Good News! June 16-23, 2017

(Because Lord knows we can use some – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

This was a hard week to write “Good News” for. Still, there was some.

Small victories, local heroes, sweet stories, random kindnesses, unexpected grace, cold justice served up on a hot plate…that’s what this diary is about. As always, your interpretation of what is “good news” is probably different than mine.

This week, it’s all about the heat, voters, immigrant rights, cannabis, and beer. Farmer’s markets. Buying local. No sports news, because the only sports I halfway understand are basketball and baseball. Anything else, I’m the one looking at you to see when to stand up and cheer.

Environmental / energy

It’s freaking hot in Colorado, especially on the western slope , down south, and in Denver, but the head of the EPA won’t say if climate change is a hoax, although his boss says it is.

Good news: It’s not as hot as Phoenix’s 119 degrees . Even AZ Sen. McCain thinks this global warming thing is the real deal.   Plastic mailboxes are melting in Arizona – it’s that hot.  (Photo from reddit, via Buzzfeed)

 

MacGregor Ranch is piloting a program to work closely with the NRCS to cut underbrush and mitigate wildfire risk, since it is so freaking hot in Colorado. Drought and wildfires are the two main hazards Colorado experiences from climate change. Here’s the video from the pilot project.

Virgin Mobile and several other big retailers are planning to conserve energy by running their trucking fleets more efficiently.

Coal India, the world’s largest coal mining company, will shut down 37 of its mines that are no longer economically viable. The lost energy will be replaced mainly with solar.

Clean energy jobs remain the fastest-growing employment sector in Colorado  – with 62,000 added last year.  65% of those jobs are in energy efficiency.   This all helps Colorado to have one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation at 2.3%.    Rates for youth under 24 were at 6%, and for Hispanics at 5%, still lower than most other states.

There’s still some good fishing around Colorado. Get’em while there’s still water enough to fish in.

And you can drive to your fishing spot on roads you won’t have to pay an extra tax on, per the Colorado Business Coalition. Amendment 267 passed, funding $3 Billion for road repair and maintenance; however, $10 billion was needed. Where will that come from?

The “Dog Days” are  approaching. If you see poor Puddles panting in a hot car, you can break in to save the pet – but not legally,  in Colorado, until August.

Dog in hot car

Speaking of pets, it turns out that Colorado is one of many states which still allow the preparation and consumption of dog and cat meat. However, legislation has been introduced to fix that oversight. Meanwhile, you can sign the petition.

Colorado wildlife is also finding creative ways to beat the heat. A bear broke into a Vail apartment June 5, and attempted to play some cool jazz. after raiding the refrigerator.

Voting, elections , candidates

Robert Rodriguez is  running for term-limited Sen Aguilar’s seat.  Dr. Aguilar has served her district well, and I expect that she will continue to work for the health and well-being of the people of Colorado in some interesting ways.

Kansas, now you’ve pissed off the PTA moms. As a former PTA mom myself, I can tell you that the Brownback cadre in Kansas won’t know what hit them.

Alabama is one of several southern states that has just restored voting rights for felons.   Colorado’s laws allow that once someone has done their time or sentence, there really is no good reason to deny them the vote, and it’s worked out fine so far. One of my cherished voter registration memories was when I registered a guy who had done his time for drug possession. He broke into tears when he realized that he could vote now.

In gerrymandering news: The Supreme Court has decided to hear the Wisconsin case. This could be good news for Democrats.

Immigration

Colorado Springs churches have formed a coalition to safeguard immigrants facing deportation.

Communities have organized crowd-sourced reporting of ICE raids in Colorado. Some of the twitter hashtags for this effort: #HereToStay #CORapidResponse bit.ly/CORapidResponse

ACLU, the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition, AFSC, and the Colorado People’s Alliance are rallying around to keep mixed-status families from being deported in the current “Send them all back” craze.

Colorado Refugee Day was celebrated at the State Capitol on June 20, 2017. This is a picture of a Bollywood-style flash mob dance at the event, posted by Project Worthmore on Facebook.

Education

Chalkbeat’s Rise and Shine features Colorado news stories about education.

These include more free preschool slots in Weld County, reading gains in Cañon City, free bus passes for students in Denver, and 200 students receiving $2,000 each from marijuana taxes in Pueblo.

Cannabis and Beer news in Colorado

Much of the good news in Colorado is cannabis -related. Coincidence? You decide.

So Pueblo collected enough taxes on recreational cannabis in their city that they could afford to give 200 students $2,000 scholarships. My own little community has obtained matching funds for bond issue improvements to school buildings. Where are the matching funds coming from? Pot sales. Does our little town allow pot sales? No, they just pretend that everybody isn’t driving 10 miles down the road to get theirs.

So several small towns are looking at Pueblo, and other municipalities, and smelling that sweet funk of cash for needed improvements.

Milliken is reconsidering its pot ban.

So is Lamar .

Meanwhile, in nearby Nevada, the liquor lobby would like a piece of the cannabis action for its July 1 rollout of recreational pot.

Beer news:

New Belgium goes national. Hey, Craig, Colorado, how’s that “Boycott New Belgium to save our coal jobs” thing working out for you? 

International news:

Saudi security forces just foiled a suicide bomber who was planning to attack the Great Mosque in Mecca. So yay Saudis. However, they are still contributing to the

 Trump stinks

department.  Saudi and other US allies called for Qatar to shut down Al Jazeera, a groundbreaking and popular news network, which covers stories others don’t.  Al Jazeera calls it  “a siege against journalism”. Our President? Allied with people who attack journalists 🙄 ? Surely not….

Miscellaneous local good news

Ft Carson soldiers cook gigantic breakfast as part of Western Week in the Springs

Longmont Housing authority subjected low income residents to warrantless K-9 assisted drug searches of the apartments of working class people. But, facing a lot of media heat, the housing authority now promises to investigate itself thoroughly. I feel so reassured now.

Farmer’s markets and buying local

Because what you eat matters, to your body and to the planet, you should buy local produce when you can. To find a farmer’s market, check the following links:

Colorado Farm Fresh Directory, published by the Colorado Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association.

Colorado produce directory – What do we actually grow here and when is it ripe?

Colorado.gov has a directory of Colorado Farmer’s Markets.

Colorado farmers market association has a directory of its member markets.

There is a mobile ap, too. So get out there and enjoy some local Colorado deliciousness!

Farmers market

mamajama55

About mamajama55

Teacher in northern Colorado. Nosy, curious, persistent.

19 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. VoyageurVoyageur says:

    What's the big deal about your former felon breaking into tears because he can vote?   I practically always break into tears after I see who my choices on the ballot aresurprise

    • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

      At least you have a choice to vote for one or none of the above. The ex-felon was crying because finally, society trusted him with a choice.

      • VoyageurVoyageur says:

        I think you missed the element of humor in my comment, MJ.

        • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

          Oh, I got it. Next time, I'll put in lots of laughsmileycheeky. to let you know.

          Men have been telling me I'm too serious and should smile more since I was like 8. I think that was the year I performed the dagger scene from "Macbeth" for my second grade class.

          Nowadays, they'd probably have to put the school on lockdown for that.

          Insomnia sucks.

          • notaskinnycooknotaskinnycook says:

            Oh, I don't know. Back in the days when we had precinct elections my wife and I were judges. I was helping out at a voter registration booth at some event, and I was asking passers-by if they were registered for an upcoming election. a man stopped and whispered sadly that he wished he could register, but that he was a convicted felon so couldn't vote. I asked him if he was still "on paper". He said he wasn't, and you should have seen his face light up when I told him Colorado restores one's voting rights once their "debt to society" had been paid. I helped him fill out the paperwork to register and he walked away with such a spring in his step. That was a very good day.

  2. MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

    This seems as good as any thread to post these analytics: over half of TwoScoops Twitter followers are fake accounts and bots.  

  3. MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

    Glad to see some (non-Front Range) rural counties finally grasping the gravity of the many lost opportunities in the cannabis sector due to their moratoriums in place since 2012. There will be a first-mover in this space, and they'll be handsomely rewarded. 

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