Michael Snyder – July 4, 2018
Firefighters all over the western part of the country are talking about an unprecedented wildfire season, and we are only in early July. It is going to get a lot hotter and a lot drier as we move deeper into the summer, and the wildfires are likely to get a whole lot worse. At this moment, more than 600,000 acres of land are on fire in America. From California to Colorado and from Alaska to Arizona, extremely violent wildfires are raging out of control as firefighters battle relentlessly to save homes and lives. Rain is desperately needed, but right now much of the Southwest is experiencing a historic drought. In fact, things have gotten so bad that some experts are already comparing this drought to the Dust Bowl conditions of the 1930s. If very high temperatures and extreme drought persist, that is going to continue to create ideal conditions for more wildfires.
Lawrence Hurley – June 4, 2018
WASHINGTON, June 4 (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday handed a victory on narrow grounds to a Colorado Christian baker who refused for religious reasons to make a wedding cake for a gay couple, stopping short of setting a major precedent allowing people to claim exemptions from anti-discrimination laws based on religious beliefs.
The justices, in a 7-2 decision, said the Colorado Civil Rights Commission showed an impermissible hostility toward religion when it found that baker Jack Phillips violated the state’s anti-discrimination law by rebuffing gay couple David Mullins and Charlie Craig in 2012. The state law bars businesses from refusing service based on race, sex, marital status or sexual orientation.
The ruling concluded that the commission violated Phillips’ religious rights under the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment.
Dakin Andone and Dave Alsup – June 2, 2018
(CNN) Massive wildfires in Colorado and New Mexico have torched thousands of acres and forced hundreds to evacuate their homes.
A blaze known as the 416 Fire in Colorado’s La Plata County has burned 1,100 acres, US Forest Service spokesman Jim Mackensen told CNN on Saturday.
The fire, about 15 miles outside the town of Durango, is 0% contained and has forced the evacuations of 1,500 residents, Mackensen said. No structures have been destroyed, he added.
By Friday evening, the blaze had prompted La Plata County Manager Joanne Spina to declare a state of local disaster.
And a massive fire in Colfax County, New Mexico, had grown to 27,290 acres by Saturday morning and was 0% contained, according to InciWeb.
Nearly 450 personnel were battling that fire.A mandatory evacuation order was in place for the town of Cimarron, where 296 structures were threatened by the blaze, called the Ute Park Fire, InciWeb said.
Grace Carr – February 23, 2018
Colorado lawmakers blocked a bill Thursday that would have required physicians to inform women seeking to abort that they can conduct and view an ultrasound prior to aborting, as well as listen to the heartbeat of their unborn child.
HB18 — “A Women’s Right To Accurate Healthcare Information” — would have ensured a woman has the opportunity to see or forego seeing her ultrasound, and required women seeking to abort receive full information about the procedural elements and risks of abortion. The bill also posited that women seeking to abort and decide to have an ultrasound can choose between an abdominal or vaginal ultrasound.
Lead sponsor of the HB18, GOP Rep. Lori Saine, told committee members Thursday that the measure was not an attempt to disenfranchise women getting abortions, but rather an effort to make sure that they are fully informed regarding abortion. The bill failed however, in a 7-6 party line vote in the Health, Insurance and Environment Committee, according to the Colorado Independent.
DAN ELLIOTT – February 16, 2017
DENVER (AP) — Colorado’s beetle-infested forests are peppered with an estimated 834 million standing dead trees that threaten to worsen wildfires and degrade vital water supplies that flow from mountains, officials said Wednesday.
Roughly one in every 14 standing trees in the state’s forests is dead, with the total up 30 percent in seven years, the State Forest Service said in its annual report on forest health.
“Is it something to be alarmed about? Of course it is,” State Forester Mike Lester said. “When they have this condition, you should be paying attention to it.”
Infestations of mountain pine beetles and spruce beetles are the main cause of the die-off, Lester said. Beetles are native to the state but have caused far more damage than normal over the past 20 years, attacking more than 7,900 square miles of forest, or more than 20 percent of total forested land.
Bob Unruh – January 15, 2016
The parents of a Colorado middle school student are charging that the district’s sex-ed program allows students to access pornographic content and images from an educational company’s website while blocking parents from examining the objectionable material.
The parents have enlisted the help of an activist group in Massachusetts to address their concerns.
The district calls the claim nonsense, citing the opinion of the controversial Southern Poverty Law Center, which slams the activist organization, MassResistance, as an “anti-gay hate group.” It’s the same SPLC that called Dr. Ben Carson a “hater” for his views on traditional marriage. SPLC also was linked to domestic terror several years ago when a man convicted of attempted mass murder confessed he used the organization’s list of ‘anti-gay hate groups’ to pick a target, the Family Research Council.
The sex-ed dispute arose when the parents, whose names WND is withholding so that their child in the district’s Fox Ridge Middle School is not identified, stumbled upon the pornographic material when they were checking their child’s password access.
Greg Corombos – September 17, 2016
Colorado voters will be asked whether they want to legalize doctor-assisted suicide in November, and while opponents admit they have an uphill fight, they’re passionately fighting against ushering in what one leading activist calls “a whole parade of terribles.”
On Nov. 8, ballots across Colorado will include Proposition 106, which would legally permit doctors to prescribe drugs that terminally ill patients could take to end their lives. The full text is here.
Jeff Hunt is director of the Centennial Institute at Colorado Christian University. He told WND and Radio America, on the surface, the case for approving doctor-assisted suicide seems strong by allowing people to decide for themselves when and how to end their lives or at least leave that option open to their neighbors.
But Hunt said the reality of doctor-assisted suicide is much darker than its proponents would have Americans believe.