STAGECOACH STATE PARK OPENS NEW CROSS-COUNTRY SKI LOOP
Stagecoach State Park has opened a new Winter Loop cross-country ski trail on the frozen reservoir’s surface. The 7-mile, 10-ft. wide loop trail is located on ice that is 20 inches thick and has a snow covering of 20 inches. The trail is accessible from the Keystone Day Use Area and Morrison Cove parking lot, and the parking lot along Routt County Road 14. The Friends of Stagecoach State Park helped sponsor the trail by donating $2,000 toward the purchase of snow poles for marking a trail and grooming equipment. The new trail provides more opportunities for ice fishing, cross-country skiing, snow shoeing, sledding, dog sled tours, winter photography, and bird watching during the winter season at the park. For more information about Stagecoach State Park, click here.
LAWMAKERS PROPOSE EXTENDING WIND ENERGY TAX CREDIT
A transportation funding bill has been amended to extend the wind energy tax credit for another year. The measure would be paid for by delaying the implementation of a corporate accounting technicality, which Congress has delayed three other times. Senator Michael Bennet is a co-sponsor of the bill. He says failure to extend the tax credit would be an economic blow to Colorado, costing about 1,600 jobs in the state. The House will be voting on key parts of the transportation bill today, and the Senate is likely to take it up after next week’s recess.
SENATE COMMITTEE APPROVES CIVIL UNION LEGISLATION
The Colorado Senate has given first approval to civil union legislation that would grant gay couples rights similar to married couples, joining several other states in taking up the issue this year. Yesterday’s vote brings gay couples a step closer to a showdown in the Republican-controlled House, which is likely to determine the bill’s outcome. A Senate committee approved the legislation on a 5-2 vote with one Republican joining the Democrats on the committee. Opponents complain that civil unions would eventually lead to the legalization of same-sex marriages in Colorado. However, civil unions are as far as the lawmakers can go because of the voter-approved amendment to Colorado’s constitution banning same-sex marriage. The new legislation is expected to clear the full Senate. A nearly identical bill failed last year in the House Judiciary Committee, which still has the same members today and is expected to handle the bill again. If it fails at that same point, supporters vow to keep on trying.
OPPONENTS WANT MORE OVERSIGHT OVER ELECTRONIC VOTING MACHINES
Opponents of proposed rules to relax oversight of electronic voting machines are urging Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler to increase oversight to avoid fraud. During a hearing Tuesday on proposed rule changes, Gessler and Pueblo County Clerk and Recorder Gilbert Ortiz said they believe there would still be sufficient safeguards. The proposed changes would reduce the required number of seals designed to prevent tampering, end continuous video surveillance of the machines and leave investigations of suspicious incidents to county officials instead of the Secretary of State’s office. Mandatory inspection of the machines by the secretary of state’s office would also be eliminated.
SENATE COMMITTEE APPROVES ELECTRONIC RECYCLING BILL
The Senate Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Energy Committee has approved the Electronic Recycling Jobs Act, to create new jobs in the recycling industry. According to the Colorado Association for Recycling, the bill will create as many as 2,500 recycling jobs in Colorado. In addition, the Electronic Recycling Jobs Act will keep used electronic products out of the landfills, and send them to recycling facilities so that the valuable materials contained in them can be preserved for future use. The measure is expected to help strengthen local economies by helping waste and recycling businesses to expand or create new facilities throughout Colorado. It does not create any additional fees, will not require any state dollars, and creates a waiver process for communities that do not have access to electronic recycling. In addition, state agencies will be able to take advantage of existing private national certifications for handling electronic waste. The bill now goes for consideration by the full Senate.
B.L.M. SPONSORS ART CONTEST FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS
The Bureau of Land Management’s Colorado State Office, in partnership with the Public Lands Foundation and the Center of the American West, will host a juried art contest for Colorado high school students to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the General Land Office. The contest is framed around an educational presentation covering the history of the GLO and the BLM and the role the GLO played on the development of the American West. The presentation is designed as a self-guided lesson that will provide background information and inspiration for the contest submissions. Artwork may include photography, drawing, graphic design, video, animation, or other medium. Artists should include a written statement of between 250 and 350 words, connecting the artwork to the value of public lands, their personal experience or connection to public lands, and how public lands are part of their family heritage and the role they play in their future. You can find out how to enter by clicking on the link below.
MARIJUANA ACTIVISTS PLAN PROTEST A OBAMA’S CAMPAIGN OFFICE
Marijuana activists are headed to an Obama campaign office to protest what they consider “hostile actions” from the administration. Pot activists say that President Barack Obama’s administration is making “attacks” on medical marijuana patients. Several activists will be at a campaign office in Lakewood today to hand out pamphlets and criticize the administration’s approach to marijuana. A spokeswoman for the Obama campaign in Colorado had no immediate statement on the marijuana protest. Similar protests were planned in six other states, some at Obama campaign offices and some at federal buildings.
In high school sports:
Moffat County, Steamboat, Soroco, Hayden, Meeker, and Rangely will all send wrestlers to the state tournament in Denver. You can catch all the action live on KRAI. Our broadcast starts at 2:45 this afternoon.
In Nordic skiing:
Steamboat goes to the state meet in Minturn.
The state tournament continues in Denver. Coverage tomorrow on KRAI starts at 9:45.
Moffat County travels to Steamboat. The girls play at 6 and the boys at 7:30.
Meeker hosts Rangely. The girls tip off at 5:30 and the boys at 7.
The Soroco boys are on the road to play Debeque at 6:30.
The Hayden boys play at Vail Mountain at 6:30.
Little Snake River Valley goes to HEM. The girls start at 7 and the boys at 8:30.
In Nordic skiing:
Steamboat continues at the state meet in Minturn.