Vangelis, the Greek film composer and synthesizer virtuoso whose soaring music for “Chariots of Fire,” the 1981 movie about two British runners in the 1924 Summer Olympics in Paris, won the Academy Award for best original score, died on Tuesday in Paris. He was 79…
A self-taught musician, Vangelis (pronounced vang-GHELL-iss), who was born Evangelos Odysseas Papathanassiou, recorded solo albums and wrote music for television and for films including “Blade Runner” (1982), “Missing” (1982) and “1492: Conquest of Paradise” (1992). But he remains best known for scoring “Chariots of Fire.”
The most familiar part of that score — modern electronic music composed for a period film — was heard during the opening credits: a blend of acoustic piano and synthesizer that provided lush, pulsating accompaniment to the sight of about two dozen young men running in slow motion on a nearly empty beach, mud splattering their white shirts and shorts, pain and exhilaration creasing their faces.
Vangelis’s music became as popular as the film itself, directed by Hugh Hudson, which won four Oscars, including best picture. The opening song, also called “Chariots of Fire,” was released as a single and spent 28 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, including a week at No. 1. The soundtrack album remained on the Billboard 200 chart for 30 weeks and spent four weeks in the top spot. Vangelis said the score immediately came to him as he watched the film in partly edited form…
He was working at the time in his London studio with a Yamaha CS-80 synthesizer.
“It’s the most important synthesizer in my career and the best analog synthesizer design there has ever been,” he told Prog, an alternative music website, in 2016, adding, “It’s the only synthesizer I could describe as being a real instrument.”
Governor visits Valley to make the announcement; signs Simpson bill that brings $30 million to Rio Grande Basin
EXPECT more truckloads of potatoes grown in the San Luis Valley to be headed south into Mexico in the near future.
Gov. Jared Polis showed up in the Valley on Monday bearing good news. Joined by potato growers and U.S. Department of Agriculture Undersecretary Jenny Lester Moffitt, Polis announced a new agreement that opens up the entire country of Mexico to potato exports from Colorado.
“As you know we are the second biggest potato producing region overall, but we are the best-situated potato region for export to the Mexican market and we are very excited about what the opportunity means,” said Polis.
He said the state and the Colorado Potato Administrative Committee headed by Jim Ehrlich will work next at identifying the specific regions of Mexico to increase Colorado potato exports and identifying buyers in Mexico.
Increasing potato exports to Mexico was one of two stops Polis made in the Valley. He also joined State Sen. Cleave Simpson and a host of local dignitaries to sign two water-related bills into law that were sponsored by Simpson:
HB22-1316, the Colorado Water Conservation Board Construction Fund which pays for items like satellite monitoring system operation and maintenance, weather modification permitting, Colorado floodplain map modernization, among other projects.
Working with Mexico to get more potato exports from Colorado was greeted with cautious optimism by Valley farmers. The U.S. and Mexico had worked out a similar arrangement seven years ago, said Ehrlich, only to have Mexico revert back to limited exports 11 days into the agreement.
Ehrlich said there is hope this new agreement will last longer, which Polis said it will since Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador signed off on the agreement and López Obrador will be in office through September 2024.
Ehrlich credited U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet for their persistent efforts to get Mexico to open up on agriculture exports. “For years, I’ve worked with Colorado’s potato growers to cut through red tape and restore access to the industry in Mexico,” Bennet said. “I’m pleased to see the first shipments of U.S. fresh potatoes to Mexico in over 25 years. I’ll keep fighting to keep this market open.”
Ehrlich said Vilsack, during his time as ag secretary under President Obama, had been working on getting Mexico to agree to more exports and was able to pick up that work and complete it when President Biden named Vilsack his ag secretary.
“We hope this will be a durable agreement over time,” Ehrlich said.
Last year, Colorado exported more than 122 million pounds of potatoes to Mexico, according to the governor’s office. Colorado exported $1.4 billion of goods to Mexico, including potatoes, making it Colorado’s second largest export destination. With this new announcement the U.S. has begunexporting potatoes beyond the 26-kilometer border zone that previously marked the limit of their export, the governor said.
The Valley exports potatoes by truck into Mexico. The Mexicans are partial to the alpha potato, but Ehrlich and Polis said the new agreement will yield Mexico all types of potatoes grown in the Valley.
“Our growers here are some of the best potato growers in the world,” Ehrlich said. “I anticipate that we will only ship our very best product to Mexico.
“We’re going to expose them to all different kinds, reds, yellows, russets, we anticipate we’ll expose them to everything.”
The competitive Polis, who has chided neighboring New Mexico that the green chile grown in Colorado is superior, took aim at Idaho with the potato announcement.
“We are the second largest (potato-growing state), but Idaho we’re coming for you.”
The UGRWCD presents the 1st Annual UPPER GUNNISON RIVER BASIN WATER ROUNDUP! Join us at the I Bar Ranch Thursday, June 9, 2022 from Noon to 9 PM. Register today at: https://t.co/0khTkr6rjJ or call the District at (970)641-6065. Hope to see you there! pic.twitter.com/gYEB7yB71i
The Douglas County commissioners have decided not to use American Rescue Plan Act dollars on a controversial water supply project but may consider it again in the future. Commissioner Abe Laydon, the decisive vote on the issue, announced his vote during a May 24 work session…
Laydon said his decision was because the county’s outside legal counsel concluded that the project was not eligible for ARPA funds and recommended the county not participate…
One issue outlined in the memo is that Renewable Water Resources has not formed an augmentation plan — as would be required by law — showing how they will avoid injury to other water rights through their project. Commissioner Lora Thomas has been against the proposal since it was brought before the county and said she is not in support of continuing any conversations with RWR or paying for outside legal counsel to continue assessing it.
Gov. Jared Polis on Monday signed two bills into law that are aimed at conserving a precious and dwindling resource in the state: water. For the bill signings, the governor traveled to the San Luis Valley, an important agricultural region where farmers face mounting challenges from extreme drought driven by climate change.
Republican Sens. Cleave Simpson of Alamosa and Jerry Sonnenberg of Sterling, plus Reps. Dylan Roberts, an Avon Democrat, and Marc Catlin, a Montrose Republican, sponsored the first bill, Senate Bill 22-28. It puts $60 million of federal COVID-19 relief money into a new “groundwater compact compliance and sustainability” fund to help finance projects that reduce groundwater use in the Rio Grande and Republican river basins.
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Such projects might include efforts to “buy and retire” wells used for irrigation as well as portions of irrigated farmland, with the goal of restoring water to underground aquifers and helping the communities meet deadlines to reduce their water use. The Colorado Water Conservation Board can allocate money from the groundwater fund based on recommendations from the boards of directors for the Rio Grande Water Conservation District and the Republican River Water Conservation District.
“The timing of the availability of federal dollars and the growing sense of urgency in both basins created a unique opportunity that will serve both of these communities well,” Simpson told the Alamosa Citizen in April.
The other bill Polis signed, House Bill 22-1316, provides millions of dollars for construction projects approved by the Colorado Water Conservation Board. The bill’s legislative sponsors included Reps. Karen McCormick, D-Longmont, and Catlin, along with Sens. Kerry Donovan, D-Vail, and Simpson. Among the local and regional projects funded are:
$3.8 million for the Platte River Recovery Implementation Program. By increasing water flows through the central Platte River habitat area — which stretches across northern Colorado, Wyoming and Nebraska — the project is aimed at improving conditions for the interior least tern, pallid sturgeon, piping plover and whooping crane.
$2 million to support the state’s efforts to comply with the Republican River compact, which was first negotiated between Colorado, Kansas and Nebraska in the early 1940s. The compact governs the three states’ use of the water resources in the Republican River basin, which begins on the plains of eastern Colorado and flows through northwest Kansas and eastern Nebraska.
$500,000 for the Arkansas River Decision Support System. The Arkansas River DSS project involves collecting data on characteristics like climate and groundwater in the Arkansas River basin, which covers the southeast quadrant of the state, and analyzing the data to help inform future decisions about water use.
Polis, a Democrat, signed both bills into law at the Rio Grande Water Conservation District offices in Alamosa. According to a statement from Polis’ office, the governor then joined state and national officials in the nearby town of Center to champion a major development for the San Luis Valley’s potato industry.
The U.S. recently began exporting potatoes — including those grown in the Valley — to new regions in Mexico under an agreement reached late last year between the two countries. Previously, potato exports were limited to a 16-mile border zone.
“This agreement, paired with the critical work the Valley is doing to protect and conserve our water, will make a major positive difference for our farmers, meaning more money in the pockets of hardworking Coloradans,” Polis said in a statement. “Colorado is strategically positioned to lead the nation in potato exports to Mexico.”
Colorado sent its first shipment of potatoes to Mexico under the new agreement last week, according to the statement.
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