Coyote Gulch


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  Sunday, April 15, 2007

State of the Rockies conference
A picture named 2007stateoftherockies.jpg

Mrs. Gulch points us to this Denver Post Perspective on The State of the Rockies conference held this week. From the article, "Prolonged drought, perilous forest conditions and rapid population growth are combining to create serious challenges for the eight-state Rocky Mountain region.

"With increased population growth and continued drought-like conditions becoming a regional norm, how will the Rockies manage competing needs, particularly allocation of the region's already scarce water? That was the key question that the 2007 Colorado College State of the Rockies Project examined.

"The issue of sustainability increasingly permeates discussion of water distribution in the Rockies. Limited in supply and often separated from 'higher-value users,' water has and will continue to be a fundamental challenge for Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. The sustainability and livability of the Rockies, so valued by millions of residents and visitors, depends largely on how this limited, variable and potentially shrinking supply is managed in the face of myriad challenges, ranging from climate change to rapid urban growth. Water supplies must sustain both human and environmental needs if the region is to retain vitality and viability."

"colorado water"
10:28:40 AM     

Duck scam

Watch out for the ducks.

Thanks to NewMexiKen for the link.

9:49:57 AM     

2007 Denver Municipal Election

Bob Ewegen comments on the changes coming after the inauguration this summer, in his column in the Denver Post. From the article, "The first change will bring Denver into line with the 62 other Colorado counties that have long elected their clerk and recorder, a post that combines routine record-keeping functions with supervising elections. Denver gave the recorder duties to an appointed clerk when it created its city and county structure in 1902. But it gave control over elections to a three-member commission, two members of which were elected by the people while the third was the appointed city clerk. When Broomfield became Colorado's second combined city/county in 2001, it opted for an appointed clerk and recorder who also oversees the election division. Thus, 63 Colorado counties put control of elections under a single clerk. Only Denver clung to its hybrid system of two part-time elected election commissioners joined by a full-time appointed clerk doubling in brass as the third part-time election commissioner...

"As to the second historic change, most Denver residents were surprised to learn last year that their auditor did very little auditing. I was likewise astonished as a young Post reporter in 1973 when then-city auditor Chuck Byrne explained that the 1902 charter didn't specify auditing as one of his responsibilities. Instead, it saddled the auditor with payroll and accounting functions for a host of city agencies. The kind of routine auditing most citizens wrongly assumed the auditor was doing - reviewing the books with a gimlet eye to be sure nobody is double-billing the city - was actually contracted out to professional accounting firms. That changed last year after voters approved a charter amendment proposed by a study panel appointed by Mayor John Hickenlooper. The long-overdue reform gave the payroll and bookkeeping functions to an appointed chief financial officer, freeing resources in the auditor's office for contract reviews and the vital modern job of "performance auditing.""

"denver 2007"
9:41:06 AM     

2008 Democratic National Convention
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Colorado Confidential: "This might not be as good as CSPAN, but 'CCNet-TV' covered the Democratic National Committee Convention Kick-Off Rally in Denver on Thursday. This is the first of many public celebrations leading up to the DNC Convention Aug. 25-28, 2008. This video includes the majority of the speech made by DNC chair, Howard Dean."

"2008 pres"
9:34:28 AM     


Juan Cole: "McClatchy estimates that 289 Iraqis were killed or wounded in political violence on Saturday. This passage is extremely important to understanding the sentiments of the Shiites of the South, among the main victims of the violence: Aqeel al Khazaali, the governor of Karbala, blamed the Baghdad Security Plan for the attack inside the relatively safe southern city. Karbala is about 50 miles south of Baghdad. 'The Baghdad crackdown and the tribes in Ramadi are forcing the terrorists to leave their cities,' he said. 'Now Karbala is under fire from terrorists, and the central government has to take the necessary steps to help us to protect the holy city.' The destabilizing character of this assault on the city of the Prophet's Grandson is seen in that many residents blamed the elected governor for not ensuring security-- such that a big crowd rioted in protest. The crowd is said to have marched on the governor's mansion and surrounded it, demanding his resignation, and set two police cars afire. They accused the United States of having had a hand in the bombing. Nothing could be more dangerous to the position of the US in Iraq than to have it believed that it had anything to do with a massive bombing near the shrine of Imam Husayn."

Jesus' General: "Peril in Mesopotamia: Fighting the same wars, making the same mistakes."

A picture named istilllikeike.jpg

Jonathan Rauch: "With two great secretaries of State at his side, Truman ran a more creative and competent foreign policy than Bush has managed to do; but Bush, like Truman, has visionary qualities as well as impulsive and simplistic ones. So far, Bush's presidency looks like four years of impulsive overreach followed by two of desperate improvisation, but recall that Truman was unpopular and widely regarded as a failure when he left office. In 2009, something akin to Eisenhower's brand of calm, cold realism may offer the best hope of rebuilding the country's foreign policy. And George W. Bush's reputation. "

Thanks to Andrew Sullivan for the link.

"2008 pres"
9:08:48 AM     


Captain's Quarters: "With his Congressional testimony just two days away, Alberto Gonzales has opted for a practice run in today's Washington Post. The beleaguered Attorney General pleads his case directly to the American public. He categorically states that he would never ask for a resignation of federal prosecutors for malign purposes, but afterwards the case gets somewhat weaker."

Curious Stranger: "Karl Rove and other White House employees were cautioned in employee manuals, memos and briefings to carefully save any e-mails that might discuss official matters even if those messages came from private e-mail accounts, the White House disclosed Friday."

TalkLeft: "Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' Sunday WaPo piece just confirms that he should never have been nominated, confirmed or allowed to remain as the nation's chief law enforcement. Forget his mendacity. Forget his outrageous opinions. Consider only his gross incompetence. What kind of Attorney General would defend his running of the Justice Departmenr saying this: 'During those conversations, to my knowledge, I did not make decisions about who should or should not be asked to resign.' The man running the Justice Department did not decide who would or would not be fired is his defense."

Opinions You Should Have: "Karl Rove was absolutely stunned to discover that his deletion of emails resulted in their deletion, a lawyer for Rove said today. 'Mr. Rove thought that his emails would still be there after he deleted them,' the lawyer explained.

"Mr. Rove spent many painful hours regretting the tragedy. 'If he had hair, he would have pulled it out,' said Robert Luskin, Rove's attorney. 'He was fit to be tied.'"

"2008 pres"
9:04:03 AM     

? for President?

Political Wire: "'As the first-quarter finance report his campaign will file today is expected to document,' Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) 'has managed to successfully bridge two very different political worlds,' reports the Washington Post. 'Along with thousands of first-time donors who sent $50 or $100 from their home computers, the report is to list scores of longtime political insiders who funneled stacks of $2,300 checks to Obama's accounts.'"

NYT: "Senator John McCain said that the buildup of American forces in Iraq represented the only viable option to avoid failure in Iraq and that he had yet to identify an effective fallback if the current strategy failed. 'I have no Plan B,' Mr. McCain said in an interview. 'If I saw that doomsday scenario evolving, then I would try to come up with one. But I cannot give you a good alternative because if I had a good alternative, maybe we could consider it now.' In a discussion of how he would handle Iraq if elected president, Mr. McCain said that the success of the Bush administration's strategy, which seeks to protect Baghdad residents so Iraqi political leaders have an opportunity to pursue a program of political reconciliation, was essentially a precondition for a more limited American role that could follow."

Unbossed: "I rarely write 'covers' for other authors' commentaries, but today is the exception. I urge you to head over to Harper's and read Scott Horton's splendid essay on the nature of state secrecy and torture: Torture, Secrecy and the Bush Administration. In this speech, which he gave the other day at the NYU School of Law, Horton places the Bush administration's bizarre record of lawlessness, secrecy, and torture in much needed historical context. He describes the struggle in 17th century Britain to do away with the Star Chamber (secret courts) and to enshrine elements of legal due process and openness that the founders of our Republic embraced and defended."

Huffington Post: "For the last couple of months we have been talking with New York University journalism professor (and HuffPost blogger) Jay Rosen about teaming up with his experimental site,, to add a new dimension to the coverage of the 2008 presidential campaign.

"We are now ready to invite your participation. We are recruiting large groups of citizen journalists from around the country to cover the major presidential candidates. Each of these volunteer reporter/bloggers will contribute to a candidate-specific group blog -- offering written updates, campaign tidbits, on-the-scene observations, photos, or original video."

Political Wire: "According to a new CBS News poll, Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) continues to lead the Democratic presidential field, garnering 39% of the vote. Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) comes in second with 24% and former Sen. John Edwards (D-NC) places third with 21%. On the Republican side, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) continues to enjoy a comfortable lead over the pack with 47% of the vote. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) trail with 25% and 10%, respectively."

"2008 pres"
9:01:43 AM     

2007 Denver Municipal Election

Here are the Rocky Mountain News endorsements for the May 1st election. Denver Politics has the list, "Mayor - John Hickenlooper; Auditor - Dennis Gallagher; Clerk & Recorder - Stephanie O'Malley; District 3 - Paul Lopez; District 4 - Peggy Lehmann; District 5 - Marcia Johnson; District 7 - Chris Nevitt; District 8 - Sharon Bailey or Carla Madison; District 9 - Judy Montero; At-large - Doug Linkhart and Carol Boigon."

Here are the Denver Post picks. From the article, "The Post has reviewed the records of the candidates and their agendas, and we have followed the various forums in order to reach our endorsements. Our piece on the Denver mayoral race will run on Monday. Today, we want to look at other city races and Denver's sole ballot initiative."

"Thanks to a charter change approved last January, this will be the first time since Denver became a combined city and county in 1902 that voters will elect their clerk and recorder. Our choice is Stephanie O'Malley over Jacob Werther, a deputy public trustee...

"We'll stick with incumbent auditor Dennis Gallagher over challenger Bill Wells despite Gallagher's desultory work habits. The auditor's office, which was formerly overburdened with payroll and accounting functions, was revamped by a 2006 charter change that transferred those chores to an appointed chief financial officer. Gallagher initially resisted that reform but ultimately benefitted because it freed up resources in the auditor's office to conduct the kind of financial and performance audits that Gallagher is familiar with after serving 16 years on the state Legislative Audit Committee. His opponent, Wells, is a professional auditor but has shown no grasp of the political side of what is, after all, an elected office...

"Voters will fill two at-large seats on the City Council from just three candidates. We like incumbents Carol Boigon and Doug Linkhart...

"District 3 has a seven-way melee to fill the seat vacated when Rosemary Rodriguez resigned to take a position on the U.S. Election Assistance Commission...

Our choice is JoAnn Phillips, who has an intimate knowledge of the district gleaned from her service as an aide to former Councilwoman Ramona Martinez. Phillips has solid views on economic development, strengthening neighborhoods and public safety...

"In District 4, incumbent Peggy Lehmann is a clear choice...

"In District 5, incumbent Marcia Johnson has earned a second term...

"District 7 has a spirited four-way race to replace term-limited Kathleen MacKenzie. We lean to Shelly Watters, a one-time aide to former Councilwoman Joyce Foster and later to Boigon. Watters also has a strong background in civic affairs...

"District 8 has a talented four-way field vying to replace term-limited Elbra Wedgeworth. Our choice is Carla Madison...

"In District 9, incumbent Judy Montero is a clear choice...

"Voters will also face one ballot issue. Measure 1A would extend the term limits for Denver district attorney from the current two four-year terms, to the same three-term limit that covers other city offices. The Post recommends a 'yes' vote."

"denver 2007"
8:44:45 AM     

New Carter Lake outlet
A picture named carterlake.jpg

Carter Lake is going to get a new outlet this summer, according to the Longmont Daily Times-Call. From the article, "This fall, Carter Lake's three boat ramps will close when the reservoir's water level sinks low enough for workers to build a new outlet. Officials will begin drawing down water in July, but at least one boat ramp will remain open through Labor Day. Officials plan to start refilling the lake in March 2008 and have all three boat ramps open by May of next year. Carter Lake, owned by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, is part of the Colorado-Big Thompson Project and operated by the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District. Before 1995, the Water Conservancy District delivered Carter Lake water only during the summer irrigation season; crews could repair the lake's outlet in the winter months. In 1995, the district finished the Southern Water Supply Project, which delivers water to cities and towns in addition to farmland, which means the outlet needs to operate all year...

"More than 300,000 municipal and industrial users depend on Carter Lake water, according to the district. Because of that constant need, the district can shut down the more than 50-year-old outlet on Dam No. 1 for only a few days at a time to make the necessary repairs. 'We can't work on it unless we shut it down,' said Carl Brouwer, manager of the district's project management and planning department. So this spring, SEMA Construction Inc. will begin work on the $10 million Carter Lake Outlet Project. The new outlet will supplement the existing Carter Lake outlet. The outlet will run through an 800-foot tunnel about 200 feet south of the existing outlet structure on Dam No. 1 at the reservoir's southeast side. To build the opening for the 6-foot-diameter, steel-lined tunnel, crews will drill and blast through rock."

"colorado water"
8:20:26 AM     

South Platte Reservoir
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The new South Platte Reservoir is nearly finished and should start filling this summer, according to From the article, "Highlands Ranch will soon have a new water source, but not everyone is happy about how the plans for the new South Platte Reservoir have been taking shape. Crews are nearly done transforming an old gravel mine near Santa Fe and C-470 into a massive water storage project. The reservoir, located to the north of Chatfield State Park, is designed to hold stormwater runoff. South Platte Reservoir will be nearly a mile across and there will be enough water to serve 25,000 homes in Highlands Ranch...

"Crews are set to begin filling the South Platte Reservoir this summer. In addition to being delivered to homes, the water might be used at times to recharge underground wells. Centennial Water & Sanitation District, the water district for Highlands Ranch, is footing the $22 million cost of the reservoir."

"colorado water"
8:07:28 AM     

State of the Rockies conference
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Colorado Springs Utilities was on hand at last week's State of the Rockies conference to talk about growth and their needs going forward, as reported by the Pueblo Chieftain. From the article, "'We're working to respond to growth and we have not looked at using water as a way to limit development,' Gary Bostrom, Colorado Springs Utilities projects manager, told an audience of about 100 people during the unveiling of the Colorado College State of the Rockies Report Card last week...

"After a report that detailed the growing reliance of the West on developing municipal water supplies in overappropriated basins, with potential climate change and at the expense of agricultural uses, members of the audience peppered the panel with questions about growth and sustainability of water supply. Bostrom showed a map of pipelines that now serve Colorado Springs from the northwest, west and south, as well as a photograph of a blowout on the Homestake Pipeline last fall that interrupted water deliveries while it was repaired. Homestake brings water in from the Eagle River basin to the west, while the Blue River Pipeline takes water across the Continental Divide to the northwest and the Fountain Valley Authority Pipeline connects to Pueblo Dam. Colorado Springs needs another pipeline, the Southern Delivery System, to provide backup for its current systems as well as water for future growth, Bostrom said. SDS is another pipeline from Pueblo Dam that would bring up to 78 million gallons a day 43 miles north through a 66-inch-diameter pipe. The Bureau of Reclamation is conducting an environmental impact statement on the proposed pipeline and seven alternatives, which Bostrom said should be complete by 2009. That would allow Phase I of the project to be constructed by 2012 at a projected cost of $600 million. More than $1 billion more would be needed to build two reservoirs and construct other features of the project in Phase II, projected to be built from 2014-30."

Here is another article about the conference from the Chieftain. They write, "Rocky Mountain states are growing faster than the rest of the nation and get less rain, stressing its water supply, which is already overtaxed in many places. Climate changes are projected to reduce the amount of water available in the future. Finally, transfers from agriculture, which still uses most of the water, to growing cities are evolving with innovative strategies, but the ultimate price might be the quality of life in the West, not just the sustainability of the water supply. Those are conclusions reached in Colorado College's 2007 State of the Rockies Report Card, released and discussed last week at a three-day conference...

"Overall, water withdrawals - through diversions, transfers or wells - peaked in 1980. Since then, agricultural use has decreased slightly, power generation has remained steady and urban use has climbed. Unlike the rest of the country, the Rocky Mountain and Pacific states use most of the withdrawn water for irrigation. In the rest of the country, most is applied to electric power generation. The amount withdrawn for cities is the second-leading use in the West, but a distant third in most of the country. The problem is, the growth is not always occurring where the water is. Coupled with pressures on the agricultural communities - the loss of about 150,000 acres of irrigated land every decade - urban growth and revised estimates of how much water is available, changes could be devastating for rural communities, McMahon said...

"Outside of Pueblo, about 6 percent of the valley's economy is driven by farm income, a high percentage for the state. The ray of hope may be ways to share water, including water banking, interruptible supply, alternative crop patterns or lease agreements. In the Arkansas Valley, the Upper Arkansas Water Conservancy District is looking at reviving a water bank concept. A water bank in Idaho has worked successfully since 1930 and could be a model, McMahon said. Meanwhile, the 'Super Ditch,' a rotational fallowing, lease management program being studied by the Lower Arkansas Valley Water Conservancy District could bring seven mutual ditch companies together in a groundbreaking program that would allow irrigators to lease water to cities on their own terms."

"colorado water"
7:50:27 AM     

Aspinall: In the West, when you touch water, you touch everything
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From the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, "Former Congressman Wayne N. Aspinall believed that water projects in the West make the desert bloom and become productive, former Mesa County Commissioner Tillie Bishop said Saturday at the unveiling of a memorial to Aspinall in his hometown of Palisade. Aspinall, who died in 1983, is known throughout the West for his vision of how the region's natural resources should be developed. He played a significant role in the approval of some of the region's greatest water projects, including the Glen Canyon Dam and the Central Arizona Project. His name graces the three reservoirs of the Aspinall Unit on the Gunnison River, a project created under the Colorado River Storage Project Act, which he helped push through Congress. He also played an integral role in the passage of the Wilderness Act in 1964 and the creation of the National Trails System, the National Scenic Rivers System, Redwood National Park and a handful of national seashores. So it is fitting that one of Aspinall's most famous quotes is prominently chiseled into granite upon his memorial adorned with water cascading over granite: 'In the West, when you touch water, you touch everything.' On the memorial, Aspinall's bust even faces the Colorado River, which he so loved."

"colorado water"
7:40:02 AM     

Farm disaster on the South Platte
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Farmers, whose wells were shut down last spring are selling out in some cases, according to the Denver Post. From the article, "As a gabbling auctioneer sold off nearly 30 years' worth of accumulated farming equipment, men in sagging blue jeans and sturdy work boots studied the rows of tractors, plows, cultivators and other equipment displayed on what used to be part of Steve Weigandt's first crop of alfalfa. There won't be a second crop on his land this year. There isn't enough water. Like hundreds of other South Platte Basin farmers in Adams, Weld and Morgan counties, Weigandt can pump only 15 percent of the water in the farm's shallow well. That's not enough to sustain 80 acres of beans, corn and alfalfa...

"More than 3,000 irrigation-well owners are reeling from the first strict enforcement of a 1969 water- rights law that has closed 440 wells entirely and restricted an additional 2,600 irrigation-well owners to using 15 percent of their water. Farmers fortunate enough to own a share of supplementary surface ditch water watched the price of water soar. 'We paid $15,000 per share for five shares of ditch water in 1997, and sold two shares in 2005 for $140,000 apiece,' said Greeley farmer Glenn Bad ley. The Badleys used the income to pay off the mortgage on his 80 acres, along with pumping-depletion fees dating back to the 1960s...

"Currently, the law requires irrigation-well owners to replace every gallon they use by putting it back into the South Platte River. Even farmers lucky enough to have both well- and ditch-water irrigation find that task nearly impossible. Many pay thousands in fines for pumping too much water from the wells that Colorado encouraged farmers to drill in 1938. Then, state officials hoped to avoid a repeat of the 1930s droughts that resulted in dense clouds of dust destroying farms from eastern Colorado to northern Texas. 'They're talking about another Dust Bowl now,' said Claudia Farrell, who runs the popular U-pick Berry Patch Farm in Brighton. She and her husband are spending $10,000 to dig a pond for supplemental water. They also pay for supplemental ditch water, and they count their blessings when they consider the well-reliant farmers who can't pump enough water to sustain ground cover, leaving their land vulnerable to wind...

"Another likely scenario is that lawns and houses will stand where crops once grew. The Deans' farm is so close to a new Brighton housing development that they saw thieves scuttle into their fields to steal corn and uproot pepper plants. Some swiped the Deans' irrigation pumps to sell for scrap metal. Driving through Weld County, Weigandt resentfully eyes the burgeoning clusters of new two-story homes, each fronted by a bright green lawn. Some yards sport tiny decorative windmills. He is fully aware of the irony that the water denied to a farmer growing alfalfa is readily available once the same land is annexed by a city with senior water rights."

"colorado water"
7:27:21 AM     

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