Combs Spouts Off

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Posts Tagged ‘colorado’

“If you don’t like the weather in Colorado…”

Posted by Richard on June 23, 2017

“…just wait a few minutes.” That’s the standard cliché. But sometimes you have to wait a few days.

Tuesday: 99° (a new record for the date)

Wednesday: 98° (1° shy of the record)

Thursday: 93°, reached a little before 10 AM. Then the cold front came through and dropped us about 20°.

Friday: it’s in the 40s and raining this morning. Per NOAA and AccuWeather, we’re not going to get out of the 60s today, and the weekend will be in the mid-70s. But back to the mid/upper 90s by Tuesday.

The weather in Denver rarely gets boring, and it tends to keep you on your toes wardrobe-wise.

UPDATE: It’s 1:30 PM, and we’ve barely made it into the 50s. Unless the heavy overcast lifts pretty quickly, we may not make it to 60°.

UPDATE 2: It turns out that it was 61° at 3:40 AM on Friday, before the second cold front rolled through, and around 6 PM the sun broke through just long enough to get us back up to 61°.

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Castle Rock, CO, refuses federal funds

Posted by Richard on May 17, 2016

Three cheers for Castle Rock, CO (population 55,000), located about 30 miles south of Denver. Its Town Council is refusing federal funds from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) because of the onerous strings attached:

… At issue for the town was a new set of regulations, 377 pages in all, which gives the unelected HUD bureaucrats broad powers over grant recipient communities, including the power to reverse electoral decisions by local voters, change local zoning laws and force said communities to join regions against the its wishes.

Faced with the choice of refusing federal funds or submitting to increased federal intrusion into their local concerns, Castle Rock’s town government chose the former, reports SustainableFreedomLab.org. In a letter to local HUD applicants, mayor Paul Donahue explained that,

“If we continue to accept the HUD grants, we will be forced to prepare detailed taxpayer-financed studies of our schools, retail, housing, and other community aspects to HUD who will decide if our neighborhoods are “furthering fair housing.” That means that even though our town has never been found in violation of the anti-discrimination housing rules that have been law for over 50 years, HUD on a whim could force us to build low-income, government subsidized housing into our neighborhoods if HUD decides we aren’t racially balanced enough.”

In other words, Castle Rock’s town council has recognized that the new federal regulations are likely to be used not to mitigate actual instances of discriminatory behavior, but as politically-motivated means to produce politically-motivated ends. As Castle Rock’s letter acknowledged, far from being a paranoid hypothetical, this scenario has already played out in Westchester County, New York, where county leaders have been fighting a HUD directive to construct 750 affordable-housing units in established neighborhoods. But while Westchester County has sued to have this decision reversed – a suit that, to nobody’s surprise, was decided in the federal government’s favor by the federal government’s judge – it has not decided to refuse the HUD funds.

What Castle Rock has discovered, that Westchester County apparently has not, is that federal funds always come with strings attached, and the strongest string is invariably tied to local sovereignty. The Castle Rock town council has heroically identified this truth and has decided that the funds are not worth the cost. Donahue’s letter concludes,

“As a Town Council, we will resist all federal attempt to destroy our local sovereignty, be it from HUD, the EPA, or any other government agency. Council will always defend our resident’s right to make their own local decisions without federal interference. While I appreciate the many good works that are represented by your (the grant applicants’) programs, accepting onerous federal grant requirements, which harm our community, cannot be the price to pay for federal monies.”

Towns, cities, counties and states all across the country should take notice of what Castle Rock has done and should hasten to emulate its example.

Word. If you don’t take the feds’ money, they can’t attach the strings with which to control you, and you’ve effectively nullified their edicts.

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Paternalists push potent pot proscription

Posted by Richard on April 1, 2016

The folks who fought against legal marijuana in Colorado have been fighting rear-guard actions ever since they lost at the polls, pushing local bans on pot shops, ever tighter restrictions on edibles, etc. Their latest effort involves the old “today’s marijuana is much more dangerous than the stuff you boomers smoked in college” argument:

A proposed ballot initiative and an amendment to a bill in the state House would cap the THC potency of recreational cannabis and marijuana products at a percentage below most of those products’ current averages.

The initiative would limit the potency of “marijuana and marijuana products” to 15 percent or 16 percent THC.

The average potency of Colorado pot products is already higher — 17.1 percent for cannabis flower and 62.1 percent for marijuana extracts, according to a state study.

Supporters of the legislation, introduced byRepublican state Rep. Kathleen Conti, say they’re being cautious until more research has been done and protecting the brain development of adolescents. But opponents say the measures are unreasonable and could squash some of the legal cannabis industry’s most popular categories.

“All the studies that have been done on THC levels have been done on THC levels between 2 and 8 percent,” said Conti, whose district encompasses parts of Greenwood Village and Littleton. “Most of the marijuana coming in now, the flowers are being rated at a THC count of about 17 percent on average, so this is dramatically over, and we really don’t know that we’ve gotten the true feel on the health risks associated with that marijuana.”

Let’s apply the same silly argument to another popular intoxicant. The alcohol content by volume (ABV) of the average mass-produced American lager beer is between 4 and 5 percent. The ABV of beers sold in grocery stores is capped at 3.2% (yes, Colorado still clings to that silly restriction). But more and more people are turning to tastier craft beers, and those often have an ABV of 7, 8, or even 10 percent and higher. And who knows what additional risks beer drinkers are taking when they switch from Coors Light to a Double IPA or (horrors!) a barleywine ale? Especially the adolescents. We should cap beer potency at 5% ABV. It’s for the children! (Never mind that it’s already illegal for adolescents to use either alcohol or pot.)

And OMG, what about distilled spirits? Someone who’s used to quaffing a pint or three of 5% ABV beer may not realize the danger of downing a pint or three of 90 proof (45% ABV) bourbon!

Of course, this is nonsense. Except for a small minority with no self-control (many of whom live under a bridge), people imbibe and smoke until they reach a comfortable level of inebriation and then stop. If they’re drinking Coors Light (or smoking 8% THC pot), they drink (smoke) more; if they’re drinking Upslope Imperial IPA (or smoking Purple Lady), they drink (smoke) less. If they’re drinking Bulleit (or vaping a concentrate), they drink (vape) much less.

Limit the THC content of legal marijuana, and users will burn more vegetable matter to achieve the same high, which is bad for their lungs. (Or they’ll switch to black market pot; anyone see an opportunity for a Baptists-and-bootleggers alliance here?)

But then, the puritans secretly believe that pursuers of such sybaritic pleasures deserve to be punished/harmed by them. That’s why it’s illegal for brewers and distillers to add B vitamins to their products, which would significantly reduce the incidence of liver damage among heavy drinkers.

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Skiing Red Rocks Amphitheater

Posted by Richard on March 25, 2016

We had snow in Denver Wednesday. More accurately, we had a blizzard with 30-50+ mph winds for about 12 hours. It dumped 12-18″ in Denver and 20-30″ or more in the foothills. The airport closed, highways closed in every direction, the National Guard was called out to rescue stranded motorists, and it made the national news.

But the good news is it gave Nick Gianoutsos a chance to check something off on his bucket list: skiing Red Rocks. 7NEWS Denver has the video. Check it out:

They also have a charming video of how a cat named Boots enjoyed the snowstorm. Boots’ owners opened the sliding glass door with snow piled up against it, and … well, just watch:

 

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1965 Denver flood

Posted by Richard on June 17, 2015

Fifty years ago last night, the Plum Creek drainage south of Denver received 14 inches of rain in just 3 hours. That sent a massive amount of water into the South Platte River and right into the heart of Denver. Depending on who’s telling the story and where they were when they witnessed it, the wall of water was somewhere between 20 and 40 feet high. 9News has a pretty good piece on the flood, with videos, if you can read through it without accidentally clicking away (don’t click anywhere to the left or right of the story column).

That flood led to the building of Chatfield Dam southwest of Denver just a few years later. It (along with dams on Cherry Creek and Bear Creek) has prevented a repeat occurrence. Chatfield State Park is a major recreation area. But there’s not much recreating this year because a large portion of the park is covered in water. It’s designed to work that way; by using the surrounding park area for additional water storage, Chatfield Reservoir can cope with copious amounts of rainfall and snowmelt.

This year, it’s had to, and is at the highest level since it was built. Not only is an unusually large snowpack melting very fast, but in the six weeks since May 1, Denver has only had (depending on who’s counting and where they measure) 4-7 days without rain. This has so far been one of the wettest years on record in Denver. And the foothills west of Denver and Palmer Divide to the south have gotten much more rain than Denver.

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Denver’s February snow record is more of a record than it seems

Posted by Richard on February 28, 2015

Officially, Denver set a new record for February snowfall, but just barely. Through Friday, the official total snowfall was 22.4 inches, just edging out the previous record of 22.1 set in 1912. But wait…

Since 2008, the National Weather Service’s official recording site has been Denver International Airport, about 20 miles east of downtown. In 1912, the official site was in downtown Denver. Being so far out on the eastern plains, DIA typically gets less snow than areas farther to the west. That’s because it sees less of the upslope effect that brings heavy snowfall when winds from the east or northeast hit the mountains west of Denver and the Palmer Divide to the south.

According to KMGH-7 meteorologist Matt Makens, the old record for downtown Denver was unofficially broken a couple of days earlier (and subsequent snow no doubt pushed the total there several inches higher). The unofficial City Park recording station, just a couple or three miles from downtown, recorded over 30 inches in February.

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Most inept bombing ever, or … ?

Posted by Richard on January 10, 2015

Charles C. Johnson of gotnews.com thinks a Google Earth photo from last September proves that the January 6th “NAACP bombing” in Colorado Springs is a hoax. I think his analysis is wrong, but I have my own doubts about what the NAACP, SPLC, etc., were quick to characterize as a “hate crime.”

Johnson sees “soot marks” on the side of the building in the Google photo he posted and thinks those are being passed off as the bomb damage. But that’s not the case. Here’s an AP tweet with a picture:

The bomb damage, such as it is, is on the right at the base of the wall. The darkened area visible in the Google photo is to the left of that.

Here’s a photo from the Colorado Springs Gazette that makes the relationship clearer and shows that the dark area to the left is clearly weathered:

bomb-damage2

But it also shows even more clearly how pitifully little damage this “bomb” did. Looks like one or two large firecrackers like M80s to me. According to the FBI, a gasoline can was placed “adjacent to the device.” The plastic gas can was clearly undamaged:

bomb-gascan

Think about that for a minute: a plastic gas can sitting within a couple of feet of the “bomb,” judging from the picture, survived the explosion completely unscathed.

The NAACP said items were knocked off the walls of their office. I find that difficult to believe, both because of the miniscule impact of the explosion and because of the location. This picture from the Gazette shows that the NAACP office is on the left side of the building, a barber shop is on the right, and the “bomb” went off at the right rear against the barber shop wall:

bomb-location

In my opinion, this was either the work of the most utterly incompetent bomb-maker ever (and possibly directed at the barber shop) or yet another in a long list of hate crime hoaxes.

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Warning! Legislature in session!

Posted by Richard on January 8, 2015

The 2015 Colorado legislative session opened yesterday, so for the next four months liberty-loving Coloradans will rightly be nervous. The legislature is split this year, with Republicans regaining control of the Senate for the first time in a decade, and Democrats retaining control of the House. Some observers are predicting partisan gridlock, while others, including many legislators themselves, say there will be bipartisanship and cooperation.

I’m hoping for mostly partisan gridlock. Bipartisanship makes me nervous; when Democrats and Republicans agree on something other than lunch, it’s usually bad news for our liberty and property.

The NRA-ILA optimistically reported “strong pro-gun activity” on the first day of the session, citing three House bills and one Senate bill that were introduced:

House Bill 1009, introduced by state Representative Steve Humphrey (R-48), would repeal the rights-infringing legislation passed into law during the 2013 legislative session that arbitrarily limits the number of rounds of ammunition you can use to protect yourself and your family to 15 rounds.

House Bill 1049, introduced by state Representative Justin Everett (R-22), would extend the protection and right to self-defense you currently have in your home to your place of business.

House Bill 1050, introduced by state Representative Janik Joshi (R-16), would repeal the onerous and ineffective private transfer background check law that passed during the 2013 legislative session.

Senate Bill 32, introduced by state Senator Vicki Marble (R-23), would allow all law-abiding Colorado residents to legally carry concealed without having to possess a concealed carry permit.  This bill would also keep in place the current permitting system so that people who obtain a permit will still enjoy reciprocity in states around the country when legally carrying concealed.

I’m not getting my hopes up for any of those. I suppose it’s possible that, having been chastened by the successful recall elections and the losses this past November, some House Democrats might be persuaded to repeal the magazine limit and private transfer background check, but I doubt it. I suspect they’ll stick to their guns, if you’ll pardon the expression, and those bills will die in committee.

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Celebrate! It’s above zero!

Posted by Richard on November 12, 2014

It’s 12:45 PM in Denver, and we’re no longer below zero! Woohoo?

denver1degree

I don’t think we’re going to make it to that forecast high of 9°.

Hey, Jimmy Buffet, here’s a new verse for that song of yours. You’re welcome.

Boat drinks. I think the cold makes your brain shrink
I don’t really care what Al Gore thinks
Somebody make it get warm!

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Bring back the global warming!

Posted by Richard on November 11, 2014

Today was the coldest November 11th on record in Denver, with a high temperature of 16°. That eclipses the previous record of 19° set on this date in 1916. And the worst of the cold is yet to come!

At 10:30 tonight, it’s 6° (wind chill of -7°). Tomorrow’s high may be only two or three degrees warmer than that.

I’m not leaving the house, except maybe to go to the liquor store. The only adult beverages I have on hand are beer. This isn’t beer-drinking weather. It’s hot toddy or hot buttered rum weather.

Or maybe I should get out of town. Head to St. Somewhere…


[YouTube link]

Boat drinks. Boys in the band ordered boat drinks.
Visitors just scored on the home rink.
Everything seems to be wrong.

Lately, newspaper mentioned cheap airfare.
I’ve got to fly to Saint Somewhere.
I’m close to bodily harm.

I know I should be leaving this climate.
I got a verse but can’t rhyme it.
I gotta go where it’s warm.

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Polar vortex update

Posted by Richard on November 10, 2014

11 AM: Mid-fifties, calm. About 15° cooler than the weekend, but a sweater or light jacket is plenty.

11:30 AM: Sudden strong northerly wind, temperature starts to drop sharply.

12:30 PM: 30°, windy, spitting snow. Bone-chilling.

2:15 PM: 23°, wind chill is 12°, steady light-to-moderate snowfall.

It’s expected to get no warmer than this for several days, with lows in single digits. I guess it’s safe to say Denver’s mild fall is over. I’m going to miss it.

UPDATE (9 PM): 14°, with a wind chill of 3°, and it’s still dropping. About 12 hours ago, it was 62° (CORRECTION: officially 64° at 9 AM).

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Udall is losing … or not

Posted by Richard on September 18, 2014

The latest Quinnipiac poll of likely Colorado voters must have Republicans cheering. GOP challenger Cory Gardner leads Sen. Mark Udall by 8 points, 48-40%. That’s well outside the 2.8% margin of error. Independent Steve Shogan, who recently began running TV ads, gets 8%. With Shogan out of the race, Gardner’s lead jumps to 10 points (63% of Shogan supporters say they may change their mind, and they prefer Gardner as their second choice by 10 points).

But wait. Three other recent polls have significantly different results:

  • The Suffolk/USA TODAY poll gives Udall a 1-point lead,  43-42%, well within its 4.4% margin of error.
  • The Myers/Project New America poll has Udall leading 48-46%, within its 2.7% margin of error.  PNA is a “progressive” political consulting firm. (By the way, if you want a good laugh, open their press release (PDF) for this poll, scroll to the bottom, and check out where the link to www.projectnewamerica.com really goes.)
  • The SurveyUSA/Denver Post poll (9/8-9/10) shows Udall leading 46-42%, with a 3.9% margin of error.

Three of the polls show Udall with significantly higher negatives (from 47-50%) than Gardner (from 36-42%). Even Myers has Udall’s negatives slightly higher at 43% versus Gardner’s 39%. This surprises me, considering that I’m seeing about a bazillion highly negative anti-Gardner ads a day.

According to the Secretary of State’s August voter registration numbers (PDF), active voters’ party affiliation is approximately 35% Independent, 33% Republican, and 31% Democrat. The Suffolk sample mirrors that almost exactly. The other three slightly undersample Independents. Quinnipiac slightly oversamples Republicans, and the other two slightly oversample Democrats.

Of course, turnout is likely to be more important than the party affiliation percentages. Today, most analysts see GOP voters nationwide as more energized/engaged. But the leadership of the stupid party is certainly capable of destroying that advantage.

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Rally for Israel

Posted by Richard on July 26, 2014

Americans Against Terrorism is holding a rally in support of Israel’s right to defend itself against the Islamofascist terror group Hamas. The rally starts at 2 PM Sunday, July 27, on the west steps of the Capitol in Denver. I’ll be there. If you’re in Colorado, I hope you’ll be there too. If you’re somewhere else, I hope you’ll look for and participate in activities in support of Israel scheduled in your area.

2014-07-27 Rally for Israel

 

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Driving while Coloradan

Posted by Richard on April 7, 2014

A week ago, I posted about the 70-year-old Colorado man whose car was stopped and searched in Idaho because it had Colorado license plates. But it’s not just Idaho cops who think that a Colorado license plate is sufficient probable cause to stop and search a car.

Apparently, driving while Coloradan can get you stopped and searched in Nevada, Illinois, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas and Tennessee… and those are just the easily found cases that made the news somewhere. Most are anecdotal, but the Des Moines Register analyzed some state data on highway patrol traffic stops in Iowa:

By far, drivers with license plates hailing from California, Colorado and Illinois received the most warnings and violations over the past five years — more than 30 percent. Almost 12 percent of the warnings and violations were given to motorists with California plates; 11 percent to Colorado plates; and almost 10 percent to Illinois plates.

Drivers with Iowa plates, meanwhile, accounted for about 14 percent of the warnings and citations.

What percentage of cars on the road in Iowa do you suppose have Colorado plates? I’m going to guess that Coloradans are at least ten times as likely (and maybe much more) to be stopped in Iowa as Iowans.

Lawsuits such as the one filed against Idaho are one way to deal with this geographic profiling. But I think some grass-roots action would also be a good idea. Someone (not me) ought to organize a letter-writing campaign targeting state tourism agencies and newspapers in the offending states, encouraging Coloradans to send them letters along these lines:

We’ve been considering a road trip [to/through] [name of state] to visit [cite one or more tourist destinations, including in that state]. But we’re having second thoughts because of reports that police in [name of state] stop and search cars from Colorado. Is anything being done to put a stop to this kind of illegal profiling? The idea of spending two hours on the side of the road while our car is searched just because we’re from Colorado makes a visit to [name of state] very unappealing.

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It’s no longer safe for Coloradans to drive to other states

Posted by Richard on March 30, 2014

From CBS Seattle:

An Idaho state trooper arrested and fully searched a 70-year-old Washington man’s vehicle solely because he had a Colorado license plate – a state where marijuana is legal – a federal “license plate profiling” lawsuit alleges.

Read the whole outrageous story. And if you’re a Coloradan, keep this in mind when planning your next vacation.

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