Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Commerce City

Armpit of Metro Denver?

Most people don't think much of Commerce City, Colorado. It was never a desirable bedroom community. It has lots of commercial and industrial development. But with the closing of Stapleton and the old Rocky Mountain Flats and the land it's annexed to the north east, it has a blank slate to work with in rebranding itself. The cornerstone of this is it's Prairie Gateway project. It will give Commerce City a downtown. The focal point of the project is a new stadium for the Colorado Rapids. More information on the Prairie Gateway development can be found at the city's website.

What do you think of the project? Will it change metro Denver resident's image of the city?

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Michael D. Thomas

If you haven't already heard, an Aurora PD officer was murdered while on duty. Detective Michael D. Thomas was shot while at a traffic light at Montview and Peoria. For those of you not familiar with the area, it's not exactly the nicest part of town. There is more information on this at the Officer Down Memorial page .

May the perpetual light shine upon him.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Colorado Changing

Red or Blue?

A Rocky Mountain News / CBs4 poll looks at some of the ballot initiatives Coloradans will be looking at this fall. What I find most interesting is that the initiative in regards to Amendment 43. Amendment 43 would ban gay marriages in Colorado. The poll found 52% planned on voting yes for amendment 43. Considering the margin of error for the poll is quite large, 6.2% that really means about 1/2 of the voters are planning ino voting yes. And we know that as election day approaches, people's enthusiam tends to wane. They become more likely to vote no. And it becomes less likely that those undecided or planning on voting no will vote yes.

Is this another sign that Colorado is becoming less of a red state? Or is this a reflection on the gay marriage issue itself in that it's getting played out and losing resonance with voters?

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

It's Electricity For Those Trains!

I always wonder about "news" stories like this one in the Denver Business Journal. They report that a study was completed that recomends "construction of an electric rail line". I wonder if they have someone actually writing this or they're just mashing together a press release or two for the story. Afterall, shouldn't a reporter in this situation be asking what is meant by an electric rail line? Does this mean a 3rd rail simlar to what we'd normally associate with a subway (DC' Metro has a lot of above ground operations so it's possible)? Does it mean overhead wires? Or do they simply mean that they'll use diesel locomotives much like Union Pacific or BNSF use? Afterall, technically those locomotives are electric. They use the diesel to generate electricity that is then used propel the train.

If you've been paying attention to FasTracks, you'll probably assume that they're talking about putting in light rail with the overhead wires. This is because they've had some articles in the past talking about the issues with using commuter rail (heavy rail) on the route. We'll just have to wait and see if our assumption is true.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Washington Mutual's Retreat From Windsor And Water

Lipstick For This Pig? Really?

The Denver Business Journal is reporting that Washington Mutual is pulling back in Colorado. They're closing several branchs in the state including fast growing cities like Greeley and Windsor. Washington Mutual tries to put a positive spin on the situation by saying that they're closing poorly performing branches and will be opening others. The problem is, it comes across as putting lipstick on a pig. One needs to ask why they'd be closing a branch in one of the fastest growing cities in the state such as Windsor.

Windsor Water

Speaking of Windsor, congratulations to Wagner Caterpillar on it's new location on Crossroads in Windsor. They're located across the street from the Wal-Mart distribution center. It was nice to tour the place. What I found most interesting was their washing bay. As you can imagine, all that equipment gets very dirty out in the field. The washing bay they have is able to reuse 90% of it's water. It does this with a system that both seperates the sediments from the water and uses natural microbes to break down the oil and grease. Not only will this save them money but it'll help reduce the demand for water in an area that averages around 15" of rain in a year.

Colorado Water

Many States, One River

Given this summer's drought, we shouldn't be suprised to see that Western states are on the verge of going back to court over Colorado River water. Very fast growing states like Nevada and Arizona want more water to be kept in Lake Mead. Other states would rather the extra water be stored in Lake Powell. The question is, with water being a reoccuring issue for Colorado, do you know where the gubernatorial canidates stand on issues regarding water rights?

Rock Slide Death

I-70 Rock Slide

In the news today is a story about a woman who died in a rock slide on I-70. It's unfortunate that this accident happened. CDOT feels they're going to have the freeway open in a week. It's interesting to contrast that with the Big Dig. Portions of it are still shut down after a woman was crushed to death there. Are Coloradans too insensitive to deaths in the mountains? Shouldnt' more be done to ensure these slides don't result in fatalities?

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Beauprez's Gas Tax

Apparently Beauprez sees the gas tax as a simple form of revenue. He doesn't seem to be concerned that lowering the price of gas would most likely result in higher consumption. Nor does he seem to recognize that the gas tax is a sem0user fee. In many ways, the more you use the roads, the more gas you buy. The more gas you buy, the more gas tax you pay. Higher fuel milage in a vehicle offsets this but in general it holds.


Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez said Friday that he favors scrapping Colorado's gasoline tax and replacing it with a statewide sales tax to fund road improvements.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Denver City Council : Easy Paycheck?

An editorial at the Denver Post points out that despite the pay and benefits technically the city council memebers aren't considered full time employees. They also have several suggestions for getting council members to show up to all the meetings. I wish I could say who wrote it but the online version doesn't seem to indicate the author.


Since Denver City Council members are paid $73,512 a year, you might think they'd consider it a full-time job and show up for all meetings.

But legally it isn't, even though most members claim that in fact they work full time for the city.

As News reporter Daniel J. Chacón reported Tuesday, the 13 members serving since 2003 have missed between 18 and 81 meetings of regular, joint and special committees. That performance isn't good enough.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Colorado Issues

What are the most pressing issues that Colorado will be facing over the next decade? Will they be related to growth? Will there be local climate changes that will bring farming to an end? Will we continue to see more population growth in the mountains? Will the eastern third of the state continue to empty?