News, January 22nd

NOVEMBER, DECEMBER SKIER NUMBERS DOWNHILL

Undated–Skier numbers in Colorado went downhill in November and December according to Colorado Ski Country USA. The warm, dry spell caused an 11 and a half percent drop during the same two months in 2011. Nearly every ski resort in the state took a hit. The Aspen Skiing Company reported a decline in skier visits of 8 percent. Vail Resorts is not part of the trade group and did not release it’s season-opening numbers.

GARCO COMMISSIONERS SENDS PROTEST LETTER TO BLM

Glenwood Springs–The Garfield County Board of Commissioners approved an official letter to the Bureau of Land Management protesting it’s plan limiting future oil and gas development in the region. Garfield County Oil and Gas Liaison Kirby Wynn says the BLM based it’s plan on flawed, outdated information that doesn’t take into account industry fluctuations.

STATE CAN’T STOP FELON HUNTERS

Denver–Convicted felons aren’t allowed to hunt in Colorado…it’s the law. Enforcing that law is proving to be difficult if not impossible for officials with Colorado Parks and Wildlife. State officials say no criminal background check is required to get a Colorado hunting license so consequently, many felons fan out in the backcountry to bag an animal. The state issues about 300 thousand hunting licenses every year but can’t keep track of the number given to people with felonies on their record. The state legislature may address the problem this session.

MAIL BALLOT REGULATIONS

DENVER (AP) – A Colorado district court judge has blocked Secretary of State Scott Gessler’s rules on mail ballots. The judge ruled that state law allows county clerks the authority to send ballots to inactive voters in mail-in-only elections. Under the previous rules, county clerks were required to mail a series of notifications to inactive voters, who had to change their status in order to receive a mail ballot.
Gessler sued Denver County Clerk and Recorder Debra Johnson in 2011 for sending mail ballots to people who had not voted in previous elections. The judge also sided with Pueblo County officials. Gessler has been seeking a compromise that would allow voters to receive election-related notices by email and by mail.

STATE LAWMAKERS HUNG UP OVER GRAMMAR

DENVER (AP) – It’s the kind of grammar dilemma that could drive a schoolteacher crazy, and Colorado lawmakers are on the case. A bill given preliminary approval in the state House Tuesday clarifies the difference between “must” and “shall.” The so-called “authority verbs” are frequently used in legislation to state that an entity or person is directed to do something. The legislation approved Tuesday states that “shall” means that a person has a duty. The word “must” means a person or thing is required to meet a condition for a consequence to apply.
Lawmakers joked around using Latin phrases before approving the measure on a unanimous voice vote. One more vote is required before the grammar bill moves to the Senate.

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