COMMISSIONERS WILL DRAFT MORATORIUMS ON POT ACTIVITY
The Moffat County Commissioners yesterday decided to come up with a couple of moratoriums regarding marijuana activities in the county. Commissioner Chuck Grobe will draw up a moratorium for retail marijuana shops, something they declined to do immediately after the passage of Amendment 64. The moratorium wasn’t necessary at the time, as retail shops aren’t allowed to open until the state comes up with regulations governing the shops. However, marijuana clubs, clubs where patrons can bring their own marijuana and smoke freely, have been opening on the front range, and the commissioners have decided to deal with both issues at once. The second moratorium will temporarily prevent clubs from opening within the county. The commissioners said they don’t want to get caught napping when the state regulation come out. The commissioners and Attorney Brett Starkey agree that the state won’t likely meet their deadline for coming up with regulations, which will leave regulation up to counties. Starkey also says even if the state does meet its deadline, the regulations are likely to be so vague, the county will want to come up with some of its own regulations, as well.
AMERICAN LEGION BUILDING STILL BELONGS TO COUNTY
The American Legion in Craig still has not been able to buy the building their housed in from Moffat County. There was a plan in place less than two years ago to sell the building to the American Legion. However, the plan fell apart when the American Legion applied for a grant to make the purchase. The County Commissioners agreed to pay the Legion’s application fee. As soon as the American Legion sent the money in to Silver State Savings out of Nevada, Silver State disappeared. That was in the fall of 2011. Since then, the FBI has been investigating Silver State, and according to American Legion commander Jake Garcia, the owner has been arrested and has appeared in court. Garcia isn’t holding his breath that he’ll get that application fee back, which was somewhere in the neighborhood of $3,500. It’s not clear if or when the American Legion will try again to obtain the building, once known as the Shadow Mountain Clubhouse.
COLORADO/WYOMING SHERIFF’S ORGANIZATIONS OPPOSE GUN CONTROL
Colorado and Wyoming Sheriff’s have both issued statements regarding proposed gun control legislation following the mass shooting in Connecticut. The County Sheriff’s of Colorado have recommended that gun control bills be tabled for at least a year, to prevent knee-jerk reactions to the tragedy. Moffat County Sheriff Tim Jantz has urged citizens not to berate either side for their opinions, as emotions seem to be running high on both sides of the argument. Jantz is a staunch supporter of the second amendment, and says he won’t support legislation to ban firearms. The Wyoming Association of Sheriffs and Chiefs of Police issued a 7 point statement that outlines their collective opinion. It includes vowing to support and uphold the U.S. and Wyoming Constitutions, supporting the state’s gun heritage, and their opposition to banning weapons.
FOREST OFFICIALS TO ADDRESS SKI AREA WATER RIGHTS
A U.S. Forest Service official says the agency expects to begin a public process this spring to craft a directive addressing ski resorts and valuable water rights. The agency had adopted a clause that said ski resorts seeking permits to operate on public land had to transfer water rights for the land to the federal government. It said it wanted to ensure water rights needed for snowmaking on the land weren’t sold. After the National Ski Areas Association sued, the judge ruled in December that the Forest Service hadn’t followed procedure in adopting the clause and said it should try again. Regional forester Daniel Jiron told Colorado legislators Monday the Forest Service will work with the ski industry and others to craft a new directive.
PARKS AND WILDLIFE LOOKING FOR ROUNDTABLE VOLUNTEERS
Colorado Parks and Wildlife is looking for volunteers to serve on a new statewide advisory panel that will provide feedback for the agency on hunting, fishing and wildlife management issues in Colorado. The Colorado Sportsmen’s Roundtable will meet twice a year to discuss issues and help the agency understand the views and ideas of Colorado’s hunters and anglers. The agency hopes the group will provide a forum for identifying important issues and working with sportsmen to help protect fish, wildlife and habitat as well as preserving Colorado’s hunting heritage. Individuals interested in serving on the Colorado Sportsmen’s Roundtable can complete a short online application to describe their involvement in hunting and fishing and their interest in representing their fellow hunters and anglers. The application can be found by clicking here.
WILDFIRE RELIEF TAKEN OUT OF DISASTER BILL
Colorado politicians are steaming that $125 million in aid for last year’s wildfires was removed from the Sandy relief bill. The Republican-controlled House of Representatives stripped that funding from the Sandy bill before approving it last week. That infuriated Colorado’s two Democratic Senators. They had gotten the money included in the original legislation that passed the Senate. On Monday, after the Senate agreed to the House’s $51 billion version, Senator Michael Bennet issued a statement blasting the money’s removal. Republican Congressman Cory Gardner complained about the money getting stricken as the bill moved through the House. Republican leadership has pledged to work on getting the funds to Colorado and other western states. Last year’s western wildfires destroyed hundreds of homes and scorched millions of acres.
AUDIT OF GESSLER VOTED DOWN
A request to audit Colorado Secretary of State Gessler failed yesterday on a 4-4 vote from lawmakers, with Democrats in favor of the investigation and Republicans against. Democrats have criticized Gessler for getting reimbursed $1,570 for travel to the Republican National Convention and a GOP election law training event in Florida. Democrats wanted an audit looking at all expenses from Gessler’s office’s discretionary fund since he took office in 2011. Gessler has said his use of his office’s discretionary fund is line with his predecessor’s practices and that he did nothing wrong. Republicans wanted to wait on an audit until an ethics panel and Denver prosecutors concluded their investigations into Gessler’s expenses.
In high school sports:
The Meeker girls topped Grand Junction (57-25).
Moffat County hosts a tournament with Coal Ridge and Steamboat attending.
Hayden hosts a triangular with Soroco and Meeker attending.