STEAMBOAT ASTRONAUT HEADED TO SPACE STATION
An astronaut from Steamboat will be aboard a Russian spacecraft headed to the International Space Station this week. The spacecraft carrying Steve Swanson and two Russian cosmonauts is scheduled to launch Today from Kazakhstan. It will be Swanson’s third trip to space overall and the first since the United States ended its shuttle program. Swanson is a 1979 graduate of Steamboat High School and says growing up in the town helped him develop a love of the outdoors. He went on to earn a degree in engineering physics from the University of Colorado and lives in Houston with his wife Mary and their three children. Pictured: Steve Swanson
BLM TO REDUCE WILDFIRE FUELS IN RIO BLANCO COUNTY
The Bureau of Land Management is planning two mechanical fuel reduction projects this spring to reduce the abundance of vegetation and improve wildlife habitat. The work will be conducted by hand crews with saws on BLM public land. The crews will cut and scatter the downed vegetation which is the most effective method of fuel reduction in these areas. The first project is scheduled to begin this week and may take two weeks to complete. It is about 20 miles west of Meeker off Rio Blanco County Roads 20 and 83. The second project will begin sometime this spring with anticipated completion in June. It is about 25 miles north of Rangely off Moffat County Road 14. An environmental analysis has been conducted for each mechanical treatment in conjunction with detailed project plans.
SCIENTISTS SAY THERE ARE MORE BENEFITS THAN COSTS TO CLIMATE CHANGE
An international panel of climate scientists and economists will release a massive new report April 9th that finds the benefits of global warming “greatly exceed any plausible estimate of its costs.” The new report was produced by the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) and published by The Heartland Institute. The authors find higher levels of carbon dioxide and warmer temperatures benefit nearly all plants, leading to more leaves, more fruit, more vigorous growth, and greater resistance to pests, drought, and other forms of “stress.” Wildlife benefits as their habitats grow and expand. Even polar bears, the poster child of anti-global warming activist groups such as the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), are benefiting from warmer temperatures. One of the reports authors said ” their report presents an analysis of thousands of neglected research studies IPCC has downplayed or ignored in its reports so that scientists, politicians, educators, and the general public can be better informed and make decisions about the potential impacts of CO2-induced climate change.” For a copy of the report, click here.
MULE DEER FOUNDATION AND FOREST SERVICE RENEW AGREEMENT
The Mule Deer Foundation and the U.S. Forest Service recently signed a memorandum of understanding renewing their commitment to work together to improve mule deer conservation efforts. The five-year agreement is a renewal of the successful original agreement that began in 1989. The agreement allows MDF to develop and complete projects or research efforts on Forest Service land.
COFFMAN URGING LAWMAKERS TO MAKE POT BANKING RULES CLEAR
Representative Mike Coffman is urging action on legislation that would allow legalized marijuana businesses to use commercial banks. Republican Coffman is one of the co-sponsors of the proposal, which is stuck in a House of Representatives subcommittee. He writes in his letter to that committee’s chairwoman that without formal access to banks, marijuana businesses must rely on cash only. That makes them vulnerable to criminals and harder to tax. President Obama’s administration last month released guidelines allowing banks to do business with the marijuana industry. But many banks say it will take an act of Congress before they are comfortable doing that.
MEASURE TO LIMIT VACCINE EXEMPTIONS MOVING FORWARD
A measure to clamp down on vaccine exemptions passed overwhelmingly in the state House yesterday. The bill makes it harder for parents to claim personal objections to vaccines before enrolling their kids in schools or daycare. The measure would require parents seeking the exemption to undergo vaccine education, either by video or consulting with a physician. Religious and medical vaccine exemptions would not be affected. Sponsors of the bill say it’s too easy to opt out of mandatory vaccines, leading to Colorado having a low vaccination rate relative to other states. Outbreaks of whooping cough and measles have been attributed in part to low vaccination rates. The House approved the bill 42-19. It now awaits consideration in the state Senate.
LAWMAKERS TO MAKE MUG SHOT “EXTORTION” ILLEGAL
Posting mug shots online for profit would be subject to criminal penalties under a bill advanced in the Colorado Senate. The Senate gave initial approval to the bill yesterday with a voice vote. A final vote is still needed but no one in the chamber spoke in opposition and the proposal is expected to pass. The bill would make it illegal to obtain mug shots with the purpose of publishing them to charge for their removal. In some cases, companies charge hundreds of dollars. Colorado lawmakers have likened the practice to extortion. Obtaining mug shots to make profit would be a misdemeanor punishable by up to a $1,000 fine. States including Georgia and Utah have passed laws addressing companies that post mug shots to make money.
In high school sports:
In girls soccer:
Moffat County goes to Vail Mountain at 4.