ENERGY GROUP OPTIMISTICALLY CAUTIOUS ABOUT OBAMA’S ENERGY PLANS
The Western Energy Alliance says when it comes to energy issues in the U-S, president Obama said all the right things in his State of the Union Address last night, but the group still feels they are empty words. While the president touted the benefits of increased domestic natural gas production, the Alliance says the president’s actions contradict his words. They point to Obama’s rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline project as a prime example. Experts say the project would have gone a long way toward severing the country’s independence on foreign oil, while at the same time creating tens of thousands of jobs. The Western Energy Alliance also points to Interior Department decisions to close western lands off to oil and gas exploration. The group has published an outline of specific actions that must be taken to realize the full benefit of western energy. That outline can be found here.
SNOWBOARDER DIES AFTER BEING FOUND UNRESPONSIVE AT STEAMBOAT SKI AREA
The man who was found unresponsive near a frozen creek at the Steamboat Ski Area Monday, has died. The man was identified as 32-year old Aaron Easter. He was snowboarding on the mountain, when he apparently fell into a depression in the snow over the creek. When he was found, fellow skiers performed CPR until Ski Patrol showed up and took him off the mountain. He was taken to Yampa Valley Medical Center, and then flown to a Denver hospital, where he was pronounced dead after extensive life saving efforts.
IMPROVEMENTS MADE TO CRAIG FISHING HOLE FOR SAFETY
Most of the major work is done on an improved fishing hole at Loudy Simpson Park. The Moffat County Commissioner wanted to fill in the low ground across the highway from the main park area. However the area is deemed wetlands, and by law, cannot be filled in. So the commissioners did the next best thing, and dug the hole deeper, creating a safer and hopefully more productive fishing hole. There is still much work to be done on the area surrounding the hole. The commissioners would like to eventually create a picnic area around the hole, and guard rails are planned near the road. While the commissioners insist the project was created for the entire community, it will also provide an easier access to the area for children and the handicapped. They’re also hoping other entertainment opportunities will pop up for the area when the project is complete.
THREE STEAMBOAT PROJECTS RECEIVE NATIONAL PUBLIC WORKS AWARDS
Three city projects in Steamboat have received awards from the American Public Works Association. The Urban Renewal Authority’s Base Area Promenade and Burgess Creek Day Lighting project at the base of the Steamboat Ski Area won an award in engineering and construction. The project includes a snow-melted walkway, fire pits, lighted signs, and water features, that have been praised by shop owners and visitors alike. The Bar Screen Replacement Project took an award in the water/sewer category. Workers were touted for replacing aging, inefficient bar screening technology at the Wastewater Treatment Plant with state of the art stair screening technology. The move was a cost saving one for the city. The third award came in the streets and traffic category. The Multi-Modal Sharrow Installation project is described as an innovative and cost effective way to encourage multi-modal transportation. It consists of signage and symbols painted on the road to remind motorists to share the road with bicyclists. The awards were handed out Monday at a ceremony in Denver.
YOUTH HOCKEY TOURNAMENT SPURS MINOR IMPROVEMENTS TO LOUDY SIMPSON ICE ARENA
The Moffat County Commissioners have agreed to make some improvements to the Loudy Simpson Ice Arena before a hockey tournament next month. The request was made by Terry Barber, a youth hockey coach. Barber says when looking for tournaments for the younger kids to participate in, he realized any tournament they entered would cost around $1,500. So with help from parents and other community members, he created the Cold Corner Cup Tournament in Craig, which will be half the price for visiting teams. There will be a total of 6 teams from Colorado and Wyoming in the tournament. Most of the requests Barber presented to the board had to do with power and space issues. The commissioners deferred to their facilities manager, who said the majority of the requests could be handled easily. The Cold Corner Cup Tournament will be held February 18th through the 20th.
STEAMBOAT LOOKS FOR PUBLIC INPUT ON CHANGES IN DEVELOPMENT REVIEW PROCESS
The City of Steamboat is looking for public input on proposed changes to their development review processes. The city is trying to provide more efficient, predictable, and cost effective reviews of development proposals. Some of the changes include adjusting the way their timing on providing variances for certain projects, and reducing the number of public hearings it takes to get a project done. The proposed changes will be discussed tomorrow at a meeting at Centennial Hall. It starts at 5 and the public is encouraged to show up and make comments.
STATE UNEMPLOYMENT RATE IS DOWN SLIGHTLY
The jobs picture continues to improve here in Colorado. The latest numbers show the unemployment rate decreased one-tenth of a percent in December even while more people were looking for work. 12,300 new jobs were created in December – down 4 percent from November. But for all of 2011, nearly 24,000 new jobs were created, and that pushed the unemployment rate down one full point to 7.9 percent.
In high school sports:
The Moffat County girls beat Steamboat, while the boys lost.
Steamboat lost to both Eagle Valley and Glenwood.
The Meeker girls are on the road to play Steamboat’s J-V squad at 5:30.