MARCH IDYLL …Buoyed on the morning tidal chill. By noon it’s almost summer alpine tropics – an overnight sleight-of-hand worthy of Mysto-the-Magi. Abracadabra! Presto! Basta! Cutting our ancestors bodies in half, here on the high plateau cusp of the Rockies. Witness to the solar flanged eye of the crocus, unpetalled – spring’s first striptease – and a white-wigged bald cruising the spud patch and cloud acre shacks of my Maverick wetlands. Me kneeling to lift the red wheelbarrow and get to work. The real work: me, my garden this luscious rhizomic wild strawberry earth household ours.
HB-1162 … Liberal Dems are carrying a bill very important to the Green Party of Colorado and other third parties. Rep. John Kefalas and Sen. Ken Gordon are the sponsors of the Voter Choice Act of 2007, which creates a six-month study group to evaluate advanced voting methods, including Instant Runoff Voting, and make recommendations to the General Assembly … The joint Legislative Council Committee will review this bill in mid-April. In an effort to offset the $25,000 fiscal note (the surefire death of bills like this in the Appropriations Committee), supporters are seeking private donations and grants. To date, they’ve raised almost $14,000 in pledges; if you can pledge any amount please e-mail this info to firstname.lastname@example.org
SPEAKING OF THE GREEN … The local chapter of the Green Party of Colorado, the San Miguel Greens, will be holding a spring meeting this coming off-season. Stay tuned.
CCI … Kachink. Kachink. It’s … government’s lobbyists at the state capitol, Colorado Counties, Incorporated. And we need them. It used to be you had to watch to see what bills you’d have to fight against each legislative session, back in the red ink days of Bill Owens. Now in the Ritter Blue Era. Elaine and I see-saw the second and third weeks of each month attending CCI steering committee meetings out in Denver, where we duke it out with Republican colleagues over climate change and energy quotas and find ourselves and CCI supporting all these great bills we want to get through the process … This last round my Public Lands Steering Committee endorsed HB 1069 to stop the Feds from condemning Piñon Mesa for an expanded military base and forcing ranchers off their land; HB 1130 to create a community based pilot project for forest restoration through the State Forest Service; HB 1145 to maximize state lands for wind energy use; and HB 1168 to allow the creation of forest improvement districts … And my Land Use and Natural Resources Steering Committee lost in a tie to garner CCI support for HB 1341 – the Curry/Isgar restructuring of the Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) to expand its non-industry membership (as brokered with the industry by DNR Chief and former Tri-State Powerline attorney for the homeowners Harris Sherman). Wally White, one of my “Ponytail Caucus” buddies down in La Plata County, was on a cell phone and was unable to vote and break the tie, as he lost his connection while driving. But the group did reiterate support for two energy bills challenged by Oil & Gas Industry commissioner from Mesa County, Craig Meis – HB 1123 that requires COGCC to consult with state public health officials before approving an APD (Application to Permit Drilling) and HB 1298 that requires COGCC consultation with state wildlife officials. CCI also supported HB 1305 which allows a water bank program to be formed, which was previously prohibited … Lots of good work. CCI will continue to track these and other bills of interest, and the county will support some bills on its own, like HB 1169, that sets statewide standards for net metering to make it easier for consumers to feed power back into the grid.
BLUE THUMB DOWN: New research in the Journal of Reproductive Medicine in summer 2006 shows that consumers of dairy products containing residues of rBGH recombinant bovine growth hormone are five times more likely to have fraternal twins than vegans. The researchers showed how rGBH increases ovulation in humans and persists in the human body. Monsanto’s controversial hormone has been banned in almost every industrialized country on the planet due to scientific evidence indicating that the milk from injected cows contains more pus, antibiotic residues, and IGF-1, a potent cancer tumor promoter … Some countries, like Canada, also banned rGBH on animal cruelty grounds after finding that rGBH-injected cows suffer far higher rates of certain disease conditions.
GREEN THUMB UP … The Weaver Ranch in New Mexico is experimenting with Mashona cattle from Zimbabwe. They are smaller, efficient, docile grazers with tender and flavorful meat, hardy to drought conditions and the chill of southwestern winters.