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.



  Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Federal jurisdiction over water
A picture named watercyclewikipedia.jpg

The NYT gets it right regarding the federal role in regulating streams and wetlands. They write:

The Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers have finally issued guidelines about which streams and wetlands are subject to federal jurisdiction. Unfortunately, they are just as confusing as the Supreme Court decision they are supposed to carry out -- guaranteeing endless litigation, while increasing the chances that valuable wetlands will be needlessly destroyed.

That is why Congress needs to move quickly to approve clarifying legislation that would reaffirm the broad federal protections lawmakers intended when they passed the Clean Water Act more than 30 years ago. The sponsors of a bill that would do just that -- Russell Feingold in the Senate and John Dingell and James Oberstar in the House -- should hold hearings and get Congress moving.

The nub of the problem is an ambiguous 2006 ruling involving a Michigan landowner who had been denied permission to develop wetlands that had no obvious connection to other bodies of water. Four conservative justices ruled that federal jurisdiction extended only to navigable waters and adjacent wetlands. Four ruled that the law covered all waters, the government's traditional view. Justice Anthony Kennedy sought to split the difference, ruling that a wetland could be protected if the government could establish a "significant nexus" between it and a navigable body of water somewhere downstream...

The bills in Congress would cut through all that and make sure that federal jurisdiction applied to all waters, large and small, permanent or ephemeral. This makes perfect hydrological sense: very few, if any bodies of water are truly isolated and nearly all have some biological connection to a larger ecosystem.

"colorado water"
7:28:27 PM     

Northside Croquet Club Game 7
A picture named nscroquetgame707.jpg

North Side Croquet Club: "Big game last night, and a lot of soccer players pissed off that we drifted into their field. The big winner was Shane, who moves into a 3 way tie for 2nd place with 4 points. The other game winners were the Boyd bros., Mike Lyons, and John 'Jiggy' Simpkins. Sonia gets my vote for highlight of the game with her 2 poison wicket kills, which unfortunately were not enough to win it for her."

We need to catch up on our coverage. Here's Game 6, Game 5, and Game 4.

6:51:39 PM     


Don Surber: "Ending illegal immigration is the Republican Party's only hope for 2008...Gingrich gets it: 'The rule of law is non-negotiable.'"

"2008 pres"
6:36:35 PM     

Women's rights

Colorado Confidential: "Abortion opponents are a step closer to putting a constitutional amendment on the ballot in Colorado. They're pointing to this Rocky Mountain News article. "Colorado women: Your uterus belongs to Fundies

"denver n2007"
6:35:05 PM     


TalkLeft: "MSNBC reports that, as promised, President George Bush has just vetoed the bipartisan stem cell research bill."

"2008 pres"
6:31:51 PM     

Gay rights

Andrew Sullivan: "A notable vote occurred yesterday: the New York State Assembly passed a bill allowing gay couples to have the same marriage rights as straight couples. The vote was 85 - 61, after governor Eliot Spitzer's ballsy and principled support. Now it's up to the State Senate."

"2008 pres"
6:29:29 PM     

? for President?

Don Surber: "Last year, Hillary Clinton received boos at the Take Back America conference. This year, she received more boos. Her response? 'I love coming here every year.'"

Political Wire: "In Nevada, a new American Research Group poll shows Sen. Hillary Clinton leading the Democratic presidential race with 40% of likely caucus participants, followed by John Edwards and Sen. Barack Obama tied at 16%. Gov. Bill Richardson, who has made the most visits to the state, attracts just 6% support. On the Republican side, Mitt Romney leads with 23%, followed by Rudy Giuliani at 21% and Sen. John McCain and Fred Thompson tied at 16%."

Andrew Sullivan: "Booing Hillary: It will help her, I'd say."

"2008 pres"
6:28:25 PM     

Middle Eastern Policy

From the Washington Post, "The Bush administration is laying the groundwork for an announcement of Tony Blair's appointment as a special Middle East envoy for Palestinian governance and economic issues after he steps down as Britain's prime minister, following two months of behind-the-scenes negotiations, according to U.S. officials."

Thanks to Andrew Sullivan for the link.

"2008 pres"
6:26:26 PM     

Global warming: The Earth is a beautifully complex system
A picture named coalfiredpowerplant.jpg

R. Timothy Patterson (via the Financial Post): "Climate stability has never been a feature of planet Earth. The only constant about climate is change; it changes continually and, at times, quite rapidly. Many times in the past, temperatures were far higher than today, and occasionally, temperatures were colder. As recently as 6,000 years ago, it was about 3C warmer than now."

Thanks to Don Surber for the link.

Captain's Quarters: "China has overtaken the US in carbon emissions, thanks to a growth rate that has far exceeded predictions and a suprising reduction in US emissions. Of course, the Guardian fails to mention that aspect in its report, but it does note that the US warned that any emissions protocols that excluded China would fail."

"2008 pres"
6:23:09 PM     

War on terror

Yahoo! "The Homeland Security Department, the lead U.S. agency for fighting cyber threats, suffered more than 800 hacker break-ins, virus outbreaks and other computer security problems over two years, senior officials acknowledged to Congress."

Thanks to Andrew Sullivan for the link.

"2008 pres"
5:55:17 PM     


Well, this is interesting. Say hello to The Iraq Moratorium. You can sign the pledge letter. It reads, "I hereby make a commitment that on Friday September 21 & the Third Friday of every subsequent month, I will break my daily routine and take some action, by myself or with others, to end the War in Iraq."

We wonder what they're gonna do with the dough they're collecting?

"2008 pres"
5:43:29 PM     

SB 07-220
A picture named slvdischargerecharge.jpg

Retiring State Engineer Hal Simpson is encouraging participation in the new groundwater sub-districts being formed in the San Luis Valley with the passage of SB 07-220, according to the Valley Courier. From the article:

In one of his final official correspondences before retiring as state engineer for the Colorado Division of Water Resources, Hal Simpson urged participation in water management sub-districts as a means of reducing groundwater injury to senior surface water rights. He also recommended deadlines for those sub-districts to be in place in the San Luis Valley before the state might start shutting wells down. In a May 30 letter responding to water attorney Timothy Buchanan's request that Simpson administer well water, Simpson repeated a belief he has maintained since the inception of the groundwater management sub-districts that he would like to give the sub-districts a chance to prove themselves before instituting state rules that would shut down wells throughout the Valley.

Thanks to SLV Dweller for the link. More Coyote Gulch coverage of SB 07-220 here.

"colorado water"
7:05:04 AM     

2008 Democratic National Convention
A picture named denver20081106.jpg

Here's an article about making sure that the 2008 Democratic Presidential Convention is green from today's Denver Post. They write:

In the waning moments of the 2004 Democratic National Convention, organizers teamed with businesses to recycle 1.3 tons of political signs, paper and cardboard boxes into commemorative posters for conventioneers. Environmentalists hailed the 24-hour campaign as a perfect example of what could be accomplished when the will existed. And in the shadow of the Boston convention - the most environmentally conscious in history - conditions are ripe for Denver to go further, said Dan Ruben, executive director of the Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Conventions, the group that "greened" the 2004 convention. "What excites me about 2008 is that the mayor and the governor are on board from the beginning," he said. Efforts to green the Aug. 25-28, 2008, gathering are already taking shape. Organizers today are expected to unveil plans to "green" the housing and communications processes. "Our goal is to make this the greenest convention ever," said Leah Daughtry, chief executive of the 2008 convention.

More coverage from The Rocky Mountain News. They write:

Blue is the color of Democratic territory on the national map, but green will be the unofficial color of next summer's Democratic National Convention. Party officials are vowing to make the convention the most environmentally friendly gathering in memory. Thousands of delegates will be encouraged to ride bicycles between their hotels and the Pepsi Center, to recycle everything from confetti to coffee cups, and to buy "carbon offsets" to repair the damage done from travelers flying into Denver from around the world.

"2008 pres"
6:36:46 AM     

War on terror

David Harsanyi comments on the Real ID Act, in his column in today's Denver Post. He writes:

Here's a gem of an idea. Gather all your most personal information. Place it on a card that can be read by strangers. Hand it over to, yep, the Department of Motor Vehicles for safekeeping. This apparently is the federal government's idea of keeping us safe. In 2005, the Republican Congress passed the Real ID Act, a de facto national identification program that would force every Coloradan to tell the government their life story, so to speak. And when I write Congress "passed" the Real ID Act, I actually mean that Congress "passed the Real ID Act in the middle of the night like a bunch of slippery weasels," as it was attached to an unrelated emergency spending bill on Iraq, Afghanistan and tsunami relief. It isn't an uncommon practice in Washington to piggyback bad policy. But, then again, this isn't your average pork. It's a momentous and wide-ranging intrusion on privacy. An imposition that would permanently put your once-confidential information onto something called "common machine-readable technology." Doesn't everyone want personal information - Social Security numbers, for instance - on easy-to-read technology? You know, this way, strangers no longer have to climb into grimy garbage cans to steal your identity.

The cost? According to the National Conference of State Legislatures the tab will be $11 billion. Homeland Security estimates it will cost around $20 billion to implement the program nationally. Moreover, it will be another unfunded federally mandated program for Colorado to deal with, one which will almost certainly cause havoc in an already-wobbly budget - and give legislators yet another excuse to raise your taxes. As Mike Krause, a Senior Fellow at the conservative Independence Institute explained, "Colorado driver's license holders will have to be 're-enrolled' under an astonishing 162 pages of rules and regulations recently issued by the Department of Homeland Security. The state driver's license will become a de facto national ID and the Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles will be little more than a branch office of Homeland Security." The good news is that the Colorado legislature, in one of the last acts of the 2007 session, joined 15 other states in opposing Real ID. The nonbinding resolution passed unanimously. It not only points out the numerous problems of the act, but also promises that the Colorado General Assembly won't pass any laws to help Real ID get off the ground.

In other war on terror news Newt Gingrich gets caught in a lie while pandering to the right on the issue of immigration, according to The Right's Field. From the article: "Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich appears in a new ad that falsely asserts that several of the 9/11 hijackers entered the U.S. illegally -- which is completely false...'All of the 19 men who hijacked planes on September 11th, including Atta, entered the United States on a tourist or student visa, issued by the former U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, according to the 9/11 Commission.'[Think Progress]"

"2008 pres"
6:32:40 AM     

Colorado Trout Unlimited Conservation and Fly Fishing Camp
A picture named cutthroat.jpg

Here's a recap of last week's Colorado Trout Unlimited Conservation and Fly Fishing Camp, from the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. From the article:

This year's camp wrapped up Friday after introducing the participants to assorted aspects of coldwater conservation, including stream hydrology and monitoring, riparian environments and, of course, fly fishing and the role Trout Unlimited has played as a leader in coldwater conservation for more than six decades. "We wouldn't have the coldwater fisheries we have today if it wasn't for TU," said camp director and head volunteer (all the coaches and mentors were volunteers) Larry Quilling. "Fly fishers have always taken the lead in conservation efforts and we think the key to future conservation is to reach youngsters such as these." Twenty-one students from Colorado, Maine and Texas were selected for this year's camp and 18, including Daniel Creek of Grand Junction and Cody Krabbe of Palisade, spent the week combining conservation-themed projects and a bit of fly fishing.

"colorado water"
6:14:10 AM     

New treatment plant for Palisade
A picture named watertreatment.jpg

Palisade has a shiny new treatment plant, according to the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. From the article:

In 2004 the Colorado Department of Health and Environment forced the Town of Palisade to shut down its water treatment plant and begin using Ute Water because the town's plant was not meeting minimum levels of clarity. Now, three years and $6 million later, the town has a new water treatment plant. Fed by Rapid and Cotton Wood creeks and an underground spring, the plant produces an average of 610,000 gallons a day for the town's population of nearly 3,000 people. Although it began operations May 30, town officials chose Tuesday for a dedication ceremony...

The plant is equipped with the latest in water treatment technology, Watt said. Filters are able to sift out any parasites that can cause digestive problems. The plant is able to produce its own bleach, which is added to water in miniscule amounts, through a process that combines water, salt and electricity. And the process is much safer than old technology that relies on chlorine gas, Watt said. "We are using a very high level of technology in the filtration system," Watt said.

"colorado water"
6:06:40 AM     

Arkansas Valley Conduit: Crucial to the survival of the Arkansas Valley
A picture named lowerarkansasriver.jpg

Hopes for the Arkansas Valley Conduit received a boost this week as U.S. Senator Wayne Allard secured some $600,000 in planning dough for the project, according to the Pueblo Chieftain. From the article:

"The Arkansas Valley Conduit represents a vital component of improving the water quality and quality of life in the Arkansas River Valley," Allard said. "I am pleased that my seat on the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee puts me in a position to secure this important funding for our state." The $330 million conduit would provide clean drinking water for up to 42 Arkansas Valley communities east of Pueblo. The conduit would begin at Pueblo Dam and flow by gravity to St. Charles Mesa along the Bessemer Ditch right of way. From there, it would continue to Lamar, serving communities in Crowley, Otero, Bent and Prowers counties. A spur to Eads also is part of the plan. The full Senate Appropriations Committee is expected to approve the funding bill on Thursday. The bill then must be approved by the full Senate and a conference committee will look at similar legislation from the House...

Last year, U.S. Reps. John Salazar, D-Colo., and Marilyn Musgrave, R-Colo., who represent the conduit communities, backed $675,000 in conduit funding in the appropriations bill and are expected to offer similar support this year, Broderick said. The actual amount in the final bill will depend on the conference committee.

More coverage from the Colorado Springs Gazette. They write:

The Arkansas Valley Conduit is crucial because towns and districts on the lower Arkansas River are having trouble meeting federal drinking water standards. "The conduit is essential to the survival of the Arkansas Valley," said Jay Winner, manager of the Lower Arkansas Valley Water Conservancy District, which serves water users in Bent, Crowley, Otero, Prowers and Pueblo counties. "Right now, most of them are getting letters from EPA saying they must clean up their water," he said. "They will be out of compliance in the very, very near future." A bill introduced in 2005 and still pending in Congress would fund 80 percent of the cost, or about $240 million. The other $60 million would come from a Colorado Water Conservation Board loan. The 41 districts, towns and cities have agreed to repay the loan through the Southeastern Water Conservancy District, a nine-county entity that partially funded construction of the Fryingpan-Arkansas project, including Pueblo Reservoir, in the 1960s...

El Paso County is part of the conservancy district but wouldn't benefit from the project, so it won't pay. The loan lapses June 30, 2009, if the rest of the money can't be secured, Serlet said...

Doug Montgomery, Lamar's water resources manager, hopes the federal share is funded so the seven to 10-year project can get under way. "The water quality in the Lower Arkansas Valley has deteriorated through the years, and EPA standards on drinking water are getting more and more strict," he said. "The cities down here are having a harder time keeping up with the EPA standard." That's because of several factors, said Paul Fanning, public affairs coordinator with Pueblo Board of Water Works, including degradation from treatment by cities, urban stormwater runoff, soils that release minerals and agricultural chemicals. Lamar, a town of 8,500 near the Kansas border, hasn't yet had to use special treatment processes. La Junta and Las Animas use reverse osmosis, a costly approach, Winner said.

More Coyote Gulch coverage here.

"colorado water"
5:54:30 AM     

Click here to visit the Radio UserLand website. © Copyright 2009 John Orr.
Last update: 3/14/09; 9:19:44 PM.

June 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
May   Jul


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