Coyote Gulch


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  Wednesday, May 2, 2007


The Cherry Creek News is running U.S. Representative Mark Udall's response to President Bush's veto yesterday.

President Bush: "Either we'll succeed, or we won't succeed. And the definition of success as I described is sectarian violence down. Success is not, no violence. There are parts of our own country that have got a certain level of violence to it. But success is a level of violence where the people feel comfortable about living their daily lives. And that's what we're trying to achieve."

TPM Cafe: "Today Congressional Dems had their first post-veto meeting with President Bush, and Harry Reid emerged sounding as if the current standoff is more or less where it was before the meeting. So what's next for Dems on Iraq? The two options being talked about most are: Sending Bush a short-term funding bill and forcing him to keep asking for more war funding -- the option favored by John Murtha; Sending him a full funding bill without withdrawal timetables but with benchmarks for the Iraqi government to meet and with troop readiness standards.

"2008 pres"
6:04:46 PM     


Josh Marshall: "As I wrote a couple years ago, the really awful thing about the situation we've gotten ourselves into is that we're both the glue holding Iraq together and the solvent tearing it apart. And neither is this to say that there aren't all sorts of hatreds and social pathologies helping Iraq rip itself apart on its own. Iraq's Sunni minority had its heel on the neck of the Shi'a majority long before the US became the dominant power in the region -- for many centuries, by some measures. But like a wound that is not allowed to heal and thus becomes infected again and again it is folly to assume that Iraq can set itself right as long as the occupation lasts. Particularly because it is one that fundamentally lacks legitimacy, which has always been the heart of the matter."

"2008 pres"
7:05:03 AM     

2007 Denver Municipal Election

Here are the election results from DenverGov.

Here's the coverage of the election from the Denver Post. They write, "Four years after taking the mayor's office as a political novice, John Hickenlooper coasted to a second term Tuesday as one of the most popular political figures in the state. The mayor held an overwhelming lead on election night with 88 percent of the more than 68,000 votes counted. Hickenlooper did not face serious opposition, even though residents recently endured weeks of frozen streets and a troubled election last fall - the sorts of woes that have historically thwarted elected officials. Instead, the mayor's lopsided victory came over city employee Danny Lopez, who ran without a campaign budget on the philosophical platform that voters ought to have a choice...

"Early returns in the mail-in election showed Stephanie O'Malley comfortably headed toward being Denver's first elected clerk and recorder, defeating public trustee's office employee Jacob Werther with 78 percent of the vote...

"Three open City Council seats were headed for runoffs, though Paul Lopez in District 3 and Chris Nevitt in District 7 had more than 40 percent of the vote in their respective races. Candidates must have more than 50 percent to be elected; otherwise the top two vote-getters compete in a runoff. As of press time, JoAnn Phillips, with 16 percent, would square off with Lopez in the 3rd and Shelly Watters, with 28 percent, would battle Nevitt in the 7th. In District 8, Sharon Bailey had 37 percent and will be in a runoff with either Carla Madison or Darrell Watson. Madison and Watson were separated by just 73 votes.

"Incumbent City Council members Peggy Lehmann, Marcia Johnson, Judy Montero, Doug Linkhart and Carol Boigon were predictably in control in their races. Incumbents Rick Garcia, Jeanne Faatz, Charlie Brown, Jeanne Robb and Michael Hancock won in uncontested races. City Auditor Dennis Gallagher won his bid for a second term, defeating opponent Bill Wells with 79 percent of the vote. Finally, a ballot question extending the term limits to three terms for the office of district attorney passed easily with 76 percent of the vote. Now all elected offices in Denver will be limited to three terms."

More detail about the City Council races from the Denver Post.

Here's the coverage from the Rocky Mountain News. They include some early insight into the runoff elections for City Council.

"denver 2007"
6:47:25 AM     

Uranium mining in Weld County?
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Opponents of Powertech's plans to mine uranium up in Weld County are reaching out to each other to bolster their position, according to the Fort Collins Weekly. From the article, "After a community meeting among Northern Colorado landowners to discuss the possibility of in situ uranium mining in Weld County, opponents of the plan are more galvanized than ever to raise awareness of what they fear could be irreversible contamination of groundwater and other negative impacts. Weld County property owners learned last year that Powertech Inc., a Canadian mining company, had purchased more than 5,700 acres of mineral rights to capitalize on the skyrocketing price of uranium for use in nuclear reactors. New nuclear power plants under construction around the world have put the price of uranium as high as $113 per pound, up from a low price of about $7 per pound less than a decade ago.

"The process of extracting uranium involves injecting a solution of water and bicarbonate soda into uranium-heavy sandstone using groundwater from the Dakota-Cheyenne aquifer, and then pumping the uranium-laden solution to the surface for processing into yellowcake. Although Powertech representatives say the process is benign and safe, opponents fear groundwater contamination, as well as a risk of radiation and heavy metal poisoning for people and livestock. Landowners Robin and Jay Davis were among those who organized the meeting last weekend that drew about 50 people, including Fort Collins state representatives John Kefalas and Randy Fischer...

"Powertech representatives were not at the meeting because they weren't specifically invited, says Richard Blubaugh, the company's vice president of environmental health and safety resources. Had they been, he says he would have argued that the in situ leaching process 'is a safe and environmentally benign technology that's been used for 30 years.' The mining 'will provide jobs and a good boost to the economy and to the county,' Blubaugh continues. 'And it provides a source of fuel that doesn't contribute to greenhouse gases.' Blubaugh says Powertech plans to host its own public outreach meetings in the future, but says the company will attend future meetings organized by landowners if they're invited--and if it is for the purpose of discussing the technology and sharing information."

"2008 pres"
6:31:55 AM     

Black Lake #1 expansion?
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From the Vail Daily News "reg", "The Black Lake No. 1 Reservoir, a key water source for the Vail Valley and Vail Mountain, may be enlarged. The expansion would provide more water throughout the year in Gore Creek and the Eagle River, said the Eagle River Water & Sanitation District. An environmental study done by the U.S. Forest Service says the surface of the reservoir should be raised four feet, which would increase the capacity to 469 acre-feet of water from 362. The environmental study can be found at, or at the Holy Cross Ranger District, 24747 U.S. Highway 24 in Minturn. Public comment will be accepted for the next 30 days. For more information on how to comment, contact Peech Keller at (970)262-3495."

"colorado water"
6:23:02 AM     

Grand Valley slipping back into drought
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Coyote Gulch feels compelled to keep reminding readers that parts of Colorado are still suffering from the drought of the past few years. If you live on the Front Range it's hard to believe, but according to the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel the Grand Valley is slipping back into drought. They write, "The Grand Valley and the rest of the southwestern United States appear to be heading back into a drought, according to Brian Avery, a hydrologist for the National Weather Service. Avery said a La Niña, a colder than normal flow of water, is beginning to set up in the Pacific Ocean. That cold flow, he said, will shift normal weather patterns to the north, bringing Grand Junction back into a drought. 'We have been in a drought period since 1999, and we have had a couple of wet years, but it looks like we are going into a bit of a drought period again,' Avery said. Southwest Colorado and the Grand Junction area are listed as being in a drought, he said. National Weather Service data corroborates what weather forecasters like Avery are saying: Even with recent rainfall and cooler temperatures, both March and April have been drier than normal. In Grand Junction, the month of March delivered just 0.46 inches of rain, the data shows. The area historically receives 1 inch of precipitation. Last month, the area had slightly more rain than normal. The norm for April is 0.86 inches of rain, and 0.99 inches fell. During the first four months this year, the Grand Valley had 2.6 inches of precipitation. Historically, it receives 2.96 inches of precipitation in those months. The warm temperatures in March and April also have affected area snowpack, Avery said. 'In the upper Colorado River basin, we were 96 percent March 1, but as of today we are only 67 percent,' Avery said. 'So we have lost quite a bit of the lower and mid-elevation snowpacks.'"

"colorado water"
6:16:45 AM     

Colorado to drain Bonny Lake?
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State officials are considering draining Bonny Reservoir to help satisfy Colorado's water debt on the Republican River, according to the Denver Post. From the article, "The plight of Colorado's plains reservoirs took another plunge with the revelation that state water officials are considering draining Bonny Lake. The move, which could come in the next three weeks, would result in the loss of all game fish and deliver a major blow to Bonny Lake State Park, which uses the impoundment near Burlington as its central attraction. At issue is a water delivery debt owed primarily to Kansas under a compact made in 2002 regarding rights to water in the Republican River, which sustains Bonny. Largely through problems involving drought, Colorado progressively has been in arrears of its promised delivery since that time. Under a likely scenario, part of that debt would be repaid with the water currently stored in dwindling Bonny Lake. If so, the popular reservoir will be lost for an undetermined time to fishing and boating - the prime activities that sustain the park...

"Bonny has shriveled steadily during the current drought period. It held 30,000 acre feet of water in 2000, but only 11,500 acre feet remain. It loses approximately 4,000 acre feet per year to evaporation, a figure that plays prominently in any decision the Colorado Department of Natural Resources might make. 'If we do drain Bonny and do a run-through of the river, we'd get credit for the water now lost to evaporation,' said Mike King, DNR deputy director. Wet conditions that currently exist in the river bottom also would allow for a greater delivery, further reducing the debt. King made plain his agency has made no firm decision on an immediate course of action. 'There are lots of moving parts here to consider,' he said of a situation that involves several other negative factors. Among these are potentially removing Colorado farm land from production, the possible repayment of money used to purchase water, survival of native fish that live in the river and the plight of the state park."

"colorado water"
6:03:21 AM     

Berthoud's Farming Heritage: Images of Agriculture from Colorado's Little Thompson Valley
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From the Greeley Tribune "reg", "As the prolific loss of farmland becomes an increasing matter of concern in the region, the Berthoud Historical Society has partnered with the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District to unveil a new exhibit that celebrates the agricultural heritage of the Front Range town and captures the spirit of the farming communities of yesterday and today. Berthoud's Farming Heritage: Images of Agriculture from Colorado's Little Thompson Valley will be on display at the Northern Water headquarters, 220 Water Ave., Berthoud, from May 12-July 6. This marks the first stop for the exhibit, which will later travel to several other locations throughout the state, including the Loveland Museum & Gallery and Johnson's Corner. The exhibit comprises dozens of black-and-white photographs taken during the past several years by Tom Vaughan, director of Berthoud's Little Thompson Valley Pioneer Museum, and Jon Youngblut, a Berthoud photographer. Vaughan and Youngblut photographed farming families, vintage and modern-day equipment, rural landscapes and statuesque structures."

"colorado water"
5:52:23 AM     


Bill Johnson was at the immigrant march yesterday. He writes about his feelings in his column in today's Rocky Mountain News. From the article, "Over the past year, federal agents have raided military bases, meatpacking plants and assorted other job sites, rounding up suspected illegal aliens, deporting the deportable, leaving their spouses and children to support and fend for themselves. One focus of Tuesday's march was to call an end to such raids, the point being that they are publicity stunts that fail to address the roots of illegal immigration and mainly serve to devastate families. If you are a 'what part of illegal don't you understand?' adherent, you might want to flip elsewhere about now. Life is never so black and white, and that mantra is not worthy of the problem it seeks to resolve. Illegal immigration is a serious problem, no question. Wouldn't it be nice if the federal government addressed it in a serious way?"

"2008 pres"
5:46:27 AM     

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