Coyote Gulch


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  Sunday, May 27, 2007


Talking Points Memo: "Edwards campaign accuses Hillary of swiping his health care proposals."

"2008 pres"
9:37:38 AM     


Talking Points Memo: "When Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama joined 12 other Democratic senators in opposing Bush's war-funding package, Republican presidential candidates pounced. If Dem presidential hopefuls are willing to reject funding for the troops in a time of war, we now have proof, the GOP concluded, that they must hate the men and women in uniform.

"2008 pres"
9:30:42 AM     

Energy policy: Oil and gas development

Colorado Confidential: "The rapid development of oil and gas drilling on public land in the Rocky Mountain States has united former opponents -- sportsmen and environmentalists -- to work together to protect wildlife habitat. This past week, representatives from both citizen groups came to Washington DC to speak to lawmakers and sit in on Congressional hearings about proposed energy legislation introduced by House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Nick Rahall, D-W.Va. and denounced by the Bush administration."

"2008 pres"
9:28:51 AM     

? for President? "This time Mitt Romney is misrepresenting Jeb Bush's record, and his own, as he continues to struggle both the substance and appearance of his pandering flip-flop on immigration."

"2008 pres"
9:26:41 AM     


TalkLeft writes, "The L.A. Times brings back the story of the under-qualified immigration judges appointed during Alberto Gonzales tenure."

"2008 pres"
9:21:30 AM     

Gender bending pollution?
A picture named genderbendingpollution.jpg

Newsweek is running a long article on the science around "emerging contaminants." Scientists are starting to understand that pharmaceuticals, soaps and other substances are making their way out of sewage treatment plants into some waterways across the country. These contaminants are causing gender changes in fish. From the article:

Scientists aren't worried about any one of these chemicals in isolation. Most are found in minute doses, if they're found at all. Toxicologist Amy Perbeck at the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality calculated that the levels of ibuprofen in Michigan drinking water were so low that a person would have to consume 17,000 gallons to get the amount in one pill. But new technology is allowing scientists to screen for mere traces of compounds, down to levels that were previously undetectable -- and they find just about everything they look for. A 2002 study by the U.S. Geological Survey detected such compounds in 80 percent of the 139 streams it examined, many of which were downstream from urban areas. None of the chemicals on its own appears to be toxic at minuscule doses. "But what happens when a person is exposed to a whole cocktail of them?" asks Perbeck.

The emerging compounds of greatest concern to most scientists are the "endocrine disrupters." These are chemicals in the environment that mimic hormones when they get into the body. An astonishing array of chemicals fall into this category -- not only natural and synthetic hormones, but also chemicals in certain cosmetics, shampoos, shaving lotions, skin creams, dishwashing liquids, pesticides, flame retardants, plastics and antibacterial soaps. Like actual hormones, "they have effects at exceedingly low levels," says Herb Buxton, coordinator of the Toxic Substances Hydrology Program at the USGS. Because so many of them bind to a certain type of receptor in the body -- whether for estrogens, androgens or thyroid hormones -- the effects add up.

People, thankfully, are less vulnerable than fish, because we don't live and breathe in water. To date, there is no conclusive evidence linking emerging contaminants to human health problems. But scientists wonder if endocrine disrupters in the water are partially responsible for some well-documented trends, including earlier puberty in girls and reduced sperm counts in men. In fish, sperm problems have been linked to waterborne contaminants, including phthalates, which are used in many plastics, cosmetics, skin-care products and pesticides. Reproductive epidemiologist Russ Hauser at Harvard has found an association in men between certain phthalates in their urine and low sperm counts -- although he notes that there are multiple routes of exposure in people, including direct absorption through the skin from after-shaves and colognes. Water is only one of many sources. As Devra Lee Davis, director of the University of Pittsburgh's Center for Environmental Oncology, sees it, humans are exposed to so many things over a lifetime that it's hard to prove connections -- but problems in wildlife should be a warning. "We have to stop treating people like lab rats in an uncontrolled experiment and start figuring out ways to reduce our exposures," she says

Read the whole article.

"colorado water"
8:18:57 AM     

Water and power subcommittee of the [U.S.] House Natural Resources Committee meeting in Pueblo
A picture named fryingpanarkansasproject.jpg

Here's a look at the effects and future of the Frying-Pan Arkansas project through the eyes of those most effected, from the Pueblo Chieftain. They are also reminding interested parties that, "The water and power subcommittee of the House Natural Resources Committee, chaired by Rep. Grace Napolitano, D-Calif., will meet at 9 a.m. Friday in the Pueblo Community College Ballroom to look at the project that brought new water into the water-starved Arkansas River basin. The public is invited." About the project:

Over the years, major parts of the Fry-Ark Project were completed, but in recent years, new challenges have arisen. The Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District has tried for seven years to pass federal legislation - its Preferred Storage Options Plan - to study enlargement of the Pueblo Dam and increase storage opportunities. Today, there are competing bills in Congress looking at the proposed study. The Southeastern district also has worked diligently to advance legislation to allow federal funding of the Arkansas Valley Conduit to supply drinking water to cities east of Pueblo. The conduit never was built because it was too expensive for the small communities that would benefit. This year, the conduit's chances for funding authorization have improved slightly...

[Bill Long, Southeastern president], who represents Bent County, has been the staunchest supporter of the conduit on the board for several years. He's passionate about the topic. "If we do not get the conduit built, the Fry-Ark project will have helped the farmers in the short term, but will have helped move ag water to the cities," Long said. "The Fry-Ark Project could have been a detriment because it will have been used to dry up the valley."[...]

Wally Stealey, a past president of the Southeastern district, also has been invited to testify. Stealey tried to hammer out a PSOP bill in 2005-06, only to see it beached by contentious negotiations. "What needs to be done is to ask the Bureau of Reclamation to give fair and equal treatment to the Arkansas Valley, as opposed to running the bureau out of Arapahoe County," Stealey said...

The creation of large storage projects above and below Fremont and Chaffee counties has allowed for a voluntary flow management program that has bolstered a recreation economy not imagined in the original Fry-Ark legislation. Both rafting and fishing have benefitted from the ability to control flows on the river, Scanga said. "Resolving some of the conflicts on the river actually has been beneficial to the upper basin," Scanga said. Agriculture in the upper basin has benefitted to some extent with flows later in the season, while the cities have been able to supplement their water rights as envisioned. In the future, Scanga sees more possibility for improved recreation flows through leasing. The Upper Ark has also taken over a proposed water banking program that will allow more opportunities for multiple-use leasing. "The main benefit of the project has been to provide a more sustained and consistent flow to even out flows and provide more water late in the summer season," Scanga said.

Finally, there is a downstream view of the Fry-Ark Project that sees a need to return to the original ideas. "Has it been beneficial? Yes and no. It has been admirable for the cities of Pueblo and Colorado Springs, but for the cities east of Pueblo, the exact same project that was to benefit them could be their demise," said Jay Winner, general manager of the Lower Arkansas Valley Water Conservancy District, who is also scheduled to testify. The Lower Ark district formed in 2002 in five counties to protect the area from future water raids. One of the major problems Winner sees has been the capacity to exchange water upstream for storage. "Trades and exchanges hurt water quality and the cost is absorbed downstream by small towns that can't afford the costs to clean the water," Winner said.

Others scheduled to testify Friday include: Mike Ryan, Great Plains regional director for the Bureau of Reclamation. Harris Sherman, executive director of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources. Lionel Rivera, mayor of Colorado Springs. Bill Thiebaut, Pueblo district attorney. Sandy White, La Veta water lawyer. Ed Tauer, mayor of Aurora. Drew Peternell, Boulder, director of the Colorado Trout Unlimited Colorado Water Project. Chris Treese, external affairs manager of the Colorado River Conservation District.

"colorado water"
8:03:35 AM     

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