Coyote Gulch


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  Monday, February 11, 2008

La Nina strengthens
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Wold Meterological Organization: "The current La Niña event, characterized by a cooling of the sea surface in the central and eastern Equatorial Pacific, has strengthened slightly in recent months and is expected to continue through the first quarter of 2008, with a likelihood of persisting through to the middle of the year. The ongoing La Niña event started in the third quarter of 2007 and has already influenced climate patterns during the last six months across many parts of the globe, including in the Equatorial Pacific, across the Indian Ocean, Asia, Africa and the Americas. During the last three months, La Niña conditions have become slightly stronger. Sea surface temperatures are now about 1.5 to 2 degrees Celsius colder than average over large parts of the central and eastern Equatorial Pacific. This La Niña is in the mid range of past historically recorded events, but the slight further cooling in recent months will likely place it on the stronger side of the middle range."

"colorado water"
6:51:40 PM     


Ed Cone: "I had my annual physical this morning, and I was thinking about a couple of thoughtful posts by Dave Winer -- a man who has been in the system as a patient, and who considers himself lucky to have good health insurance. Of course, Dave is a successful entrepreneur. I wonder: how many more successful entrepreneurs might we have if people weren't tied to jobs because that's the only way they can afford decent health insurance?"

"2008 pres"
6:40:51 PM     

? for President?

Political Wire: "The latest Gallup tracking poll shows Sen. Hillary Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama essentially tied nationally in the Democratic presidential race, with Clinton at 46% and Obama at 44%. Clinton's lead over Obama has eroded over the past five days. On the Republican side, the results show Sen. John McCain with 56% and Mike Huckabee with 25%."

Political Wire: "First Read: 'So who's ahead in the delegate count? In the race to earn delegates via the primary and caucus system, Obama's ahead of Clinton 943-895 in the official NBC count. NBC's Elections Unit allocates delegates after all of the returns are in for each Congressional District and the splits between the two candidates can be determined accurately. There are still 132 delegates to be allocated. Our best guess is that once our colleagues in the Elections Unit are able to accurately count each delegate, the pledged delegate count is 1021-25 for Obama to Clinton's 950-954. Toss in the superdelegate endorsements each campaign is claiming (263 for Clinton, 175 for Obama) and Clinton can claim a VERY narrow overall delegate lead going into tomorrow's contest -- perhaps the lead is as little as 17 delegates. It's a deficit Obama can make up tomorrow with decisive wins in the Chesapeake primaries.'"

Political Wire: "The latest SurveyUSA poll before Tuesday's Virginia primary shows Sen. Barack Obama leading Sen. Hillary Clinton, 60% to 38%, in the Democratic presidential race. In the GOP race, Sen John McCain leads Mike Huckabee, 48% to 37%. However, in the last 72 hours, McCain is down 9 points while Huckabee is up 12 points."

Political Wire: "The latest AP/Ipsos national poll shows Sen. Barack Obama beating Sen. John McCain in a potential general election match up, 48% to 42%. Sen. Hillary Clinton edges McCain, 46% to 45%."

Political Wire: "A new American Research Group poll in Maryland shows Sen. Barack Obama leading Hillary Clinton, 55% to 37%. In Virginia, Obama leads Clinton 56% to 38%. On the Republican side in Maryland, John McCain leads Mike Huckabee 50% to 25%. In Virginia, McCain leads Huckabee 54% to 32%."

Colorado Confidential: "Superdelegates, not Super Tuesday, may settle Dem nomination."

Colorado Confidential: "Representatives from the DNC Gay and Lesbian Leadership Council and the National Stonewall Democrats will join Dean and Daughtry at today's luncheon meeting at Palettes in the Denver Art Museum. Other dignitaries at the special event include Colorado Democratic Party chair Pat Waak, state Stonewall chair Jeffrey Shaw, Sen. Jennifer Veiga and Rep. Mark Ferrandino. The gay community is playing a big part in convention activities. Dean appointed seven LGBT members to sit on the convention's standing committee that oversees the platform, credentials and rules sub-committees. In 2006, the DNC adopted new rules that will increase the number of LGBT delegates at the 2008 Democratic Convention."

"2008 pres"
6:32:30 PM     

Middle East policy

Captain's Quarters: "The Dadullah family has had a string of bad luck. First, the Taliban inner circle member Mullah Dadullah got killed in a NATO attack a year ago when the Americans imposed a much more aggressive strategy in dealing with Taliban probes and ambushes. Now his brother Mansoor, a top field commander for the Taliban, finds himself a prisoner of the Pakistani Army after losing a shootout."

"2008 pres"
6:50:37 AM     


beSpacific: "The Committee for Economic Development (CED)...released a new report - Harnessing Openness to Transform American Health Care (94 pages, PDF) - that focuses on how to improve health care by giving people more access to information and making the information more responsive to their contributions. The report touches on the entire production system for health care from biomedical research to clinical trials to electronic health care records and patient/doc interactions. It also addresses open access publishing of research results and access to clinical trial data, openness in public health, the impact of greater openness on approval of medical devices, and open models of innovation. The report was prepared by CED's Digital Connections Council (DCC). The DCC is a group of information technology experts from CED-affiliated companies established to advise CED on the policy issues associated with the digital economy and emerging technologies. This report follows the late 2007 release of CED's report, Quality, Affordable Health Care For All: Beyond The Employer-based Health-insurance System, which includes findings and recommendations on health care reform from CED.'"

"2008 pres"
6:43:50 AM     

? for President?

Josh Marshall: "I already noted in the post below the comically unfolding story of Washington state GOP chair Luke Esser, who decided to stop counting the votes in the state GOP caucus with 13% of the votes still uncounted and has spent the last 24 hours coming up with increasingly ridiculous explanations of his actions. TPM Reader NM just flagged this article in the Seattle Times which quotes Esser now saying that the state GOP is going to try to get as "close as we can to 100 percent" of the vote counted. I mean, don't knock yourself out, right?"

"2008 pres"
6:40:03 AM     

Wastewater news
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From The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, "Thousands of residents who live in Fruitvale and Pear Park may have gotten a surprise this week when they opened their sewer service bills. The rate charged by the Central Grand Valley Sanitation District nearly doubled from $4.56 to $9 a month, hiking residents' overall bills more than 31 percent from $14.93 to $19.63...Central Grand Valley, along with Orchard Mesa and Fruitvale sanitation districts, collect sewage within their boundaries and empty the waste into the city of Grand Junction's system. The waste is then treated at the Persigo Wastewater Treatment Plant. Compared to Central Grand Valley's 31 percent rate increase, the city of Grand Junction increased its sewer rates 2.5 percent this year from $14.25 to $14.60. City officials said part of the money will help pay for the installation of a geothermal heating system at Persigo. Orchard Mesa Sanitation District increased its rate from $3.84 to $3.88 a month and sent out two notices to customers, a district official said. Fruitvale Sanitation District did not increase its $1 a month charge. The charge from the special districts covers the maintenance and operations of their pipelines."

"colorado water"
6:30:26 AM     

Colorado Rural Water Association
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Here's a profile of the Colorado Rural Water Association from The Pueblo Chieftain. They write:

"The Environmental Protection Agency estimates there is a $1 trillion need nationwide for water and wastewater systems," said Rich Hayes, manager of the Colorado Rural Water Association. "That's a challenge for all water systems, but particularly the smaller ones in areas where the kids have grown up and moved away, leaving only mom and dad behind." The association is headquartered in Pueblo West, where Hayes, 60, was once the utilities director. It will host its annual convention Feb. 18-21 in Colorado Springs. The group was formed in 1980 when Pueblo West and the St. Charles Mesa Water District noticed they were facing the same sorts of problems: small systems, increasing federal standards and the need for certified operators. The Colorado unit is part of the National Rural Water Association, which has a branch in every state except Hawaii and is 26,000 members strong. In Colorado, about 600 of the state's 1,000 small water systems are members, with support from some larger municipal water providers as well, Hayes said. "We support those water systems that serve less than 10,000 people," Hayes said. "That's about 95 percent of them."

The association provides help in a number of ways. At the annual convention, which will be at the Doubletree Hotel, 1775 E. Cheyenne Mountain Blvd., there are tracks for water plant operators, wastewater plant operators, managers and emerging technologies. The group also offers workshops at the Pueblo West training facility, regional workshops and mobile training units that travel to different parts of the state. Last week, the first online training sessions began as well. That's important to small water providers, because plant operators often do double-duty as utility supervisors or town managers. "A lot of small towns are lucky to have one certified operator," Hayes said. "Yet, they have to meet the same requirements as larger systems." While a growing community like Pueblo West can budget ahead for its needs, usually through plant water investment fees, smaller areas might actually be losing population and cannot provide their own resources for training, Hayes explained. The association relies on EPA grants to fund many of its activities, which are offered at reduced costs or no charge to members, Hayes said. "The biggest challenge is finding the resources to keep up with repairs and meet new regulations for drinking water and wastewater," Hayes said. The group also is working with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the EPA on source water protection - ensuring water quality of the water that enters systems.

"colorado water"
6:25:10 AM     

Conservation Innovation Grants
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From the Natural Resource Conservation Service, "Colorado is participating in the 2008 Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) State Component. CIG is a voluntary program intended to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies while leveraging Federal investment in environmental enhancement and protection, in conjunction with agricultural production. Under CIG, Environmental Quality Incentives Program funds are used to award competitive grants to non-Federal governmental or non-governmental organizations, Tribes, or individuals. CIG enables NRCS to work with other public and private entities to accelerate technology transfer and adoption of promising technologies and approaches to address some of the Nation's most pressing natural resource concerns. CIG will benefit agricultural producers by providing more options for environmental enhancement and compliance with Federal, State, and local regulations. NRCS administers CIG. Additional information concerning this program is available on the NRCS National Website. To obtain the 2008 Colorado NRCS state CIG request for proposals go to, click on "Find Grant Opportunities", and do a "Basic Search" on Funding Opportunity Number a USDA-NRCS-CO-08-01. Complete application packages must be received by March 31, 2008."

"colorado water"
6:14:48 AM     

Climate Change: The earth is a beautifully complex system
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Climate change and the effects on water supplies will be the focus of tomorrow's meeting of the Rio Grande Roundtable according to The Pueblo Chieftain. From the article:

The Rio Grande Basin Roundtable will get its first look at how climate change may affect water supplies across the Southwestern U.S. Tuesday when it hosts its monthly meeting at 2 p.m. at the Inn of the Rio Grande. Jason Vogel, of Stratus Consulting in Boulder, will be the headlined speaker at the meeting, which also will include updates on the habitat conservation plan for the Southwestern Willow Flycatcher and the work of the roundtable's nonconsumptive-use committee...

Vogel's presentation will include discussion of potential impacts of climate change to the Rio Grande Basin, but these will be derived or extrapolated from possible regional impacts, rather than specific studies of the headwaters or the San Luis Valley. "I think the researchers are very cautious as to what the specific result may be, but there is some level of comfort on possible regional impacts of climate change," Gibson said. Gibson hopes that following the presentation the roundtable can put together a small group to look at the implications of climate change and consider developing strategies to mitigate any possible impacts. "My interests and I think the roundtable's interests should be if there is a possibility of impacts, then what do we need to be thinking about today to perhaps be in a position to address them," he said...

Climate change may confront communities with less snowpack, earlier runoff, bigger precipitation events and a changing growing season for farmers. It may also pose impacts on wildlife and on wildfires. Gibson raised the example of how climate change might affect Colorado's management of the Rio Grande Compact as one topic worth exploring. He also noted that projects that are currently on the drawing board, such as the possible expansion of the Rio Grande Reservoir west of Creede, may have much more relevance if capturing runoff becomes tougher.

"colorado water"
6:06:59 AM     

Meetings to discuss management of Blue River
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Federal and state agencies involved in the management of the Blue River have scheduled two meetings this week according to The Denver Post. From the article:

Two public meetings are scheduled to hear plans and comments for a management plan for the lower Blue River. The first will be from 7-10 p.m. on Tuesday at the Silverthorne Library. The second is scheduled for Wednesday from 5-8 p.m. at the Kremmling Chamber of Commerce.

Federal agencies such as the Bureau of Land Management, Forest Service and Bureau of Reclamation have joined with the Colorado Division of Wildlife, Summit County, Grand County and private landowners to form a stakeholder group to examine use parameters for the roughly 15 miles of river between Green Mountain Dam and the confluence with the Colorado River west of Kremmling. A key component of the plan will be the pending BLM proposed land exchange with a large ranch. An environmental impact statement regarding the swap is expected in 2007, but the federal land agency's preliminary report does not list public recreation as a primary goal. Conversely, the Forest Service considers quality public recreation a top priority for the approximately 3 miles of shoreline it controls just below the dam. Of those 15 miles, 70 percent is private, 17 percent is controlled by the BLM and 13 percent by the Forest Service.

"colorado water"
5:57:35 AM     

Energy policy: Solar
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From The Fort Collins Coloradoan, "The Governor's Energy Office is partnering with interested cities to create a $1 million initiative for solar rebates. The program will offer matching grants of up to $25,000 for local solar electric and solar domestic hot water rebates. For more information on the Residential Solar Program, contact Colorado Solar Energy Industries Association at (303) 333-7342 or"

"2008 pres"
5:45:34 AM     

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