Coyote Gulch


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  Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Gunnison River stream flow
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From email from the Bureau of Reclamation (Dan Crabtree): "It looks as if we've been blessed with a slightly larger-than-expected runoff this year. Because of this, we anticipate increasing releases from Crystal Reservoir sometime during the week of July 1st. Flows in the Canyon and Gorge may increase by 100 to 200 cubic feet per second after next week's change. This note is for your planning purposes only. Further details regarding specific amounts and dates will be provided as they become available. Please call Dan Crabtree at 970-248-0652 with any questions."

"colorado water"
9:33:01 PM     

Northside Croquet Club Game 8
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Northside Croquet Club: "The no kick shot rule didn't seem to mess many of the point leaders up too bad. Shane was the big winner, and moves into a tie for first with Dave, who also scored a game point. Other game winners were Joy, who's now down with OPP, Boyd who moves into third with 3, and John, who moves into a 4 way tie for 2nd with 4. Poops also got a wicket kill to keep himself in the 2nd bracket 4-way [tie]."

7:19:08 PM     


Political Wire: "Young Americans 'are more likely than the general public to favor a government-run universal health care insurance system, an open-door policy on immigration and the legalization of gay marriage,' according to a New York Times/CBS News/MTV poll."

beSpacific: "New CDC report documents percentage of people without health insurance. In 2006, there were 43.6 million Americans of all ages who did not have health insurance (at the time of the interview), or 14.8 percent of the population."

"2008 pres"
7:02:27 PM     


Daily Kos: "Republicans are being torn asunder between their nativist base, and shifting demographics that could spell doom to any hope of future Republican majorities."

New West: "Silverthorne Police Chief Joe Russell was out of town last week when he found out that federal law-enforcement officials were conducting a series of raids to arrest illegal immigrants in his town last week. That was the first he'd heard of the sweep. Summit County Sheriff John Minor didn't find out about the raids until Friday, two days after they began, and 'Dillon Police Chief John Mackey also hadn't heard about the immigration sweep as of June 21,' reports Summit Daily reporter Bob Berwyn."

"2008 pres"
6:39:51 PM     

Energy policy: Oil shale development
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Colorado Confidential: "Democratic Congressman Mark Udall's Amendment 2 to the Interior Department budget that would delay the Bureau of Land Management's oil shale development plan was voted on twice in Congress today. The first two minute vote on the amendment led by only four votes in Congress. Udall's amendment passed 219 by 215 in a tally that bounced back and forth until the end."

"2008 pres"
6:34:36 PM     

Marijuana possesion Denver's lowest law enforcement priority?

Colorado Confidential: "A proposal to make marijuana the lowest enforcement priority looks headed for the ballot, after supporters announced today that they had obtained more than double the amount of petition signatures required to put the initiative up for a vote. According to Citizens for a Safer Denver, local group pushing for the measure, they have taken 10,500 signatures from registered Denver voters with approximately 4,000 needed qualify for the local ballot in November."

Meanwhile from TalkLeft: "Newsweek examines teen drinking this week. Experts say pot is better for them than alcohol"

"denver n2007"
6:32:51 PM     

Presidential Star Spangled Banner
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The JibJab kids are at it again with presidents since Franklin Roosevelt and their version of the Star Spangled Banner.

"2008 pres"
6:31:40 PM     


Oliver Willis: "I said that liberals shouldn't believe a .... word coming from Republicans suddenly against the war because when push comes to shove, they blink. Dick Lugar is just the latest to shuck and jive. Only Democrats can stop the war. Only they can stand up to Bush."

Andrew Sullivan: "Anbar Slides: Not encouraging news from the one place in Iraq where we were getting some."

Iraq the Model:

It's almost July now, and General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker will present their report about the situation in Iraq, military and political, at some point in September. I don't know what parameters the two men are going to list statistics for in their report but I expect it to show the results of fighting al-Qaeda and other armed groups in numbers, the progress in building the ISF in numbers, also in numbers and of course the report would include the progress, if any, that our political leaders will have made by the time.

I think what matters more than the way of presentation would be how the data in the report is going to be read and afterwards interpreted into attitudes and actions. One thing I hope the decision-makers and the media do when they read the report is to not isolate the war in Iraq from the war on terror and al-Qaeda as a whole, and at the same time put in mind the difference between war and nation-building. The latter takes much more time than winning a military conflict but requires different tools.

U.S. Senator Richard Lugar: "I rise today to offer observations on the continuing involvement of the United States in Iraq. In my judgment, our course in Iraq has lost contact with our vital national security interests in the Middle East and beyond. Our continuing absorption with military activities in Iraq is limiting our diplomatic assertiveness there and elsewhere in the world."

Political Wire: "'Public support for the war in Iraq has fallen to a new low and Republican support is beginning to waver,' according to a new CNN/Opinion Research poll. The survey found that 69% of those polled 'believe things are going badly in Iraq, and anti-war sentiment among GOP respondents has suddenly increased' with 38% of Republicans now saying they oppose the war. 'Moreover, 63% of Americans are ready to withdraw at least some troops from Iraq. Forty-two percent of Republicans agree.'"

"2008 pres"
6:25:10 PM     

Executive privilege

Talking Points Memo: "Waxman, Conyers put the squeeze on Gonzales: Six months ago, the National Archives asked the Justice Department for its opinion on Dick Cheney's 'fourth branch' theory, which he invoked to escape oversight by the Information Security Oversight Office. They're still waiting. Waxman and Conyers want to know why."

Here's Part IV of the Washington Post's series about Vice President Dick Cheney.

"2008 pres"
6:24:09 PM     

? for President?

Al Gore is in the lead in New Hampshire according to the New Hampshire Union Leader. They write:

A New Hampshire presidential poll by WHDH-TV and Suffolk University shows that local Democrats prefer Al Gore to any of the current contenders. Hillary Clinton has a solid lead over the rest of the current Democratic field. The poll, released this afternoon, shows 37 percent of likely Democratic voters backing Clinton or leaning towards her. Barack Obama was at 19 percent, with both John Edwards and Bill Richardson at 9 percent. Al Gore, however, could enter the race as the leader. When his name is added, Clinton loses more than a quarter of her support, while Gore is backed by 32 percent.

Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani lead the GOP field. The former Massachusetts governor is supported by 26 percent of likely GOP voters, with Giuliani slipping to 22 percent. John McCain and Fred Thompson are both at 13 percent, a major move backwards for McCain. Romney's support, which relies heavily on younger voters, is up 7 percent from a comparable poll in March, when he trailed Giuliani (37 percent) and McCain (27 percent).

Thanks to TPM Cafe for the link.

Talking Points Memo: "Rudy's dissembling on Bill Clinton's anti-terrorism record becomes so obvious that even Tucker Carlson calls him out on it."

Don't miss the PBS Democratic Forum tomorrow night.

Political Wire: "Rudy Giuliani is losing ground in three critical states -- Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, according to Quinnipiac's Swing State Poll, 'three simultaneous surveys of voters in states that have been pivotal in presidential elections since 1964.' Meanwhile, Fred Thompson is surging and has passed or tied Sen. John McCain in all three states. In the Democratic race, Sen. Hillary Clinton maintains solid leads over her primary rivals in each state." "Starting today I'm adding Bill Richardson to the Top Democrats charts for both state primaries and the national nomination polling...While Richardson is still in fourth place in both states (5th in NH if you include Gore), his is the only trajectory that is clearly moving up. So it seems fitting to start watching it with each new poll."

Political Wire: "According to a new Rasmussen Reports survey, Fred Thompson leads the Republican presidential aspirants with 27%, followed by Rudy Giuliani with 23%, Mitt Romney with 12%, and John McCain with 11%."

"2008 pres"
6:20:14 PM     

Bond issue on November ballot?

Here's an update about the proposed bond issue for Denver's November ballot from the Rocky Mountain News. They write:

Denver voters have a reputation for being generous at the ballot box. Still, persuading them to raise property taxes to pay for an unprecedented $631 million in infrastructure improvements and new projects could be tough. But placing the question or questions on the November ballot can only help, observers say. No statewide tax initiative is expected on the ballot, which means Denver's proposal would have nothing to compete with. In addition, November is a school board election, which tend to draw low voter turnout. "People who ballot shop as it were, shop for a low turnout election," said Susan Rogers, one of three election commissioners.

"denver n2007"
7:07:16 AM     

Denver Election Commission: Mail-in ballot for November election

The Denver Election Commission has decided on a all mail-in ballot in November, according to the Denver Post. This is really a paper ballot with a verifiable audit trail. From the article:

The Denver Election Commission voted unanimously Tuesday night to implement mail-in ballots for the November election. Stephanie O'Malley, who was elected clerk and recorder in May, said her office would not be prepared for a precinct or vote-center election by November, citing among other reasons time needed to transition from the three-member election commission.

In January, the commission was voted out in favor of an elected clerk and recorder, and Tuesday was the commission's last scheduled meeting. An operational audit of the commission, which will become the elections division of the clerk and recorder's office, is being planned.

"denver n2007"
7:00:00 AM     

South Platte River Task Force meeting
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From the Brighton Standand Blade, "The first meeting of the special South Platte River Basin Task Force, appointed by Gov. Bill Ritter to seek possible solutions for water users in the South Platte River basin in northeastern Colorado, will be his Friday at the Union Colony Civic Center in Greeley. The public and the media are encouraged to attend. The task force will hear public testimony and comment between 1 and 5 p.m.

"To sign up to speak either as a representative or an individual prior to June 29, contact Russ Zigler at 303-866-3556 or e-mail Russ at Contact him before noon June 28. Sign-up sheets will also be available at the meeting. Written comments can be mailed to Executive Director's Office, 1313 Sherman, seventh floor, Denver CO 80203 or e-mailed to"

"colorado water"
6:44:54 AM     

Federal dough for Colorado?
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U.S. Senator Wayne Allard has been busy getting dough for water projects in Colorado, according to the Greeley Tribune "reg". From the article:

U.S. Sen. Wayne Allard, R-Colo., has secured almost $79 million in funding for Colorado as part of the 2008 Energy and Water Appropriations bill. Part of the funding will be used on Chatfield Reservoir, just below the headwaters of the South Platte River, and for the Poudre River as it moves through Greeley. Allard is a member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development and said the funding was approved today. The full committee is expected to approve the funding bill on Thursday...

Projects included in the measure are $1.679 million for oeprations and maintenance at Chatfield Reservoir, including a direction that the Army Corps of Engineers continue work on the Chatfield Reallocation Study, and $340,000 to complete the Army Corps of Engineers feasibility study on the Poudre River. The Chatfield reallocation has to do with making more storage for water rather than keeping the reservoir partially empty during certain parts of a year to take any flood waters that may come down the South Platte from the mountains. The Poudre study has to do with its flood plain and channeling as it moves through Greeley.

"colorado water"
6:40:05 AM     

Relief for Cherokee District
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Coyote Gulch had a hunch that someone down towards Colorado Springs might have some excess water for sale this year if the Cherokee Metropolitan District needed it. According to the Colorado Springs Gazette CSU is going to start delivering two million gallons a day to Cherokee. From the article:

After restricting its customers from watering lawns and washing cars, the Cherokee Metropolitan District says it may be able to lift the ban as early as Friday afternoon. The Colorado Springs City Council unanimously agreed Tuesday to provide the hard-pressed district with nearly 2 million gallons of water a day. "Once I have this water actually flowing into the pipelines, I intend lifting the restrictions and going back to Stage 2," District general manager Kip Petersen said. Stage 2 restrictions allow customers to water on designated days twice a week for a maximum two hours. Hot weather and a refusal by customers to stay within Stage 2 confines in past weeks reduced supplies to dangerous levels, coming at what Petersen called the "worst possible time." Had the shortage occurred two weeks later and the water was flowing from Colorado Spring Utilities, he would have opted to stay at Stage 2...

District water supplies have been limited since the Colorado Supreme Court ruled in 2006 that Cherokee could not continue to take water from the Upper Black Squirrel District's sources. Colorado Springs Utilities will treat and deliver water from the Pueblo Board of Waterworks through the Fountain Valley pipeline...

The deal will come at no extra charge to the district's approximately 7,400 customers this year, but it may show up on monthly bills next year, Petersen said. It depends on the weather and water from various new wells and acquisitions, which should begin flowing within the next four to five weeks. Plans call for water to flow between Colorado Springs and Cherokee until the end of 2009, when construction of a line to a wastewater treatment plant will be completed. That will double well capacity, Petersen said, and should lift the district out of any water shortage problems.

"colorado water"
6:31:50 AM     

Colorado Springs' wastewater treatment
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The Colorado Springs Gazette is running an background article about wastewater treatment in Colorado Springs. From the article:

Some people may not want to think about what happens after they flush. Others may find it comforting to know where Colorado Springs' wastewater goes. About 13 percent of it, once treated, irrigates golf courses, medians and parks. The rest is spilled into Fountain Creek. But before that, it flows beneath the streets of the city in a labyrinth of pipes connecting homes and businesses to the wastewater treatment plant at 703 E. Las Vegas St...

If everything goes well, the wastewater makes it to the treatment plant, which treats an average of 42 million gallons a day. The plant can treat up to 75 million gallons per day most of the year or up to 15.4 billion gallons a year. The plant sees a daily decrease in its intake about 4 a.m., when most people are sleeping, and its largest increases on Thanksgiving, Christmas and late Saturday mornings...

Once wastewater arrives at the treatment plant, screens are used to separate sand, grit and other solids from the liquid before it goes through a series of treatments. The sludge from the plant is transported through a pipeline 18 miles to the Solids Handling and Disposal Facilities south of the city at Hanna Ranch and is injected into the ground...

Sewer Facts: Six hours is the longest time it takes sewage to flows from its source to the treatment plant when the system is functioning properly - this wastewater originates in northeast Colorado Springs, the most distant point from the sewage plant; About 87 percent of Colorado Springs' treated wastewater flows into Fountain Creek; the other 13 percent is sprinkled onto parks, golf courses and medians; The wastewater is propelled by gravity and by 14 pumps throughout the system; Up to 15.4 billion gallons of wastewater a year go through the current plant; 98 percent of sewage system backups are caused by grease or tree roots; The system includes about 1,500 miles of pipes beneath the city, with 30 to 35 miles added each year.

"colorado water"
6:23:40 AM     

Jimmy Camp Creek Reservoir?
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Here's an update on Colorado Springs proposed Jimmy Camp Creek Reservoir from the Colorado Springs Gazette. They write:

The site for the proposed Jimmy Camp Creek Reservoir contains "regionally and globally significant" plant and animal fossils and a large but unstudied fossil forest with trees 4 feet in diameter, according to Kirk Johnson, chief curator and vice president of research and collections at Denver Museum of Nature and Science. The site also is among the top 20 in the world for preservation of mammals from the first million years of their emergence, Johnson believes. "I would strongly encourage decision makers to consider alternate sites for the proposed reservoir," he said in a fivepage June 15 letter sent to the Bureau of Reclamation.

The bureau is assessing environmental impacts of seven methods the city could use to provide water through 2043, commonly called the Southern Delivery System. The city wants to pipe water from Pueblo Reservoir to Jimmy Camp Creek Reservoir for storage and treatment at a plant to be built north of Colorado Highway 94 in northeast Colorado Springs.

Johnson has studied the Jimmy Camp Creek area since 1996 as part of his investigation of ground, water and fossil formations in the Denver Basin, which stretches from Colorado Springs to Greeley. The reservoir site is in the southwest corner of the basin and includes one of the world's best examples of the Cretaceous-Tertiary (K-T) boundary, Johnson's letter said. The boundary is the moment in time separating the Cretaceous and Tertiary periods, about 65.5 million years ago, which coincides with the extinction of the dinosaurs. But the boundary is where either the dam or the reservoir would bury it.

Johnson notes rock layers range from 70 million to 64 million years old. The most common fossils are of leaves, petrified wood and bones and teeth of mammals and dinosaurs and other reptiles. He said the chance of finding a whole dinosaur skeleton is "high." He also said the area contains dozens of large petrified logs up to 50 feet long. "At one location in the proposed reservoir area, there is a buried forest of carbonized and ... fossil palm trunks," he wrote. Bureau of Reclamation spokeswoman Kara Lamb said Johnson's concerns are precisely the type the National Environmental Policy Act review is designed to consider. Lamb said findings such as Johnson's could lead to specific requirements during the reservoir's construction or its rejection entirely as a viable site.

Gary Bostrom, Springs Utilities' general manager of water supply, said the city has known since the 1990s the area may contain items of historical value. But officials moved ahead, buying land because, "At the time, the cultural resources were determined not to be a fatal flaw, nothing that would keep us from considering that as a viable reservoir site. It (archaeological value) may affect the viability of Jimmy Camp Creek, it may not," he said, referring to the Bureau's review. "If it does affect viability, there are alternatives to Jimmy Camp Creek, namely the Upper Williams Creek Reservoir." That site is east of Marksheffel Road near Bradley Road. The city doesn't own the site but has hired a consultant to appraise it and other land needed for the pipeline project. Bostrom also noted the reservoir won't be needed until roughly 2017. But the treatment plant, which would occupy the area Johnson contends is rich in fossil treasures, is part of the first phase due for completion in 2012.

More Coyote Gulch coverage here.

"colorado water"
6:15:57 AM     

Rio Grande fishery
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Here's a report about the recovering Rio Grande fishery from the Denver Post. From the article:

The Rio Grande is on the rise because of its wealth of trout food and a recent regulation change. Division of Wildlife biologist John Alves believes a 2002 rule switch that now allows two fish under 12 inches as opposed to two fish longer than 16 inches has caused more of the larger fish to survive. "Before that, if a fish reached 16 inches, it was out of there. Now we're seeing a lot more fish above that length," Alves said. Alves' 2005 survey at the Coller station between South Fork and Creede documented 67 pounds of fish per acre, with 24 fish larger than 14 inches. Both figures were more than double the count taken in 1997. A test site above Creede at Marshall Park recorded 55 pounds per acre, which translates to 1,600 trout longer than six inches per mile. A third site at State Bridge, toward Del Norte, showed fewer but larger trout, with a higher percentage of rainbows. Brown trout rule the Rio Grande, representing 92 percent of the biomass. If there is any negative to this plenitude, it is that much of the catch ranges from 12 to 14 inches - a testament both to the sagacious nature of older brown trout and the rigors of higher elevation.

"colorado water"
6:04:03 AM     

Long term Fry Ark storage contracts
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Here's an article about The Bureau of Reclamation and excess storage contracts in Lake Pueblo from the Pueblo Chieftain. They write:

Although only one long-term contract has been issued to store water in Fryingpan-Arkansas Project space at Lake Pueblo, other water users are eligible for long-term excess capacity contracts, Bureau of Reclamation officials said Tuesday. Reclamation has contracted for excess capacity space - which is not needed by the Fry-Ark Project - with about 30 different water users on a year-to-year basis over the past 20 years. Although 131,000 acre-feet of space is available on average, Reclamation on average issues 20,000 acre-feet of contracts. The requests have grown in the past five years since the drought of 2002. This year, 54,270 acre-feet of contracts were issued to 20 users, who are currently storing 46,197 acre-feet of water, said Tom Musgrove, manager of the Pueblo office. The number is the highest amount of temporary contracts ever issued for Lake Pueblo and represent about one-quarter of the water currently stored in Lake Pueblo...

Any water user may apply directly to the Bureau of Reclamation for the contracts, [Reclamation spokeswoman Kara Lamb explained Tuesday] said. Criteria for the long-term contracts are the same as for short-term contracts: There must be a beneficial end use, and the contract holder must own the water rights, Lamb said. The same rules apply to exchange contracts, she said...

Under a 2006 environmental assessment, Reclamation determined there would be no significant impact to the Arkansas River for the next five years from storing up to 80,000 acre-feet under temporary contracts. Most users within the basin would meet the criteria of that study, [Tom Musgrove, manager of the Pueblo office] said. A long-term contract would require its own environmental assessment, he added. The Pueblo Board of Water Works is the only water user in the valley with a long-term contract. It obtained a 25-year contract for up to 15,000 acre-feet in 2000. Its contract now calls for 6,000 acre-feet.

Aurora is seeking a 40-year contract for up to 10,000 acre-feet from Reclamation. There is also a provision for up to 10,000 acre-feet of exchange, a paper trade, in the pending contract. Reclamation has not offered the contract, but is reviewing public comments. An offer is expected later this summer and would still have to be approved by Aurora City Council. Colorado Springs plans to apply for a 40-year contract of up to 28,000 acre-feet, and Pueblo West is considering applying for a long-term contract for as much as 9,000 acre-feet.

More Coyote Gulch coverage here.

"colorado water"
5:57:31 AM     

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