Volume 11 • Edition 10
May 16, 2018
National Poppy Day
Serving rural Adams, Morgan, and Weld Counties
By: Nancy Diefenderfer, Chairman, Department Poppy Committee Promoting the poppy is one-way members can support to veterans and honor their sacrifices as well as educate others about the history and meaning of the Poppy. The red poppy came to symbolize the blood shed protecting Americans’ freedom following publication of the wartime poem “In Flanders Fields” written by Lt. Col. John McCrae, M.D., while serving on the front in WWI, to honor soldiers killed in battle. The popularity of the red poppy as a memorial to those who sacrificed their lives in war began in November 1918 when Moina (pronounced mo-ee-na) Michael was so moved by Lt. Col. McCrae’s poem that she bought a bouquet of poppies on impulse and handed them to businessmen meeting at the New York YMCA where she worked. She asked them to wear the poppy as a tribute to the fallen. WWI was over, but America’s sons would rest forever “in Flanders Fields.” Later, Moina would spearhead a campaign that resulted in the adoption of the poppy as the national symbol of sacrifice. In 1923, the poppy became the official flower of The American Legion Family in memory of soldiers who fought on the battlefields during WWI. Veterans handcraft the flowers with assistance from unpaid volunteers. The veterans not only earn a small wage, which helps to supplement their incomes and makes them feel more self-sufficient, but the physical and mental activity provides many therapeutic benefits for the veteran. A veteran who devotes five to six hours per day assembling the red crepe paper poppies can make as many as 2,000 to 3,000 poppies in a week. Volunteers do not sell poppies – they “distribute” them, with a request that the person receiving the poppy make a donation to the poppy fund to support the Auxiliary’s veteran outreach programs. There are many ways individuals and groups can help bring greater
Transparency in Government- A Letter to the Editor from Sandi Elder Candidate for Republican Nomination for Weld County Commisioner at Large
Openness, accountability, and honesty define governmental transparency. In a free society, transparency is the government’s obligation to share information with the citizens. It is at the heart of how citizens hold their public officials accountable. Ask yourself as I have, do you feel the current Board of Weld County Commissioners have been transparent with the citizens of Weld County? Do you occasionally feel that they are the opposite of being transparent? —Opacity is deception, secrecy or being disingenuous. After listening to the citizens that live on County Road 29, and the neighbors around the Martin Marietta asphalt facility, I can say with no reservation, that the people I have spoken to, are adamant, that they have not been listened to, and are convinced that transparency is missing in many parts of what has transpired. We must as a board that represents the people, for the people make it transparent. We must make our meetings accessible to as many citizens as possible. In this day and age, we have the ability to post meetings on the intranet and we could partner with municipalities and cities to broadcast our meetings on their local stations, so all can view.—Accountability and trust—two words that mean a lot and quite frankly should be expected! If there is a land issue, a rezoning issue, or a USR that has a significant impact on citizens, (who decides significant, the people that it will affect) those meetings should be in the evening or before work, when people can attend, not at 10 in the morning which is the most inconvenient time for working folk. If there is a rezoning or land use issue, the homeowner or property owner needs to be notified, a postcard is not adequate. A registered letter, that requires a signature, a phone call, every attempt must be made to reach them. Transparency goes hand in hand with accountability. Are the commissioners being accountable to the taxpayer and the citizens that elected them to lead and represent their interests? Do you know where your representative is? How many hours did they work? Office hours? Conferences they attended? What are they learning from retreats & trainings? Taxpayers pay the salaries! Governments exist to SERVE THE PEOPLE. I am called to serve and ask for your vote in the upcoming primary. I would love the opportunity to listen, lead and serve you to the best of my ability. Sandi4Weld Let’s change the status quo!
What’s In This Issue:
Page 2: Way of the World Page 2: Memorial Day Page 3: Keenesburg Approves Hemp Processing Facility Page 4: Colorado Event Aimed to Suicide Awareness Prevention Page 5: Aims Students Recognized at the 20th Annual Academic Honors Ceremony Page 7: Why Hire Veterans? Page 8: May Proclaimed Foster Care Month Page 10: Keystone XL Work to Begin in Montana this Fall Page 13: Former Anadarko Brass Slam Company for Safety Risks, Callousness
Lost Creek Guide
Way of the World
by Bob Grand In today’s world we face a lot of issues, personal, business, political, local, state, federal and world. But every once and a while something comes up and reminds us how, in the grand scheme of things, no pun intended, how really insignificant everything else is. The volcano issue in Hawaii is such an event. We are standing by and watching, not able to do very much about the event except inform people and help them evacuate. Makes you wonder about Yellowstone and where we will all be if something major occurs there. The answer is simple, we all will be gone. Does not matter if you are an Independent, Democrat, Republican or a nonentity. Puts things in a little bit of perspective. Speaking of perspective, the Blue wave forecasted for November seems to be weakening. Top Democrat leadership is now saying to back off the Trump Impeachment message as it is fast losing traction. The reason is simple. Wishing and hoping is nice, but reality is Trump is doing what he said he would do. Imagine, what a novel idea. Moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem is something every major politician has talked about, but Trump did it. You think that will get a few Jewish votes, traditionally very Democratic, to consider Trump? Look at the Hispanic and Black voters. Is there shift there? People look at what is happening with North Korea. Now it remains to be seen what the outcome will be, but it is headed in the right direction. Our State Department policy for the last 50 years has been ineffectual. Here comes Trump, a no nonsense kind of guy, and what happens? Maybe our scholarly staffing from the Ivy league schools produced great debaters but what did they produce in terms of statesmanship? Speeking of producing, I do not know if you realize it or not but the Iran nuclear deal was never a signed document. It was an executive effort by Barrack Obama, never approved by the Congress and in fact never signed by the Iranians. So one has to ask, what and whose petty cash fund did the $150 billion, that is right a $150 billion, cash payment to the Iranian’s come from? Government officials are suppose to work for the people, not themselves. We have permitted this to run amuck at the federal, state and county government level. A budget is suppose to be a plan on how we are going to spend resources (our tax dollars) to accomplish the services we deem necessary. Our elected officials should get our vote if they do what we believe is the right thing to do. Things have been made so complicated that ordinary folks have a hard time understanding what is going on. We should have a clear view and understanding, perhaps called transparency, of what are officials are doing. At the state level, the state budget process is so complicated to be almost unworkable, let alone understandable. At the County level we have a budgeting process that focuses on hard asset improvements but has a very soft effort on the human services side. With our ongoing Weld County budget surplus, as projected, we will run out of reserves that we can account for, except for maybe if Yellowstone erupts. Now maybe we need to look at the efforts by the oil companies to drill outside of town/city limits, and the impacts that has on increasing county revenue while having the towns /cities having to address road and bridge maintenance with less available money. We should not have the County competing for funds with the intent of building surpluses and ignoring the needs of our citizens and towns/ cities. Hopefully the Commissioners will rethink the approach. I am not optimistic about that because some seem to think they know everything. We have a choice though, if we are not happy with the job a commissioner is doing we can choose not to vote for them. I know that is an alien concept to some of our commissioners, maybe it is time they wake up. As usual your comments and thoughts are always appreciated: email@example.com
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May 16, 2018
From History.com Memorial Day is an American holiday, observed on the last Monday of May, honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Memorial Day 2018 occurs on Monday, May 28. Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades. Unofficially, it marks the beginning of the summer season. Early Observations of Memorial Day The Civil War, which ended in the spring of 1865, claimed more lives than any conflict in U.S. history and required the establishment of the country’s first national cemeteries. By the late 1860s, Americans in various towns and cities had begun holding springtime tributes to these countless fallen soldiers, decorating their graves with flowers and reciting prayers. It is unclear where exactly this tradition originated; numerous different communities may have independently initiated the memorial gatherings. Nevertheless, in 1966 the federal government declared Waterloo, New York, the official birthplace of Memorial Day. Waterloo—which first celebrated the day on May 5, 1866—was chosen because it hosted an annual, community-wide event, during which businesses closed and residents decorated the graves of soldiers with flowers and flags. Decoration Day On May 5, 1868, General John A. Logan, leader of an organization for Northern Civil War veterans, called for a nationwide day of remembrance later that month. “The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land,” he proclaimed. The date of Decoration Day, as he called it, was chosen because it wasn’t the anniversary of any particular battle. On the first Decoration Day, General James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery, and 5,000 participants decorated the graves of the 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers buried there. Many Northern states held similar commemorative events and reprised the tradition in subsequent years; by 1890 each one had made Decoration Day an official state holiday. Southern states, on the other hand, continued to honor their dead on separate days until after World War I. History of Memorial Day Memorial Day, as Decoration Day gradually came to be known, originally honored only those lost while fighting in the Civil War. But during World War I the United States found itself embroiled in another major conflict, and the holiday evolved to commemorate American military personnel who died in all wars. For decades, Memorial Day continued to be observed on May 30, the date Logan had selected for the first Decoration Day. But in 1968 Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which established Memorial Day as the last Monday in May in order to create a three-day weekend for federal employees; the change went into effect in 1971. The same law also declared Memorial Day a federal holiday. Memorial Day 2017 occurs on May 29; Memorial Day 2018 falls on May 28. Memorial Day Traditions Cities and towns across the United States host Memorial Day parades each year, often incorporating military personnel and members of veterans’ organizations. Some of the largest parades take place in Chicago, New York and Washington, D.C. Americans also observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries and memorials. On a less somber note, many people take weekend trips or throw parties and barbecues on the holiday, perhaps because it unofficially marks the beginning of summer.
Wiggins All School Reunion June 24
105 Woodward - PO Box 581 Keenesburg, CO 80643
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What? Wiggins All School Reunion Why? It’s the School District’s 135th birthday and the Town’s 130th When? Sunday, June 24, 2018 (opens 10:30; program 12:00; lunch 12:30) Where? The “old” gym, Main Street, Wiggins Who? Graduates, classmates, employees, families Cost? $15 adults, $10 age 12 and under - covers catered lunch & other expenses To help us plan, please send your reservation/check by May 31 to: Wiggins All School Reunion, 5299 Road L, Wiggins, CO 80654 Questions: Janet Roberts (970) 483-7309; Pat/Jack Frihauf (970) 483-6602; Joyce Tackabury (970) 483-6169 The Wiggins All School Reunion Committee also awards scholarships. Donations are greatly appreciated! Make checks to “Wiggins All School Reunion.”
From USDA Farmers and ranchers have until August 3rd to enroll their farms into the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) contracts for crop year 2018. The 2014 farm bill is set to expire at the end of September 2018. “Payments are not guaranteed as they were under the 2008 farm bill, but the current option to enroll now gives farmers the opportunity to capture government payments when prices decline under the PLC option and when revenues fall under ARC,” according to Wilson. Nearly seventy percent of the producers have enrolled in Weld County for crop year 2018, and the remaining producers are encouraged to enroll now. This enrollment can be completed while reporting acreage, so please do not wait until the deadline to request an appointment. Call the Weld County FSA now to set up an appointment at (970) 356-8097 extension 2. Potential payments for crop year 2017 will not be released until after October 1, 2018, and the calculated payment amounts will be subject to a sequestration reduction factor of 6.9 percent. Any 2018 payments will not be released until October 2019 and be sequestered by 6.6 percent.
May 16, 2018
Lost Creek Guide
Keenesburg Approves Hemp Processing Facility
From Town of Keenesburg Board of Trustee Reguler Meeting Minutes on Tuesday , February 20, 2018 6:00PM C: Special Use Permit, Koan Ventures LLC dba Ouro LLC Mayor Gfeller opened the public hearing on the application for special use permit, Koan Ventures LLC dba Ouro, LLC. at 6:22 p.m. The application was for approval of the Special Use Permit for a hemp processing facility, flammable liquid use and flammable liquid storage. Notice of the public hearing was published in the Greeley Tribune January 31, 2018. The property was posted with notice on January 26, 2018. Notice was mailed to all property owners within 300 ft. of the property on January 26, 2018 Joe Janecky 525 E Railroad Ave Keenesburg, Co 80643- Koan Ventures, LLC. He explained the company extracts CBD from hemp plants. Which is a pharmaceutical element used for lotions in addition to an internal application. These hemp materials would be received in a ground up format, submerged into a solvent, which removes the CBD oils. Those oils are concentrated to create the oil. The materials would be delivered in large sacks on trucks. The location would only be a location for this wholesale business and would not be a storefront. Todd Hodges Town Planner. The land use application was for a special use permit for a hemp processing facility with storage or warehousing of chemicals. The site is zoned light industrial and the store and use of some of the chemicals for the facility requires the special use permit. The site currently has an existing special use permit for a chemical company. If approved the permit will replace the existing one. Three conditions of approval were associated with the special use permit. Mayor Gfeller opened the public comment portion of the hearing at 6:32 p.m. There were no public comments. Mayor Geller closed the public comment portion of the hearing. Mayor Gfeller turned the matter over to the Board of Trustees for questions. Trustee Wafel shared the questions that were asked during the Planning Commission meeting. He asked the representative to explain organics. Joe explained there was a local farmer who has an organic farm and their goal was to eventually have all incoming stream rated as organic. Trustee Wafel asked him to explain how much product would be processed. Joe explained the short-term goal was to process 10,000 lbs. a day and to ultimately triple that. Mayor Gfeller closed the public hearing at 6:58 p.m. and turned the matter over to the Board of Trustees for consideration of approval of a use by special review permit for a hemp processing facility, flammable liquid use, and flammable liquid storage. D. RESOLUTION 2018-07- approving a use by special review permit for a hemp processing facility, flammable liquid use, and flammable liquid storage Motion was made by Trustee Beach seconded by Trustee Howell to approve RESOLUTION 2018-07 approving a use by special review permit for a hemp processing facility, flammable liquid use, and flammable liquid storage with two additional conditions of approval, 4. The applicant shall, at all times, ensure its business complies with the 2014 Farm Bill and other applicable laws and regulations and 5. The applicant’s traffic plan is subject to review by the Town in the event traffic generation exceeds the anticipated traffic described in the application. Motion carried 7-0; Mayor Gfeller, Trustees Howell, Wafel, Beach, Smith, Gray and Hesse voting yes.
Aims Fort Lupton Campus Offering CNA and Welding at Night this Fall
GREELEY, CO – May 4, 2018 – The Aims Community College Fort Lupton campus will be offering the Certified Nurse Aide (CNA) certificate once again as well as expanding the Welding program to evening classes this fall semester. The Aims Community College Fort Lupton campus is offering a section of the Nurse Aide program this fall semester. Students will attend class on campus from September 27 through November 1 on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11:15 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., in addition to online homework. This is followed by a three-day clinical in Brighton from November 2 through November 4. Orientation to register for this section will be held on August 20 at 5 p.m. in Prairie Building room 209 at the Fort Lupton campus. For more information, please contact Kendra Merriott at (970) 339-6218. The Welding program is also expanding their program to offer evening classes in Fort Lupton. Students can earn their Welding degree or certificate by attending night class at our Fort Lupton campus. Classes will be held Monday through Thursday from 6 to 9:45 p.m. Classes are also offered during the day in Fort Lupton, Monday through Thursday from 8:10 to 11:55 a.m. Evening classes in Welding are also available in Greeley. For more information visit www.aims.edu/academics/ welding/evening. “I’m excited that we’ll be able to offer these programs to our students in Fort Lupton,” said Julie Luekenga, executive director of the Fort Lupton campus. “This will give us the opportunity to serve those students who may have other commitments during the day or may not be able to commute to the Greeley campus to take classes.” Registration is open now for the Fall semester. Visit www.aims.edu/schedule to sign up.
Former San Francisco Mayor Calls for End of Dems' Trump-Bashing: 'Might Need 12-Step Program'
Former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown wrote an op-ed calling for his fellow Democrats to “stop bashing President Trump.” Brown, a longtime fixture in California politics, said his party may risk having problems in the midterms if they don’t let up on the antiTrump rhetoric. “It’s not going to be easy,” Brown wrote in the San Francisco Chronicle on the prospect of Democrats halting their repeated attacks on the president. “It might even mean checking into a 12-step program,” he said. Brown, 84, noted that his party is right to take issue with Trump’s “policies and personality” but that Democrats must understand that a “significant” amount of Americans are pleased with the New Yorker’s tenure. “They are making money. They feel safe and they agree with the president’s protectionist trade policies... even his immigration stance,” said Brown, who served as a state assemblyman for three decades prior to his 1996-2004 tenure as mayor. The former mayor said that for Democrats to win in November they must adjust their priorities when it comes to Trump, comparing the ability to set a “winning agenda” to that of “maneuvering an aircraft carrier.” “It takes time to change course,” Brown wrote. “If [Democrats] want to be on target [in] November... the[y] need to start changing course now.” Brown also commented on California’s crowded race for governor, predicting his mayoral protege Gavin Newsom will win the state’s June “jungle primary” ahead of former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (D) and Republicans Travis Allen and John Cox. On Friday, a California Republican House candidate said she believes a “red wave” is coming in the state because people are “pissed off” about the current leadership by far-left politicians.
Lost Creek Guide
Sandi Elder for County Commissioner at Large
May 16, 2018
4-H Truck Raffle
The Rocky Mountain Ford Dealers have again generously donated a Ford F-150 4 X 4 Super Crew Truck to the Colorado 4-H Foundation for the 2018 raffle. This year additional prizes will be awarded as well. • Grand Prize: 2018 F-150 Truck • 2nd Prize: $1,450.00 cash • 3rd Prize: $1,200.00 cash • 4th Prize: $1,000.00 cash • 5th prize: $750.00 cash • 6th prize: $500.00 cash • 7th prize: $250.00 cash • 8th-12th prize: $100.00 cash Raffle tickets are available to purchase.
4-H Cake Decorating Workshop
There will be a cake decorating workshop on Sunday, June 3, 2018 in the Exhibition Building at Island Grove Park, Greeley. There will be 2 different sessions from 2:00 4:00 p.m. Come join us for this fun learning experience. One session will be learning what to do to prepare for fair. This session will cover information regarding your fair cake and how to do an exceptional record book. The other session will be for members in Unit 1. Members will need to bring a baked 8”, 9” or 10” round or square cake. The cake can have a crumb coat on it. You will need to bring a cake spatula, cup for hot water, frosting for your cake and edible items to decorate with. You will learn how to bake a level cake, frost and smooth the frosting on your cake, and use edible items to decorate your cake. Please call the Extension Office to RSVP by May 28, 2018 at 970-400-2076. For questions, please contact Michelle.
USDA- Farm Service Agency Announces Deadlines for 2018 Acreage Reporting
Colorado Event Aimed at Suicide Awareness Prevention
By: The American Legion, Apr 11, 2018 Members of The American Legion, including student veterans at Colorado State University, participated in an event aimed at raising awareness of and preventing suicide on April 22. Operation Bear Hug, spearheaded by the Student Veteran Organization at Colorado State, includes a 5k obstacle course, a resource fair and a concert. It was developed in 2016 after the suicides of two Colorado State students, both veterans. Alexandria Knappe, president of Operation Bear Hug, said the SVO wanted to make an impact by addressing the issue of suicide. “It has grown and moved directions a little bit, we focused a lot more on community than we originally anticipated,” she said. Originally aimed at getting students involved and aware, Operation Bear Hug has been successful at getting community members like the Legion involved, she said. The Department of Colorado has supported Operation Bear Hug since its inception, with Loveland Post 15 and CSU Fort Collins Post 1879 mentoring and volunteering. The first event, on April 23, 2017, raised $30,000 in support of suicide prevention, with 16 teams participating in the obstacle course. Department Commander Terri Clinton has made Operation Bear Hug her project this year and will be part of one of the teams participating in the April 22 event on Colorado State’s campus in Fort Collins. While the event has grown to address suicide for all, Knappe noted that veterans “know how to start the conversation” about suicide. “Our main goal (with Operation Bear Hug) is to provide the resources and the opportunity to have that discussion to everyone. We’ve reached out to students and to the community, we know a lot of times someone who is having suicidal thoughts, they won’t ask for help. It’s up to the outside world to identify and support them,” Knappe said. “Our team really strives to make sure that it’s a fun and interactive way to help people. It’s not some dim and gloomy activity; this is to get people involved and talking and to provide them the opportunity to create social networks and maybe find somebody that they can talk to and open a conversation up.” Commander Clinton has not provided any information on the amount of money that was raised or the number of teams that participated in the 2018 event, at the time The Observer was published. Graphics courtesy of The American Legion Magazine.
From USDA (Greeley, CO) – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Weld County Executive Director, Jeff Wilson, is asking farmers to visit the Greeley Service Center to report their acreage timely this year,” said Wilson. “The actual reporting deadline is July 16th, but we are working with a reduced staff, and we must start earlier in the season to meet the deadline.” Wilson also mentioned, “Producers who do not timely file will be charged a late filing fee of $46 per farm, and there isn’t any reason for farmers to pay for late file services. Farmer can call (907) 356-8097 to request to report their crop acreage and planting date.
Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) Reminder
From USDA All CRP contracts must have a contract management activity performed by September 30th of the sixth year of the contract. “There are many options that participants can choose from if they start in the first few years of the contract,” said Wilson. “Producers who wait until the sixth year are limited to three practices, consisting of inter-seeding by March 15th, and haying and/or grazing after July 16th and before September 30th.” Producers who wish to use the acreage for haying or grazing purposes must apply for such use in advance of July 15th. Prior to written approval must be granted, and the grazing must be performed according to an approved grazing plan, and haying must be cut at a designated height for specific grass types. Producers who have a September 30, 2018 deadline will be receiving individual notification.
Park Hill Dental Arts Announces New Members
Park Hill Dental Arts has proudly served the SE Weld community since 2006. Our goal is to make our office welcoming and enjoyable. We are proud to have team members Lacie Schreibvogel and Jenny Kala, hygienists. Both hygienists and assistant, Mariam Green, are long-time residents, all three professionals understand the community and make your oral health their top priority. While we work to make our office the best it can be, Lacie, Jenny, and Mariam will continue to work to ensure your oral health is at its very best.
May 16, 2018
Lost Creek Guide
Aims Students Recognized at the 20th Annual Academic Honors Ceremony
Article and Pictures Courtesy of Aims Communications GREELEY, CO – May 14, 2018 – Aims Community College recognized the amazing academic achievements of 66 students at the 20th Annual Academic Honors Ceremony and two outstanding faculty on May 11, 2018. Hosted by the Aims Alumni Connection, this yearly event celebrates the passion, dedication and hard work that Aims students and faculty put into their education and future. “Aims Community College would like to congratulate all of these remarkable students!” said Aims CEO and President Dr. Leah L. Bornstein. “Aims prides itself on building an atmosphere that many refer to as their family. We are proud of our current and graduating students and wish them well as they continue to achieve their dreams.” Four types of awards were recognized at the event: Student Selected: Full-Time & Part-Time Faculty of the Year Awards – The Associated Students select faculty who they feel have gone above and beyond by embracing the Aims spirit through outstanding and creative classes. This year’s recipients are: • Eric Hashberger of Evans, Full-Time Instructor, Math • Kevin Pollock of Loveland, Part-Time Instructor, Astronomy & Meteorology Honor Medals: Students who have completed all coursework and achieved a cumulative GPA of 4.0 are awarded this prestigious medal. This year’s recipients are: Sarah Adams of Greeley, Bridget Arnott of Fort Collins, Brittney Bearly of Wellington, Denise Bircher of Evans, Ryan Boone of Evans, Juan Briones of Evans, Lawrence Brown of Milliken, Carlene Brown of Greeley, Aryn Chasteen of Brighton, Ami Dyer of Ault, Stefanie Feazell of Greeley, Cody Gamet of Greeley, Jessica Glycenfer of Fort Collins, Conner Hindman of Longmont, Anna Hunt of Hudson, Holly Hunt of Hudson, Chloe Johnson of Greeley, Jared Jurk of Greeley, Dylann Leal of Johnstown, Michael Martinez of Firestone, William Mattise-Lorenzen of Berthoud, Christina Maurer of Platteville, Colin Monnes of Greeley, Casey Morales of Greeley, Barbara Moro of Aurora, Janae Mudge of Windsor, Alena Nelson of Greeley, Courtney Newman of Fort Collins, Tanya Perekrestenko of Greeley, Alexis Romero of Greeley, Skylar Ryan of Severance, Taylor Schmidt of Berthoud, Michael Strom of Champaign, IL., Brenna Sydow of Greeley, Astwin Tavizon Almeida of Johnstown, Miguel Trevino of Greeley, Anthony Vaughan of Loveland, Rachel Washam of Loveland, Malcolm Weaver of Greeley, Ian Whiston of Fort Lupton, Hayley Whitney of Milliken, Kyle Wickstrom of Eaton, Casandra Wojahn of Evans Distinguished Scholar Award: Faculty nominate and select students who have a 3.5 cumulative GPA, and earned 30+ credits. This year’s recipients are: Sarah Adams of Greeley, Brittney Bearly of Wellington, Katherine Cramer of Loveland, Noelia Espino of Lochbuie, Amber Franklin of Milliken, Matt Lester of Pierce, Clinton Lough of Greeley, Salvador Lozano of Evans, Caden Martin of Greeley, Michael Martinez of Firestone, Amber McFarland of Greeley, Sharolyn Nolde Lopez of Loveland, Cristin Riley of Loveland, Angel Rivera of Brighton, Lee Ann Sappington of Evans, Hayden Schmidt of Windsor, Hannah Sullivan of Loveland, Ian Whiston of Fort Lupton Special Department Awards: Each department has the opportunity to select individuals who demonstrate remarkable qualities. This year’s recipients are: • Accounting and Financial Women’s Alliance Outstanding Woman Accounting Student: Lee Ann Sappington of Evans • The Aims Review Literary and Arts Award: Dana Leverett of LaSalle | Annika Jendzel-Scott of Greeley • Frank Gordon/Walt Francis Social Science Award for Exemplary Academic Achievement in History or Political Science: Dylann Leal of Johnstown • Gordon E. Hadlow Outstanding Aviation Student Award: Tanya Durham of Aurora
• Katherine Scoresby Routledge Award for Anthropology: Bobby McFarling of LaSalle • Outstanding Computer Information Systems Student: Rori "Eden" Mugg of Fort Collins • Outstanding General Chemistry Award: Colista West of LaSalle • Phi Theta Kappa All-Colorado Academic Team: Courtney Shook of Fort Collins, All-Colorado Academic Team, Workforce Pathway | Hannah Sullivan of Loveland, All-Colorado Academic Team, Transfer Pathway • Phyllis Gosch FirstYear Experience Award: Adrienne Garcia of Greeley • Student Engagement, Inclusion, and Success Award: Hannah Sullivan of Loveland Bornstein added, “For this year’s graduates, we congratulate them for their exemplary achievement of receiving an award as well as completing their degree or certification. As they step out into the next chapter of their journey, we welcome them to remain connected to the Aims family as our most recent Aims alumni. They are now proud members of the Aims Alumni Connection.”
Lost Creek Guide
May 16, 2018
Littwin’s Official Unofficial #CO2018 Governor’s Race Rankings, Week Seven
Mike Littwin from Colorado Independent In Week 7 of the Littwin Gov Rankings, our all-star panel follows the money, which happens to be the oldest cliché in the political business and, in many cases, the most critical. If you missed reporter Sandra Fish’s two revealing pieces in the Indy on the money race —who’s raised it, who’s spent it, whose Super PAC is rolling in it, who’s gonna be on TV, who’s got any money left— it’s worth your time to check them out now. Her key charts: L e t ’ s start with one mindblowing number, the one showing Jared Polis had, as of May 2, contributed $6.3 million to his campaign. Let me see if I can spell that out for you: $6,300,000. In other w o r d s , that’s an astonishing number of zeroes. And the thing is, he’s got a lot more zeroes. I can’t help but think back to the halcyon days when Polis spent only $1 million to win a seat on the state Board of Education. Will that money become an issue in the race? Republicans are sure to say that he’s trying to buy the governor’s seat, which would be, uh, funny, coming from the Citizens United team. I wonder if any Democrat will try it out for them. On the Republican side, Victor Mitchell has contributed $3 million to his campaign. And, according to our panel (and basically everyone else), he’s still a long way from overtaking Walker Stapleton as the leading contender. As panelist Alan Salazar put it, “Money is, indeed, the mother’s milk of politics, and in this race, Victor Mitchell and Jared Polis own their own dairies.” But, he adds, “Political history is littered with rich guys (and most are guys) who spent boatloads of their own money to buy elective office but lost.” In the case of Polis — who has unanimously moved back to No. 1 in our polling, which suggests that money does more than talk — the question is what Cary Kennedy and/or Mike Johnston can do about it. I know that there are Dem strategists who insist Polis has a likeability ceiling, but I’m not sure that has ever been put to the test. Panelist Josh Penry says he’s impressed by Kennedy’s and Johnston’s numbers and their ability to raise money. (Just look at the massive numbers from the Frontier Fairness Super Pac, backing Johnston: $3.8 million from ed-reform community, mostly from out of state.) But Penry notes: “Unfortunately for them, we also learned for absolute certain that Jared Polis doesn’t have any hesitation just buying this thing … Ed Perlmutter is looking like a very, very smart man.” Penry says we’ll now see who, if anyone, has the “guts” to go after Polis. “When you see these jaw dropping sums he is spending, it sort of boils down to some fairly simple questions — which candidate is willing to throw real punches at Polis, and can that candidate survive a several-million-dollar counteroffensive from Polis?” On the Republican side, the money works very differently. Stapleton has raised money, has a large Super PAC, is the favorite of the Republican establishment and, despite his petitions gaffe and his embrace of Tom Tancredo, seems to be the clear leader. What he hasn’t done is particularly excite voters, which may be because he’s not, well, particularly exciting.
And then there’s Mitchell, who has more money. One Republican strategist told me he’s yet to meet a Mitchell supporter who wasn’t a paid Mitchell supporter. That may be a slight exaggeration, but our panel pretty much agrees that Mitchell is not getting much bang for his TV buck. Panelist Ian Silverii said he wanted to put Mitchell at the top of the rankings, given a slow fundraising period for Stapleton, but says the problem for Mitchell is that “despite spending all that money no one seems to like him that much.” Penry thinks the ad buys have done Mitchell a disservice. “Victor is an outsider. Victor is an ass kicker. His folks should lose the puppy dog and let him make his case.” Salazar has an idea for how he might make the case — “to take those dogs he was talking to to the top of the Continental Divide, reposition the podium and say that Colorado’s next governor … needs to work with Donald Trump. Might be a light embrace that trumps (pun intended) Walker’s flirtation with Tancredo, affiliates with Trump voters and motivates people to take a look at him.” Mitchell has ID problems. Doug Robinson has ID problems and needs to raise more money. And panelist Cinamon Watson says she’s still looking for signs that their supporters have shown the kind of, well, ardency an underdog candidate needs. “Show me a candidate who can inspire 10 people to put up yard signs in a snowstorm at 3:00 in the morning, and I’ll show you a candidate that can make it across the finish line,” she says. “Think John Swartout climbing a fourteener with Wayne Allard signs in the wee hours of the morning to sully Tom Strickland’s mountain climb and photo op. Loyalty matters.” We’re not at the mountain top yet, but here are the Week 7 rankings: DEMOCRATS 1. Jared Polis. Who wants to start the pool on how much money Polis puts into this race? And do you think that it will be more money than Scott Pruitt spends on his travels? Polis will definitely win the money race, which is an important start. 2. Cary Kennedy. That down arrow doesn’t mean much of anything, except that Polis has put up his $6 million. As Watson put it, because of the Polis money “she has to play smart to win, and by all accounts she has done just that.” 3. Mike Johnston. He’s got the most room to grow. He’s got the money — money he’s raised and Super Pac money, too — to do it. The panel is near unanimous that he’s got a charisma edge. But it’s time that he makes a real move, if he’s going to make one. 4. Donna Lynne. Her campaign pretty much blew up this week. She still hasn’t shown where her constituency is outside those with tattoos (not that there aren’t a hell of a lot of them). REPUBLICANS 1. Walker Stapleton. He got on the ballot. He has won statewide twice, including beating Cary Kennedy once. The establishment is behind him and also, yes, Tom Tancredo. If Stapleton gets challenged, you can expect to see more money headed his way. 2.Doug Robinson. OK, Uncle Mitt. But he has to be known for more than that. Silverii notes that the reports show a lot of money spent on polling, but nothing leaking to this point, suggesting, “My guess is that the race is still very ill defined, on both sides, but that’s likely to change pretty soon.” 3.Victor Mitchell. Our panel is split between Mitchell and Robinson as Stapleton’s primary contender. I voted for a tie for second. 4. Greg Lopez. The fundraising numbers show he’s not a serious candidate. But he’ll always have Boulder.
May 16, 2018
Lost Creek Guide
Why Hire Veterans?
By: Terri Clinton, Department Commander From American Legion Observer I was invited to attend StoryTellerX—A Veteran Story Telling Event held at the University of Colorado in Denver. StoryTellerX is held in conjunction with the Office of Veteran and Military Student Services and the United Veterans Committee and is an evening of inspirational stories of success from local military veterans. I was in good company. The Master of Ceremonies was Dennis Orr, and the speakers were Patrick W. Tetrick, Director of Guest Relations for the Denver Broncos; Tom Ferrell, an Intern at Senator Bennet’s Office; Bob Thompson, a war hero and Aurora Police Officer; Bill Lindsey, Past Board Chair of Craig Hospital and President of Lockton Benefit Group; Leanne Wheeler of Wheeler Advisory Group LLC and Amber Longoria, Economist/Civil Servant and fellow linguist. Our topic was why employers should hire veterans – the premise being that some employers think veterans are “broken” (I assume due to Terri Clinton, PTSD/TBI/MST and disabilities as a result of inDepartment Commander juries sustained in war zones). Each speaker had seven minutes to speak using only a notecard. I felt very passionate about the topic and, although I had four events to attend that day, made sure to arrange my schedule so I could be there. You see, I wanted to stand up for my brothers and sisters. My speech started with stories of my childhood and the lessons I learned from my father - a Marine. Growing up, perfection was not something my sister and I strived for, but something that was expected. Militaristic values were instilled in me from a young age. I then gave a description of my time in service and my transition from the military to the civilian world. I explained, like I always do, that everyone’s time in service is different. I told them that I stood before them as a stereotypical successful business woman and Department Commander of the world’s largest Veterans Service Organization. But, that success is defined in all different kinds of ways. I compared the book “All I Really Need to Patrick W. Tetrick, Director of Guest Relations for the Denver Broncos, right lets Commander Clinton try on his championship Know I Learned in Kindergarten” ring, which by the way is way too big for her finger. to my time in Basic Training. Because, everything I needed to know I learned there. How the world is bigger than just me. How there really in no “I” in team. Not that it’s just a cool thing to say, but because if orders are not followed precisely, human lives are in danger. I learned what character is. You know, when you go to the bathroom and still wash your hands when nobody else is in there just because it’s the right thing to do. We know how to fall in, get our hands dirty and complete a mission without complaining (well, without too much complaining). We also know how to fall out, have fun and create long-lasting relationships. I told them I had the pleasure of meeting Medal of Honor Recipient Leroy Petry, and how I was recently reading something he posted on Facebook about one of the veteran organization he belongs to that helps soldiers recover from their wounds. In the string of messages, somebody said something that struck me as profound. Soldiers dealing with wounds of war are just leaning a new normal. They are NOT broken. They will adapt, they will overcome, and they will persevere. They will adapt to adversity and overcome challenging obstacles, because it was what they were taught to do in Basic Training. I cited a successful veterans job fair hosted by Post 13 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where they consistently reach a participation level of close to 600 employers and veterans. Some employers actually hold interviews and hire veterans on the spot. The event is called Hiring Our Heroes – I couldn’t think of a better name for the event. In closing, I implored employers to hire our heroes, because they wouldn’t be sorry. And, besides the skills veterans bring to companies, companies can also earn the Returning Heroes Tax Credit that provides a $5,600 incentive, and the Wounded Warriors Tax Credit that doubles the existing Work Opportunity Credit up to $9,600. When I introduced myself, I said I was the third female American Legion Department of Colorado Commander since 1947. I told the audience I identified as a lot of different things: Daughter, sister, mother, friend and colleague. But, the proudest thing I identify as is a United States Veteran. I am part of an elite family. I am a proud 1 percenter. And, in my mind, every veteran is already successful.
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Aims Business Students Earn Second Place in the Monfort College of Business Ethics Case Competition for Community College
GREELEY, CO – May 8, 2018 – Aims Community College students Malcolm Dinnall, Isabelle W o l f e , Alan Grajeda and Devin Fuller placed second in the Monfort College of Business Ethics Case Competition for Community Colleges, Pictured L to R: Aims students Malcolm Dinnall, Isabelle Wolfe, held on Alan Grajeda and Devin Fuller. April 12 at the University of Northern Colorado (UNC). The students were awarded a $750 prize. “This is a wonderful example of a partnership between Aims and the UNC School of Business to offer an innovative learning experience for our students,” said Aims President and CEO Dr. Leah L. Bornstein. The Daniel Funds Ethics Initiative at the Monfort College of Business sponsored the competition. As part of the competition, students were required to prepare a response including a PowerPoint presentation and supporting documents for an ethics case study. George Rigby and Lou Cartier, two Aims business adjunct faculty, served as the team coaches. UNC Professor of Management Sharon Clinebell said, “We were very pleased to have Aims participate in our inaugural Monfort College of Business Ethics Case Competition for Community Colleges. The students did an excellent job. We look forward to working with them next year.” Aims Business program chair Ellen Swieter said, “I feel honored to have established business professionals in the Business program. The ability for students to be mentored by people working in the industry is ideal. I’m already looking forward to competing next year.” The Daniels Fund has several Ethics Initiative Principles such as Integrity, Trust, Accountability and Transparency. To learn more, visit http://mcb.unco.edu/ethics/.
Lost Creek Guide
May Proclaimed Foster Care Month
WELD COUNTY, CO — In recognition and appreciation of those who touch the lives of children and youth in Weld County foster and kinship care, May has been proclaimed as Foster Care Month by the Board of County Commissioners. “We are immensely grateful to our dedicated Weld County foster and kinship caregivers, faith-based and community organizations, and child welfare professionals,” said Commissioner Chair Steve Moreno. “You are building stronger communities and improving the lives of children, youth and families by tirelessly providing advocacy, nurturing and unwavering care, and we proudly acknowledge your selfless commitment not just this month, but all year-round.” This year marks the 30th anniversary of National Foster Care Month. Originally introduced in 1988 by President Ronald Reagan, the goals of this recognition include raising awareness about the increasing number of children and youth entering foster and kinship care and to encourage citizens to bring hope and healing to our county’s most vulnerable children and families by becoming a foster parent. There are currently 428 infants, children and youth in Weld County foster and kinship care and not enough families to provide loving homes for them all, which results in less than desirable placements in group homes, residential treatment facilities or with families in other counties or even other states. Due to the urgent need for more foster families in our own county, Weld County Department of Human Services began a foster parent recruitment campaign last year. Since the campaign launched in August, 19 families have become certified to provide loving homes for young people in foster care, with several more on track to becoming certified in the next few months. The recruitment campaign isn’t over, however. The county is seeking at least another ten families by the end of August, particularly for young people with special needs, sibling groups, older youth ages 8-18 and Spanish-speaking children and teens. To find out how to help support children and teens in foster care, informational Welcome Nights are held twice a month in both north and south county locations, allowing a larger reach for residents to have their questions about fostering answered in a no-commitment, informal atmosphere. Welcome Night information is regularly shared on the county’s Facebook page, @WeldCountyGovernment. To learn more about foster care in Weld County, please call (970) 400-6849, email email@example.com or visit https://tinyurl.com/WeldCoFosterCare.
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May 16, 2018
2017 Greater Brighton Chamber of Commerce Citizen Of The Year
Our 2017 Greater Brighton Chamber of Commerce Citizen Of The Year is Melissa Rippy, owner of Rippy Allstate Insurance and general community supporter. Melissa has done things to help Brighton families and students since she opened her agency, and now she is doing something to help kids with Leukemia, as a way to honor her father. Here's her story, and how you can get involved: On December 27th, 2017, I lost my dad to Acute Myleoid Leukemia after he was just diagnosed three months earlier. On February 3rd, 2018, "Ripbeams" were created in memory of my dad. The idea behind Ripbeams is to collect handmade beanies that will be converted into Ripbeams beanies and given to children with leukemia. We label each beanie with an orange tag that says "Ripbeams, handmade with love" and each beanie also includes a story about my dad. My parents were together for 50 years; Mom said in the days since Dad has passed, sunbeams remind her of him, so when I asked her what we should call the beanie drive, we came up with "Ripbeams". My dad's birthday is March 22nd and he was 65 years old when we lost him. It's pure coincidence that the first batch of hats that we collected totaled 65, and that will also be the same number of beanies we give to children this week at Children's Hospital. We have had folks all throughout the community and throughout the United States help by making or buying beanies. We even received 65 wooden cars created by Dave Thomas and other woodworking angels through an organization called "Toys for God's Kids". In just over 30 days, we have collected over 150 beanies. I am in the process of setting up a non-profit for Ripbeams and hope to expand our network throughout the United States. If you’d like to get involved, you can drop off or mail your beanies at the Allstate Rippy Agency at 220 Pavilions Place, Suite D, in Brighton, M-F 8:30 – 5:30 and on Saturdays from 9:00 – 1:00. We are also accepting donations of yarn as well monetary donations to help with operating expenses.
Aims’ Physical Education and Recreation Center Open to Public During Community Open House
GREELEY, CO – May 15, 2018 – The Aims Community College Physical Education and Recreation Center (PERC) is hosting an open house from May 12 - 26. All community members are invited to try out the facility free of charge and are encouraged to use the cardio theater, strength and conditioning center, cross training center, indoor track, basketball and racquetball courts and more. The PERC will be open the following hours: May 12-26 Monday - Thursday: 5:30 a.m. - 7 p.m. Friday - Saturday: 8 a.m. - noon Community member can even take a drop-in class led by one of the Aims certified personal trainers. Aims will offer two introductory, dropin classes each day free of charge. Classes will be for all skill levels and topics will include: • Cross Training 101 • Cycle Strength • Sunrise Cycle • #BOOM • Just Circuit • Body Sculpting • Sunrise Yoga • Cardio Kickboxing • Yoga Fitness • PERC Camp • Weight Training • Indoor Cycle For a list of class descriptions and full class schedule, visit www.aims.edu/student/gym/try-a-class. In addition, certified personal trainers will be available to provide assistance and help you get started with any wellness program and tours of the facility are available anytime throughout the PERC’s community open house.
May 16, 2018
It's Time to Hit the Brakes on High-speed Rail Spending
Lost Creek Guide
By Randal O’Toole from The Hill All over the country, states are spending tens of millions of dollars preparing plans to build high-speed rail lines. Among the many routes under consideration are Ft. Collins to Pueblo, Colorado; Richmond, Virginia to Raleigh, North Carolina; Atlanta, Georgia to Chattanooga, Tennessee; and Seattle to Spokane, Washington, which would probably require an 80-mile-long tunnel under the Cascade Mountains. None of these projects make sense because — in case you haven’t noticed — we have this new-fangled technology called airplanes that go twice as fast as the fastest trains in the world and require almost no infrastructure, which means their costs are much lower than trains. So why are Americans so bedazzled by trains? In 2017, fares on Amtrak’s high-speed Acela trains between Boston and Washington averaged 92 cents a passenger mile. Although Amtrak claims these trains cover their operating costs, Amtrak is also desperately lobbying Congress for $35 billion to rehabilitate the infrastructure required to keep the trains running. By comparison, airline fares average around 15 cents a passenger mile, and while the airlines receive subsidies averaging about a penny per passenger mile, most of those subsidies go to tiny, out-of-the-way airports that most travelers never see. California is now reporting even greater cost overruns for its San Francisco-Los Angeles high-speed rail line. Originally projected to cost $45 billion inflation-adjusted dollars, it is now expected to cost well over twice that much. Before any of the estimates were made, a University of California, Berkeley transportation engineer calculated that, even if the rail line cost only $15 billion to build, it would still cost less to fly or drive than to take the train. Rail advocates claim that highspeed rail has a competitive advantage over flying or driving on trips of about 200 to 600 miles. In fact, no such advantage exists. Consider the Northeast Corridor, which is really two corridors — Boston to New York and New York to Washington — of about 225 miles each. Amtrak claims that it carries more passengers than the airlines in these corridors. What it doesn’t mention is that nearly 90 percent of intercity travel in these corridors uses the highway and that low-cost carriers such as Megabus and Bolt Bus carry more travelers than Amtrak. Rail advocates also like to claim that downtown-to-downtown times on some highspeed rail trips will be faster than by plane, since most airports aren’t located near downtowns and air travelers have to go through time-consuming airport security. But this is irrelevant, as fewer than 8 percent of Americans live or work near big-city downtowns, and many major urban areas have more than one airport, giving travelers a choice of using the one that is most convenient for them. If airport security is a problem, it would be a lot less expensive to streamline security than to build multi-billion-dollar high-speed rail lines. In fact, the Transportation Security Administration’s known traveler identification program already allows anyone who signs up to speed through security without long lines. Back in 1964, when Japan introduced the world’s first trains scheduled to go at 130 miles per hour, America was undergoing a crisis of confidence. We were afraid of losing the space race (which we won); we were afraid there was a missile gap between the USSR and US (there wasn’t); and we were afraid Japan was becoming an economic and technological powerhouse that would overtake the United States in numerous fields (that powerhouse sputtered and died in 1990). High-speed trains were just one more technological race we seemed to be losing. Never mind that airplanes traveled far faster than 130 miles per hour; Congress passed the High-Speed Ground Transportation Act in 1965 to fund high-speed trains between Boston and Washington. The reality was that passenger trains were already obsolete. A 1958 Interstate Commerce Commission study predicted that, without government intervention, intercity passenger trains would disappear by 1970. That intervention first took the form of government refusals to allow the railroads to discontinue money-losing trains and then, in 1970, the creation of Amtrak. The history of transportation is a history of technological replacements. Steamboats replaced sailing ships; canals replaced wagons; railroads replaced canals and riverboats; electric streetcars replaced horsecars; diesel locomotives replaced steam locomotives; and so forth. Some of us might feel nostalgic enough about some of these replacements to spend our own money on museums and tourist operations. But, in most cases, the government hasn’t spent billions of dollars trying to turn back the clock on these new technologies. The exception is passenger trains, including both intercity and urban rail transit. Expensive to build, even more expensive to maintain, trains can only go where the tracks go. The nation has only about 150,000 miles of tracks compared with four million miles of roads and hundreds of commercial airports. While railroads are great for moving freight, and the United States has the most efficient freight rail system in the world, they are no longer suitable for passengers. So why are states spending so much money planning new rail lines? In 2009 and 2010, Congress agreed to let the Obama administration hand out $10 billion for highspeed rail projects, and the only requirement was that the projects be “shovel-ready.” The money spigot turned off when Republicans took over Congress in 2011, but someday, the states figure, the Democrats will retake Congress and start spending money on high-speed trains again. So they are trying to write all of the plans necessary to make their projects shovel-ready. I love passenger trains as much as anyone and more than most. But I don’t think other taxpayers should have to subsidize my hobby any more than if I were a lover of manual typewriters, telegraphs, or horseback riding. The states should stop wasting money planning obsolete transportation projects and members of Congress, whether Republican or Democrat, should stop encouraging them to do so.
Lost Creek Guide
“Agent Orange Settlement Fund”
From the American Legion Observer During the past decade, the Department of Veterans Affairs has received many inquiries regarding the Agent Orange Settlement Fund. That Fund, was created as a result of a private class action lawsuit settlement, involved neither VA nor any other executive branch agency of the Federal government. The Settlement Fund closed in 1997. Below is a brief history. The Agent Orange Settlement Fund was created by the resolution of the Agent Orange Product Liability Litigation - a class action lawsuit brought by Vietnam Veterans and their families regarding injuries allegedly incurred as a result of the exposure of Vietnam Veterans to chemical herbicides used during the Vietnam war. The suit was brought against the major manufacturers of these herbicides. The class action case was settled out-of-court in 1984 for $180 million dollars, reportedly the largest settlement of its kind at that time. The Settlement Fund was distributed to class members in accordance with a distribution plan established by United States District Court Judge Jack B. Weinstein, who presided over the litigation and the settlement. Because the plaintiff class was so large (an estimated 10 million people), the Fund was distributed to class members in the United States through two separate programs designed to provide maximum benefits to Vietnam Veterans and their families most in need of assistance: • A Payment Program, which provided cash compensation to totally-disabled Veterans and survivors of deceased Veterans; and • A Class Assistance Program, which provided funds for social services organizations and networks for the purpose of establishing and maintaining programs for the benefit of the class as a whole. This plan for distributing the Settlement Fund was unprecedented: it employed mechanisms not previously adopted in class action lawsuits in order to maximize benefits to class members and to respond to the complex needs expressed by the class during a series of “Fairness Hearings” held in six different locations in the country. Applications for the Payment Program had to be submitted prior to December 31, 1994. To be eligible for compensation under the Payment Program, Vietnam Veterans or their survivors had to establish the following: • that the Veteran served in Vietnam as a member of the Armed Forces between 1962 and 1972 (the period during which Agent Orange was used in Vietnam); • that the applicant was either a totally-disabled Vietnam Veteran or the survivor of a deceased Vietnam Veteran; • that based upon the circumstances of the Veteran’s service (including location of service and particular experiences during service), the Veteran met a test of probable exposure to herbicides; • that death or disability was not caused by a traumatic or accidental occurrence; and • that death or disability occurred before December 31, 1994. The Payment Program operated over a period of 6 years, beginning, after appeals, in 1988 and concluding in 1994. During its operation, the Settlement Fund distributed a total of $197 million in cash payments to members of the class in the United States. Of the 105,000 claims received by the Payment Program, approximately 52,000 Vietnam Veterans or their survivors received cash payments which averaged about $3,800 each. The other part of the Settlement Fund, the Class Assistance Program, was intended by the distribution plan to function as a foundation. Between 1989 and 1996 it distributed, through a series of Requests for Proposal, $74 million to 83 social services organizations throughout the United States. These agencies, which ranged from disability and Veterans service organizations to community-based not-for-profits, provided counseling, advocacy, medical and case-management services. During this period, these organizations assisted over 239,000 Vietnam Veterans and their families. On September 27, 1997, the District Court ordered the Fund closed, its assets having been fully distributed.
May 16, 2018
Keystone XL Work to Begin in Montana this Fall
From Pipeline & Gas Journal WASHINGTON/CALGARY, Alberta, May 3 (Reuters) - TransCanada Corp plans to start preliminary work on its Keystone XL pipeline project in Montana in the fall of 2018 ahead of full construction in 2019, according to a letter from the U.S. State Department to Native American tribes. The letter, dated April 10, and seen by Reuters, states that the Assiniboine and Sioux tribes were being notified of the upcoming work as part of government consultation aimed at minimizing any adverse effect on their historic territory in northeast Montana. The 1,180-mile (1,899 km) Keystone XL pipeline project has been a lightning rod of controversy for a decade, hotly contested by environmentalists but desperately needed by Canadian oil producers who face steeper-than-normal crude price discounts due to transportation bottlenecks. "As you may be aware, TransCanada Keystone Pipeline, L.P. (Keystone) intends to begin vegetative clearing in preparation for the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline (Project) this fall," the State Department letter said. TransCanada Keystone Pipeline, L.P. is a subsidiary of Calgary-based TransCanada. Sent from the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs within the State Department, the letter added that the work would involve "clearing vegetation to build the construction camps and pipe yards this fall (2018) with pipeline construction to begin next year (2019)." TransCanada has not yet made an official investment decision on the $8 billion pipeline, which would extend from Hardisty, Alberta, to Steele City, Nebraska, though the company has said previously that it expects to start construction in 2019. When asked about the letter on Thursday, TransCanada said: "We are progressing towards a final investment decision. We expect construction to begin in 2019 and we are doing the necessary work to prepare for those activities." The State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the letter, which also notifies the Montana tribes that they will be consulted on new survey work to be done in the spring and summer of 2018, due to a route change in Nebraska. U.S. President Donald Trump handed TransCanada a federal permit for the pipeline in March, reversing a 2015 refusal by former President Barack Obama. But the line has run into hurdles in Nebraska, where it was approved but not along TransCanada's preferred route, and the approval is now being appealed.
May 16, 2018
Lost Creek Guide
Carbon Valley Help Center 5th Anniversary Celebration Held at E.L.F.’s Grill in Dacono
Carbon Valley Help Center held it’s 5th Year Anniversary Celebration at E.L.F.’s Grill. The mission of the Carbon Valley Help Center is to help people in immediate need move towards selfsufficiency. They do this by offering food assistance, financial help with utilities, rent and other needs, as well as referrals to a variety of regional resources to help them get back on their feet and find that lost pride once again. They cannot do this alone. They need some help. How can you and your company help them meet the needs of the community? 1. Have a company food drive of non-perishable foods and toiletries. 2. Adopt CVHC as a nonprofit to support each year. 3. Help locate grants that help with our mission or be a grant writer for the CVHC. 4. Reach out within your organization for those families that could utilize our services and refer them to us for assistance. (Sometimes they are too proud to ask for help.) 5. Help us with our “Dream Fund.” Cash donations will allow us to help more families. 6. Help us find a building or land in the Carbon Valley Area that could accommodate our growth and needs. 7. Be a member of our Board of Directors or our Advisory Board. 8. Volunteer at CVHC events or at the Help Center We thank you for any support you may offer Carbonvalleyhelpcenter@gmail.com 303-833-6626 Tuesday and Thursday, 9:00am – 3:00 pm 150 Buchanan, PO Box 508, Firestone, CO Carbonvalleyhelpcenter.org
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Colorado Lawmakers Approve a “Painful Solution” to Unfunded Public Employee Pension Plan
John Herrick from Colorado Independent When Colorado teachers rallied outside the state Capitol in April, they were asking lawmakers to ensure they have a stable retirement pension, among other demands. And in the last hours of the session, the state legislature approved a plan aimed at doing just that — but teachers may not like it. It makes cuts to retirement benefits and requires workers to hand over a larger share of their paychecks. The hope is the extra cash will help shore up A teacher rally at the state Capitol on April 26. an unfunded Photo by John Herrick public employee retirement pension. “No one is happy,” House Majority Leader KC Becker told a Democratic caucus ahead of a House floor vote on the proposed legislation. “I still think it is the right thing to do. At the end of the day, we have to think long-term.” The changes aim to help buoy the state’s unfunded pension plan that about 185,000 state workers, teachers and other public employees rely on for their retirement benefits. The plan is managed by the Public Employees’ Retirement Association, or PERA, and currently has an unfunded debt to retirees that is expected to only grow without legislative intervention, putting at risk the pension these workers rely on in lieu of Social Security. Many Democrats voted against the reform package despite encouragement from the majority leader and Gov. John Hickenlooper. Several said they were upset they only had two hours to digest the changes before voting. The Colorado Education Association, the state’s largest teacher union that organized rallies at the state Capitol, opposed the reforms. “We are very disappointed in our elected officials who did not support educators and retirees, and even chose to take money out of their pockets,” said CEA President Kerrie Dallman. The pension plan has a $32 billion to $50 billion unfunded liability, which means PERA currently does not have enough money to pay out current and future benefits to all its members. And in the event of another economic downturn, PERA could be unable to pay benefits to retirees. The reason for this dilemma, PERA says, is that members are living longer than anticipated and the expected rate of return on pension investments was recently adjusted down, resulting in less money for the fund. Lawmakers want to have enough money in the pension to cover the cost of benefits in 30 years. “When you’re trying to address a $50 billion liability, it’s a painful solution,” said Sen. Jack Tate, a Republican from Centennial who helped craft the deal. The plan relies on $225 million from taxpayers, an extra two percent pay from workers, and cuts to retirement benefits. It reduces the cost of living adjustment, or COLA, on retirees’ benefits from the current 2 percent to zero for the next two years. In 2020, it would then go up to 1.5 percent, but could ratchet up or down depending on the financial health of the pension. The retirement age will also increase for new employees from 58 to 64. The proposed law includes a so-called fail-safe measure that allows contributions and benefits to be adjusted up or down as the financial conditions of the fund change without legislative approval. Republicans have long sought to allow workers to opt into a 401(k)-style definedcontribution plan. This option is now available to all employees except teachers and some state workers. Gov. Hickenlooper, in a rare appearance at a Democratic caucus late Wednesday night, backed the proposed changes. “This is nobody’s idea of a perfect solution,” Hickenlooper said. “In the end, you have to look at the long-term.”
Main Street Insurance
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Lost Creek Guide
May 16, 2018
Former Anadarko Brass Slam Company for Safety Risks, Callousness
Susan Greene from Colorado Indpendent Six former Anadarko employees have come forward on behalf of investors to describe a culture of corporate callousness that puts profits before safety. The six include the oil and gas giant’s one-time chief lobbyist and spokeswoman, both of whom say Anadarko can’t be trusted to maintain deteriorating wells like the one that caused last year’s fatal home explosion in Firestone. An amended complaint in a shareholders’ lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Houston likens Anadarko’s operations in Colorado to “a ticking time bomb.” The complaint includes previously unreported interviews with Chris Castilian, Anadarko’s former longtime government relations chief in Colorado, and Robin Olsen, its former spokeswoman in the state. Castilian – who created Coloradans for Responsible Energy Development (CRED) – says that when it comes to safety and corporate responsibility, his former employer has lost its credibility. “I have no ax to grind. But, you know, people died, and it made everybody reevaluate whether this was the company they thought it was,” he told The Colorado Independent during an interview last week. “It was a different company when I left than when I started, and not one that I wanted to continue risking my personal reputation representing.” Anadarko is mum about the lawsuit. “Although we do not comment on specific allegations in pending litigation, the company looks forward to the opportunity to substantively respond through the judicial process when appropriate,” Jennifer Brice, the company’s current spokeswoman, wrote in an email Monday. What’s wrong with the Wattenberg Field? The Anadarko Petroleum Corp. is a publicly traded company that drills in Texas, where it’s headquartered, and in the Gulf of Mexico and Colorado. Weeks after an abandoned flow line from one of its wells caused the Firestone explosion in April 2017, major shareholders filed a federal class-action suit against the company and its chairman, president and CEO Al Walker, Chief Financial Officer Robert Gwin, Chief Administrative Officer Robert Reeves, and Darrell Holleck, a senior company advisor. Edgar v. Anadarko Petroleum Corp. alleges that Anadarko broke federal securities laws by making false and misleading claims about its safety protocols and failing to disclose risks associated with its wells before the deadly blast. At issue, specifically, is the company’s handling of about 100,000 acres obtained in a 2013 land swap with competitor Noble Energy. Known as the Wattenberg Field of the Denver-Julesburg Basin, the once-rural area primarily in southwest Weld County has experienced massive residential and commercial development since many of the 1,500 oil and gas wells Anadarko obtained in the deal were drilled there decades ago. The well that caused the Firestone disaster was drilled in 1993 and sat within 170 feet of where the house on Twilight Avenue was built in 2015. Anadarko acquired it in the land swap, but never disconnected and sealed the flow line that ran from the well right up to the house’s foundation. Because of that oversight, the line spewed odorless gas that seeped into the house and ignited when homeowner Mark Martinez and his
brother-in-law Joey Irwin were fixing a hot water heater in the basement. Both died in the blast. Erin Martinez, Mark’s wife and Joey’s sister, was critically burned. Her son escaped injuries by jumping out a window. The shareholders – in a legal complaint first filed in May 2017 but amended in November – slam the oil and gas giant for ignoring a flow line that came so close and posed such risk to a neighborhood: “Anadarko did not consider safety threats in determining which few wells to remediate, even though many of those wells were located near houses or schools.” A change in “core values” The suit refers to Castilian as “FE1” – former employee #1 – rather than by his name. The former Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck lawyer and deputy chief of staff to Gov. Bill Owens led Anadarko’s government relations efforts in the Rocky Mountain region for eight years and headed its corporate engagement and strategy efforts for two before leaving the company in November 2016. He and three other former employees interviewed for this story speak glowingly about the company while it was led for nearly a decade by former chairman and CEO Jim Hackett until his resignation in 2012. All say Hackett built a culture of loyalty and trust within Anadarko’s workforce and fostered a steadfast commitment to the communities where the company operates and to Colorado as a whole. “The core values they ingrained in us were remarkable,” Castilian said. “But since the Hackett era ended, you saw a transition away from those values. That loyalty, that commitment, those core values exist no more. They’re out the door.” Under the leadership of current CEO Al Walker, he said, those values gave way to a hard drive for profits, alarming safety risks, and a sense of disinterest in the communities where Anadarko operates. Within about six months of the 2013 land swap, as the complaint cites Castilian saying, top Anadarko executives learned that several hundred wells had deteriorated with age and posed environmental and safety risks far beyond what they had expected. He said the company budgeted tens of millions of dollars to fix them, but drastically reduced the remediation budget after oil and gas prices crashed in the fall of 2014 and winter of 2015. Safety problems were compounded in March 2016 when the company laid off more than 20 percent of its workforce, including as many as 1,000 workers in Colorado, the complaint says. Rather than cutting back oil and gas production here, it asserts, executives ramped it up, expecting a skeleton staff to do more work than had been done when it had fully staffed its crews. In this context, Castilian said the company didn’t inspect much more than “a tiny proportion” of the wells it acquired from Noble. He said executives were fully aware of the safety risks and made a spreadsheet ranking several hundred wells as risky and problematic. Even then, the complaint alleges, they were intent on keeping wells in production for financial reasons stemming partly from the fact that they lease most of the land on which Anadarko operates in Colorado. Contractually, most of those leases expire if the company isn’t using a well. So, as former employees tell it in the complaint, the company kept faulty wells in production to avoid having to renegotiate
May 16, 2018
Lost Creek Guide
Former Anadarko Brass Slam Company for Safety Risks, Callousness
leases, presumably at much higher prices. Castilian attended executive meetings at which these decisions were discussed and said executives overrode workers’ safety concerns by prioritizing repairs on wells and equipment that supported active production over repairing those closest to development. Citing him as a source, the lawsuit says that “A well’s potential safety risks, and whether it was located in a residential area or near a school, played no part in whether it was chosen for remediation.” “Keep quiet” and “Shovel shit” Olsen, for her part, was Andarko’s government and public affairs manager for five years starting in 2012. She handled the company’s communications about crises such as oil spills, fires and injuries – of which, she said, “there were a lot.” S h e , too, is not named in the lawsuit, but referred to as “FE2” – former employee #2. The Independent identified her through sources and by the specifics of her job Photo of the Firestone explosion site taken in May 2017 by Tina Griego history. T h e lawsuit cites Olsen saying that one single employee was responsible for checking the safety of all of Anadarko’s flow lines in the Wattenberg Field in Weld County when there should have been 12 to 20 safety workers. It also cites her saying that she took environmental and safety concerns to her boss, Vice President for Corporate Communications John Christiansen, about 12 times between late 2016 and early 2017, warning him that there would be problems if the company didn’t address them. In January 2017, an Anadarko well blew out of control, spilling 28,000 gallons of oil and wastewater near Hudson north of Denver. Executives blamed the spill on workers rather than on their own decisions to cut safety and repair efforts. The suit cites Olsen saying that Anadarko did not inform state regulators about key safety problems that led to the spill. Also, according to the complaint, Olsen said Christiansen told her to “keep quiet” and that her job “was to shovel shit, and to clean up the messes” the company’s employees made. Soon after, it notes, she “quit in disgust.” Her last day was March 30, 2017 – two and a half weeks before the Firestone explosion. Olsen told The Independent that a non-disclosure agreement she signed after a legal dispute with Anadarko binds her from discussing what she told the plaintiffs’ lawyers in the shareholders’ suit and “from speaking ill about the company.” In an interview Sunday, a former Anadarko safety manager spoke on the condition of anonymity because he now works for a company that does business with Anadarko. He said that he has struggled with anger, guilt, and anxiety since the Firestone blast, constantly wondering where else his crews didn’t have the resources to prevent disaster. He says he prays every night and morning for the Martinez and Irwin families and thinks often about reaching out to Erin Martinez. “But what would I say? What would I tell (her)? That those tightwads in corporate couldn’t give a shit about the guys who worked on those wells or the people who lived near them?” “Things are better here, very much so,” he added about his new employer, which he noted heeds his and his colleagues’ advice about safety concerns. “Don’t make it sound like all these companies are like Anadarko.” “Wrongful acts and omissions” Firestone wasn’t the company’s first safety debacle. It has paid more than $9 billion in environmental fines and legal settlements, largely for its involvement in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. In 2015, three years after Hackett left, Anadarko assured investors that it was in compliance with all environmental and safety regulations. A company safety report boasted that Anadarko “[a]pplies state of the art oil, natural gas, and water management to Anadarko tank batteries, facilities and pipeline infrastructure.” “Anadarko promotes a culture that allows for employee involvement in maintaining a safe work environment while recognizing that environmental incidents are preventable,” it reads. “The teams strive for ZERO incidents. Spills can be prevented by designing and operating equipment and training staff to avoid releases.” The safety report touted a high-tech operations center in Colorado that it said lets Anadarko monitor wells in the Wattenberg Field in real time to identify and address potential safety problems. But the company wasn’t in fact able to pinpoint problems related to many of its underground flow lines because it didn’t know where they were. To make matters worse, state regulators didn’t require Anadarko to inform developers or the public about the lines’ locations. And the state didn’t impose rules for keeping new development from sprawling up on top of the company’s underground webs of abandoned and deteriorating oil and gas equipment. The shareholders’ suit says Anadarko’s failure to disclose key information about operations that were at increased risk of explosion allowed it to keep its stock price artificially high. The price fell by nearly five percent a week after the Firestone explosion when fire officials announced that the flow line in question belonged to the company. And shares plummeted 7.7 percent a few weeks later when more details surfaced about the company’s lack of oversight, including that it hadn’t disconnected the flow line from the well head nor sealed it at both ends.
The lead plaintiff in the class-suit is the Philadelphia Ironworkers’ Benefit and Pension Fund, a major holder of Anadarko shares. Also represented are the Employees’ Retirement System of the State of Rhode Island, two individual investors who call themselves the Anadarko Investors Group, and anyone who bought or acquired Anadarko securities between Feb. 17, 2016, and May 2, 2017. The complaint alleges that “Anadarko knew that hundreds of the wells it had acquired in the Land Swap did not comply with a variety of Colorado laws and regulations” and that the company “intentionally violated Colorado law and regulations as a matter of course.” “As a result of defendants’ wrongful acts and omissions, and the precipitous decline in the market value of the company’s securities, plaintiff and other class members have suffered significant losses and damages,” it reads. The lawsuit seeks damages for investor losses. When asked for its response to the suit, Anadarko’s Brice wrote, again, that the company doesn’t comment on pending litigation. But, she noted, “[We] appreciate you reaching out to us.” “I don’t know that I fell on my sword.” Castilian left Anadarko in November 2016 when he says top executives told him he needed to move to Texas to keep his job. That was five months before Firestone. When The Independent first contacted him about the information he provided for the shareholders’ lawsuit, he cited his new job heading Great Outdoors Colorado – the quasi-governmental agency tasked with investing state lottery revenues into open space – as reason for “wanting to stay out of news on this.” But, after being told The Indy would write the story with or without him, he agreed two weeks later to speak about his nine years at Anadarko. He started by saying he still holds “a lot of stock” in the company, and by noting that he is “not a whistleblower.” Castilian said he sat through leadership team meetings in which top brass were unabashed about hinging safety efforts on fluctuating energy prices, and unapologetic about spending money that had been earmarked for remediating old wells on oil and gas production instead. “It wasn’t just me. There were a number of people who knew what the right answer was on safety, but were told it’s not a priority right now,” he said. “It was a precarious situation for all of us. You may be telling your boss or the person who manages your budget or the person who [gives] you day-to-day direction that you don’t agree with him or that the decisions being made are not the right decisions. We all expressed our opinions. We made our concerns known. And then we sort of lived with the outcome.” “I don’t know that I fell on my sword,” he added. It was, in fact, Castilian’s job as the public face of the company to smooth over its missteps with public relations efforts. Chief among Anadarko’s PR tools was its investment – along with Noble Energy – in Coloradans for Responsible Energy Development, the industry spin machine that Castilian created. One of CRED’s goals, he said, was to educate the public about engineering and safety advances in oil and gas development. Another was to “escalate conversations” about the industry when local municipalities were passing anti-fracking measures and U.S. Rep. Jared Polis was supporting two 2014 ballot measures to curb fracking statewide. “So, the genius behind CRED was to take a very complicated process and boil it down into a 30-second TV ad to make sure the public knew that the people I worked with, these brilliant engineers, were in charge and knew what they were doing and everybody could be confident in the decisions they were making,” Castilian said. “[Anadarko] spent a lot of time and energy and money and reputations of people like me purchasing a social license to operate in Colorado. That social license helped us to beat ballot measures, defeat issues in the legislature, win support from people and communities throughout Colorado.” Whether because of the power of that social license, the omnipresence of CRED’s TV and radio ads, the displeasure of Gov. John Hickenlooper – a former oil and gas geologist – or all of the above, Polis was persuaded to end his support for the ballot measures on a promise from Hickenlooper to create a task force on oil and gas development in 2014. But Castilian notes that if the Firestone explosion had happened that year, the outcome would have been completely different. “I don’t think Jared Polis would have backed down, and you’d have either an outright ban on fracking or setbacks. I don’t think the industry would have been able to win that fight.” And now, post-Firestone? As Castilian tells it, no amount of TV and radio spots, bus ads and billboards, and Cinco de Mayo and Juneteenth parade sponsorships can buy back Anadarko’s credibility and persuade the public that it can be trusted to keep doing business in Colorado. “Now they don’t have the standing to say we deserve that social license,” he said. “That bank account is largely dry.”
Lost Creek Guide
Congress Shouldn’t Be Running the Transportation System
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Michael Bates & Associates, LLP
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May 16, 2018
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From Independence Institute Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden has proposed a three-month transportation bill. Three more months, he says, will give Congress a chance to figure out a long-term solution. The only problem is that Congress had three months three months ago and did nothing. Meanwhile, Sens. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., and Bob Corker, R-Tenn., have proposed to increase gas taxes by 12 cents a gallon. Considering that the gas tax hasn’t been increased in more than 20 inflation-filled years, this would seem to make sense. It doesn’t, however, because a gas tax increase assumes there is a shortage of funds for transportation. Instead, the real problem is an excess of spending. Congress has mandated spending at fixed levels even if gas tax revenues failed to cover that spending and, as a result, spent at least $55 billion more than the feds have taken in. Some of that spending may have been essential, but a lot of it was wasted. Probably most of it was spent on things that are really of state or local interest, not of national significance, such as transit and bike paths, all spending on urban roads, and a lot of spending on state highways. The Highway Trust Fund worked before 1982, when federal gas taxes were dedicated to building the Interstate Highway System. The mission was both simple and self-funding. Although the interstates make up just 2.5 percent of the nation’s highway lane miles, they account for 25 percent of all highway travel and 20 percent of all passenger travel of all kinds. The gas taxes people paid to drive on the interstates more than paid their way. In 1982, the interstate system was nearly complete. Congress should have sunsetted the gas tax. Instead, it more than doubled the gas tax and dedicated 20 percent of the increase to transit. With the completion of the interstates in all but a few states, even the highway share of the money got spent on a wide range of other projects. Instead of a simple mission — build an Interstate Highway System — the mission became complex and often self-contradictory. Maintain infrastructure; enhance mobility; improve air quality; discourage driving; promote transit; build new rail lines; promote economic development; stimulate the economy; stop urban sprawl — the list is endless. Congress compounded this problem by deciding to mandate spending even if revenues failed to cover the cost. Pay-as-you-go was out the window, so no one had any incentive to contain costs. Light-rail construction costs ballooned from $17 million per mile (in today’s dollars) in 1981 to $110 million per mile today, not counting Seattle’s $626 million per mile University line. Congress has proven that it can’t handle transportation. The Congress that first diverted gas taxes to transit was run by Democrats. The Congress that first mandated spending even if it wasn’t covered by revenues was run by Republicans. Our transportation system is vast and complicated, and there’s no reason to think Congress can know where every dollar should be spent any more than it knows what clothes you should wear today or what you should have for dinner tonight. It is time for Congress to say what it should have said in 1982: the Interstate Highway System is finished and new transportation projects, including bike paths, transit routes, and bridge repairs, are of state or local interest and should be funded by state or local governments, not by the feds. The only real justification for a federal gasoline tax is that it can be collected from oil refiners and importers at a very low cost. If Congress keeps the gas tax, it should distribute it to the states based on a simple formula, one that takes local user fees into account so as to reinforce the importance of user needs–and otherwise have no strings attached. Better yet, just get rid of the federal gas tax. Gas taxes can be collected locally at only a slightly higher cost than the federal tax. Electronic tolls can be collected pretty cheaply as well, and will allow highway managers to eliminate congestion by varying the tolls. Either way, Congress should get out of the business of trying to run the nation’s transportation systems. Randal O’Toole is director of the Transportation Policy Center at the Independence Institute, a free market think tank in Denver. A longer version of this piece originally appeared in his blog, The Antiplanner.
Candidate Meet and Greet Held in Firestone
A candidate meet and greet was held in Firestone at Mama Jama’s Coffee Bar. It was mostly comprised of Weld County Candidates for office. Unfortunately, the candidates and their staffs outnumbered the general public attendees. Doug Robinson was the only statewide candidate. He is running for the Republican nomination for governor. All of the Weld County candidates running for office were available, each giving a short statement on their candidacy. All had a chance to mingle and chat.
Kiowa Park Trail Grant Approved
From Wiggins Newsletter The community members of Wiggins expressed a desire to have more safe, outdoor recreational areas for their families. The Town recently received a $40,000 trail grant from Colorado Parks and Wildlife. The trail will initially transform the mile and a half dirt trail around the Kiowa Park subdivision into a 10 foot wide, non-motorized, asphalt trail. The trail will be ADA handicapped accessible and provide a safe environment for families to walk, jog, and bike in the great outdoors. It will include over 60 new trees and landscaping; encouraging community members to connect with nature, promote healthy activities, and protect our natural resources at the same time. It is the Town’s long-term goal to connect all parts of Wiggins by creating a continuous trail through town.
May 16, 2018
Lost Creek Guide
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Lost Creek Guide
May 16, 2018
A History of Colorado Government Government
The discovery of gold in 1858 brought people to the fledgling towns of Denver City, Auraria and other front range mining camps. The new inhabitants quickly realized the need for some form of government and movement began toward a territorial and a subsequent state government which led up to the admittance of Colorado as the 38th state of the Union on August 1, 1876.
Chronology of the Colorado Constitution: Eighteen Years to Statehood
The following chronology describes the events that led up to the acceptance of Colorado's State Constitution in 1876. November, 1858 Denver citizens formed the independent government of Arapahoe County within Kansas Territory and elected a delegate. First constitutional convention met in Blake and Williams Hall on Blake Street in Denver. September, 1859 First constitution rejected, but a provisional territorial government called the Territory of Jefferson was formed. February, 1861 Congress created the Territory of Colorado, headed by William Gilpin. August-September, 1861 First Legislative Assembly elected and convened. January 5, 1863 Territorial delegate Hiram P. Bennet introduced a bill to provide statehood for Colorado but it did not pass the House. 1864 Another constitutional convention elected and a constitution drafted but later defeated by public vote. 1865 A new constitution framed and approved in a general election but vetoed by President Johnson. 1869-1873 Each session of Congress received Colorado Statehood Bills but did not pass them. December, 1873 President Grant recommended an Enabling Act for the admission of Colorado as a state. January, 1874 Jerome Chaffee, Colorado Territory's delegate to Congress, introduced House Bill 435 for provision of a state government. June 8, 1874 ·March 3, 1875 Bill 435 passed the House, was amended and passed by the Senate and signed by the President. October 25, 1875 Citizens of Colorado elected a constitutional convention. December 20, 1875 Delegates for the constitutional convention assembled. March 14, 1876 Final draft of constitution completed and signed.
Notable Political Coloradians
Federico Pena – City and County of Denver Mayor from 1983 to 1991. Held Presidential Cabinet Positions in Transportation and Energy during the Clinton Administration. Advocated large civic projects, like Denver International Airport and the Denver Convention Center, to boost local economy. John Evans – John Evans was the second governor of the Colorado Territory from 1862-1865. Robert Speer - City and County of Denver Mayor from 1904 - 1912 and 1916 - 1918. Speer had an ambitious vision of Denver’s civic and environmental resources. Through his influence, the Denver Mountain Parks System was developed, Civic Center Park was created, parks were added, trees lined the streets, and the history and arts were funded. Chief Ouray – At age seventeen Ouray, “The Arrow”, became Chief of the Uncompahgre Tribe of the Ute Nation, a nation that desperately needed a diplomatic leader. The multi-lingual Chief Ouray visited with President Grant, and in 1868 signed over the tribes’ ancestral claims to the San Luis Valley in order to preserve further encroachment onto Indian lands in the San Juans. This uneasy peace was broken by miners who began blasting the mineral rich San Juan Mountains, or as
Chief Ouray called them the “Shining Mountains.” Chief Ouray believed that the Utes had no choice but to surrender these lands, but many tribes within the Ute Nation chose instead to fight. The infamous Meeker Massacre in Rio Blanco County was the result of the animosity that developed between the Utes and the encroaching white settlers. Ultimately, the United States forced the Native Americans onto new reservations. President Hayes never lost his respect for Chief Ouray, describing him in 1880 as the “most intelligent man I’ve ever conversed with.” In a time of change, strife, and challenge Chief Ouray was honored by both Ute and non-Indian people. Casimo Barela – Known as a highly respected legislator whose career in the State Senate spanned 25 continuous years. Casimo Barela also was a member of Colorado’s Constitutional Convention of 1875. Elected from Las Animas County, Barela was instrumental in ensuring the bi-lingual printing of Colorado laws. Benjamin Lindsey - Pioneer of the Juvenile Court System, and child welfare advocate. Lindsey served as a Denver Judge from 1900 to 1927 promoting controversial views like juvenile rehabilitation, trial marriage, and sex education. He was almost disbarred during the 1920’s by the Ku Klux Klan political machine when he spoke against their organization. Wayne Aspinall – Colorado Congressional Representative for 24 years, and acted as Chairman of the Interior and Insular Affairs Committee for 14 years. Aspinall was a power broker representing Colorado and the West’s use of public lands, water rights, and mineral resources. His most important single piece of legislation was the Colorado River Storage Project Act which provided many of the reservoir and dam projects after World War II.
Creation of Colorado Counties
Colorado Territory was established by Congress on February 28, 1861. The first Legislative Assembly of the Territory of Colorado convened on September 9, 1861. They quickly enacted laws establishing the seventeen original counties. The Original Territorial Counties and Their County Seats in 1861