Combs Spouts Off

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Posts Tagged ‘colorado’

Denver’s flexible snow plowing policy

Posted by Richard on February 23, 2019

When we get snow in Denver, the city generally plows only main streets (those with a yellow stripe down the middle). The official policy is that residential streets only get plowed when a foot or more of snow falls. Last night’s storm dumped only about half that in my neighborhood.

But this morning, either my block experienced about a week’s worth of traffic or a plow came through. I’m pretty sure it was the latter. So what gives? Why the deviation from policy?

Oh, that’s right. The mayor is up for reelection this spring. Ain’t politics grand?

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Coloradans strongly support TABOR

Posted by Richard on February 21, 2019

All those newly-elected Democrats in Colorado had better pay attention to this:

new poll was released indicating overwhelming support of Colorado’s Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, which most Coloradans lovingly refer to as TABOR. Fully 71 percent of the 500 Coloradans surveyed expressed support for the policy, and lest you think these numbers are skewed, the breakdown of who was asked is… rather reflective of an actual election in Colorado: 37 percent of respondents were either unaffiliated or members of a third party, 32 percent were Democrats, and 31 percent were Republicans.

Interestingly, the survey found that just under half of respondents supported TABOR and a fourth were unsure when no description of it was provided. When respondents were given a brief objective description of TABOR, virtually all the previously unsure became supporters:

On the initial position on the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR), 47% of respondents favor it, 26% oppose it and 26% are unsure.
After an explanation of TABOR, 71% of respondents favor it, 28% oppose it and 2% are unsure. The explanation provided was the following.
TABOR, the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights is an amendment to the state constitution passed in 1992 which requires state and local government to seek voter approval in order to raise taxes and also limits growth in state spending to population growth plus inflation. If the state collects more revenues than it is allowed to spend, then it must return the surplus to the taxpayers.

The description caused virtually no change in opposition. So maybe the quarter of respondents opposed already all knew exactly what TABOR does. Or maybe their opposition isn’t based on what TABOR does, but on the fact that all the “right people” in government hate it and all the racist, homophobic, misogynistic monsters (e.g., conservatives and Republicans) support it.

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“Rattlesnake Kate,” the musical

Posted by Richard on February 20, 2019

If you watched the Next on 9News program I posted recently about Travis Kauffman, the man who killed a mountain lion bare-handed, you also learned a little about Rattlesnake Kate. For much more about this remarkable woman, check out this Greeley History story.

There’s more. It turns out that former Lumineer Neyla Pekarek recently released her first solo album, “Rattlesnake,” and is close to completing “Rattlesnake Kate,” the musical:

A rough draft, bare-bones version sans costumes and choreography will be available to watch in its rough-draft form as part of the Colorado New Play Summit at 4 p.m. Saturday in the Seawell Ballroom in Denver, 1350 Arapahoe St. Tickets are $20 but space is limited, so call the Denver Center for Performing Arts ahead of time at 303-893-4100.

“I think we underpromised,” said Pekarek, a University of Northern Colorado graduate who recently left The Lumineers last fall to pursue her solo career. “Things have gone really well. It’s definitely not a finished product but we have some great, exciting things to show people.”

Pekarek’s first solo album “Rattlesnake” dropped last month. It’s an ode to her muse, “Rattlesnake Kate,” whose story she fell in love with while living in Greeley. The legend slithers its way through each of the tracks.

The album also is the foundation of the musical. Pekarek will also write two new songs.

And here’s Carter Sampson’s song, “Rattlesnake Kate,” with some really tasty guitar accompaniment by BJ Baartmans:


[YouTube link]

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Next on 9News: “King of the North”

Posted by Richard on February 15, 2019

Travis Kauffman, the trail runner who killed a mountain lion with his bare hands on February 4, finally stepped forward and held a press conference Thursday. Kauffman was running on an open space trail west of Fort Collins, Colorado, when a juvenile mountain lion attacked him. The story made national news even before his identity was known, so unless you pay no attention at all to what’s going on in the world, you’ve probably heard about it.

The young cougar weighed about 40 pounds, but if you think that should make it easy to subdue, you’re not a cat owner. As someone who’s tried to physically control an angry/scared 10-pound house cat (and has the resulting scars), I can assure you that a cat four times that size is a legitimate threat to your life. Despite serious injuries to his arm, hand, and face, Kauffman, who is 5’10” and 155 pounds, was able to avoid the disemboweling efforts of the cat’s rear claws, pin it to the ground, and suffocate it. I suspect that if the cat had been even 20 pounds larger, he would surely have lost the fight.

I’m posting this to get you to watch Thursday night’s episode of Next on 9News, which as my friends know, I’m a big fan of. It’s certainly the best local newscast in Denver and I suspect one of the best anywhere. The host, Kyle Clark, appears to be the typical liberalish millennial, and he freely offers his opinions on the show (kudos to 9News for letting him do it his way), but he’s also a big proponent of listening to differing opinions and of encouraging dialog. It’s a refreshingly different kind of newscast, with lots of humor. For instance, one of the regular features is called “The Most Colorado Thing We Saw Today”; a recent one involved a guy on a mountain bike pedaling up the road with a snowboard strapped to his back. It’s now been renamed “The Most Travis Kauffman Thing We Saw Today.” Some time ago, before Kauffman stepped forward, Kyle Clark declared that the anonymous mountain lion killer would henceforth be known as the “King of the North.” And in this episode, he solemnly declares, “If this man ever pays for a beer again in the state of Colorado, we have failed as a people.”

Next on 9News has a YouTube channel, where they sometimes post certain segments and sometimes complete shows. Here’s the complete Thursday show featuring Travis Kauffman. After the opening segment about Kauffman, there’s a story about the Denver teachers’ strike (boring) and a story about gun control efforts in the legislature (aggravating). But if you don’t want to watch those, skip ahead to about the 11:00 mark, when Kyle Clark takes on the many critics of Travis Kauffman. Outstanding commentary. Truly outstanding. And after that, you learn about another amazing Coloradan, known as “Rattlesnake Kate.” Trust me, this show is worth your time.

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QOTD

Posted by Richard on February 7, 2019

The quote of the day comes from the Denver Post’s daily Mile High Roundup email, which would be a useful quick news summary with links if it weren’t so tiresomely leftist. This line by Matt Schubert is the best I’ve seen from that rag in some time:

You know things are bad when the temperature outside matches the number of pants you’re currently wearing.

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Hitting the Stoly pretty hard

Posted by Richard on November 7, 2018

It’s not a good night for small-government advocates (e.g., libertarians) in Colorado. Admittedly, Republicans haven’t been very good proponents of small government, but they’re still far better than Democrats. And Republicans have been routed in this state. At this time, it looks like Democrats may win every state-wide office (the AG race is still too close to call, but Dem Phil Weiser, a far-left law school professor with no prosecutorial experience, leads).

The Dems have flipped three state senate seats to take control of that body, while expanding their lead in the state house. So the entirety of Colorado government is going to be in control of Democrats. People who support “single-payer” (i.e., government-run) health care, more gun control, more money “for the children,” more “affordable housing,” more “multimodal transportation,” etc., etc.

In Denver, it looks like voters have approved tax increases for parks and recreation, “mental health” and housing, the “Urban an Flood Control District,” and a proposal to increase the sales tax to “provide food and education about food to young people in need.” Also passing is a measure to fund election campaigns with tax dollars, giving each candidate $9 for each $1 they raise within the rules.

I. Am. Bummed.

True, some of the ballot initiatives and proposals offer some more optimistic interpretation.

  • Voters rejected 112, which would have essentially ended oil and gas drilling in Colorado.
  • Voters rejected 73, a massive tax increase “for the children,” which would have mainly increased funding for education administrators.
  • Voters rejected 110, which would have allocated tons of new tax dollars to “transportation,” including lots of money for “multimodal” nonsensense plus lots of grants to local governments to do whatever they want.
  • They also rejected 109, the Independence Institute’s proposal to fund specific road projects from existing revenues without tax increases.

Overall, it looks like a massive blue wave, with the caveat that voters don’t want taxes to go up.

I’m thinking that I should seriously think about moving back to  Tennessee.

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A surprising revelation by Walker Stapleton

Posted by Richard on November 1, 2018

The other night, Next on 9News played an excerpt from Kyle Clark’s 13-minute interview with GOP gubernatorial candidate Walker Stapleton in which he revealed something that surprised me. Here’s the full interview, which is pretty interesting. The surprising revelation is in response to Kyle Clark’s last question at 11:37.

He’s got my vote. Low taxes and jam bands!

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How not to be bored by the weather

Posted by Richard on November 27, 2017

Live in Denver.

Yesterday, it was 74°, a record for the date. Today, it was 81°, a record for the entire month of November.

Tomorrow morning, it’s supposed to be a good 50° colder and snowing.

Time to put the shorts away again.

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Welcome to Boulder! Hope you enjoy our slippery slope!

Posted by Richard on August 19, 2017

Old woke: Speech is violence!

New, even more woke: Failure to speak is violence!

I’d raise my eyebrows, but that would be a microaggression.

A group called Showing Up for Racial Justice marched in Boulder today “in support of diversity and racial justice.” Since it’s Boulder, the group was approximately 100% white. But these are very woke white people. They had many signs like this:

Marchers with Silence is Violence sign

Click the link or picture for the 9News story if you want to know more about how caring and sensitive the participants are and how they want to “ensure the community is accessible and safe for people of color.”

Of course, making Boulder more diverse and accessible to people of color would probably require doing something about their egregious zoning laws and land use regulations that have driven the average home price above $1 million.

But I’m sure the people of color who visit Boulder every day feel safe. You know, the people who wash the arugula and prepare the gluten-free avocado toast in the chi-chi restaurants.

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“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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