NORTHWEST COLORADO NEWS FOR TUESDAY, JULY 16TH

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STEAMBOAT OFFICIALS ISSUES REMINDER ON PORTABLE SIGN LAWS

Steamboat officials are reminding residents and businesses that, with a few exceptions, all signs within the city require a sign permit.  On July 2nd the City Council approved an ordinance to temporarily suspend the prohibition of portable signs thru September 30th. Along with that ordinance there are certain conditions that apply to using portable signs within the City limits.  As of yesterday, the City’s Planning Department has not received any permit applications for any portable signs, although there are many of them on sidewalks and private property. Signs that do not meet the requirements are subject to enforcement action. Enforcement of the newly approved, temporary portable sign ordinance will begin July 15th. Any non-permitted portable sign owner will be subject to a citation with fines of up to nine hundred ninety-nine dollars per day per violation, possible jail time, or both.  For details on the ordinance, click here.

 

HUNTER EDUCATION COURSE OFFERED IN MEEKER

Colorado Parks and Wildlife is offering novice hunters from the Meeker area a final opportunity to take their required Hunter Education class from an agency instructor before this fall’s big game hunting seasons. Hunter Education became a requirement in Colorado in 1971 after numerous hunting accidents resulted in injuries and deaths in the previous decade. Since the course became a requirement, the number of fatalities and hunting-related injuries has fallen dramatically. Today, hunting is considered one of the safest of all outdoor activities.  The course will be held at the Meeker Recreation Center August 11th and 12th from 8 to 5 each day. The live fire portion of the class will take place at the Meeker Sportsmen’s Club.  There are no age requirements for the two-day class, but students must be able to read, write, understand the material, handle a firearm safely and attend both days to pass the class.  The fee for the course is $10, payable the day of the class.  For more information, call 878-3403.

 

KENNY LOGGINS TO PLAY IN STEAMBOAT FRIDAY NIGHT

Singer and songwriter, Kenny Loggins will play in Steamboat Friday on the Strings Stage.  Loggins was a staple in the 80’s, with many of his hit songs landing on famous soundtracks, including “Danger Zone”, from Top Gun, and “Footloose”.  Loggins will take the stage in the Strings Pavilion with a four-piece band.  The concert starts at 8 Friday night, with lawn seats selling for $63.  If you would like more information, click here.

 

HAYDEN TO SPRAY FOR MOSQUITOES TODAY

The Town of Hayden will be spraying for mosquitoes today, as long as the weather holds up.  Spraying occurs in the early morning and late evening hours.  While experts say the chemicals used are relatively harmless, they usually recommend pets, children, and anyone with respiratory difficulties stay inside during the spraying.  The operation won’t happen if winds kick up during the preferred times.  If that happens, Town officials say they’ll wait until the next wind-free day.

 

GUNNISON SAGE GROUSE DECISION DELAYED

Colorado U.S. Senators Michael Bennet and Mark Udall and Representative Scott Tipton today applauded the Fish and Wildlife Service’s (FWS) announcement to grant a six-month extension before making a final decision regarding whether to list the Gunnison sage grouse as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. The announcement comes on the heels of a letter sent last week asking for the extension and outlining Colorado’s collaborative work to protect the bird.  Western communities have been working to conserve the Gunnison sage grouse for years. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife proposal to designate the bird as an endangered species and to designate over 1.7 million acres of critical habitat in Western Colorado and Eastern Utah has spurred additional collaboration among counties and stakeholders to develop a locally-led plan to preserve the sage grouse.  The decision could also indicate how the Greater Sage Grouse will be managed in Northwest Colorado.

 

PARKS OFFICERS SAY OPERATION DRY WATER A SUCCESS

Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers scored another success with Operation Dry Water, the fourth nationwide crackdown on persons boating under the influence (BUI) of alcohol or drugs, over the course of the last weekend in June.  This was Colorado’s fourth year participating in the nationwide event. Colorado Parks and Wildlife staff at 12 state parks took part. They contacted 1,646 vessels and more than 5,000 boaters, issuing 36 citations and 430 safety warnings over the three days, including one BUI arrest.  In addition to increased patrols and checkpoints, participating parks increased education efforts at their boat ramps, marinas, entrance stations and Aquatic Nuisance Species inspection stations.  There have been nine BUI arrests within Colorado’s state parks this year.  Operation Dry Water was launched in 2009 by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators with a grant from the United States Coast Guard.

 

AUDITORS SAY MEDICAL MARIJUANA SYSTEM NEEDS IMPROVEMENT

Auditors say a dozen physicians have issued half of the medical marijuana recommendations in Colorado, and that the state is not providing enough oversight so only qualified individuals get referrals to use the drug.  A report released yesterday found that 12 physicians were responsible for 50 percent of the current 108,000 medical marijuana “red cards” as of March. Auditors say some doctors have also recommended what appear to be higher-than-reasonable amounts of the drug. One patient received a recommendation for 501 plants.  Auditors say that the Department of Public Health and Environment has not referred a physician to the Colorado Medical Board for investigation since January 2011.  Pot is now legal for everyone over 21 in Colorado, but the state still maintains a medical-marijuana registry.