The Colorado Independent,2020
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Colorado Common Cause will hold a rally Sunday in Avon to protest a Vail Valley retreat this weekend set up by conservative political donors Charles and David Koch.
VAIL – Vail Town Council member Margaret Rogers, an attorney, told the Colorado Independent Monday she doesn’t expect a new Colorado law allowing local governments to ban medical marijuana dispensaries to survive legal challenges.
Four Colorado projects that convert wood waste, or biomass, into energy received a total of $1 million in federal stimulus funds Thursday, but a state with more than two million acres of dead and dying lodgepole pine forests could use a lot more.
An innovative system designed to use heat generated from wastewater treatment to melt snow and heat several town facilities, including a recreation center pool, is back on track after the mountain town of Avon struck a deal with the local water district last week.
Funding sources to turn millions of acres of dead and dying lodgepole pines into biomass-generated heat and electricity are seemingly coming out of the woodwork. With the governor’s Energy Office pushing state grants and aggressive renewable-energy programs — coupled with the potential for millions in federal stimulus dollars — the beetle-kill biomass dreams of ski towns like Vail and Avon no longer look like a kooky environmentalist's pipe dream.
If you ask Ron Wolfe, the Republican mayor of Avon, Tom Stone has played a major role in marginalizing his party in Eagle County, where there was a Democratic sweep in November and the GOP trails in voter registration for the first time in recent memory. And as Republicans continue to take stock of their defeats nationally and locally, there's debate over whether Stone, a Realtor and former county commissioner, would be a better GOP party chairman than Dick Wadhams.
Former Eagle County Commissioner Tom Stone announced Friday morning he plans to challenge Dick Wadhams in next month's election for chairman of the Colorado Republican Party. Running on a platform to modernize the state GOP and "work smarter and not just harder," Stone unveiled a campaign Web site with a manifesto proposing to update the party's message "while not changing our principles."
Not to be outdone by its up-valley neighbor Vail, the mountain town of Avon, 10 miles to the west, is also considering building a wood gasification biomass power plant that would consume beetle-kill trees and provide hot-water heat and electricity throughout town. Both cities are now on the hunt to capture renewable energy dollars from the federal stimulus package with innovative but proven technologies and a bevy of dead trees to fuel the projects.
If you’re looking for innovation in Colorado’s share of the Obama administration’s stimulus package, you’re likely to be disappointed in what some transportation officials are calling “a jobs bill.” Most of the $520 million in new spending headed this way will be pumped into much-needed and “shovel-ready” paving projects and repairs for bridges and interchanges that have been put off for years in the face of shrinking federal and state highway budgets.
The mountain town of Avon and its local water district board came together Thursday to salvage a $1.5 million state grant for what’s been described as an “ingenious” system to use heat from wastewater treatment to melt snow on downtown streets and warm the recreation center pool. According to some officials, the grant, part of Gov. Bill Ritter’s New Energy Communities Program, was endangered by a funding squabble between the town and the Eagle River Water and Sanitation District (ERWSD).
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