In like a lion, out like a lamb.
State Rep. Mike Merrifield received a warm ovation from colleagues yesterday, as the Rocky Mountain News reports:
Rep. Mike Merrifield, who was diagnosed with throat cancer the day before the session opened in January, received a standing ovation from his colleagues Tuesday.
The Colorado Springs Democrat was off to his first chemo treatment.
“We just want to wish you well. Good luck,” said Majority Leader Alice Madden, D-Boulder.
There’s nothing partisan about that gesture. Goodluck, Mr. Merrifield.
It’s no easy task trying to find a taxi in Denver, which is why Democratic Rep. Jerry Frangas is sponsoring legislation to deregulate the cab companies. As Alan Gathright of the Rocky Mountain News reports:
It was another day in Taxi Hell for Psalm Shaw. The disabled Metro State art student got a two-hour runaround from Metro Taxi on Tuesday, when all she wanted was a short ride to her apartment about a mile and a half from campus.
“I fight every day,” said Shaw, 34, who has used a wheelchair or crutches since being hit by a truck nine years ago. “It used to take me seven minutes to get to school. Now it’s one to two hours each way.”
She said cabs sometimes fail to arrive, and she’s sometimes still there when campus buildings have closed for the evening. “I get left out in the cold, and the dark,” she said. “They put me in danger and leave me exposed and vulnerable.”
Metro Taxi officials didn’t have a response Tuesday when asked why Shaw, who called for a cab at 1:18 p.m., was not delivered to her home until 3:36 p.m.
State Rep. Jerry Frangas, D-Denver, said similar complaints about poor taxi service by disabled and elderly consumers moved him to introduce a bill requiring the Public Utilities Commission to deregulate the taxi industry and issue unlimited operator certificates.
Currently, applicants for a taxi certificate must prove there is a public need for additional service, and existing cab firms intensely fight new entries. A new firm for the metro area hasn’t been approved since 1995.
“The bottom line is I want competition, because competition is good for Colorado consumers, and frankly I think it’s good for current and future cab companies,” said Frangas, whose House Bill 1114 is scheduled for hearing Thursday.
Hey, check it out: Free market Democrats.
Colorado Rep. Mark Udall is touting a new grant to…do something that I don’t understand enough to try to explain. Here’s the press release:
Colorado Congressman Mark Udall (D-Eldorado Springs) today announced that Broomfield-based Range Fuels has won a grant of up to $76 million from the Department of Energy to build the nation’s first full scale commercial cellulosic ethanol plant in Georgia.
This plant will use slash and wood chips from forestry operations to produce ethanol through a unique anaerobic thermal conversion process. This process promises to use less energy, less water and to release fewer emissions than other cellulosic ethanol technologies.
“America’s energy security is dependent upon our ability to produce billions of gallons of cellulosic ethanol and to produce other essential products from resources other than petroleum. I am excited that this Colorado company is leading the way on renewable technologies. Our nation must continue to explore all viable cellulosic technologies as we work our way toward a renewable energy economy,” said Udall, who sent a letter earlier this month to Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman in support of Range Fuels’ application.
Earlier this year, Range Fuels, formerly Kergy, Inc., announced that they will break ground at their Georgia location in May, and this grant may expedite that construction. The company estimates that this facility will have the capacity to produce one billion gallons of ethanol per year. Range Fuels has 25 employees and will be expanding to 100 by the end of the year.
I have no idea what cellulosic fuel is, but the “unique anaerobic thermal conversion process” sure sounds cool.
The Democratic Business Coalition holds its monthly meeting tomorrow at Pete’s Greektown Caf