Pistol-packing GOP House hopeful channels Trump in Colorado

PUEBLO WEST, Colo. — It was a Donald Trump rally, in miniature.

About 200 people, many waving flags and some with open-carry sidearms tucked into holsters or the back of their jeans, joined a “Freedom Cruise” caravan earlier this month that wound through the streets of Pueblo West, a Democratic stronghold in southern Colorado, to cheer on GOP House candidate Lauren Boebert, the favorite to win the race to represent nearly half of Colorado’s landmass in Congress.

Sporting a Glock strapped to her hip, the unabashed, social media-savvy and all-in-for-Donald-Trump businesswoman has electrified the race since pulling off the upset of the summer by soundly defeating five-term GOP Rep. Scott Tipton, who on primary day had President Trump’s endorsement in Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District and was an honorary co-chair of Trump’s reelection campaign in the state.

In her first run for public office, Boebert’s frequent demonization of Democrats as gun snatchers and job killers who are using the coronavirus pandemic to expand government at the expense of individual liberties resonates widely in a district that is the size of Pennsylvania and, in many ways, reflects the nation’s political divides.

“Scott Tipton was a good guy, but he just wasn’t out there in people’s faces. She was out there,” said Tom Ready, 76, a retired dentist who sits on the Pueblo County GOP executive committee. “She’s challenged the gun grabbers of the Democratic Party.”

And her lack of political experience?

“She’ll learn fast. Big deal. I’m tired of career politicians telling us how to live,” Ready said.

Two of the county’s largest cities, Grand Junction and Pueblo, are traditional Republican and Democratic strongholds, respectively. Most of its 29 counties depend heavily on agriculture. Billions are spent on tourism in glitzy Aspen, Steamboat Springs and other resort towns. Public lands advocates clash with an oil, gas and coal industry that employs thousands.

The evening in a Pueblo West park was key to Boebert’s two-pronged strategy to win the mostly rural district: She is traveling thousands of miles to put herself before groups of voters and also is mounting an aggressive social media campaign that has won over national Republicans, including the president, by echoing Trump’s own tweets on socialism, unrest in Democrat-led cities and reopening under the pandemic.

“Look at me. I am the American dream,” the 33-year-old Boebert told the crowd. She says her family grew up in poverty, dependent on government welfare, until a fire was lit with her first paycheck from a western Colorado McDonald’s that led to her owning the Shooters Grill restaurant in Rifle.

“I went from a girl standing in line for government cheese to receiving an invitation to see the president of the United States,” Boebert said to cheers, having attended Trump’s White House acceptance of his renomination.

Boebert’s Democratic opponent is Diane Mitsch Bush, a retired sociology professor, former state lawmaker and county commissioner from the trendy ski town of Steamboat Springs who is making her second run for the seat.

Mitsch Bush wants

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Soup Kitchen fundraiser becomes ‘Empty’ Empty Bowls for 2020 | Western Colorado

To mark the 25th anniversary of Empty Bowls, Grand Valley Catholic Outreach wanted to go bigger.

The annual Soup Kitchen fundraiser with ceramic bowls made by local artists and gourmet soup from area restaurants has become an event many in the valley look forward to each October.

“We brainstormed how we might do it, but when you have over 1,000 people and bowls of soup and social distancing … there was just no way we could do it,” said Beverly Lampley, director of development and communication for Catholic Outreach.

In addition, 2020 and COVID-19 rules haven’t been so kind to area restaurants. The local artists who usually donate bowls haven’t been throwing as much this year. Catholic Outreach didn’t want Empty Bowls to burden them, Lampley said.

This year the fundraiser has become “Empty” Empty Bowls. Tickets are $25, and are a “reminder that people are hungry in our valley even though this year we can’t have an event,” Lampley said.

The Soup Kitchen offers lunch six days a week, free to anyone who is hungry. Each year it serves an average of 67,000 meals, according to catholicoutreach.org.

Earlier this year, the Soup Kitchen’s numbers increased a little, then decreased again, Lampley said. “We anticipate that when it gets cold again, they will increase again.”

Lampley has been pleased with the support “Empty” Empty Bowls has received so far. “It makes you feel good that everyone responds to the need and that’s what just surprised me in a way,” she said.

As for the 25th anniversary celebration for Empty Bowls, that will happen in 2021 instead and area potters are already making bowls, Lampley said.

In the meantime, tickets for “Empty” Empty Bowls are available through Oct. 10 at Catholic Outreach’s main office at 245 S. First St.

To learn about Catholic Outreach and the Soup Kitchen, go to catholicoutreach.org.

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Six other Colorado River states send warning to Interior over Utah’s Lake Powell Pipeline

Six states with claim to water in the Colorado River have fired a warning shot at Utah over the controversial Lake Powell Pipeline.

a stone building that has a rocky cliff: The Colorado River flowing from the foot of the Glen Canyon Dam in Arizona.

© Sam Gross/The St. George Spectrum & Daily News
The Colorado River flowing from the foot of the Glen Canyon Dam in Arizona.

Don’t allow Utah to bum-rush approval for the 150-mile pipeline, the six states warned in a letter to Secretary of Interior David Bernhardt, or there could be far-reaching consequences.

The letter, signed by top water officials from Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada and Wyoming, says there are “substantive legal and operational issues” around the pipeline that remain unresolved, despite the proposed project nearing a stage where federal approval could be issued.

a boat sitting on the side of a building: The Glen Canyon Dam on the Utah/Arizona border on Aug. 21, 2020.

© Sam Gross/The St. George Spectrum & Daily News
The Glen Canyon Dam on the Utah/Arizona border on Aug. 21, 2020.

While the federal government — in this case, the Bureau of Reclamation — may normally have full authority to issue approval for an infrastructure project like this, Colorado River water is governed by a complicated and oftentimes litigious collection of inter-state compacts and Supreme Court cases known as The Law of the River.

The six states — all of the water rights holders aside from the Beehive State — are alleging Utah is attempting to circumvent this 100-year-old body of laws and compacts, potentially jeopardizing cooperation between the seven states with rights to Colorado River water — one of the west’s most finite and sought-after resources relied on by approximately 40 million people. 

“Moreover, we believe the probability of multi-year litigation over a Lake Powell Pipeline (final environmental impact statement) or (record of decision) is high, and that certain Law of the River questions properly left to discussions and resolution between the states are likely to be raised in such suits,” the letter reads.”

In a written statement, the Washington County Water Conservation District said it will work diligently with the other basin states to resolve concerns while the environmental review process is underway. 

“The district will join Utah and the basin states in finding mutually agreeable solutions that allow each state to develop its water as has traditionally been the case,” the conservation district wrote. 

The six states are looking for ‘consensus’

The Lake Powell Pipeline is Utah’s answer to expected water shortages as more and more people are projected to move to the arid desert of Washington County over the next several decades.

Projections from Utah expect population in the greater St. George area to balloon from about 180,000 people today to nearly a half-million by 2065, creating a need for water that exceeds what’s currently available, according to proponents of the project.

At peak production, the pipeline is proposed to transport about 86,000 acre-feet of water a year from Lake Powell to Sand Hollow Reservoir 140 miles away, not only increasing the amount of water available but adding another source of water to southwestern Utah’s portfolio, which currently relies solely on sources in the Virgin River Basin.

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How to protect your plants from the snow and cold in Colorado

With an early September cold front on the way, here are some tips on how to prepare your late-summer garden for the snow and cold.

DENVER — Just as our fight with the Japanese beetles is coming to an end this season, Mother Nature is giving us a temporary, but damaging cold snap. Don’t let all of your hard work and dedication to your garden be for nothing.

Take the time to do things to protect your tender plants so when the weather does warm back up at the end of the week you’ll still have flowers to enjoy this fall.

Trees and shrubs

Trees, shrubs and perennials will be fine. The soil is still warm so, while they might take a little hit with their blooms, the plants themselves will survive.


Harvest and cover your vegetables.

If your vegetable plants are too big to cover, harvest the vegetables and let them ripen inside. 

Annuals and flowers

Cover tender annuals, patio pots, herbs and veggies. Frost cloths, bed sheets, or even a larger pot turned upside down on top of the plant will all work as covers.

Do what you can to give plants protection. If you need to, move patio pots into the garage just in case.


Make sure to disconnect all of your hoses and turn your sprinkler system clock to the off position.

You’re not going to need to water for a while, but do not winterize your sprinkler system yet. Warmer weather is going to return so you’re not done watering for the season.

If you’re concerned about protecting your backflow preventer, go ahead and cover that with a blanket as well. Better to be safe than sorry!

Don’t give up hope, gardeners! In Colorado we have to be as hardy as the plants to survive our crazy weather. So once the storm settles in, enjoy time inside in your fuzzy pj’s with a warm cup of tea. This too shall pass.


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