ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT AVAILABLE FOR REHABILITATION OF DEERLODGE ROAD
An Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Rehabilitation of Deerlodge Road is now available. The EA evaluated a no action alternative and the preferred alternative. Under the no action alternative, the road would not be rehabilitated and the park would continue routine road maintenance and minor repairs as it has in the past. The preferred alternative includes resurfacing, restoring, reconstructing, bank stabilization measures, and installing new drainage measures along the 12.7-mile stretch of Deerlodge Road. The proposed project is being considered to address deficiencies in the condition of the road and safety concerns. The current pavement has exceeded its service life in many locations, which has led to surface cracks, rutting, buckling, and unraveling of the pavement edge. In addition, the Yampa River has encroached to within 50 feet of the edge of the pavement in the Oxbow area. The road pavement and structural integrity deterioration, drainage problems, and bank erosion have impacted the road surface to an unacceptable and potentially unsafe level. The EA will be on public review for 30 days, with comments accepted through March 8, 2013. The document is available electronically for review and comment online by clicking here.
AVALANCHE DANGER HIGH IN WESTERN COLORADO
The Colorado Avalanche Information Center says the danger of snow slides is high in the western mountains. Officials said yesterday a major snowstorm brought heavy snow last week, creating dangerous slabs of ice and snow that can easily trigger large, deep and dangerous avalanches. On Saturday, there were at least five avalanches across the state, leaving one person dead.
FEDERAL LAWMAKERS WORKING ON POT LEGALIZATION MEASURES
Reports say an effort is building in the U.S. Congress to change the nation’s marijuana laws. The word is that the federal government is contemplating legalizing hemp production, and establish a pot tax. According to the Associated Press, representatives from several states, including Oregon and Colorado have been drafting legislation that would legalize the drug on a federal level. One of those proposals could be introduced today, although experts say a legalization bill probably won’t get much support yet. Colorado Democratic Representative Jared Polis is the sponsor of the bill that will be introduced today. His measure would give marijuana the same legal standing it has in Colorado today. It would rename the ATF as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Marijuana and Firearms, and that organization would take oversight of the drug from the DEA.
PUBLIC MEETING HELD ON THE FUTURE OF PRAIRIE CHICKENS
A public meeting was held yesterday to discuss ways to protect the lesser prairie chicken. Representatives from state and federal agencies were on hand to discuss a management plan developed by wildlife biologists from Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas. The goal is to protect habitat to keep the birds from becoming a threatened species. Some ranchers, wind farms and others are worried that listing the bird as threatened could hurt their operations by leading to more regulations on the bird’s habitat. The lesser prairie chicken has feathered feet and a stout build. Males display brilliant yellow-orange eye combs and reddish-purple air sacs during courtship displays.
“MAKE MY DAY BETTER” LAW FAILS
Democrats rejected a Republican proposal to give business owners and employees in Colorado the right to use deadly force against suspected intruders. The so-called “Make My Day Better” bill failed yesterday in a Democrat-led House committee. Republicans have pushed the proposal for several years. The bill would expand to businesses the legal protections that exist for people who use deadly force at home under the state’s “Make My Day” law. Republicans say business owners and employees should be able to protect themselves like people at home. But opponents of the bill say it would give businesses too much discretion to use deadly force.
PROPOSAL TO ALLOW EVOLUTION DEBATE IN SCHOOLS IS DEFEATED
A Republican proposal urging Colorado public schools and colleges to support debates on evolution and global warming failed to advance in the Legislature. The proposal sought to create a friendly environment for debates on what the bill sponsor called controversial science issues, such as evolution. Democrats voted down the proposal yesterday in the House Education Committee. The Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education opposed the bill, saying it would “muddy the waters” of science education. Republican Representative Stephen Humphrey says his goal was to open scientific debate, not dictate discussion on religious teachings. The bill would have urged schools to support discussions relating to evolution, global warming and other topics. Schools and colleges would not have been monitored for enforcement.
LAWMAKERS TO LEGALIZE AUTOMATED CARS
Cars without drivers could be possible on Colorado roads – but first lawmakers have to change state law to make them legal. The state Legislature is poised to do just that under a bill up for its first debate in a Colorado Senate committee this week. The Transportation Committee will consider whether Colorado should become at least the fifth state to change the law to specifically allow automated cars. The driverless cars are developed in California by Google. Colorado’s proposal would state that automated cars must still contain licensed drivers, and the cars must contain an “override switch” so they can be driven manually if needed. The “drivers” in automated cars would be allowed to text or type.
LOVELAND STAMPING VALENTINE’S DAY CARDS
Volunteers in Loveland are beginning to stamp this year’s Valentine’s Day cards sent to the northern Colorado city for its romantic postmark. The Loveland Chamber of Commerce said Monday an estimated 160,000 valentines are expected this year. For 67 years, people from around the world have been sending pre-addressed and stamped cards to Loveland to be postmarked and re-mailed to their loved ones. However, some people request that their cards not be stamped until Feb. 14.
In high school sports:
Steamboat goes to Rifle.