Posts tagged Colorado
The most destructive wildfire in state history is raging in Colorado. It has already destroyed 473 homes and damaged an additional 17. The second-most destructive fire was a year ago, the Waldo Canyon Fire, which raged from June 23, 2012 until it was declared contained on July 10. That blaze destroyed 346 homes.
This year’s massive fire is one of about 19,000 wildfires that have destroyed over 700 square miles this season. Five firefighters have died so far this year, and the number of fires in Colorado has increased forty five percent over last year.
It is possible that the severity of recent wildfire seasons has been worsened by global climate change. Even though that’s a favorite topic of mine, that won’t be the focus of today’s article. The damage caused by these fires is also being increased by the effects of the Republican sequester cuts.
Fifty million dollars has been cut from the budget of federal firefighters because of the sequester. This has forced the Forest Service to cut 500 firefighters and 50 engines. They are facing more fires, and larger ones, with fewer people and fewer resources. (more…)
This is Ballot Watch. Today is the tenth in the series of articles on the upcoming ballot initiatives and some key local elections. In this article, we return to our geography-based collections of states, taken roughly eight at a time. Along with the Mountain States of Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming, we’re including the northern Plains states of North and South Dakota.
For many years, this region has been reliably Republican. However, demographic changes have made some of the states a lot more interesting. New Mexico voted for the Republican from 1968 (President Richard Nixon) to 1988 (President George H. W. Bush). Since 1992 (President Bill Clinton), however, New Mexico has voted for the Democratic Presidential candidate, with a slight excursion to the red column for President George W. Bush’s reëlection in 2004.
Colorado was once solidly red in Presidential elections. Since 1952 (President Dwight Eisenhower), Colorado has voted for the Democratic candidate for President only three times: 1964 (President Lyndon Johnson), 1992 and 2008 (President Barack Obama). However, changing Demo-graphics have made Colorado a swing state. Also, population growth has made it a medium-large prize: nine electoral votes. Look to Jefferson County (Monotreme’s home) as the bellwether county. This county includes the western Denver suburbs, and like the state and the country, is almost evenly split between Yangs and Kohms. Most of Jefferson County (in terms of population) is in Colorado’s 7th Congressional District (see below) with the less densely populated mountain regions in the 2nd, which is a Safe Democratic seat.
Idaho has voted for the Republican since the 1968 election. Montana also turned red in 1968 and only voted for the Democrat in 1992. North and South Dakota have both voted for the Republican since Wendell Willkie lost to President Franklin Roosevelt in 1940, with the exception of giving their eight electoral votes to Johnson in 1964. Utah and Wyoming have an almost solid streak of voting Republican in Presidential elections as well, starting in 1952, but like many other Western states both took a brief walk on the blue side in 1964. (more…)
On January 4, 2012, members of the Weber-Morgan [Counties, Utah] Narcotics Strike Force attempted to arrest Matthew David Stewart, 37, a former Army sergeant and Iraq war veteran. Holding a valid “knock and announce” warrant, they broke down Stewart’s door in a quiet neighborhood of Ogden, Utah and a shootout ensued. Stewart allegedly shot six police officers and killed one of them, Officer Jared Francom.
According to the warrant for Stewart’s arrest on murder and attempted murder charges that ensued, Stewart fired on Strike Force officers from a
concealed position at close range with a Beretta 9 mm semi-automatic pistol … Agent Grogan was struck in the face and went to the floor. Agent Derek Draper returned fire as he was fired upon … Agent Kasey Burrell [was hit] at least twice and [Stewart] mortally wounded Agent Jared Francom who was struck six times. … Stewart shot Sergeant Nate Hutchinson several times as he engaged the suspect and helped wounded officers evacuate … the suspect also shot Agent James Vanderwarf … Stewart advanced on officers as they were trying to evacuate … and continued firing at officers as they moved away from the home … the suspect shot Officer Rounkles twice as he entered the home … Stewart moved to the front door of the residence and continued shooting into the street and front yard at the already wounded agents and fellow agents … Police returned fire causing the suspect to retreat … and exit the northeast bedroom window into the backyard … entered a small storage shed.
The cause of all this carnage? Allegedly, home-grown marijuana.
Who won Colorado and Minnesota this week? If you look at the tallies of caucus votes, the answer is “Rick Santorum”. But those two states have non-binding caucuses, so the answer may not be as obvious as it seems. There are two separate, but loosely-related activities at play here.
In terms of the momentum story, which drives much of the discussion in the media, the caucus votes are the ones that matter. Santorum won that story.
But there’s a second story, one that is much quieter, but more meaningful in terms of the ultimate nomination. (more…)
Well, this was unexpected. While there was little doubt that former Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) would win Missouri, and all zero of its eligible delegates, Minnesota looked like a tossup just yesterday. And Colorado? That was a sure win for former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney just a couple of days ago.
And then… (more…)
Today, in addition to the Missouri Beauty Contest, the states of Colorado and Minnesota hold their non-binding caucuses for 36 and 40 delegates, respectively.
The states are coming thick and fast now, and the polling firms find themselves stretched thin trying to get the necessary breadth and frequency in each state, given the rapidly-changing fortunes of the remaining four candidates. (more…)