Scott Wedel

Scott Wedel 14 hours, 1 minute ago on Steamboat Institute's Freedom Conference returns Friday


In particular physics, the Standard Model is not "settled science" because there are other theories and the potential for additional particles not expected in the Standard Model. So the Large Hadron Collider still is in operation and doing active science. But the types of quarks that compose protons, electrons and other common particles as predicted by the Standard Model is settled science.

Likewise, there are aspects of Global Warming that are settled science even as there is much that is still being research for better understanding. It is settled science that CO2 is a greenhouse gas trapping heat near the planet's surface. CO2 is proven to capture IR that would otherwise go to space. Thus, retaining heat. It is settled science that there is a correlation, as expected, that increases in atmospheric CO2 have resulted in overall warmer global temps. A person can still ask questions, but there are exhaustive answers.

What isn't settled is how much warmer the climate will be at what CO2 concentrations and other greenhouse gas concentrations. Nor is it settled how the microclimate at a particular location will be affected, how much heat will be absorbed by the oceans, whether ocean currents might change, how fast glaciers are melting and what is that impact.

But all that still isn't why Exxon is in legal difficulty because their liability is deceptive marketing due to paying for propaganda.


Scott Wedel 1 day, 6 hours ago on Our view: Public use means public use

But there is an arbitration option so property owners can force spending on their proposed projects as long as they have a good argument that those projects include a "public benefit". I think their proposed maintenance and apt improvement projections would be a tough argument to make to an arbitrator because all of examples in the contract benefited the general public as well as tenants.

At the city council meeting, the owners mentioned the possibility of opening a cafe and those on city council that responded said they thought that would be a public benefit. So there is no pool of money for which owners have no idea how to spend and might welcome spending elsewhere.


Scott Wedel 1 day, 8 hours ago on Our view: Public use means public use


It is not going to be city property where it crosses the railroad tracks. That is going to either be railroad property with a trail easement or public right of way. Likewise, where the core trail crosses a street then it is no longer contiguous city property. Streets are not city property, but are legally defined as rights of way. City cannot sell right of way, for instance, as it can with other city property.

Regardless, Iron Horse property owner has right to decide upon the requests to spend the money. So they have no incentive to ask that their money be spent on projects that won't clearly also benefit their tenants.


Scott Wedel 1 day, 12 hours ago on School districts report preliminary enrollment

Also in those numbers for SSSD is further evidence that district's demographics report uses wrong methodology. SSSD Kinder came in at 151 compared to Western Demographics forecast of 207. Also, enrollment data show that last year's Kinder shortfall was not a fluke because this year's 1st grade is also more than 50 less than their forecast.

The problem in Western Demographics forecasts was not in the total estimated, but that the straight line approximation projected rapid increase in Kinder students that quickly overwhelm the elementary schools as they advanced. In contrast, far more likely reality is that recession caused decline of local births has caused a 5 or 6 year period of fewer kids entering elementary schools.

I also note that Strawberry Park elementary is now under nominal capacity. And Soda Creek has nearly 100 students more than SPE so may that issue is boundary lines of allocating students between the two schools.

It would suggest one path forward is to say that elementary schools are good for now with maybe a realignment of school boundaries needed. And then revisit the issue in 2020 when we will have 2016-2019 birth data to see if we will soon have larger classes entering the schools and thus will need more elementary school capacity.


Scott Wedel 1 day, 16 hours ago on Our view: Public use means public use


It can be spent on the Core Trail that is adjacent to the Iron Horse property. That could possibly be halfway between Iron Horse and Rabbit Ears Motel.

But the City cannot follow the Core Trail to downtown and use spend the Iron Horse money there.

The money is to be spent at the direction of the Iron Horse property owners with the approval of the City. So they are going to spend it at or near the Iron Horse to benefit themselves. If the City doesn't agree to their spending proposals then they can take it to arbitration that the request meets the terms of the contract.

At the city council meeting, it was stated by the Iron Horse owners that they could open a cafe. It seems that would be enough of a public benefit as it would provide food, drink and restrooms to those on the Core Trail.


Scott Wedel 2 days, 4 hours ago on Our view: Public use means public use

Oh, I stand corrected. I thought YVHA was managing Iron Horse for the City. I was wrong. City managed Iron Horse.

So it was purely city mismanagement of Iron Horse.


Scott Wedel 2 days, 8 hours ago on Which would you rather see as a use for the $400,000 escrow account established for public improvements associated with the sale of the Iron Horse Inn?

Yet another stupid, ill informed, question. Money is legally required to be used on or adjacent to the Iron Horse property. Thus, it cannot be used for a public park or for Core Trail not adjacent to Iron Horse.

A question in which neither option is a legal possibility.


Scott Wedel 2 days, 8 hours ago on Our view: Public use means public use


I think it was a mistake in the first place to create this escrow account. It has been basically become a way to create a government program for this property with city government now having a $400,000 budget for public improvements on this property.

So how much is this $400,000 really going to be worth to the public? How many bikes or picnic tables are needed? Should be expected that while general public may use them, that the primary users will be the tenants.

The $400,000 would have been far more useful in the city's budget where it could be used at Bear River Park or so on.

It is this stupid mentality of everything being a government program that has plagued every decision at the Iron Horse. It was bought on stupid terms (loans that couldn't be refinanced at lower rates). The contracts with the motel operator and Mountain Resorts were fiascos because City didn't know how to enforce or meet contractual terms. The City renting rooms with YVHA management at $600 kept Iron Horse as a money losing city enterprise and justified selling it. If City and YVHA management had the basic competence to charge more than 50% of market rent then Iron Horse enterprise could have been cash flow positive and maybe the city doesn't sell it.

Even then city could not just sell it to the highest bidder, but contrived to created a $400,000 escrow account for "public benefit".


Scott Wedel 2 days, 13 hours ago on Steamboat Institute's Freedom Conference returns Friday

That move is very similar to the cases brought against cigarette makers in which denying the science of their product's harm was a business strategy to sell more product. The winning argument in courts was that the companies' claims that cigarettes were not actually harmful was not bona fide scientific research, but deceptive marketing.

That sort of lawsuit is also plausible against energy companies emitting huge amounts of CO2.

That sort of lawsuit doesn't stop individuals or scientists from questioning global warming or the health effects of cigarettes. it does mean that if you are in the business of selling something then what you present as research can be viewed as a marketing program and expose the company to claims of deceptive marketing.