Coyote Gulch


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  Wednesday, May 16, 2007

? for President?

Political Wire: "In Iowa, a new Zogby telephone survey shows John Edwards leading the Democratic presidential race with 26%, edging out Sen. Hillary Clinton at 24% and Sen. Barack Obama at 22%. On the Republican side, Mitt Romney leads with 19%, beatingSen. John McCain and Rudy Giuliani who are tied at 18%, with Fred Thompson trailing at 9%."

NewMexiKen: "Lincoln weeps: Just so you understand, the audience at last night's Republican debate applauded waterboarding."

Andrew Sullivan: "The conservative pundits are now referring to Ron Paul as a 'crackpot.' Hannity predictably savaged him last night (see above). The Hewitt site has an image of a man in a tin-foil hat; Dean Barnett and Hugh Hewitt both call for removing Paul from the debates, when he has been the best thing about them so far. Bill Benett wants him out. I'm getting the usual ridicule for taking him seriously from the usual GOP apparatchiks. They're scared, aren't they? The Internet polls show real support for him."

"2008 pres"
7:35:52 PM     

Wilderness protection for Rocky Mountain National Park?
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The Fort Collins Coloradoan has the backstory behind the compromise wilderness legislation for Rocky Mountain National Park. From the article, "Larimer County Commissioner Karen Wagner described it best when she said the proposed legislation was not necessarily fueled by bipartisanship as much as it was by populism.

"Although the park had been managed as wilderness for more than 30 years, the official designation hit roadblocks in Congress and within Colorado's own delegation ... at least until, the towns of Grand Lake and Estes Park, along with Boulder, Larimer and Grand counties agreed to push for the designation. The communities understand that preserving the park helps protect their own economic viability.

"Spurred by the local communities, federal lawmakers found common ground on the need for wilderness designation, which will have little impact on how the park is currently managed but great impact on ensuring that RMNP is protected for the future. The greatest sticking point appeared to be whether water rights for the Grand River Ditch and even the Colorado Big Thompson Project would be restricted. In the end, the delegation agreed to exclude from the designation lands occupied by the Grand River Ditch (and lands 200 feet on each side of the ditch), and lands owned by the St. Vrain and Left Hand Water Conservancy District as well as a small segment of land called the East Short Trail Area to allow for a bike trail.

"These are reasonable exclusions given that the Colorado state water court has determined that the park already has sufficient water rights and does not need access to Grand Ditch to fulfill the wilderness designation. RMNP has long been a part of the public trust. This designation, if approved, will allow our crown jewel to remain protected and cherished for the future."

"colorado water"
6:08:11 AM     

Flood information
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Here's a short article about flooding in Denver along with some advice on what to do, from They write, "City residents have not seen the last of flooding in the city and the surrounding areas. The Colorado Department of Transportation said Tuesday some parts of its drainage system is "inadequate" and there is no money for a major overhaul that's much needed. 'We're looking at $80 million just for the first phase to address the highway,' said Stacey Stegman, CDOT spokesperson, 'as well as looking at extending from where T-REX left off at Broadway all the way to about 6th Avenue.' CDOT crews spent part of Tuesday clearing water and mud near I-25 and 6th Avenue and I-25 and Alameda Avenue, after both areas flooded Monday during the heavy rain...

"If it has been raining hard for several hours, or steadily raining for several days, be alert to the possibility of a flood. In Colorado and other western states, the soil is generally dry, sandy and unable to absorb large amounts of water. Heavy rains can quickly fill dry stream and river beds sending torrents of water downstream. Listen to local TV or radio stations for flood information. Flash floods can take only a few minutes to a few hours to develop. When a FLOOD WATCH is issued, meaning a flood is possible in your area, you should move your furniture and valuables to higher levels of your home. It is also recommended you fill your car's gas tank, in case an evacuation notice is issued. When a FLOOD WARNING is issued, meaning flooding is already occurring or will occur soon in your area, you should evacuate immediately and move to higher ground away from rivers, creeks and storm drains. You should not drive around barricades. In case of a flash flood, there may be no time for a warning to be issued. You may have only a few seconds to escape. It could be a life-and-death decision for you and your family. If you are in a car and come to a flooded area, turn around and go the other way. If your car stalls, abandon it immediately and climb to higher ground. Eighty percent of flood deaths occur in vehicles, and most happen when drivers make the single, fatal mistake of trying to navigate through flood waters. Many deaths have resulted from attempts to move stalled vehicles, according to the Colorado Division of Emergency Management. Avoid walking through any floodwaters. If it is moving swiftly, even water 6 inches deep can sweep you off your feet."

"colorado water"
6:00:39 AM     

Ruedi Reservoir operations meeting
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From email from the Bureau of Reclamation (Kara Lamb): "Just a reminder notice that we have our annual Ruedi Operations Public Meeting this Thursday evening at 7 p.m. at the Basalt Town Hall. We will have about an hour of presentation, then public discussion. If you have any questions prior to the meeting, please call my cell phone at (970) 215-9545. Also, looks like we're still releasing around 117 or so from Ruedi to the Fryingpan."

"colorado water"
5:48:59 AM     

Pueblo stormwater needs
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The city of Pueblo needs to upgrade it's stormwater facilities to the tune of $100 million or so, according to the Pueblo Chieftain. From the article, "The Fountain Creek breach that left a north Pueblo neighborhood under 6 to 8 feet of muddy water last week is only one of many impending problems the city[base ']s stormwater utility is trying to address. Future problems on Fountain Creek include the 13th Street interchange with Interstate 25 and just north of King Soopers. But more problems have been identified throughout the city, Stormwater Utility Director Dennis Maroney said Tuesday. 'There are 10 drainage basins in the city and all have needs,' Maroney said. A few of the problems have surfaced, such as flooding last August in the Peppersauce Bottoms area near Midtown and last week's flood in Trollsville just north of the Pueblo Mall. More such events may be waiting to happen. City staff is wrapping up a study that shows the need for more than $100 million in storm drainage projects. Council has not yet set a time to look at the study, Maroney said...

"The stormwater utility does not generate anywhere near the amount needed to work on the $100 million in projects identified in a forthcoming study. Projects will be prioritized and other funding sources sought, Maroney explained. A charge based on lot size generates $2.7 million annually for Pueblo stormwater issues. About $1.1 million goes toward capital expenses. Another $900,000 goes toward maintenance. The city has 14 employees who clean catch basins (the area under street storm drains), mow retention ponds and keep miles of drainage ditches clear. The rest is spent on planning, maintaining water quality as required by federal permits and on education."

"colorado water"
5:46:44 AM     

A picture named ohbejoyfulslatecreek.jpg

Here's a look at the runoff picture for Colorado from the Rocky Mountain News. From the article, "Snowpack on Colorado's Western Slope is melting far faster than usual, with two river basins likely to melt off in near-record time, a federal scientist told water watchers Tuesday. The status of western Colorado's snow is in marked contrast to conditions in the Denver region, where snowpack in the South Platte River basin stands at 104 percent of its May 15 average, as a stormy spring has reduced melting and kept water supplies bountiful...

"One river basin, the Yampa-White in northwestern Colorado, is almost assuredly going to break its early melt-off record of June 7, Gillespie said. He predicts all the snow could be gone by next week. The neighboring North Platte Basin is also going fast and on pace for a near-record melt. Should the Western Slope experience average weather conditions in the next two weeks, two basins - the Yampa and the Gunnison - will be devoid of snow by June 1. Three other basins would be below 20 percent of average...

"The fast melt-off isn't hurting the state's reservoirs, which are in the best shape in years, at 106 percent of average levels statewide...

"Scientists at Tuesday's joint meeting of the state's Water Availability Task Force and Flood Task Force delivered presentations on weather and climate. Several suggested that springtime is getting warmer in the state and the West. Among their data: For the past 21 years, state snowpack on May 1 has been below average three-fourths of the time; Springtime temperatures in the state's north-central mountains have been rising - 3.5 degrees since 1930. The temperature rise has been steeper since 1950; Snowmelt in Colorado is occurring about two weeks earlier, on average, since 1978; Streamflows across the West are rising earlier, corresponding to earlier snowmelt; Two river basins in western Colorado are on pace to melt off in record or near-record time.

More coverage from the Rocky Mountain News. They write, "The South Platte River Basin is strongest, at 104 percent of average snow/ water equivalency. But the statewide snowpack stands at a poor 57 percent. The Yampa River is lowest, 29 percent of average. The Gunnison River Basin has slipped to 44 percent. The upper Colorado and Rio Grande rivers each stand at 60 percent. The only basin besides the South Platte that is faring reasonably well is the Arkansas River, 88 percent...

"The Colorado River at Kremmling rose from a flow 800 cubic feet per second Thursday to 1,280 on Tuesday...Flows in the lower Roaring Fork tripled, to more than 3,000 cfs."

"colorado water"
5:31:23 AM     

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