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From a casual reader on this board -- it seems that from you one can always count on an uninformed comment or accusation.
I would take personal offense in this case, but see above.
That written, while I cannot account for my colleagues' business practices, I can assure you that for the last 4+ years we at RMR have paid every last cent due our governments.
In fact, we do not operate a cash-only business and happily accept credit cards.
In fact, because of a wrinkle in the tax code known as 280-e, my personal and business income tax liability ran north of 60% last year.
In fact, we helped to fund, and stumped for Proposition AA which allows for the special marijuana sales and excise taxes to be levied.
In fact, I have supported the application of retail sales taxes in every jurisdiction in which RMR and its subsidiaries operate, regardless of the fact that these taxes typically are not applied to other medicines.
Too bad cynicism isn't a qualifying condition for a medical marijuana recommendation in this state, as I'd be happy to remedy that chronic affliction for you.
Criticizing the messenger in this instance is misspent effort, as I believe Kenny's position is shared by many in our community. Indeed, I am sure numerous constituents have taken time from his grocery shopping over the years to express these very sentiments.
However, I am interested in seeing some hard data on just how "unsafe" Yampa Street, in its current state, is for pedestrians, et al. If this oft-repeated "public safety" rationale for revamping that stretch of road is founded, then by all means, let's discuss.....but, I have a sneaking suspicion that those horrible, horrible pedestrian pads that extend off every corner downtown account for many more close-calls from turning pickups (not many of those in this town, eh?) than do parked cars on Yampa.
If I am correct, then the real questions are: What is the majority community vision for the street and what do we need to do, if anything, to realize it in a way that is congruent with that vision while eliminating ancillary impacts to both the local businesses and downtown parking inventory?
Let's also not forget about prosecutorial discretion. If Mr. Barkey feels that the solemnity of his office requires that he follow through on this handful of possession cases; Then I also expect him not to plea a single case while D.A., and afford each-and-every individual charged with a crime a Constitutionally-provided jury trial.
I won't hold my breath.
Mr. Campbell, while passionate, once again knows not from whence he speaks. The passage of Amendment 20 was in no way engineered to lay the groundwork for the legalization of recreational cannabis. Just look to the current schism between Alan St. Pierre, NORML's director, and the MMJ community for evidence.
As for the safety of our roads: here is where Mr. Campbell show a very serious deficiency of knowledge. Firstly, to quote the author-
"DUID enforcement for driving under the influence of pot would be very difficult to prove."
This is patently false. Our State's prosecutors enjoy a 90% conviction rate for DUID offenses. Enough said.
Beyond this, however, we can expose those crusaders' against "the Devil weed" true agenda. They simply don't agree with cannabis use and do not believe that we, as citizens, should have the right to choose for ourselves.
Public health and highway safety are but smokescreens. Last year there were about 445,000 deaths in the U.S. attributable to tobacco use. Over the same period, there were approximately 45,000 deaths due to auto accidents. If Mr. Campbell was truly concerned with his fellow-man's well being, this op-ed would have focused upon, instead of glossing-over, the dangers of tobacco use.
I challenge the opponents of cannabis use to be honest with themselves and their countrymen. Just come out and state that you don't like marijuana. It may be because of your faith, your upbringing, or that girl who turned you down because you were a "square." But please, stop this hogwash about public safety and your concern for users' welfare. That dish has been served for too long, and frankly, is starting to stink.
edit- just sold
Howzabout the rancher who doesn't have to worry about paying for college because he just a piece of his acreage to those dressed as Volt owners for a healthy sum? What about when the same rancher then puts in a gravel pit right by said owners. Additionally, what about the fact that now drilling has come to town, the same rancher smiles smugly at the fact that he separated the mineral rights in said sale and intends to proceed with drilling in those same people's backyards, in a visual corridor, on a ridgeline?
I guess my real question is: when does this/do these minority ranchers, many of whom have profited tidily off of the earnings of those buffoon Volt owners, recognize the rights of their majority fellow citizens? Certainly, Routt County's ag heritage is why we are all here in the first place and is a facet of our community that should be well-preserved. However, the times they are-a-changin. We are now a dynamic, diverse community. And, like it or not, our collective futures rest in the health of our tourism-based economy. To mock, ridicule and coerce those who look to protect the aesthetic and ecologic beauty of this special place is self-serving and short-sighted.
I very strongly support the individual rights of property owners. However, when the decisions made by those owners may affect the rest of the community, there is a place for regulatory oversight. Hence, the Routt County Building Department, Planning Department, etc, etc.
Domestic oil and gas exploration is not just an energy issue, it is a national security issue. That does not, however, mean we should not proceed with their extraction in a cautious, conscientious manner. Those fossil fuels have been there for millennia, they aren't going anywhere.
"Our mission is to maintain and improve the quality of life for current and future generations by developing and implementing land use tools that reflect community values"
This is the Routt county planning commission's motto. Let's make sure we implement it.
I fully agree with domestic O & G exploration. But to assert that we have no right, nay duty, to implement a set of local regulations is short-sighted and self-serving, indeed. Those paradigms that work for sparsley-inhabited counties such as Mesa, Moffat or even Kit Carson, may not here.
No matter what revenues fossil fuels may bring to our area, they will never approach those which are generated by tourism. As such, we must zealously protect those attributes which drive said industry.
You truly are living in a dreamworld if you think COGCC standards are comprehensive enough to ensure our community's beauty is not to be impacted. You continue to dream if you think the O&G is responsible enough to self-govern. Few industries have historically had as negative an impact on our country's landscape and environment as O & G.
Bottom line- in the first round of this new wave of exploration, these guys, right off the bat, want to put a rig on a ridge line, in a visual corridor, in a neighborhood accessed by private roads. That's not the kind of start I would think a "responsible industry governed by comprehensive COGCC regs" would champion.
Colorado's drilling rules allows for landscapes like this:
It's our job to ensure Routt doesn't end up the same...
"Stahoviak and Monger said they were receiving emails Thursday from constituents who signed the petition, but both indicated the opposition will not cause them to reconsider a moratorium."
Well, how many sigs will it take, then? If half the county ends up supporting a moratorium, will their voices be heard?
“I think we have all the tools in our toolbox necessary to deal with the issues of oil and gas permits. We probably have the strongest set of regulations in the state.”
If our regs were truly that strong, there would not be a permit app on the table for my backyard. It is that simple. Statistics show that it takes up to 1100 semi-tractor trips for a new well start-up. The PRIVATELY MAINTAINED road in my neighborhood that would lead to the pad site is narrow enough that when cars approach each other from opposite directions one must pull over to allow the other to pass.
My well is located just a couple hundred feet from the drill site.
Most of the protective covenants in our neighborhood would be ignored and violated if drilling were to take place.
We are one of the few places in the county zone mountain residential.
The drilling would occur in a visual corridor with structures extending above ridge line.
I make these points not only for my obvious personal cause. Instead, I am trying to highlight the fact that if our county regs truly were comprehensive and had some teeth, the O&G industry would never have even looked at this site as an option. Period.
Again, I support responsible domestic oil and gas exploration. For me, it is one of the most important aspects in the revamping of our national security policy. However, we are a community almost solely reliant upon the tourism/real estate markets. One sale north of $700k has already come off the table in my area because of this proposed drilling. If we allow our community bespoiled by O&G, the trickle-down effect to our entire economy will be felt by us all.
These fossil fuels have been there for millions of years- they ain't going anywhere. Why is there a need to rush headlong into this? Let's take the time to protect our citizens, economy and ecology.
The zeitgeist of the meeting was one of caution and care. Many who spoke said they were for domestic exploration if it is done in a RESPONSIBLE manner.
Now, to be fair, the O&G reps professed to be for regulation and stated that they would put the county's, not the state's, approvals and concerns first. If that is truly the case then a moratorium would be appropriate and would allow us as a community to ensure our best interests are protected.
I, however, feel we're just getting the typical lip service that is to be expected from this industry. I'll use my personal example as a case-in-point. There have been hundreds of potential drill sites identified in Routt county. This year only six applications have been submitted. One of them is in my backyard (Saddle Mtn Ranchettes) in a residential community. It would be located in a visual corridor (off of 40). It would be on a visible ridge line. Heavy truck traffic would utilize a privately maintained road. Virtually all construction and surface uses of the property would be in violation of our deeded protective covenants. The area is one of the very few in the county zoned mountain residential (MRE). Etc, etc.
You see, this shows me that we need a comprehensive drilling policy in place before we start issuing SUP's to these entities. Otherwise, they will run roughshod over our community. The oil has been there for millions of years, it ain't going anywhere. Why put at risk our natural beauty, our water, our tourism and our property values when we have the ability to preserve each?
Last login: Friday, July 11, 2014
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