September 16, 2014
Mark Udall is married, in every sense, to the extreme environmental Left. His rejection of the Keystone XL project, which would increase America’s energy independence and bring thousands of jobs to states across the country, is indicative of how far he is willing to go to please extremist special interests, and at the same time, keep the peace at home.
Senator Mark Udall (D) Colorado, is known for his alliances with extreme environmental groups and his “I hate fossil fuel” policies, which often puts him at odds with Colorado’s businesses, local interests, and the national economy:
- Despite a recent study showing that fracking bans in the state of Colorado would have devastating effects on the state and local economies, Mark Udall refuses to disavow fracking ban initiatives.
- He voted against a non-binding resolution in 2013 supporting completion of the Keystone XL pipeline, despite polling which shows a large majority of Coloradans support it.
- Udall’s loyalties come into question recently when billionaire philanthropist Tom Steyer vowed to “back” lawmakers who continue to oppose the KeystoneXL pipeline.
- A proponent of “green” alternative energy, Udall has a record of pushing “climate change” legislation, and saying those in Colorado who have doubts about the science behind so-called manmade global warming have “their heads in the sand.”
- In 2004 Senator Udall himself received a 100% legislative rating from the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA), which is heavily involved in activities that increase Federal Government control over areas in and around national parks and promote their long-term goals of shutting off millions of acres to human activity and development.
One of the reasons Cory Gardner, the United States Congressman from Yuma, Colorado, is such a threat to Udall’s tenure in the Senate, is that Udall has a narrow, ideological focus on environmental issues, ignores the will of the people of his state and the country, and has voted with Obama nearly 100% of the time. Knowing what we know about Udall is unpleasant enough–but many people don’t know that he is married to Maggie Fox-Udall, an environmental lawyer and activist.
Maggie Fox-Udall has been the good wife to candidate Udall. While most political wives are seen in public supporting their men, acting the supporting role of help meet and honey, Maggie Fox-Udall, whose hubby is in a celebrity death match with Gardner, has been strangely silent–inexplicably invisible. Perhaps this is why:
- Maggie Fox-Udall is currently serving as President and CEO of the “Climate Reality Project”. The Climate Reality Project is “a non-profit organization leading a campaign to help citizens around the world discover the truth about the climate crisis and bring about global change.” In a “getboulder.com” magazine interview, Mrs. Udall compares educating “climate change” skeptics that the phenomenon is a reality with that of educating the people of South Africa that Apartheid was wrong.
- Maggie Fox is the past National President of “America Votes,” which “has built a permanent advocacy and campaign infrastructure that provides coordination, data and targeting services to progressive organizations; pursues electoral reforms that expand voting rights across the country; and advances progressive policies through state and local ballot initiatives. America Votes’ strong progressive infrastructure will support our coalition partners’ advocacy efforts and facilitate the coordination of voter outreach.”
- Maggie Fox is also a former Deputy Director of The Sierra Club, whose Rocky Mountain Chapter (RMC) advocates…
- Fracking bans
- Banning oil and gas extraction and waste disposal
- Political activities that drive energy development out of the State of Colorado
- Supports state and federal legislation increasing government control and decreasing local control over land and water rights, and threatening private property rights
- An ardent Leftist, Maggie Fox campaigned for Obama in 2008. In this clip she stumps for Joe Biden and introduces him with a plug for “a green energy revolution.”
The Maggie Fox-Udall resume’ is rife with examples of extremist leanings. But it should come as no surprise. Udall is known first as an environmentalist and obstructionist of western energy projects. He has tried for nearly 3 years to push national park status for the Colorado National Monument onto the folks of Western Colorado, a large majority of whom don’t want the change. But like all ideologues, Udall and Fox are relentless.
To hardcore Leftists like the Udalls, science takes a back seat to purpose. The ends justify any means, no matter how destructive. Public opinion is a hurdle to be overcome. And truth is what they want it to be.
Colorado is sick of bad science, destructive Democrat policies, and tin-eared politicians who, instead of We the People, serve their own agendas and extreme special interest groups. Mark Udall is quite literally married to the extreme environmental Left.
by Marjorie Haun 9/16/14
September 15, 2014
Problems for natural gas trucks go beyond fueling
By Arthur Kane / September 3, 2014
In addition to the fueling problem, workers for Colorado’s Department of Natural Resources and Colorado Parks and Wildlife may have difficulties doing their jobs because of Compressed Natural Gas fuel tanks on trucks, memos show.
Some of the complaints found in memos and emails obtained by Watchdog.org are minor, such as maggots from dead animals getting under the tank, or unrealistic, such as fears the tanks will explode on bumpy roads.
But others suggest buying additional equipment, with public money, such as a rack that will hold an ATV off the back of a pickup bed, the records show.
When state fleet was pushing CPW to buy the vehicles, there were concerns for the employees out in the field.
“That is additional cost to the agency and inefficiency,” CPW fleet manager Michelle Arnold wrote in January 2013. “The decreased hauling capacity because of CNG fueling tanks in the back of the bed of the pickups is going to severely limit if not totally preclude the ability of our staff to operate as required.”
In March 2013, State Fleet Manager Ron Clatterbuck suggested the $950 fix in the photo at left to accommodate ATVs with a CNG tank in the truck bed. A $138.99 fix was included in the email.
In an email exchange with Clatterbuck, CPW fleet coordinator Shawn Hermosillo wrote, “It kind of defeats the purpose of a short bed, but that is a cool little set up they’re selling.”
In a separate email to Arnold, Hermosillo wrote, “Wow, just wow.”
Even expressing concern about the practical use of the CNG trucks was frowned upon.
When Hermosillo emailed Clatterbuck in January to ask why wildlife officers could not get a law-enforcement exemption from CGN requirements, Clatterbuck responded: “Well, for one, the CNG pickup does not interfere with CPW’s law enforcement ability to perform their duties in the field,” he wrote.
“With less space available in the bed, it is more of an inconvenience than it is something that would prevent them from doing their jobs,” Clatterbuck wrote. “The point is not to find ways to ‘get away’ from buying a CNG bi-fuel vehicle, but to find ways to buy more and make them work.”
But Arnold previously wrote the mandate to buy CNG vehicles prevents staff from doing their jobs and costs taxpayers money.
“The decreased hauling capacity because of CNG fuel tanks in the back of the bed of the pickups is going to severely limit if not totally preclude the ability of our staff to operate as required,” she wrote in the Jan. 4, 2013 memo. “CPW employees understand the need to order CNG vehicles where it make sense, but as stated above, pickups are ordered for their ability to haul the equipment that the various CPW employees need to do their jobs in an efficient manner. The requirement to order a CNG compliant vehicle with the decreased bed space, will ultimately result in staff needing to purchase additional trailers to haul what they normally would in their pickup beds.”
CPW spokesman Mattt Robbins said his department has not bought any of the ATV racks because they make the truck longer. Instead, CPW workers are towing ATVs behind the trucks.
“As prior to the introduction of CNG vehicles, CPW staff are towing ATV’s and snowmobiles on trailers,” Robbins wrote in an email. “We have seen the short beds hold an ATV but this is not ideal as it required the tailgate to be down and is not designed to hold unnecessary amounts to weight.”
According to a Department of Personnel Administration spokeswoman, some CNG pickup models would fit the ATVs despite the CNG tanks, but the Ford pickups the state selected do not because they have a larger CNG tank.
State records show various state departments have about 120 Ford CNG pickups, but it’s not clear how many of them require modifications to accomplish the tasks the state employees need to do.
September 13, 2014
In times of shortages and crisis, our own emotional adaptability and resilience, our spirituality and faith in God, and our relationships with family and friends, become the most critical survival tools of all.
Katrina, Hurricane Sandy, concerns about the collapsing dollar, economic stagnation, chronic unemployment, and global threats over the last several years have brought a lot of attention to preparedness communities, or “preppers.” These networks have become expert in researching and devising ways to prepare their homes to be havens of health and security in the case of local or national collapses. Food storage, water, medicine, first aid, emergency lighting, heating, and other contingencies are the ingredients of a booming “emergency preparedness” industry. “Preppers” support one another with ideas and resources.
The collapse of our economic structure is a real possibility. The potential that enemy attack, domestic or foreign, will interrupt government and commerce on a large scale, is greater that most want to believe. The Americans who have prepared themselves to weather a period of economic challenges will not have to endure traumatic interruptions to their way of life.
Our pantries are not the only consideration for those who prepare for hard times. It’s wise to ask if there is a way to prepare the mind, heart, and spirit for the moments of crisis so that panic may be mitigated, even avoided? The psychological ramifications of a national crisis have not been as well addressed. These are matters that those who take home and family preparedness seriously will want to consider. In a time of shortage and crisis, our own emotional adaptability and resilience, our spirituality and faith in God, and our relationships with family and friends become the most critical survival tools of all.
Prayer: The comforting power of prayer is not limited to a religious appeal to Deity. Prayer and meditation can lower stress hormones, decrease the symptoms of depression and anxiety, and focus the mind to those things which are most important. Prayer can be a source of comfort and hope. Individuals who are religious and employ personal pray in their daily routines are happier, more optimistic, and more able to withstand life’s challenges. Make prayer and meditation habits now so they become a well-honed survival tools when you most need them.
Relationships: We can prepare for adversity, which may come at any time in the form of unemployment, death, or natural disaster, by strengthening our personal relationships. People who are isolated or separated from friends and loved ones during times of catastrophe are extremely vulnerable. Our families and relationships are more than the sum of their parts. A network of invested individuals who provide physical support, and practical and problem solving skills, are indispensable when a disaster may require fortifying a home, self defense, gathering provisions, caring for small children, or travel away from familiar surroundings. Nurture your relationships now, and network with your neighbors and community so that you will not be alone when disaster hits.
Physical Health: Obesity, diabetes, inactivity, and other life-style related illnesses are, more-often-than-not, avoidable. One must be in charge of his or her health and functioning in the event of a crisis. Emergency and medical help may not be available, or affordable, for an extended period of time. Store at lease a one month’s supply of essential medications. Have back-up power sources for your medical equipment, such as c-pap devices. Discuss with your physician how to handle your health matters if there are no doctors or medical personnel available. Have medical books on hand. Individuals with severe addictions to street drugs will be subject to withdrawal symptoms, which can be deadly in the absence of medical supervision. Take charge of your health. In an emergency there may be no one to care for your medical needs other than yourself and your family.
Psychological Health: Some psychological problems due to illness, defects, or syndromes, cannot be avoided. But most mental health problems that affect our society are preventable. Alcoholism, drug abuse, and unhealthy and abusive relationships are more costly and destructive than organic mental illness. If you have a mental health diagnosis and require medications, be sure to have a supply on hand for at lease one month. If substance addiction, conduct disorders, or unhealthy relationships affect your ability to function and relate to others, seek help now. Psychotherapy, 12-step programs, spiritual reconciliation, religious practices, and activities which enhance essential relationships should be emphasized. Stay active, expose yourself to positive people and enjoyable pastimes. Pray, attend church, serve in the community, and spend time with friends. Seek out happy people. Employ habits that augment your mental health just as you would exercise and eat well to support your physical health. Your psychological and physical health at the outset of a crisis period will determine whether you thrive or merely survive.
Comfort Food: As you plan for your long-term storage needs, assess those eating habits that you associate with comfort and pleasure. Many foods bring comfort simply because they are part of a predictable and safe routine. A time of crisis is not a good time to try to give up sweets or any of those things to which we may be mildly addicted. The stress of physical and psychological withdrawal from a favorite food or beverage may compound the trauma of a crisis. Keep a supply of those comfort items on hand. You may, of necessity, eventually have to give up those habit foods, but don’t try to do it overnight. Allow yourselves and your families the luxury of pleasing foods during an emergency. Hot chocolate, candies, cookie mixes, cakes, soda pop, salty snacks, sweetened cereal and many other simple and pleasing foods are appropriate for short-term food storage. The energy needs of people increase during times of stress. Extra calories during a crisis can actually be beneficial.
Objects which bring comfort can be kept as well. Photographs, mementos, favorite pillows or blankets, books and music, and companion pets, can lend a sense of peace and assurance when the rest of the world becomes uncertain and unfamiliar.
Recreation: In the case of a local or national crisis, those things to which we turn for entertainment may be swept away. What would you do in the absence of television, movies, video games, sports, or the Internet? How would you pass your empty time? Would you have the interpersonal skills to spend many hours per day with other people, not having the usual distractions to buffer your connections? Prepare for a dearth of diversions by starting now to read books, play board games, play simple sports, take walks, draw, paint, sculpt,and find ways to meaningfully fill anxious hours should they come.
Learn how to plant a garden. Raise livestock. Preserve your own food. Sew. Learn basic home and mechanical maintenance. Write in a journal. Play a musical instrument. Minds and hands that are busy and productive will less impacted by the fear and anxiety of a crisis than those which are idle and aimless.
If you haven’ already, begin now to nurture your relationships with your friends, family, and God. People have always survived tough times. Psychological preparations are as, or more, essential than food storage and self defense. The fortifications of those intangibles such as spirit, will, and loving relationships should be central to any emergency crisis plan.
By Marjorie Haun 9/13/14
September 11, 2014
“Mommy, why did bad men knock down those buildings?”
He was 5 years old, my youngest, sitting on the couch, his feet barely hanging over the edge of the cushions. His blue eyes wide, and curly locks of mussed blond hair framing his thunderstruck face. “They hate us, honey,” I told him. “They hate America. They just want to kill Americans.”
“Do they want to kill kids?” he pleaded. I had to edit my words at that point. I knew the truth. The truth was “Yes, they want to kill kids. And if the bad men got the chance they would kill our whole family.” But there are certain truths that are not given freely, and must be discovered through the process of maturation and inquiry. My son had years to discover for himself the poisonous character of the 9/11 killers. “You’re safe,” I told him, my other son and two daughters listening intently. “Colorado is the best place to be. We are safe out here, they won’t try to get us in our town.”
We went about our lives that day. I taught in a classroom of students with special needs. The radio was playing quietly in the background and I would listen closely every so often to hear updates. Was this a national event? Would Denver be next? I chose to say nothing to my students, the most guileless of all. It was hard enough to explain the attacks to a child of normal intelligence. It would be pointless to try to explain the motivations of loathsome men and ideologies of blood to minds that cannot begin to fathom hate.
On the way home I stopped by a supermarket to stock up on some dry goods, an effort to reinforce my home storage, should a time of deprivation follow that day. I was surprised that the market was nearly empty of people. The few who were present were buzzing about the news of the attack, but no one was talking about the uncertainty of the days ahead. I observed and said little. In a trance of deep pondering I felt a shift in my spirit. Nothing would be the same. History had turned a corner, and the way ahead was dark, and smoky, and perilous.
I put up our flag when I got home. American flags festooned our neighborhood. There were pick-up trucks with large flags flapping behind their cabs, hoisted high on poles. A statement of utter defiance against the attackers of 9/11 issued from this town of miners, ranchers, and gas and oil workers, a redneck manifesto, the utter repudiation of surrender.
I remember that day almost hour for hour, as we all do who were fully cognizant of the attacks of 9/11. Many believed that the fervor of 9/12 would take permanent hold and that we would enjoy the likes of post-World War II unity. But the rush to patriotism was short-lived and the contempt for America and the principles of liberty surfaced as soon as notions of military retribution against supporters of Al Qaeda and other terrorist regimes tumbled off the tongues of George W. Bush and Donald Rumsfeld. There would be no lasting turn-around by the sector of American politics that has been at war against America’s greatness. Progressives would become more hardened and intense in their assaults against the Constitution, Jude0-Christian traditions, and Capitalism, and I knew it.
The world’s civilizations have always gone through cycles of destruction; blessings of prosperity and worldly comforts, followed by pride and the withdrawal from God, followed by moral decline and national weakness, followed by wars and destruction, followed by humility and seeking succor from God, followed by renewed morality and blessings of prosperity. The United States of America has been in moral decline for decades and destructive forces stalk our shores, our cities, our homes, and our hearts. But God Almighty has granted us a window of renewal before the swords of war and social decay fall on our necks. Unlike other civilizations, we have been protected by God the Eternal Father who made this country for His purposes, and by the Constitution which He inspired and imparted to the Founding Fathers. We have been given the power and tools to divert the path to civil dissolution. And many of us have been inspired to rise up against our ideological and corporeal enemies.
The Tea Party and the conservative resurgence is a movement of peaceful and religious individuals, diverse and widespread, definable only by the common characteristics of Patriotism, Faith, Love of Freedom, Love of Family, Sacrifice, and a willingness to give up everything tangible to restore the future for generations that will follow. They have arisen out of the dust of 9/11. A people who love God and who are prepared to defend His Constitution and His most favored nation with their lives.
Our hearts have not been hardened, but we are wiser, more aware and informed. We have come to understand the malevolent intentions and tactics of our enemies but we do not hate them nor do we embed ourselves in fortresses of fear. We allow the light of our faith in God to burn more brightly. We counter the darkness as a people by loving better and standing on principles of personal goodness and charity with more consistency. We diminish the darkness not by a paler shade of black, but with the brightest shades of light. The blood of those who died ten years ago is sacred, a token of reawakening in the eternal clash of good and evil. We will not defile that blood or the memory of the innocent with hate. The horrors of 9/11/01 broke our hearts. Those hearts receptive to the light and direction of God have been enlarged and a wave of Godly power has engulfed a generation that ten years ago had become complacent and materialistic.
How has 9/11 changed me, my family? I have stepped back and now look at the world with bigger eyes into which more light enters, and the stories of the moment are but a brush stroke in a vast mural of human history, with God as the central theme, and His power and purpose shaping every component of a great, intricate, and divine composition.
We are no safer now than we were thirteen years ago, and we are now fighting the powers-that-be in our own government as we hang on to our liberty and the American Dream. But we will win with love, with the light of God to guide us. And we will never, never forget the price that was paid on 9/11/01 to awaken us from a national stupor into the nightmare reality of our own survival. Our greatest act of revenge has been to love. The Islamic Terrorists who attacked, and still attack us, desire Americans to fall into the pit of hatred in which they are trapped, and in which they will die. So long as we love God, country, and mankind, we have won. We cannot lose. Love is our revenge.
By Marjorie Haun 9/12/14
September 11, 2014
Our churches are in trouble when they adopt this perverse double-standard. This is not the Christ-like charity of the good Samaritan. This is the self-flagellation of a guilt-ridden people, hell-bent on self-destruction.
Illegal aliens, by way of their illegality, consign themselves to lives outside the true American culture. They will join other illegals in communities where anchor immigrants have mastered the gaming of our permissive social welfare system. They come not to produce, but to take, always seeking more substance from the earners for their support, and more absolution from civil and moral authorities for their crimes.
American churches of all denominations, especially those churches which openly offer sanctuary to criminal aliens, but those as well whose charitable works benefit communities where illegals dwell, have done this. Catholic churches in California, Texas, Colorado and other states, as well as Baptists and other denominations, have been taking money from the federal government in preparation for the current tsunami of illegals now pouring in through the southern border. In the name of charity, the separation of church and state, a concept which protects religious bodies from the constraints and interference from the government, has dissolved into bribery.
Churches often rationalize that illegals are simply good people escaping oppression in their own countries, and that it’s understandable when they break our laws in a quest for opportunity. This is where churches let the camel into the tent by turning from moral principles and supplanting them with sentiment and expediency.
Church advocates of illegals assert that poor immigrant “seeking a better life” is by nature virtuous and has the right to take what others earn because that’s the policy Jesus would enact. But is this attitude a moral attitude? The answer of course is no, but it goes even deeper.
People of faith who are law-abiding citizens and who contribute and tithe to their churches subsidize illegals who live opposition to the doctrines to which they try faithfully to conform. With their contributions they are asked to suborn their moral virtues to the vices of an entire class of people whose behavior and identity is that of criminals.
People of faith are made to feel guilty if they take umbrage at their church’s extension of charitable effort to communities where criminal aliens are harbored. People who live lawfully may feel pressured into supporting and sustaining people who break they laws they abide and who enjoy a parasitic attachment to a system which is already supported by the taxes they pay.
If some people can break the law while others will be condemned for doing so, where are the moral absolutes, and where is the moral authority of any body that teaches such a thing?
Our churches are in trouble when they adopt this perverse double-standard. This is not the Christ-like charity of the good Samaritan. This is the self-flagellation of a guilt-ridden people, hell-bent on self-destruction.
Many people of faith have been deceived by the acts within their own churches which throw moral absolutism out the door in favor of political correctness. Churches lose their moral authority when they harbor, and pressure their members to play surrogates to, a generation of lawless aliens. These illegals are not pilgrims but are parasites who have come to take advantage of our generosity, burdening our schools, filling our prisons, and plundering state and federal social services, often amassing incomes far above those of the lawful, working American. This is a perversion of faith. This is an abdication of moral authority.
By Marjorie Haun 9/11/14
Colorado buys natural gas vehicles for facilities with no nearby fueling stations
By Arthur Kane / September 2, 2014
Colorado has so far spent $8 million in taxpayer money on nearly 240 compressed natural gas vehicles, with dozens of them stationed in places where there is no compressed natural gas filling stations, Watchdog.org has learned.
And the state expects to buy more CNG vehicles, costing $7,000 to $11,000 more than comparable gasoline-fueled vehicles, in the 2015 fiscal year. Many of them are destined for state facilities that also have no current CNG filling station nearby, state records show.
Because of the lack of fueling stations, state workers apparently continue to run many of the vehicles on more expensive gasoline, negating any of the environmental benefits and cost savings touted by supporters of the more expensive vehicles, memos and emails obtained by Watchdog.org show.
When told of the documents, state Sen. Greg Brophy, R-Wray, who co-sponsored a bill in 2009 requiring state agencies to buy CNG vehicles when practical, said Gov. John Hickenlooper’s administration is clearly not following the legislation.
“It’s just the typical way government works,” he said. “When you spend someone else’s money, you don’t think about it appropriately.”
Colorado’s CNG vehicle purchases are part of a major push by Hickenlooper to increase the state’s alternative fuel vehicles for, what many would argue, are the laudable goals of saving tax money on fuel and improving air quality.
Hickenlooper and Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin announced the push in 2011 at the Governor’s Energy Conference in Oklahoma City, and 22 states signed on.
Hickenlooper declined to comment for this story, but his spokeswoman sent a statement that said, “Governor Hickenlooper has been a supporter of a balanced energy portfolio for Colorado, which includes renewables, natural gas and the responsible development of all of Colorado’s energy resources.”
Memos show, however, the Hickenlooper administration is also very interested in helping create a market for CNG vehicles and stations for Colorado’s natural gas producers.
Hickenlooper has been a supporter of the natural gas and other energy production industries in Colorado that have met resistance because of environmental fears about fracking and energy development near residential areas.
“(P)urchasing ‘Compressed Natural Gas’ (CNG) vehicles will be the first option when replacing older inefficient vehicles wherever practicable,” State Fleet Manager Ron Clatterbuck wrote in December 2012. “This will allow the state to take advantage of Colorado’s vast reserves of natural gas, reducing our dependence on petroleum, creating new jobs, and reducing our carbon foot print… The executive directors for each agency have been informed by the Governor of the plan to purchase CNG vehicles as the first option, so we believe that compliance should not be a significant issue.”
Clatterbuck continued to press for more CNG purchases in July 2013. “We had a meeting with the Governor’s Chief of Staff on Friday, and she said ‘unequivocally’ that (State Fleet Management) and the agencies need to do better going forward purchasing more CNG vehicles,” he wrote. “So the pressure is increasing and will only intensify as we go forward.”
In February, Scott Madsen, director of the division of central services, also criticized departments for dragging their feet.
We “are very concerned about the low number of CNG vehicles being requested,” he wrote. “As you know this is a major initiative of this administration … It appears from the vehicles submitted that there are a lot of opportunities that were reasonable and available but were not found as acceptable by some departments.”
Colorado Energy Office transportation program manager Wes Maurer conceded it would be wrong to push vehicles that aren’t appropriate for the intended uses of the departments.
“We don’t advocate pushing any choices on fleet managers,” he said. “I don’t see as typical in the state. We never wanted that conversation in this office.”
Department of Natural Resources and Colorado Parks and Wildlife division staff have tried to fight the purchases, citing the waste of taxpayer dollars.
“I find it interesting that the cost is a big topic now,” CPW fleet manager Michelle Arnold wrote in March 2013.
“If these vehicles are put in place where CNG doesn’t exist then you pay for the additional cost of buying a CNG compliant vehicle and you continue to fuel it with gasoline which is more costly than CNG,” Arnold wrote. “I understand the argument that if you buy them, the CNG distributors will come but you can’t use that argument that the CNG vehicles will pay for themselves in a relatively short period of time until you can actually fill them with CNG.”
But Maurer said CNG stations are being built all over the state so vehicles in far-flung places will soon have nearby fueling stations.
“The infrastructure is expanding very rapidly,” Maurer said, adding taxpayers will see savings from the program. “It’s an up-front investment.”
There is also a question of whether the state purchase of CNG vehicles is legal. While Hickenlooper’s staff cited a 2009 bipartisan bill requiring state agencies to buy CNG and alternative fuel vehicles when possible, Senate Bill 2009-092 exempts departments from buying alternative vehicles if the vehicle or fuel costs 10 percent more than petroleum vehicles or don’t have adequate fueling facilities.
Even at $7,000, the premium on the $25,000 and $44,000 CNG vehicles far exceeds 10 percent, Brophy said. He said he intends to ask members of the legislature’s Joint Budget Committee to question administration staff about the purchases.
“It sounds like they’re breaking the law with these purchases, exceeding that by 30 percent,” Brophy said. “We didn’t give authority for that.”
Energy office spokesman Nate Watters pointed to subsequent legislation, Senate Bill 2013-70, that requires state agencies to consider the cost of the vehicle, fuel costs, maintenance and resale value in whether alternative fuel vehicles cost 10 percent more.
Using that standard, it’s impossible to determine whether the state is violating the 10 percent rule on any vehicles until they’re driven, fueled, maintained and sold.
But it’s clear that if CNG vehicles are still using more expensive petroleum, they won’t be able to offset the higher cost of the cars. DNR records show it’s unlikely a majority of their vehicles regularly use CNG because the pumps are too far away.
A Watchdog.org review of about 170 CNG vehicles the state either purchased or expects to purchase, shows nearly 60 percent of those vehicles are more than 30 miles away from a natural gas station. Thirty percent of them are more than 50 miles away.
There are 30 CNG vehicles in the department that are stationed more than 100 miles away from a CNG station, with the farthest one anticipated to be stationed 199 miles away, records show.
State departments also can’t meet CNG purchasing quotas set this year. The DNR, Colorado Department of Transportation, Department of Corrections and Department of Labor and Employment fell 74 vehicles short of the 166 the agencies were to have purchased, a Feb. 2 memo shows.
The DNR was held up for particular scrutiny for missing its target. “Agency justification not warranted,” the memo showed.
Fleet and DNR staff didn’t return calls seeking comment and CPW spokesman Matt Robbins wouldn’t comment on the memos his department provided under state open records laws. “I have not taken time to prepare myself on these documents,” he said last week.
Brophy wondered whether anyone has done statistical analysis on the issue.
“It’s just idiotic,” he said. “It really is typical government — symbolism over substance.”
Reposted with permission by Reagangirl.com 9/10/14
September 9, 2014
Originally posted on PrepperResources.com on 1/2/14
7 actions to take immediately following an EMP strike
The threat of an Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) strike on this country is a very well documented one, I have written about the threat in the past and have used information from the EMP Commission report which was published in 2004 in several of my articles. Most recently I read an article published over on the Economic Collapse Blog which sums up nicely what impact an EMP strike would have on our country.
1- Use your cash. In the first few days after an EMP strike cash will still have value. Take all of your cash and that radio flyer wagon your kids have and walk down to the corner store. Avoid the big retail stores, I suggest finding the corner gas station or local drug store. The owner of the store will no doubt be there, concerned that the items in the store are unprotected during a power outage. Explain to the owner that you are in need of some supplies, can pay cash and do not require change. Tell him/her that you will give them an extra $100 to allow you to “shop” for a few minutes. Load up your wagon with anything you can find to include medication, candy bars, water bottles, pop tarts, lighters, hand sanitizer etc etc. Of course you should be well stocked at home but you might as well get rid of your worthless paper money in exchange for any amount of extra supplies you can get your hands on. In a week (maybe less) most stores will be completely looted so you need to take advantage of this moment.
2- Fill up the tub(s) with water. Hopefully you have a water bob for each bath tub in your home in addition to several other water storage devices and water purification/filtration devices. Remember a down grid means that fresh water will stop flowing to your home very quickly. Fill up your tub as soon as you can, that extra hundred or so gallons could prove invaluable. If you are concerned about the quality of the water remember you can add 8 drops of regular Clorox bleach per gallon to help purify what you have in the tub.
3- Talk to your neighbors. This step is absolutely critical, you have to get out and talk to your close neighbors and explain to them what is going on. They will be in denial for the most part, hopefully you have copies of the EMP report printed off which you can distribute as you go door to door. Explain to them what is going on and that time is critical, let them know a worst case scenario means that there will be no help coming for quite a long time. Additionally mention the following to them.
a. Discuss a neighborhood watch. Tell them that in a few days or weeks things will get dangerous with hungry people roaming the streets. It is essential that you define your neighborhood’s boundaries and set up a neighborhood watch of sorts, assigning people to different shifts.
b. Offer to hold a meeting. Set a time that you will have a meeting at your home, say every day after sunrise in your garage. Tell them they are invited and that every day you will be there passing out information. At first you might not have anyone attend these meetings, in a few days there will be a handful and in a week you might have 50 or more hungry, scared, tired people demanding answers. If you are going to assume the role of a leader, be prepared to do just that.
c. Tell them to use their cash. Much like you should have already done, tell them that their cash will soon be worthless and that they need to get down to the market to spend it. Most people have no cash on hand, so this probably won’t be a real issue.
d. Tell them to inventory their supplies. Most people have 3 to 5 days food on hand in their home. You should mention that they need to start rationing what they have, and taking inventory of everything else.
e. Start identifying those with skills. I wrote about how to organize a survival community as well as what skills will be valuable after T-SHTF in a few recent articles While making the rounds in your neighborhood you should start identifying who has special skills and make note of it. Cops or military personnel could help with security, Doctors have obvious value, and so on and so forth.
4- Start rationing food. Hopefully you have at least a 1 year supply of food for your family, if not more. Start rationing immediately because more than likely you will have to share some of your food with your neighbors. It will be unavoidable, you will need their help to survive as a community and there is absolutely no way that they will starve while watching you and your family live high on the hog. This doesn’t mean that you cannot oversee how some rations are distributed, or seek out other sources of food, but just remember nobody gets through SHTF alone.
5- Hygiene preparations. Consider where you are going to dispose of your human waste, it might be a good time to start digging that pit. Also consider where you will dispose of your trash and if you will bury it or burn it. Remember the trash man won’t be around next Sunday and your toilets will stop flushing very quickly.
6- Listen to your weather radio. Prior to the EMP strike you had a small solar/hand crank weather radio secured in an old microwave in the basement, it still works. You should monitor NOAA Weather Radio frequencies throughout the day in case there is information being published which you can use to stay informed. Maybe the strike only covered 500 square miles and help will be on the way in a week, or maybe there is nothing but static…not a good sign.
7- Consider your own security plan. Despite all of the actions you are taking, trying to help those within your community by reaching out to organize them, realize that not everything goes to plan. There could be dissenters within your neighborhood or those outside of your community who might choose to take advantage of the situation. Looting will become prevalent very quickly and no neighborhood will be immune. Consider your security plan, this is no time to rely on the charity and goodness of mankind. Remain suspicious of all activity and never walk around unarmed. Never allow your family members to venture out alone and remember to stay in after dark. All of that said I would caution against using deadly force unless absolutely necessary. Protect yourself and your family but remember that there will come a time when the power does come back on and people will be held accountable for their actions.
Please read the full article on PrepperResources.com
Posted by Reagangirl.com 8/14/14
September 5, 2014
New undocumented students will cost Virginia millions, group says
By Kathryn Watson / September 4, 2014
By Kathryn Watson | Watchdog.org, Virginia Burau
RICHMOND, Va.— Virginia classrooms this school year will include as many as 2,800 new undocumented children costing state taxpayers $54 million.
The cost for school-eligible children who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border and have been released in Virginia — oftentimes extended family members — is among the highest per-capita in the nation, according to the Federation for American Immigration Reform. FAIR, a research group opposed to illegal immigration, said the feds reimburse the state and localities about 10 percent.
If you’re doing the math, that works out to nearly $20,000 per student. Why so high? In a nutshell, it costs more to document underprivileged students for whom English is a second language.
“The reason these kids are more expensive to these school districts is because many have limited English skills,” Bob Dane, communications director for FAIR, told Watchdog.org. “…There’s a lot of catch-up, there are a lot of cultural hurdles.”
As Watchdog.org reported, Gov. Terry McAuliffe — when asked on radio how he will handle undocumented children in regard to jobs and schools — said immigration is a federal issue and, “we don’t have an issue in Virginia.”
Dane said that’s nonsense.
“It’s always a concern to taxpayers, considering the taxpayer pays state, local and federal taxes,” he said.
For school administrators, teaching children who come to the U.S. without proper papers isn’t new, as interviews with school officials around the state show. But Dane said that doesn’t mean it’s easy — especially when state and local budgets are already strapped.
FAIR analyzed Department of Homeland Security figures and education funding formulas in all 50 states to develop its estimates.
The 37,000 unaccompanied children placed by the Department of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services around the country will cost the nation’s taxpayers up to $761 million for the 2014-15 school year, FAIR says.
But a new report from Pew Research Center shows 56 percent of Americans favor allowing undocumented children to attend public schools while they await deportation hearings; 40 percent are opposed and the rest don’t know.
FAIR says Virginians already spend about $1.2 billion a year teaching about 95,000 children of illegal immigrants, although it doesn’t make a distinction between children born in the U.S. and children born in other countries who come to the U.S. The law does make a distinction.
The average wait time for a deportation hearing in the U.S., which has increased each year since 2009, is close to 600 days.
So far, the feds have only deported fewer than 300 undocumented children who crossed the border this year.
“We all want compassion for the illegal alien kids, but I think we understand that kids in the classroom aren’t’ getting a fair shake at a good education when the classrooms are crowded, the teachers are burdened, and English becomes a challenge,” Dane said.
Kathryn Watson is an investigative reporter with Watchdog.org’s Virginia Bureau, and can be followed on Twitter @kathrynw5.
Reposted with permission 9/5/14