Coyote Gulch


Subscribe to "Coyote Gulch" in Radio UserLand.

Click to see the XML version of this web page.

e-mail John: Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.



  Thursday, May 17, 2007

? for President?

Talking Points Memo: "Edwards campaign slams Rudy Giuliani for his claim that he 'usually' hears Democrats blaming America for 9/11."

Political Wire: "In New Hampshire, a new Zogby telephone poll shows Sen. Hillary Clinton with a small lead over Sen. Barack Obama, 28% to 26%, with John Edwards trailing behind at 15% and Bill Richardson jumping to 10%. On the Republican side, Mitt Romney has made an explosive leap ahead of his competitors, with 35% -- up ten points in the last month. Sen. John McCain and Rudy Giuliani trail with 19% each."

Dave Winer: "Of course the Republicans are trying to tar and feather Rep Ron Paul, spin what he says to make it sound like he's a nut. Even the Democrats aren't making as much sense as he is."

The Agitator: "Remember, the war on terror, Giuliani says, is something he understands 'better than anyone else running for president.' The sad fact is, that might even be true, considering everyone else up on that stage except for Paul. But it's sort of like winning 'Best Complexion' at the Leper Colony."

Thanks to Walter In Denver for the link.

Political Wire: "A new Cook Political Report/RT Strategies Poll shows Sen. Hillary Clinton 'remains far and away the leader of the pack' in the Democratic presidential race with 36% support, followed by Sen. Barack Obama at 25% and John Edwards at 15%. On the GOP side, Rudy Giuliani leads with 26% with Sen. John McCain slightly behind at 24%. 'There is a large gap between the frontrunners and the next two candidates," with Mitt Romney and Fred Thompson pulling in 9% each.'"

"2008 pres"
7:23:50 PM     


Washington Post: "The Republican presidential candidates were asked at their debate in South Carolina on Tuesday about "a million-to-one scenario" involving the interrogation of suspected foreign terrorists. Only one in 10 got it right.

"That one would be Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), the only presidential candidate who has experienced torture. 'Torture' is Mr. McCain's correct description of the 'enhanced interrogation techniques' that President Bush authorized the CIA to use on captured members of al-Qaeda -- methods that soon spread to the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, and then to Afghanistan and Iraq. Until Mr. McCain succeeded in passing a legislative restriction two years ago, the methods included "waterboarding," or simulated drowning, an ancient torture technique that every U.S. government before the Bush administration considered illegal and immoral."

Andrew Sullivan: "In my view, last Tuesday's revelation of the GOP as a proudly pro-torture party marks the moment when they have become a danger to national security and to the integrity of American democracy. I'm not the only one appalled by what has happened to Republicanism that it could have degenerated into a party of Hollywood-inspired thuggery and lawlessness. Among others are the commandant of the Marine Corps from 1995 to 1999 and the commander in chief of U.S. Central Command from 1991 to 1994. They know more about warfare and torture than Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani ever could. And like every senior military official, they strongly oppose the authorization of torture as American policy. Because they want to win the war."

"2008 pres"
7:15:06 PM     


Reuters: "ARIVACA, Arizona (Reuters) - A pilot project to place a high-tech network of surveillance towers along a stretch of the U.S.-Mexico border has met boisterous opposition in this Arizona town, where some residents call it 'Big Brother.' The U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency is installing a network of nine towers with ground radar and night vision cameras to monitor a 28-mile (45-km) stretch of border near Arivaca, southwest of Tucson. It is the first trial for the communications and technology arm of the government's Secure Border Initiative announced in 2005. Dubbed 'SBInet,' authorities say it will be extended across some 6,000 miles of the Mexican and Canadian borders in segments in coming years. Residents of this remote, high desert ranching town of 1,500 people have packed four public meetings in recent weeks to oppose the project, which is due to go live at the end of next month."

Thanks to NewMexiKen for the link.

MSNBC: "Key senators in both parties and the White House announced agreement Thursday on an immigration overhaul that would grant quick legal status to millions of illegal immigrants already in the U.S. and fortify the border. The plan would create a temporary worker program to bring new arrivals to the U.S and a separate program to cover agricultural workers. Skills and education-level would for the first time be weighted over family connections in deciding whether future immigrants should get permanent legal status. New high-tech employment verification measures also would be instituted to ensure that workers are here legally."

"2008 pres"
7:03:03 PM     

Democratic presidential debate schedule

Colorado For Richardson: "The Democratic National Committee has announced the dates, sponsors, and cities for six sanctioned presidential candidate debates.

"DNC Santioned Debate: July 23, 2007 -- YouTube/Google and CNN -- Charleston, South Carolina; August 19, 2007 -- ABC -- Des Moines, Iowa; September 26, 2007 -- NBC News/MSNBC -- Hanover, New Hampshire; October 30, 2007 -- NBC News/MSNBC -- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; November 15, 2007 -- CNN -- Las Vegas, Nevada; December 10, 2007 -- CBS -- Los Angeles, California."

"2008 pres"
6:33:43 PM     

Water Resources Development Act passes U.S. Senate
A picture named lowerarkansasriver.jpg

From email from U.S. Senator Ken Salazar, "This week, the Senate passed the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA). WRDA authorizes water projects around the Nation, which are especially important in arid West. This year, WRDA included authorization for six projects in Colorado, including a $10 million authorization for the construction of the Arkansas Valley Conduit in Southeastern Colorado. The construction of this conduit will fulfill a long-standing promise to the people of the lower Arkansas Valley for fresh drinking water and is the keystone for the economic revitalization of Southeastern Colorado.

The next step is a House / Senate conference committee. More Coyote Gulch coverage here.

"colorado water"
6:24:12 PM     

McPhee reservoir update
A picture named mcpheedam.jpg

From email on May 16th from the Bureau of Reclamation [Vern Harrell]: "We anticipate a reduction in downstream releases starting today. This is necessary due to the inflow decreases and user demand. I was informed at 10:30 this morning that MVIC plans to take 795 CFS the next two days - this is reflected on the operating plan. The runoff forecast, as of this morning, indicates that there will be raftable releases through the weekend. This could change with actual runoff conditions, weather, and user demand."

"colorado water"
7:03:19 AM     

Mercury pollution
A picture named howmercurypollutionspreads.jpg

The Colorado Division of Wildlife is trying to solve the riddle of mercury pollution in Front Range reservoirs, according to the Denver Post. From the article, "What has confounded Kehmeier, along with health officials, is the puzzling pattern of pollution. Horsetooth, Carter and Boyd have worrisome levels of mercury; other impoundments in close proximity do not. Horseshoe, west of Walsenburg, rates a warning poster; Martin, less than a mile away, gets a clean bill. Where the warnings involve specific fish species, the discrepancies are easy to grasp. Fish that dine on other fish to form a definitive food chain - walleye, wiper, northern pike - are more likely to collect dangerous levels of mercury. With the three large upper Front Range impoundments - Horsetooth, Carter and Boyd - another link becomes apparent. Each is filled almost exclusively by Colorado-Big Thompson Project water transported from Granby Reservoir, Shadow Mountain Reservoir and Grand Lake. In concert with DOW, the health agency currently is conducting tests on fish from Granby to discover a link that may not be easy to find. Steven Gunderson of the Colorado Division of Water Quality Control offers an explanation that generally escapes layman's eyes. 'For mercury to build up in the food chain,' Gunderson said, 'the right chemistry is necessary for bacteria to convert inorganic mercury to organic.' This typically happens in reservoirs that contain a certain quantity of organic material upon which the bacteria thrive, Gunderson explained. The northern trio each has suffered recent drawdown that promotes plant growth. Granby, on the other hand, is a relatively sterile bathtub devoid of vegetation. Under one possible scenario, inorganic mercury might be pumped from the west beneath the Continental Divide to blossom in a more fertile environment in the east. While mercury can leach from hard rock as a residue of mining activity, scientists suspect airborne particles from coal-fired power plants as the primary suspect. The problem, Gunderson said, can be transcontinental, with contaminated particles circling the Northern Hemisphere."

"colorado water"
6:57:09 AM     

Noxious weeds targeted
A picture named tamarisk.jpg

From the Western Farmer-Stockman, "A half dozen noxious weeds are targets for heavy management in Colorado's Eastern High Plains. The new three-year program is funded by the Natural Resource Conservation Service under the Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative. The Colorado Department of Agriculture will administer and implement the effort. The purpose of the program is to aid communities in development of effective management plans to control the six relatively uncommon emerging weeds before they gain a significant foothold on the high plains. Early detection and eradication are keys to preventing new invasions. By focusing on currently uncommon weed species in the plains area, outlying small patches of invasive plants eradicated at less cost than would be required if they spread widely. CDA's Conservation Services Division will spearhead the program and work with counties, conservation districts, watershed associations, NRCS field offices, the Colorado State University Extension and individual landowners to support efforts targeting dalmatian toadflax, leafy spurge, diffuse knapweed, Russian knapweed, spotted knapweed and saltcedar. Saltcedar will be targeted only in the Republican River watershed under the new program. CDA will help provide educational programs and literature on the economic and environmental costs of these noxious weeds, as well as the identification, physiology and control of the invaders. Recommended control will combine mechanical, cultural (grazing), and chemical programs specific to each weed. Biological controls will not be recommended since it is only effective on large infestations."

Here's a report about noxious weed control from the Glenwood Springs Post Indepedent. They write, "Tamarisk, Scotch thistle, and even some nonnative wildflowers are among Brown's weed enemies. Tamarisk, especially, frustrates the 44-year-old grandmother, who likes to ride her Harley and garden in her spare time. 'There's so much of it, but we gotta try. We gotta try,' she said, of CDOT's initiative to control the troublesome tamarisk. 'They're very acidic, and put out a salt so nothing can grow under it. Nothing will eat it. No critters will live under it. And it consumes hundreds of gallons of water a day, soaking up the river. It won't let the cottonwoods grow. It's an underground root system.'"

"colorado water"
6:43:00 AM     

Bayfield lifts construction moratorium
A picture named lospinos.jpg

Bayfield has lifted their moratorium on construction, according to the Durango Herald. From the article, "The yearlong Bayfield sanitation crisis is over. The Town Board voted unanimously Tuesday to rescind Resolution 208, which imposed a sewer-tap moratorium in February that effectively halted all new construction in Bayfield. A moratorium was first imposed by the state of Colorado in April 2006, which was lifted temporarily before the February vote. The crisis may be over, but Town Manager Justin Clifton said town staff and all users of the sewer system still have a lot of work to do to ensure that the moratorium remains lifted. 'It will be difficult, but it was designed to be difficult,' Clifton said of a list of more than 50 conditions set by the Water Quality Control Division of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Notable conditions include a $500,000 upgrade to the town's current sewage-treatment plant, which Clifton said will be paid for by reserve funds and future sewer-tap sales. Residential taps cost $6,000, and businesses are charged based on the equivalent use of residential taps, or ERTs. Most businesses require 2.5 to three ERTs, and new commercial projects will not be allowed to exceed three ERTs. Five businesses and institutions identified as 'high load' contributors to the septic system are also required to make significant reductions in their organic loading. The agreement between the state and the town also allows new subdivisions to be approved with conditional 'will serve' letters from the sanitation district that stipulate new sewer service will be available for future construction based on the capacity of a new $6 million waste facility. Construction for it is scheduled to begin this fall."

More Coyote Gulch coverage here.

"colorado water"
6:38:08 AM     

Trout Creek Reservoir expansion?
A picture named upperarkansasvalley.jpg

The proposed expansion of Trout Creek Reservoir is not looking good, according to the Mountain Mail. From the article, "Despite lengthy, sometimes heated dialogue Tuesday, no progress was made on the impasse regarding relocation of CR 302 and subsequent expansion of Trout Creek Reservoir. Discussion came during the regular meeting of the Chaffee County Commissioners held in Buena Vista. Paul Moltz, reservoir owner, wants to enlarge it and has asked to relocate part of the county road eastward. Moltz stormed from the meeting after commissioners refused to allow the reroute without specific conditions which Moltz rejects. 'Let's just leave it right there,' Moltz said before leaving. 'You killed the reservoir.' Moltz and the county have been working on an agreement for more than a year. Moltz claims a new road would be safer, but residents along CR 302 testified at previous meetings they prefer the existing alignment. Commissioners have held out for more tangible public benefit before vacating the road and allowing Moltz to relocate it...

"Commissioners placed a stipulation in the draft agreement that Moltz be required to negotiate "in good faith" with Chaffee County for water storage in the expanded reservoir. Moltz rejected the stipulation saying it amounted to a right of first refusal that would encumber management of the reservoir for any future owner. Commissioners countered with an offer to allow road relocation if Moltz or the Upper Arkansas Water Conservancy District reach a water management agreement with the Town of Buena Vista. Water district officials and town staff members have been negotiating such an agreement for more than a year. If one is reached, it would allow Buena Vista to take advantage of new storage capacity in the Moltz reservoir which commissioners would consider a benefit to local residents...

"Salida resident Karin Adams said the new road would be safer because it would intersect U.S. 285 at a 90-degree angle as opposed to the existing askew intersection. It would also move the road away from the reservoir, eliminating the possibility of a car going into the water - which has occurred in the past. But Glenn said water storage is the bigger issue, and he is unwilling to reroute the road without assurance Chaffee County citizens would benefit from the increased storage."

More Coyote Gulch coverage here.

"colorado water"
6:31:10 AM     


Power Line: "...the Senate voted 67-29 on a procedural motion that effectively rejected the Democrats' latest effort to cut off funding for the Iraq war. The proposal, an amendment to a water projects bill having nothing to do with Iraq, was sponsored by Russ Feingold. It would have cut off funding for the Iraq war by March 31, 2008. The roll call is here; no Republicans voted for the proposal, and a number of Democrats voted against it. The New York Times called the vote a 'stinging defeat' for antiwar Democrats that 'underscored the divisions among Democrats over how to oppose the administration's Iraq policy, as well as widespread fear of being seen as undercutting American troops.'"

"2008 pres"
6:19:41 AM     

Republican Presidential debate

NPR: "The 10 GOP presidential candidates squared off for their second debate in Columbia, S.C. on Tuesday night. Slate's chief political correspondent, John Dickerson, was there, and he says the event was pretty lively. Support among South Carolina voters is critical in choosing the next Republican nominee, and abortion and terrorism were key issues."

"2008 pres"
6:16:39 AM     

National Groundwater Association scholarships announced
A picture named groundwater.jpg

Congratulations to Katherine Anarde of Fowler for winning a $2000 scholarship from the National Ground Water Research And Educational Foundation. "'There is no issue more important today than the availability and protection of water resources in America and throughout the world,' [Foundation President Loyd Watson] said. 'With these scholarships, we want to encourage today's best and brightest students to pursue careers in the ground water professions. They can be part of the solution to the world's need for fresh water.'"

6:11:13 AM     

Energy policy: Nuclear
A picture named moabcoloradoriverspanishval.jpg

According to the Salt Lake Tribune, U.S. Congressman Jim Matheson is, "proposing an amendment to a defense bill that would force the Energy Department to move an enormous pile of uranium tailings away from the banks of the Colorado River by 2019. The House is expected to vote on the amendment Thursday morning, although it is not anticipated that there will be serious opposition to the measure. The department had originally forecast that it could move the 16 million tons of tailings in seven to 10 years, but the department now says the project is not likely to be completed until 2028...

"'I've been generous in this amendment. I've given them 10 years,' Matheson said. 'But that's it. And it's a good deal for them and I suggest they take it.' The pile is the remnants of Cold War-era uranium refining done at the Atlas Corp. mill. The mill closed in 1984 and the company filed for bankruptcy in 1998, leaving behind a temporary cap on the pile and an inadequate cleanup fund. The tailings pile now sits just outside Arches National Park on the banks of the Colorado River and studies have found that toxic chemicals such as ammonia are seeping into the groundwater, threatening four species of endangered fish. The contamination has also alarmed officials downstream, since the river provides drinking water for an estimated 25 million people."

"2008 pres"
6:04:32 AM     

No watering restrictions for Colorado Springs
A picture named watersprinkler.jpg

Colorado Springs residents will not face watering restrictions this summer, according to the Colorado Springs Gazette. From the article, "Colorado Springs Utilities officials Wednesday announced there will be no water-use restrictions of the sort imposed on city residents from 2002 to 2005. Officials told the Utilities board there was enough snow at higher elevations, including Pikes Peak, that reservoirs are nearly full and stream flow is expected to remain strong through the summer...

"Pikes Peak reservoirs are 84 percent full, compared to the average of 66 percent for this time of year, and the Rampart reservoir is at 99 percent, compared to a 76 percent average. About 20 percent of the system's water comes off Pikes Peak. Total water storage for the network, a system of lakes and pipelines that runs 200 miles to the Continental Divide, is 80 percent of capacity. At this time of year in drought-plagued 2003, total storage was at 43 percent. In 2004, it was 57 percent in late May. Despite recent warm temperatures, the high-elevation snowpack where most of the water comes from is in good shape. The Arkansas River basin is at 77 percent of average for this time of year, while the South Platte basin is at 103 percent...

"Plus, [Kevin Lusk, the water supply engineer] said residents are using 22 percent less water each day than in 2001. Three years of mandatory water restrictions, which limited the days residents could water lawns, may have permanently changed peoples' behavior, Lusk said. There were no restrictions in 2006. Utilities officials still are asking customers to voluntarily conserve water. They continue an education campaign aimed at curbing water use, and city crews will also limit their irrigation of turf grass to three days a week. Lusk said it is unlikely Utilities will need to revisit the possibility of water restrictions later this summer."

"colorado water"
5:51:57 AM     

Energy policy: Oil shale development
A picture named shelloilshaleprocess.jpg

The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel is reporting that the BLM has extended the comment period for the draft oil shale EIS for two weeks, until June 12th, rather than the September 11th date requested by Governor Ritter. From the article, "The report, the draft environmental impact statement for the BLM's fledgling commercial oil shale leasing program, was released to Wyoming, Colorado and Utah government officials Monday for their comment. The document will show how widespread the BLM expects commercial oil shale development to be and what energy and water resources it might consume...

"Colorado Department of Natural Resources Deputy Director Mike King said the extended deadline will prevent the state from giving the report a comprehensive review. 'We are concerned that the time frame the BLM is working from will not provide the opportunity to adequately evaluate all of the potential environmental and socioeconomic impacts that could result from oil shale development,' Ritter spokesman Evan Dreyer said. The draft report is expected to be released to the public this summer."

More coverage from the Vail Daily News "reg". They write, "Federal officials have also said the states will have an additional 90 days to review the plan after the draft is released to the public, which is expected to see the draft in mid-July. Wyoming, Colorado and Utah are among 14 'cooperating agencies,' including a few cities and counties, that see the preliminary plan before the public does and have more opportunity to weigh in...

"[Mike King, deputy director of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources] said Colorado state technical experts are reviewing the preliminary plan, sent to the states this week. He said Colorado officials might have to submit 'placeholder comments' at the end of the four weeks and prepare more in-depth feedback later. 'For the BLM to just glibly say that the state of Colorado can comment along with the rest of the public ignores the state's special status,' said Bob Randall, an attorney with Boulder-based Western Resource Advocates, an environmental law and policy...

"Shale reserves in Colorado, Utah and southwest Wyoming are believed to contain at least 1 trillion barrels of oil -- three times the proven reserves of Saudi Arabia, or enough to theoretically supply the United States for a century. But the oil, or kerogen, is locked in layers of hard rock, and the technology for affordably heating and extracting the liquid is still evolving. Local governments have urged federal officials to move cautiously because the impact on water and other resources isn't clear. Last year, the Interior Department approved 10-year leases for oil-shale research and development projects for Shell Frontier Oil & Gas Co., Chevron USA and EGL Resources Inc. on separate sites in northwest Colorado. Oil Shale Exploration Co. won approval last month of an experimental project in Utah. Area officials and residents also are wary because of the oil-shale bust of the early 1980s. Western Colorado's economy was sent reeling when falling oil prices led Exxon to shut down its $5 billion Colony oil-shale project in Parachute and lay off 2,200 workers."

"2008 pres"
5:44:34 AM     

Lower Ark District meeting
A picture named lowerarkansasriver.jpg

The Pueblo Chieftain has a recap of this week's meeting of the Lower Arkansas Valley Water Conservation District meeting. From the article, "Director Loretta Kennedy reported talks with Lake County Commissioners have gone well. Lake County Commissioners will ask voters in November to annex the county into the Lower Ark district. Talks on common issues are progressing with Kiowa County Commissioners, Kennedy said.

"A settlement in the Arkansas Groundwater Users water court change of use case on the Excelsior Ditch satisfies Lower Ark concerns, attorney Peter Nichols said. Nichols said the decree will be the first to ensure long-term revegetation of dried-up farm ground rather than the customary one-time inspection required in past decrees.

"The board voted to approve an agreement with the Pikes Peak Regional Water Authority that would give a proposed 'Super Ditch' - a water lease management program supported by the Lower Ark board - exclusive bargaining rights. Under the agreement, which would become effective when a corporation formed by water rights owners is formed, Pikes Peak would be responsible for building a pipeline to deliver the water. Pikes Peak, a consortium of northern El Paso County communities, has talked about leasing 12,000-25,000 acre-feet annually from farmers who would agree to fallow the agricultural land needed to generate that quantity of water. The price would be about $500 per acre-foot, increasing over time."

"colorado water"
5:38:47 AM     

Click here to visit the Radio UserLand website. © Copyright 2009 John Orr.
Last update: 3/14/09; 9:14:40 PM.

May 2007
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31    
Apr   Jun


e-mail John: Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.