NORTHWEST COLORADO NEWS FOR WEDNESDAY, JUNE 26TH

COMMISSIONERS SAY DINOSAUR OFFICIALS WON’T PAY THEIR AMBULANCE BILL

The Town of Dinosaur refuses to pay it’s ambulance bill to Rangely’s hospital.  Dinosaur is contracted with Rangely to provide ambulance service, due to the proximity of Rangely’s hospital.  At one point, Moffat County had worked out an agreement that would pay the Rangely hospital $12,000 per year for dry runs.  Dry runs are trips the ambulance makes, without bringing a patient back.  Insurance and private payments cover the other runs.  Since Dinosaur was paying The Memorial Hospital at Craig for ambulance service that wouldn’t be used, the County commissioners agreed to pay half the cost, or $6,000, with Dinosaur agreeing to pay the other half.  However, Dinosaur has not paid it’s bill, and now Rangely says they are going to halt their service.  According to the Moffat County Commissioners, Dinosaur officials say because the Monument isn’t paying for services, they shouldn’t have to either.  Moffat County officials say Rangely’s service will end August 31st if Dinosaur authorities don’t hold up their end of the bargain.  If Dinosaur refuses to pay, their residents will be looking at an hour and a half wait for an ambulance to arrive at any emergency situation.

 

KINKAID’S NO VOTE IS AGAINST OBAMACARE

Yesterday, Moffat County Commissioner John Kinkaid took a stand against socialized medicine, by voting against a request by Social Services to approve an 18 month, part-time position to facilitate clients in navigating into the ObamaCare system.  The position will not cost Moffat County anything, as it is funded by a grant.  However, Kinkaid says he has never supported the concept of socialized medicine, and says the people who voted for him do not support ObamaCare.  Therefore, he voted his concience.  The measure passed anyway on a 2-1 vote.  Commissioners Chuck Grobe and Tom Mathers both voted yes, but commended Kinkaid for making his point.  Kinkaid, in a written statement, listed a number of points to support his position.  Those points can be seen below.

1. We should seek free market solutions to market problems.
2. Members of Congress did not even read the 1,000 plus pages. “We have to pass it to find out what’s in it.” Nancy Pelosi, House Speaker
3. The Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) will make rationing decisions and power will be taken away from the doctor/patient relationship.
3. All of the regulations are far too complex to work rationally.
4. The Internal Revenue Service is in charge of enforcement.
5. It never really was about health care. In truth, it’s always been about control.
6. We don’t have enough physicians to support the influx of new patients. Medical schools haven’t been able to gear up and many physicians are choosing to retire early rather than deal with the regulatory mess.
7. Despite the opinion of Chief Justice, John Roberts, ObamaCare is indeed unconstitutional. Government cannot compel citizens to buy a product or service as a condition of being a citizen in good standing. This would have the Founders spinning in their graves.

ROUTT COUNTY PLANS TO IMPLEMENT FIRE RESTRICTIONS

Routt County Commissioners will consider fire restrictions at their meeting next week.  Fire danger below 9,000 feet is considered very high, due to high temperatures and lack of moisture.  While a press release says the restrictions will be “considered”, it appears the decision has already been made, as it goes on to say the restrictions will remain in effect until officials determine that conditions have improved.  The restrictions would apply to all private and state lands outside municipal limits.  The decision will be made at the Routt County Commissioners meeting Tuesday morning.

 

ODELL TAKES OVER KREMMLING BLM FIELD OFFICE

Long-time Bureau of Land Management employee Stephanie Odell has arrived in Colorado as the new field manager for the Kremmling Field Office.  As the Kremmling Field Manager, Odell will oversee the management of 378,000 acres of BLM lands and minerals in Grand, Jackson, Larimer and Routt counties and a staff of 28 employees.  Odell began working for the BLM in Farmington, New Mexico in 1991 as the hazardous material coordinator and a Superfund site project manager. She also worked as the abandoned mine lands project manager for the San Juan Public Lands Office in Durango and for the Southern Ute Tribe as a water quality and environmental protection specialist within the oil and gas development division. She most recently was the abandoned mine lands program lead in the Washington D.C. Office.

 

LAWMAKERS DIVIDED OVER PRESIDENT’S ENERGY PLANS

Lawmakers are mixed, typically along party lines, when it comes to the president’s recent address on energy.  The president once again contradicted his “all of the above” message, with an attack on coal fired power plants.  Republican lawmakers say Obama’s “all of the above” strategy should be redubbed “all of the above ground”.  In statements, Congressmen Cory Gardner and Scott Tipton both say the president is ignoring the consequences of his policies, namely the number of job losses the policies are creating.  Gardner said “The government should not be in the business of picking winners and losers” in private industry.  Senator Michael Bennet, on the other hand, hailed the president’s plans.  Bennet supports the president’s anti-coal agenda.

 

DEGETTE REINTRODUCES WILDERNESS BILL

Colorado congresswoman Diana DeGette has reintroduced a bill that would protect 750,000 acres in Colorado as designated wilderness.  The areas proposed for wilderness designation are primarily BLM lands and lower-lying canyons in the Rocky Mountains outside her district.  The proposal is similar to one DeGette brought forward in 2011.  The Front Range congresswoman has been pushing to expand wilderness in western Colorado since 1999.

 

SENATOR WILL FIGHT RECALL ELECTION

Attorneys for a second Democratic senator potentially facing a recall election are challenging the effort. In a filing yesterday, they argue petitioners targeting Senator Angela Giron failed to expressly call for an election when they collected signatures as the state constitution requires.  Gun rights advocates successfully collected enough signatures in their recall petitions for both Giron and Democratic Senate President John Morse, both of whom voted in favor of stricter firearm laws.  The argument challenging Giron’s recall is identical to the one filed on behalf of Morse last week.  A hearing on Morse’s challenge is set for tomorrow.  New gun laws taking effect Monday expand background checks to online and private sales and limit ammunition magazine sizes.