Monday, August 11

Officially ceasing operations

After several months of discussions, the staff of the Rocky Mountain Chronicle has decided that it will not resume operations.

Since halting print publication on May 15, Chronicle staff members have weighed options for continuing operations in northern Colorado. Those talks mainly focused on a shift to a nonprofit journalism model with a greater online presence and a less frequent print product. However, after considering a range of obstacles, remaining Chronicle staff has decided to end this endeavor to reestablish an independent media voice in the region.

We thank the many community members and businesses that have expressed and demonstrated their interest in and support for the Chronicle. The newspaper's archives will remain online at for the near future.

If you need to reach a staff member, send an email to


Monday, May 19

So, really, what is up with the Chronicle?

I've spent the last few weeks fielding the above question, and I have a really simple answer for those tuning into Holla: We don't know.

We're not trying to be evasive with readers and supporters who care about the Chronicle, but we are in the midst of mapping out a future course for the publication and we don't have much to share just yet.

Into the mix of these discussions among staff and community members, many of us from the paper are about to head south of the border for a few weeks of Old Mexico sunshine (read: tequila). No need to speculate on any outsourcing/insourcing, immigration capers, or globalized partnerships: this is strictly non-business.

In the meantime, Holla and the Chronicle website will both remain online, but posts won't resume here until June 5.

If you want to be kept in the know on future announcements about the Chronicle, email with the subject: "So, what about the Chronicle" and I will add you to a list that will put out that type of news as the summer progresses.

Friday, May 16

Lawn kegger at guv mansion today

CSU student and gubernatorial fortunate son August Ritter has attracted the attention of Mason Tvert and the state's pro-cannabis movement after throwing a bash at the governor's mansion. Photos of Ritter, twenty-two years old, drinking from a keg and holding the state flag were recently obtained and published by The Denver Post and 9News.

In response, Tvert's group, SAFER, is holding its own kegger on the mansion lawn today at 2:30 p.m. to protest the seeming encouragement of drinking at parties, instead of pot smoking. Governor Bill Ritter's spokesman, Evan Dreyer, told 9News that no one under twenty-one was drinking at the party -- a Mansion Masquerade. In an invite to the gathering, found at a social-networking site, Auggie reminds guests that there's no puking or "sexy time" at mansion throwdowns.

From a SAFER press release:
"If everyone partying at the Governor's Mansion was of age to use alcohol legally, they were also of age to use marijuana legally under Denver laws," said SAFER Executive Director Mason Tvert. "Allowing adults to drink straight from a keg-tap and drink hard liquor off of a ski, while making criminals out of those who simply use a less harmful drug, is totally a party foul."

Denver voters approved a ballot initiative in 2005, amending city ordinances to make private possession of small amounts of marijuana legal for adults 21 and older. City officials have said they are bound to continue enforcing the state marijuana possession law in the city.

"This is partying discrimination and the governor should grant equal party time in his publicly-funded home to those adults who prefer to make the safer choice to use marijuana instead of alcohol," Tvert said. "The People of Denver have spoken and it is time for our state government to stop the hypocrisy."
Tvert is always pretty crafty with these types of stunts, confronting Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper and the Denver Broncos in the past over policies that favor drinking over pot smoking. No word on whether the Ritter family will head out to the mansion lawn for a kegstand, but why not grab a TGIF beer with some stoners if you're around 400 E. 8th Avenue this afternoon.

Fort Collins stopover for South Dakota Kid

Locals looking to get schooled in pool could have learned (and lost to) one of the world's best the last few weeks. Shane Van Boening, the South Dakota Kid, just wrapped up a two-week layover in Fort Collins.

Van Boening, a hearing-impaired, straight-edge shooter born to champion-caliber pool players, spent most of his time at Match Ups on Mason Street. He is currently the number one ranked billiards player in the world, according to

Pool hustling has gotten a brighter spotlight recently due to a book, Running the Table, by L. Jon Wertheim of Sports Illustrated, which profiles Danny "Kid Delicious" Basavich and his life on the road (I grew up one town over from Delicious, and his hometown pool hall was just a few minutes from my parents' house). One of the more interesting aspects of the story, which is being made into a movie now, is how hustling has declined for the likes of Van Boening and Delicious because the Internet has made it impossible for sharp shooters to keep low profiles as they travel the country looking for marks. The hold 'em boom has also grabbed a lot of the action that used to revolve around tournament billiards.

One Match Ups bartender told me no one was dumb enough to challenge Van Boening to a money game, even with him openly offering some generous spots to any takers-on.

Thursday, May 15

Extra pics: subdudes in New Orleans

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of hanging with the subdudes in New Orleans during Jazz Fest weekend. You can read my story about about the experience, entitled "Fort Collins, Louisiana," in the (last?) print edition of the Chronicle, out today.

The subdudes serenade the masses from the Acura Stage.

Backstage at the N'awlins' House of Blues: Look for the dudes in the bottom left for evidence of multiple HOB glories.

Psychedelic subdudes at the HOB.

Compelling signage.

Chronicle's last newsstand?

Our final weekly print issue is out today, filled with some miscellaneous entertainment, a great profile of Fort Collins' own N'awlins music superheroes, the subdudes, a Friday night in the Fort photo essay, and the Chronicle Pages, a listing of our supporters (and your favorite retailers and services) in the community.

Thanks for reading, and go show your love for all that's wholly in Fort Collins by supporting those who have supported us.

We are continuing to map out the Chronicle's future, so stay tuned to Holla and feel free to share comments on what you crave from the Chronicle.

Tuesday, May 13

Uranium unrest; windfall for wind

Northern Colorado has a drinking buddy with the in-situ uranium mining blues in Northeast Wyoming.

Up in the Cowboy State, Converse County residents are growing more and more worried about the Smith Ranch-Highlands in-situ mining site, after a state report documented a number of violations last month, according to an article in the Casper Star-Tribune today. The project happens to be one of the examples that Powertech Uranium Corp. has cited as a success story when making the case that in-situ uranium mining around Nunn (and just seven miles from Fort Collins) would be safe for the environment and landowners.

Also on the nuclear-energy front, the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that building new nuclear power plants could prove to be prohibitively expensive for industry, partly due to inflation.

It's not all gloom and doom in energy news: A new U.S. Department of Energy report says America could get 20 percent of its power from wind by 2030, greatly reducing the need for new gas or coal (or nuclear) plants. Considering our region's investment in wind power, the report is a reminder that energy development in Northern Colorado doesn't have to blow (not literally, but figuratively) for local residents.

primo promo

Fort Collins-based Summit Studios sent this video last night of their shoot at the old Linden's with The Gabrielle Louise Trio.

And you can check out their top pic from the shoot (scroll past the vid) at the SS blog.

Take My Identity, Please!

So, last week I had my wallet stolen at the Rio Grande in Fort Collins. At first I thought perhaps I lost it and waited patiently for some kind soul to contact me, but then a $185 charge at the Rio posted and it became clear that the soul was not kind.

Of course, this debit charge posted before I was able to cancel my cards. I figured, it being a debit card, that I was responsible for the charge. Nope! The banker told me that half of what they do all day is handle unauthorized charges. If you've been over-charged, charged repeatedly for a one-time service like Internet at a hotel, or as with my case, had your card stolen, the bank handles it for you. They reimburse your money, then take it up with the vendor. Good to know!

But I also had my Social Security card in my wallet. Yes, I've been reminded repeatedly how stupid this is, but I had only recently put it in my wallet while filing taxes. In any case, the fellow (yes, i know it's sexist but I'm convinced it's a he) that charged $185 on my debit can assume my bad credited identity. Searching the Internet to see how best to protect yourself when you know someone has a hold of your SS# can be daunting. But again, the First National banker hooked a brother up. Here's the numbers to call if you suspect indentity theft:

Equifax: 800/525-6285
Experian: 888/397-3742
TransUnion: 800/680-7289

You can also call the Federal Trade Commission's hotline at 877/IDTHEFT.

Monday, May 12

Some dam(n) compromise

Last week I received a statement from former CD-4 Congressman (and past CU president) Hank Brown, affirming his support for Glade Reservoir and NISP. The piece doesn't seem to have appeared in any of the local newspapers (although I could be wrong) so I'm posting it here:
Hank Brown Statement in support of the Northern Integrated Supply Project

Hank Brown served as a Colorado state senator from Larimer, Weld and Morgan Counties from 1972 to 1976, as the 4th Congressional District congressman from l980 to l990 and as a U.S Senator from l990 to l996. Brown was the prime sponsor of Colorado's Conservation Trust Fund and one of several prime sponsors of Colorado's minimum stream flow bill. In Congress Brown was the author and prime sponsor of the legislation designating the Cache La Poudre as Colorado's first and only Wild and Scenic river and of the Poudre National Water Heritage bill.

In considering the request to permit off-stream storage on the Cache La Poudre, I thought you might be interested in some of the background that brought about the designation. By 1982 negotiations on the designation of the Poudre had been at a standstill for about a decade. Both the environmental groups and the water users had the ability to stop a bill, but to achieve a designation required them to work together. Our negotiations require 4 years to complete, but agreement was finally reached allowing the designation to go through.

The negotiations involved Larimer and Weld Counties as well as Ft. Collins and Greeley. In addition all of the agricultural, water users and environmental groups were part of the negotiators as well. The compromise had the support of all of the environmental groups and most of the agricultural groups as well as the cities and counties. The designation of parts of the river forced the water users to surrender several of their most economical sites for water storage in the main channel of the river. They finally agreed to this because they were assured that off-channel sites and other less economical on channel sites would be preserved for water storage. Everyone involved clearly knew that future water storage was needed and was part of the compromise.

To deny the permits for a reasonable off-channel storage site in an area that was not designated would clearly violate the compromise. It is possible that some of those voicing concern about an off-channel site were not aware of the commitments of the cities and environmental groups made in the negotiations. If permits are denied for the water storage it will make it far more difficult in the future to achieve agreements that will benefit the environment.

In considering the need for more storage you may also wish to take note that the additional storage will enhance Ft. Collins and all of northern Colorado's ability to maintain minimum stream flow and assist us from forfeiting Colorado water to Nebraska.
The "compromise" complaint from the water-development industry has been frequently invoked since talk about NISP/Glade started. Northern Water and its backers claim that a decision to not build Glade means enviros are reneging on a past agreement.

Here's one example from a December 13, 2006 Chronicle article, "Ship of Fools:"
Northern spokesman Brian Werner says the real battle over a dam on the Poudre River ended two decades ago, and resident environmentalists don't understand the terms of the treaty.

In the mid '80s, Northern clashed with conservation groups over a dam that would have been located on the mainstem of the Poudre and submerged the lower end of the canyon. The foes struck a deal in 1986: A federal law protected 75 miles of the river in the Poudre Canyon as Wild and Scenic. It included no stipulations about the mouth of the canyon, in order to allow for a future dam, says Werner.

"Most of these people that are here now weren't here 20 years ago, and they don't understand the compromise that went in to the Poudre becoming Colorado's only Wild and Scenic River," says Werner, sitting in a high-back leather swivel chair inside the district's ag-chic headquarters, located outside Berthoud.
The catch is that the compromise was more of a wink-and-a-handshake toward consideration of a future dam (Glade), rather than being anything that green-lighted water development on the Cache la Poudre. The law that named the Poudre a Wild and Scenic River states that the protection is "not incompatible" with a project, such as NISP. One of the wrinkles for Northern Water, however, is Glade opponents have evoked a whole other number of concerns, besides (and almost regardless of) impacts to the Wild and Scenic-designated stretch.

And here is the take of one long-time river advocate on the supposed terms of the compromise, again from "Ship of Fools:"
Gary Kimsey was among the environmentalists who fought Northern's plan for a dam on the Cache la Poudre 20 years ago. As a member of the non-profit Friends of the Poudre, he helped hammer out the compromise deal back then and says the construction of Glade Reservoir was never guaranteed.

Kimsey continues to sit on the board of Friends of the Poudre, and says he wavers daily about NISP and the consequences for the Poudre River. The conflicted feelings of conservation warriors like Kimsey underscore the difficulty of the dam opponents' mission this time around.

"Pure environmentalists believe that if [Front Range towns] don't have the water supply, it will help limit growth," he says, "But I'm like many people in this community: I'm lukewarm about NISP. I don't support it, but I think it needs to go through the public planning process."
That's exactly where we're at now -- in the public planning process, with the project getting consideration through a draft environmental impact statement. Whatever a person's temperature toward the reservoir project, now is the time to sort through the rhetoric, the laws and the statistics. Compromise or no compromise, the future of the Poudre River and NISP is still very undecided.

Friday fandango

I ended up in Lyons on Friday night, and after wandering the town in the rain with a friend for a little while, we stumbled into the Outlaw Saloon, a NASCAR-and-longnecks kind of bar. Inside, we got a listen to Trucker's Daughter, a country band out of Fort Collins that plays the standards and some originals. The group has four regulars, fronted by singer-songwriter Michele Crockett (an actual trucker's daughter), and, in Lyons, they also had local celebrity/songwriter Jeff Finlin filling in on drums and looking pretty inconspicuous (Finlin told me he is wrapping up a new album; a release party will be held at Everyday Joe's in downtown Fort Collins on June 14).

After dancing a few numbers (and watching some local pick through our jacket pockets), I have to urge folks that love themselves some ol' Hank and Merle to go and check out the band. They'll be at Ragin' Ryan's in Loveland this coming weekend, and they also play at Swing Station in LaPorte.

Friday, May 9

"Do not try shrink me, gypsy"

With the onset of summer, we must stay vigilant -- of wildfires, West Nile virus and, of course, gypsies. According to the Larimer County Sheriff's Office, the season is ripe for gypsies to overtake and deceive us (and perhaps even shrink us down):
The Larimer County Sheriff’s Office would like to caution residents against door-to-door con artists. These itinerant criminals known as “Travelers” and “Gypsies,” generally appear in the summertime and are often members of one family. Annually these professionals collectively make millions of dollars off the vulnerability of older Coloradoans. ...

A FRAUD ALERT! supplied by the State of Colorado Office of the District Attorney offers these observations on recognizing “Travelers”:

Recognizing “Gypsies”:
They impersonate water department, Public Service Company or city workers. They may even wear a uniform and flash a badge.
They say they need to inspect pipes or the furnace, or weeds next to the homeowner’s property.
They will require the homeowner to accompany them to the basement, bathroom or backyard, under the premise of needing assistance.
They may say the homeowner is owed a rebate because utility bills are too high – then watch where the home owner goes to get change for a $50 bill.
While distracting the homeowner, others will ransack bedrooms in search of cash and jewelry.

“Travelers” and “Gypsies” travel extensively and work in well-organized teams. Although they appear friendly and likeable, these itinerant criminals are a ruthless group of thieves, who consider themselves superior to other criminals and citizens. They further believe their elderly victims deserve to be conned. ...

If you suspect Travelers or Gypsies are in your neighborhood, don’t answer your door, never let strangers in your home. And above all, call Larimer County Sheriff’s Office at 970-416-1985 if you live in the county or Fort Collins Police Services 970-221-6540 if you reside in the city limits.
The announcement doesn't mention so, but if gypsies offer services in trade for their tears, always accept the deal; it's good luck. Also, we should be cautious if someone like this guy (see video below) shows up at our front doors, which begs the question: Who will protect the gypsies, wa-wa-woo?

Borat - The Gypsy Yard Sale

friday headlines

Here it comes again: A proposal to increase taxes so Larimer County can keep people in jail.

King of the Hill: Obama goes back to Washington (CD7 Rep. Ed Perlmutter weighs in).

Keeping up with the Slowskis: A Senate committee says the FBI needs to catch up to terrorism.

Food fight: Burma refuses U.N. food aid.

Sex, drugs and...: Well, just sex and drugs for the young in Europe.

Thursday, May 8

Government report: EPA falling farther behind in regulating chemicals

With the barrage of recent headlines on the dangers of chemicals to people and the environment, you'd like to think the federal government is working on a system where scientists can review and recommend regulations in an efficient and capable manner. Well, that's not happening, according to a report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (my favorite federal bureaucracy) released in late April.

Currently, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency evaluates chemicals through its Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) program, which is supposed to inform decisions on regulations and policies related to safe human exposures to more than 540 chemicals. The GAO, however, has concluded that:
The IRIS database is at serious risk of becoming obsolete because EPA has not been able to routinely complete timely, credible assessments or decrease its backlog of 70 ongoing assessments.
Further, past recommendations from the GAO on how to improve the timeliness and effectiveness of the IRIS program have also gone unimplemented. One example: The GAO had recommended that IRIS reviews should include comments from other federal agencies to make assessments more transparent, but the EPA continues to exclude such expert feedback from the public record.

A report summary is available online, and the Chronicle's feature from April 10 on the disturbing impacts of chemicals and the government's lax regulations is at our website.

locals watch: asma hassan

In writing about the state's infamous Hassan family, one must take some care. As many a writer (of songs, newspaper articles, or otherwise) can attest, Colorado's most high-profile Pakistani Republicans are notoriously litigious. But their propensity for keeping up media appearances makes them impossible to neglect.

Growing up in the southern Front Range city of Pueblo (where I attended Catholic school with the Hassan children, though never in the same class), my first exposure to this propensity came via the Chieftain's oxymoronic society pages, over which Sandy Stein has lorded for much too long. I had all but forgotten about the family until the past couple of years, when both Asma and her brother, Ali, nabbed the headlines from the ’rents, though not in quite the same society-scaping ways I remember from back in the day: At least in Colorado, Asma is most recently notable for claiming a musician defamed her, and the public-office-seeking Ali for domestic disputes with his ex-campaign publicist/girlfriend.

The latest Hassan-family sighting comes via Glamour magazine's new politics blog, Glamocracy, where Asma Hassan has been tapped as the Wednesday commentator. She's no Ayaan Hirsi Ali or Irshad Manji (who were comparatively examined in a recent NYT Week in Review article), but the liberal Republican is certainly bound to keep the stink eyes glaring.

Check out her latest post here.

And for a much more insightful and colorful look at her brother, read this story (by my friend and former coworker Naomi Zeveloff).

thursday headlines

De facto day: The Times and the other Times practically give Obama the nomination.

Radio waves: KRFC and KUNC survive another fund drive, but things aren't looking so hot for KRFC.

Puffed out: CSU reminds Gifford smokers that they're not wanted.

Super savers: Tracking down Colorado's uncommitted superdelegates. (This story was first reported at Read it here.)

Babyfaced bogeys: Twenty-something golfers on the rise in the U.S.

Signing off: On the letters Elisabeth Fritzl wrote before her father imprisoned her in a cellar.

Wednesday, May 7

Screw the body armor, get the troops Maxim

Georgia Republican Congressman Paul Broun wants to ban the sale of men's magazines, including Playboy, Hustler, Penthouse and maybe even Maxim, on U.S. military bases.

From an article posted at
Sgt. Simon Brown, 34, of Daytona Beach, Fla., said men's magazines build morale. "It's not all about the pictures, although 80 percent of it is," he said. ...

Brown deployed to Afghanistan in 2002 and 2005 and is preparing to go to Iraq with the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade this summer. When he was in Afghanistan he was one of the first to pick up a new copy of Maxim or FHM when it came out, he said.

"It would suck if they ban it," he said. "It's bad enough we are down there to begin with. Taking that away would be like a knife in the chest. I'm not saying I'm depending on Maxim to keep me alive over there, but it helps."

Broun, the congressman, believes the mags contribute to sexual assaults and other violence on bases. The assertion sounds specious and begs the question: why don't Republicans support our troops?

(a nod to Slog)

Wednesday headlines: Are we there yet?

Racks and river review: FC council approves bin ordinance and money for Glade study

Chin chin, Ms. Chin:
Coloradoan publisher resigns

More media moves: CSU student media to go nonprofit

McCain departs from Aspen: GOP president hopeful's voice to get yanked from PA in airport

The nuclear option

The presidential candidates have weighed in on nuclear energy in recent weeks, an issue of particular interest to Northern Coloradans because of Powertech's ongoing push for uranium mining.

Republican candidate John McCain is downright enthusiastic about nuclear energy. Earlier this week, in North Carolina, he said, "I believe we are not going to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and become energy independent...unless we use nuclear power and use it in great abundance."

Democrats Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are much more cautious toward supporting nuclear energy and both have questioned heaping subsidies on the industry. Both have also raised questions about the waste and safety issues. Clinton has said she doesn't oppose continuing research related to costs and these other issues.

I'm wondering whether McCain's position will become campaign fodder this fall because when Republican politicians have turned into energy-industry lapdogs they have often alienated core constituents. Colorado's transition from red to blue (well, purple) has been partly fueled by the Bush Administration's zealous support for oil and gas and the impacts on rural parts of the state. Long-time Republicans, caught in the drilling haze, were already flipping allegiance to John Kerry in 2004. So, energy exploration could play a role this November when Larimer and Weld county voters (both counties have been Bush country) head to the polls.

Tuesday, May 6

Biker names

The Chronicle loves nicknames, especially when it comes to public figures. That being said, here's a press release from the Fort Collins Velodrome Association:
The Fort Collins Velodrome Association’s Associates in Family Medicine 6-Day Races at the CSU Oval kicks off this Sunday, May 11 at 4:50 p.m. with a special race featuring notable local personalities. Racers currently registered include:

Diggs "Dirt Bike" Brown, City Council
Tim "Spin Doctor" Anderson, FtC Velodrome Association
Jim "CaVe Man" Clark, FtC Convention & Visitors Bureau
Ben "Big Ring" Manvel, City Council
Lisa "Lightning" Poppaw, City Council
Wade "Go Rams!" Troxell, City Council
Doug "Big Dog" Johnson, UniverCity Connections
“Pedaling” Paola Malpezzi Price, CSU and ExperiencePlus!
I like "Dirt Bike" Diggs, and I'm glad to see Lisa Poppaw get a fresh nickname, especially since the one her detractors have given her, and which I once repeated in a column, is pretty mean. However, I'm thinking the velo-folks could do better than "Go Rams!" Troxell (how about "Singletrack" Troxell, for instance?), and I still prefer "Math Boy" Manvel (courtesy of fellow councilman, Kelly Ohlson) to "Big Ring."

I'm picking Manvel to beat out the other competing councilmembers -- I see him on a bike all the time. Then, I'm picking councilman David Roy to lead his colleagues in a version of Queen's "Bicycle Race," although I'm guessing they won't re-create the original video:

gas attack

Hillary Clinton's proposal for a gas-tax holiday is being credited by some for breathing life back into Barack Obama's campaign and for helping to distinguish the two candidates on the issues.

In a piece for HuffPost this morning, Lawrence O'Donnell reminds us that Bill Clinton was responsible for increasing the gas tax in the first place (by 4.3 cents, aka "the Clinton nickel"). Clinton was gunning for a larger gas-tax increase, which was built into his budget plan via a controversial BTU (British thermal unit) tax aimed at fossil fuels.

It was Clinton's first year in the White House, and O'Donnell was the chief of staff for the Senate Finance Committee. New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson was a second-term Democratic congressman whose hopes for a spot in Clinton's cabinet had just been dashed.

"It was a real struggle, with a cliffhanger conclusion worthy of a Hollywood thriller," Richardson writes of helping to pass Clinton's tax increase, in his book Between Worlds: The Making of an American Life.

O'Donnell, who went on to become the executive producer of the political television series "The West Wing," assumes more of a "Hollywood drama" tone in his HuffPost piece today.

But is it fair to keep Billary tethered on the gas-tax issue? After all, according to Richardson, the BTU tax was one of Al Gore's ideas, not Clinton's — and the Senate killed it anyway, leaving just the Clinton nickel to impact gasoline prices, and casting Al Gore's environmental ideals into a post-(Bill) Clinton future.

Monday, May 5

progress now

Bill Vandenberg has held the title of executive director at the Colorado Progressive Coalition over its very, well, progressive life. This morning, the CPC cofounder announced his resignation, as he heads back East to take a position with a new international human rights group, a seemingly perfect fit for a man so dedicated to doing good.

Over the past few years, the once very Denver-centric racial and social- justice-oriented group has expanded their Front Range presence to include Pueblo and, just last year, Greeley (although the CPC had a nice foot in the door up north back when Fort Collins statehouse Representative John Kefalas worked for them). The expansion came at just the right time for Pueblo's east side, which recently bore the brunt of Colorado Springs' pollution of Fountain Creek, and for Greeley's Latino communities, which are dealing with significant fallout (socially, economically and racially) from the Swift Meatpacking raids.

Two men will assume Vandenberg's position, as co-EDs. One of them, Carlos Valverde Jr., is a local — born and raised on Denver's west side, educated at CC (undergrad) and Regis (masters). Here's a link to the full release.

Udall blasts Clinton's gas-tax holiday

With Hillary and Obama running between Indiana and North Carolina before tomorrow's Democratic primaries, other states are focusing on the decisions of their superdelegates and who they will support come convention time.

Colorado has fourteen of them, with four each pledged for Clinton and Obama and six undecided. But one of the unpledged, Senate hopeful Mark Udall, came out strongly against Clinton's plan for a gas-tax holiday the end of last week.

As quoted in the Rocky Mountain News:
"Sen. Clinton claimed that I either stand with her on this proposal or stand with the oil companies," Udall said.

"To that, I say I stand with the families of Colorado, who aren't looking for bumper-sticker fixes that don't fix anything, but for meaningful change that brings real relief and a new direction for our energy policy."

Republican presidential nominee John McCain has also voiced support to suspend the 18-cent federal gas tax for the summer as a relief measure for Americans. The fact that the move would do little to address our actual oil addiction problem, as compared to its symptoms, has brought criticism, like Udall's. Obama has called the idea a "political gimmick."

The announcement could be a sign that Udall is leaning towards Obama with his support, but his campaign said pundits shouldn't look too deeply into it. Like many elected officials serving as superdelegates, particularly those in a November race, Udall seems intent on veering away from an outright endorsement for either Dem candidate before the DNC comes to Denver.

monday headlines

Great fun on the bayou: Dems say Louisiana is a bellwether for upcoming Congressional bids.

Air apparent: A new study finds pollution to be bad for bees.

The windy university: CSU plans to farm Wyoming for energy.

Land's end: FC/Loveland Allegiant flight comes in hot.

Plan of attack: Austrian officials reveal how freaky Fritz built the cellar used to imprison his daughter.

Friday, May 2

If a tree almost falls on my head...

So, if a tree almost falls on my head and my place of employment is on the brink of a major transition, is it OK to start drinking heavily before noon? (My liver says yes.)

I just came a little too close to becoming a part of Avery House history when a massive cottonwood branch crashed down at the corner of Mountain and Meldrum, while I was crossing the street in that direction. The fifty m.p.h. wind gusts brought down the limb, which might even have been where a black bear was hanging out last summer. I got to watch and hear the limb crack and drop from at least twenty feet up and then thud onto the sidewalk.

The city foresters who showed up after sounded a little jealous of my experience, even as they also appeared kind of sketched out about working beneath the old cottonwoods while the winds were still whipping. One forester said the branch is less rotted than others among the old trees around the Avery House.

Here are some pics:

The spot where the branch broke off (not a great perspective, but you get the point).

The aftermath, before city foresters got to it with the chainsaws.