Gore as an alarmist, according to the Irish News. From the article, "A top hurricane forecaster has called former US vice president Al Gore 'a gross alarmist' for making his Oscar-winning documentary about global warming, 'An Inconvenient Truth'. 'He's one of these guys that preaches the end-of-the-world type of things. I think he's doing a great disservice and he doesn't know what he's talking about,' Dr William Gray said. His comments came in an interview with The Associated Press at the National Hurricane Conference in New Orleans, where he delivered the closing speech..."

"Gray, an emeritus professor at the atmospheric science department at Colorado State University, has long disputed the theory that heat-trapping gases generated by human activity are causing the world to warm. Over the past 24 years, Gray, 77, has become known as America's most reliable hurricane forecaster. Recently Philip Klotzbach, whom Gray mentored, has begun doing the bulk of the forecasting work...

"Rather than global warming, Gray believes a recent uptick in strong hurricanes is part of a multi-decade trend of alternating busy and slow periods related to ocean circulation patterns. Contrary to mainstream thinking, Gray believes ocean temperatures are going to drop in the next five to 10 years."

Here's a look at yesterday's IPCC report from the Rocky Mountain News. They write, "The Front Range could see more air pollution, more cases of West Nile virus and an increased risk of wildfires and reservoir-clogging sediment as global temperatures rise. The forecasts were based on the latest international assessment of the impacts of climate change released Friday in Brussels, Belgium, and discussed via teleconference by a team of five researchers with the Boulder-based National Center for Atmospheric Research who contributed to the report. Scientists repeated warnings that the Rocky Mountains are likely to see a drop in snowpack and earlier snowmelt as temperatures increase. But they also raised newer concerns about smog, disease threats and wildfire risks, all applicable to Colorado and the Denver region. The metro area, struggling with unhealthy smog levels, could see the problem get worse, since ground-level ozone, a major component of smog, is formed when certain pollutants bake in clear, hot, stagnant skies. Scientists cited research predicting a 68 percent rise in unhealthy smog days in the eastern United States by 2050, but they noted the problem applied in any urban areas with elevated ozone levels. Prevalence of the mosquito-borne West Nile virus, which hit Colorado hard in 2003, could increase with warming weather, said Jonathan Patz, an NCAR affiliate based at the University of Wisconsin-Madison...

"The latest report, released Friday, focused more on global warming's regional impacts on people, species and water. In Colorado, warming is likely to deplete snowpack and lead to earlier melt-off in spring, creating a ripple effect in the forest by drying up soil moisture, leaving trees more susceptible to insect damage and wildfires. 'The melting snowpack is also going to increase wildfire activity, and Denver is probably the poster child for that,' said Kathleen Miller, an NCAR scientist who wrote a chapter on global warming's impact on fresh water. Miller said that earlier melt- off and more fires expose reservoirs to more dirt and debris that flow off the landscape when rainstorms hit fire- scarred land. She noted that Denver Water is still recovering from sediment flows that poured into Cheesman Reservoir after the massive Hayman Fire in 2002. Colorado and the southwestern U.S. may suffer the same fate that threatens other heavily populated arid and semi-arid regions. Such locales, including the Mediterranean basin, northeast Brazil and southern Africa, are likely to see water supplies decline 10 percent to 30 percent by mid-century, Miller said. Stephen Saunders, president of the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization, called the latest report "the most authoritative statement possible that climate disruption is already showing up in the American West as less snow, less water, more drought and more wildfire.'"

Environment Colorado weighs in on the IPCC report. They write, "Approximately 20-30 percent of plant and animal species are at increasing risk of extinction if the global average temperature increases by another 2.2 to 4 degrees Fahrenheit, according to a major consensus report released today by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The IPCC is a United Nations body charged with assessing the scientific record on global warming. The panel concludes 'with high confidence' that human-caused warming over the last three decades 'has had a discernible influence on many physical and biological systems.' While the report warns of increasing droughts, floods, heat waves, water stress, forest fires, and coastal flooding in the U.S., it finds that 'many impacts can be avoided, reduced, or delayed' by quickly and significantly reducing global warming pollution. 'This report challenges our leaders in Colorado to take decisive action on global warming,' continued Baker. 'We need to listen to the science, and set goals for reducing global warming pollution in Colorado and nationally.' The good news is we have the know-how to tackle global warming. Through increasing energy efficiency, expanding renewable energy, and capping and cutting carbon pollution, we can avoid the worse effects of global warming. Cars and power plants are the largest sources of U.S. global warming pollution, but the U.S. could reduce its emissions immediately using on-the-shelf technologies to improve energy efficiency and shift to renewable energy sources...

"Baker also noted that the report is inherently conservative because it reflects the consensus of hundreds of parties, including industry groups and governments opposed to taking action to reduce global warming pollution."

"2008 pres"
7:41:36 AM     

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