Glen Haven to rebuild town hall

Glen Haven October 2013 via NBC News

From The Longmont Times-Call (Pamela Johnson):

Nearly four years ago, floods reduced the Glen Haven Town Hall to a pile of debris, unrecognizable as the community center it had been for more than 70 years.

Thursday, community members gathered across the main street from that site, on land outside the floodplain, and celebrated the upcoming construction of a new town hall — a center that will be built all with donated funds, made a reality by the drive of the small mountain community…

those residents pulled together again and raised the money to build the new town hall. So far, their efforts have brought in $300,000 of the needed $500,000.

Donations are still being accepted, and two fundraising events are planned this summer — a barbecue and music festival on June 24 and a tour of historic cabins on July 30. Tickets and donation information are available online at http://www.glenhaventownhall.org.

Shimon expects the community association board to choose a contractor within the next week and construction to be complete by next March.

The original town hall, built in 1939, was washed off its foundations during the 1976 flood, according to information from Steve Green, who is on the board of the association and on the steering committee for the new town hall.

Residents then pushed it back onto its foundation and raised the building about 2 feet higher, according to Green.

During the second flood, the town hall was pulverized, and county rules around rebuilding in a floodplain prevented anything from being rebuilt on the existing site. So, community members chose a location less than a block away, from which you can see the old town hall location.

Architect Michael Tavel, who is also a Glen Haven resident, designed the new structure to look much like the old, with the same “historic main street character” as the original building. However, it will be slightly larger, will have room for town archives, will have a kitchenette for potlucks and, unlike the old space, will include a bathroom.

His vision is a place where residents, and future generations, can make memories as they did for more than 70 years in the old town hall.

President #45 starts process to take the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Agreement #COP21

Indigenous people #cop21 via the Department of Interior.

From the Associated Press (Jill Colvin and Julie Pace) via The Aurora Sentinel:

Many Colorado politicians were quick to respond, including Rep. Mike Coffman who issued a somewhat neutral response to Trump’s decision. While he talked about a desire to reduce pollution, Coffman didn’t mention climate change.

“President Obama should have submitted the Paris climate agreement to the Senate for ratification as a treaty. Now President Trump should do what his predecessor failed to do – follow Article II, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution and take it before the Senate for a debate and a vote,” Coffman said in a statement on Twitter. “I hope we can be part of a renegotiated climate treaty, ratified by the United States Senate, to continue our nation’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

Unsurprisingly, Sen. Michael Bennet, Rep. Ed Perlmutter and other state Democrats slammed the decision by Trump, calling it a blow both to the environment and to the country’s ability to conduct diplomacy moving forward.

“The President made a catastrophic mistake by putting a misguided campaign promise before the needs of our economy and the credibility of American diplomacy,” Bennet said in a statement. “Before this decision, the United States was on track to achieve energy independence, reduce its carbon footprint, and create good-paying jobs in rural communities-with Colorado leading the way. Withdrawing from the Paris Agreement attempts to undercut the progress we have made.”

“President Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement is wrong and takes our country and Colorado backwards not forward. I’m disappointed and frustrated by this decision,” Perlmutter said in a statement. “Clearly climate change is a threat to our way of life in Colorado.

“Colorado is a proven leader in developing technologies that reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions,” he added. “I will continue to fight for the progress we’ve made in Colorado and push to reduce the impact of climate change in our communities.”

Gov. John Hickenlooper pledged that Colorado would continue its work on reducing pollution and promoting clean energy production in the state.

“It is a serious mistake to back out of the Paris Accord. This is a historic global agreement between almost every nation on earth to address the single most pressing issue facing humanity. Abandoning this climate deal is like ripping off your parachute when you should be pulling the ripcord. America’s greatness has always been demonstrated by our moral leadership,” Hickenlooper said in a statement. “Today, we break ranks with 190 nations who are working together to stop the worst effects of climate change, which the scientific community agrees would devastate the global economy and our planet, and the defense community agrees would destabilize vulnerable nations that have served as breeding grounds for international terrorism.”

Colorado Democratic Party Chair Morgan Carroll echoed the sentiment of many Democrats in the state when she slammed Trump’s decision and how it would affect Colorado’s environment.

“Trump’s decision today is a global embarrassment, taking our nation backwards in the battle to preserve our environment and reduce our carbon footprint. By withdrawing from the Paris agreement, Trump has disregarded the scientific consensus of climate change, ignored local businesses that rely on a healthy environment and jeopardized our nation standing as a strong world leader,” Carroll said. “As Democrats, we will continue to resist Trump’s blatant attacks against science to help preserve our planet for the future of our children and protect American jobs as we fight sustainable energy solutions.”

Under former President Barack Obama, the U.S. had agreed under the accord to reduce polluting emissions by about 1.6 billion tons by 2025. But the targets were voluntary, meaning the U.S. and the nearly 200 other nations in the agreement could alter their commitments.

Trump said that he would begin negotiations to re-enter the agreement or establish “an entirely new transaction” to get a better deal for the U.S. But he suggested re-entry was hardly a priority. “If we can, great. If we can’t, that’s fine,” he said.

By abandoning the world’s chief effort to slow the tide of planetary warming, Trump was fulfilling a top campaign pledge. But he was also breaking from many of America’s staunchest allies, who have expressed alarm about the decision. Several of his top aides have opposed the action, too, as has his daughter and adviser, Ivanka Trump.

Scientists say Earth is likely to reach more dangerous levels of warming sooner as a result of the president’s decision because America contributes so much to rising temperatures. Calculations suggest withdrawal could result in emissions of up to 3 billion tons of additional carbon dioxide in the air a year — enough to melt ice sheets faster, raise seas higher and trigger more extreme weather.

Trump’s decision marked “a sad day for the global community,” said Miguel Arias Canete, climate action commissioner for the European Union.

At home in America, the U.S. Conference of Mayors said it strongly opposed the decision and said mayors will continue efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions blamed for global warming. The group’s vice president, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu said the action “is shortsighted and will be devastating to Americans in the long run.” In fact, he said, sea level rise caused by unchecked climate change could mean that cities like his “will cease to exist.”

Trump, however, argued the agreement had disadvantaged the U.S. “to the exclusive benefit of other countries,” leaving American businesses and taxpayers to absorb the cost.

“This agreement is less about the climate and more about other countries gaining a financial advantage over the United States,” he said, claiming that other countries have laughed at the U.S. for agreeing to the terms.”

Investors seemed pleased, with stock prices, already up for the day, bumping higher as he spoke. The Dow Jones industrial average rising 135 points for the day

As for the mechanics of withdrawal, international treaties have a four-year cooling off period from the time they go into effect. That means it could take another three-and-half years for the U.S. to formally withdraw, though Trump promised to stop implementation immediately.

Major U.S. allies, business leaders and even the Pope had urged the U.S. to remain in the deal. The decision drew immediately backlash from climate activists and many business leaders.

The U.S. is the world’s second-largest emitter of carbon, following only China. Beijing, however, has reaffirmed its commitment to meeting its targets under the Paris accord, recently canceling construction of about 100 coal-fired power plants and investing billions in massive wind and solar projects.

White House aides have been divided on the question of staying or leaving the accord and had been deliberating on “caveats in the language” as late as Wednesday, one official said. But Trump’s statement was clear and direct.

So was opposition from environmental groups, as expected.

“Generations from now, Americans will look back at Donald Trump’s decision to leave the Paris Agreement as one of the most ignorant and dangerous actions ever taken by any President,” Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune said in a statement.

Here’s Governor Hickenlooper’s statement:

Gov. John Hickenlooper today released the following statement on President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Accord:

“It is a serious mistake to back out of the Paris Accord. This is a historic global agreement between almost every nation on earth to address the single most pressing issue facing humanity. Abandoning this climate deal is like ripping off your parachute when you should be pulling the ripcord.

“America’s greatness has always been demonstrated by our moral leadership. Today, we break ranks with 190 nations who are working together to stop the worst effects of climate change, which the scientific community agrees would devastate the global economy and our planet, and the defense community agrees would destabilize vulnerable nations that have served as breeding grounds for international terrorism.

“The U.S. is letting go the reins of world leadership, allowing other countries like Russia, India, and China to take our seat at the international table. Our economic and technological competitiveness will suffer. Isolationism is not leadership.

“Colorado’s commitment to clean air and clean energy will continue. Clean energy is abundant, home-grown, and creates 21st century jobs for our modern workforce across every part of our state. We renew our commitment to pursue cleaner energy at a lower cost. To do otherwise would be governmental malpractice.”

For background

Colorado ranks among the nation’s largest clean energy employers. As of 2015, 2,070 clean technology companies operate in Colorado, supporting more than 62,000 jobs in both rural and urban communities. These clean tech jobs provide Coloradans $3.6 billion in wages. Colorado’s renewable energy industry is poised for significant growth in the years ahead, which will help improve Colorado’s air, reduce consumers’ electricity bills, and support well-paying jobs.

Fruita: Public meeting regarding 3 reservoirs

Piñon Mesa Fall Colors photo credit Adventr.co.

From The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel (Amy Hamilton):

Until the early 1980s, the city of Fruita piped its domestic water down from Piñon Mesa, south of Glade Park.

Fruita still maintains four lakes in the alpine area above Glade Park, but the area is used mostly for recreation as locals flock to the high country to escape summer’s grip.

The city now is seeking public input as it looks to the future, considering the high costs of maintaining its mountain water storage. A public meeting is scheduled tonight.

“The whole goal is to educate the public and residents and develop a long-term plan on disposing of them or selling them if someone has a use for them,” said Ken Haley, Fruita public works director. “We definitely want to get some public feedback before we go any further.”

Fruita spends about $90,000 a year maintaining three reservoirs and Enoch Lake. Reservoir No. 2 is failing and in need of a fix estimated at $1 million. Reservoir No. 1 was repaired in 2009 with the help of the Colorado National Guard. The city owns five parcels, a total of 263 acres, Haley said.

Historically the city wanted to keep its 240 water shares associated with the lakes — a buffer for Fruita residents in the event of water shortages. However, Fruita now receives domestic water from Ute Water and it currently has 2,400 shares of unused city-owned shares it can utilize. A wooden pipeline built in 1907 that traverses Colorado National Monument hasn’t been used since 1983, and is unusable today, Haley said.

“As the city grew, it wasn’t quite enough (water) to keep up with the city’s needs,” he said of the reservoirs. In the past few years, the city’s workload has increased by sending public works employees up the hill several times a week. This detracts from duties that need to be done in Fruita, Haley said. Starting this year, the city decided to only send crews up once a week for maintenance duties in an effort to curb labor costs.

In addition, last year Fruita cancelled its overnight camping option at Enoch Lake after the city fielded an increasing number of complaints and campers appeared to be using the area for extended stays. Garbage cans that previously had been emptied once a week by city crews would fill every day, the city said.

Haley said much of the problems associated with Enoch Lake have subsided since overnight camping was prohibited.

Fruita will rely on legal advice about whether it can sell the assets without a vote.

If the city decides not to divest its properties, it would have to figure out a way to invest more money into the area to fix the failing reservoir and continue to maintain the area, Haley said.

“It’s a great resource,” Haley said. “We need to figure out how to manage it or better utilize it.”

#Runoff news: Cool temps have dampened snowmelt

From 9News.com (Matt Renoux):

Usually peak runoff hits sometime during the first week of June but cool weather has kept snow from melting on the higher peaks with the states snowpack 191 percent of normal on June 1.

“It’s been a slow start to the season with the cold weather we have had this year,” said McGrath…

The Colorado River near Glenwood and Clear Creek near Georgetown are all below average, and Dustin Doss with Breckenridge Outfitters says the Blue River near Breckenridge is also flowing below average.

2017 #coleg: Gov. Hickenlooper signs HB17-1170 — Concerning the limited applicability of the Colorado supreme court’s decision in St. Jude’s Co. v. Roaring Fork Club, LLC, 351 P.3d 442 (Colo. 2015)

Here’s the bill summary from the legislature’s website:

Limited Applicability Of St. Jude’s Co. Water Case

Concerning the limited applicability of the Colorado supreme court’s decision in St. Jude’s Co. v. Roaring Fork Club, LLC, 351 P.3d 442 (Colo. 2015).

In the case of St. Jude’s Co. v. Roaring Fork Club, LLC, 351 P.3d 442 (Colo. 2015) ( St. Jude’s Co. ), the Colorado supreme court held that direct diversions of water from a river to a private ditch for aesthetic, recreational, and piscatorial purposes on private property, without impoundment, are not beneficial uses of water under Colorado water law.

The bill provides that the decision in the St. Jude’s Co. case interpreting section 37-92-103 (4) does not apply to previously decreed absolute and conditional water rights or claims pending as of July 15, 2015. The interpretation of section 37-92-103 (4) in St. Jude’s Co. applies only to direct-flow appropriations, without storage, filed after July 15, 2015, for water diverted from a surface stream or tributary groundwater by a private entity for private aesthetic, recreational, and piscatorial purposes.

From The Vail Daily (Scott N. Miller):

Colorado water law received some needed clarification in the 2017 session of the Colorado Legislature.

The legislature, this session, passed a bill in response to the 2015 Colorado Supreme Court decision in the case of St. Jude’s Co. v. Roaring Fork Club LLC. That decision held that direct diversions of water from a river to a private ditch for “aesthetic, recreational and piscatorial” purposes are not “beneficial uses” under state water law.

“Beneficial use” is a much-used term in state water law and originally encompassed primarily to agricultural and municipal uses. That definition has been evolving throughout the years — through both court decisions and legislation — to protect recreational uses, too, and the new legislation makes that clearer…

The bill was sponsored in the House of Representatives by Democrat K.C. Becker and co-sponsored in the Senate by Republican Jerry Sonnenberg. In a statement after Gov. John Hickenlooper signed the bill, Becker said the law “provides the needed certainty for water rights holders in Colorado.”

Eagle River Watershed Council Executive Director Holly Loff agreed. In an email, Loff wrote that the group is celebrating the bill’s passage.

“It protects the tools that local governments have at their disposal to protect flows — both recreational and environmental — which were threatened by the broad language in the (Supreme Court) case. Recreational and piscatorial uses are most definitely beneficial and we are happy to see those protected.”