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Gender: Male
Hometown: South Texas. most of my life I lived in Austin and Dallas
Home country: United States
Current location: Bryan, Texas
Member since: Sun Aug 14, 2011, 03:57 AM
Number of posts: 77,892

About Me

Middle-aged white guy who believes in justice and equality for all. Math and computer analyst with additional 21st century jack-of-all-trades skills. I'm a stud, not a dud!

Journal Archives

Energy boosts Wyoming's tax income at start of year

Sales and use tax revenue in Wyoming accelerated to $3.9 billion for the first few months of 2018, thanks largely to a buoyed energy sector.

The total income from sales and use taxes increased by 64 percent in Converse County, the center of current oil interest, and 50 percent in Sublette County, home to the state’s large gas fields, from the start of 2017 to the beginning of this year, according to an economic summary from state economist Wenlin Liu released Monday.

Liu said improvements are also happening nationally, thanks to debt-funded tax cuts from the U.S. Congress and government spending, though the rapid growth could stall.

For Wyoming, the gains are largely from energy industries picking up after a traumatic downturn that plunged Wyoming into a recession. The turnaround is particularly visible in the oil sector, according to the report.

Read more: https://trib.com/business/energy/energy-boosts-wyoming-s-tax-income-at-start-of-year/article_b90e41e3-e837-5196-818e-356acb8e0bc3.html
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Jul 5, 2018, 01:06 AM (0 replies)

Gordon sputters, Galeotos and Throne shine at governor debate

Democrat Mary Throne successfully ribbed several of her opponents and managed to stand out with pragmatic policies like Medicaid expansion that most GOP candidates on stage shied away from. She touted her experience as a lawmaker and claimed she was the only person there who had worked on a state budget (a claim Gordon might have grounds to dispute, though he didn’t).

She also went after Jackson businessman Foster Friess, an unexpected late entry into the race, with a biting response to Friess’ suggestion that social services ought to be prioritized over road construction.

“It’s easy for Foster to say that he wants to cut road construction because I think he flew here in his plane,” Throne said. “The rest of us drove.”

At another point, Throne mocked his suggestion that two school districts might voluntarily decide to consolidate their administrations to save money.

“I want to be in the room when they have that discussion,” Throne said to laughs from the audience. “You can always count on Foster for an innovative look.”

Read the complete article: https://trib.com/news/state-and-regional/govt-and-politics/politics-gordon-sputters-galeotos-and-throne-shine-at-governor-debate/article_3c65e0f2-81c9-52e3-9337-824e47189f78.html
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Jul 5, 2018, 12:51 AM (0 replies)

As water shortages loom, Wyoming seeks water-bank bill

Worried by growing demands and shrinking water supplies in the Colorado River Basin, Wyoming lawmakers are seeking legislation to authorize water banking in Wyoming and declare it a “beneficial use.”

The proposed changes to water law could allow Wyoming to “bank” Green River water for the purpose of meeting obligations to downstream states, and in doing so keep the state’s water users from running dry in the event of a shortage.

Lawmakers on two legislative committees were briefed recently of looming disruption in the Colorado River Basin due to drought and growing demand. The 1922 Colorado River Compact that determines how the basin’s water is divided among seven western states and Mexico is based on overly rosy assumptions of flows. With Lake Powell at 43 percent of capacity and falling, water managers are nervous.

They fear cascading events that could limit water use, curtail power generation, reduce critical electricity revenue and jeopardize endangered species in the region where 40 million people depend on Colorado River Basin water. Flows into Lake Powell in 2018 are expected to be 51 percent of normal and a “structural deficit” is causing Lake Mead to fall at a rate of about 12 feet a year.

Read more: https://www.wyofile.com/as-water-shortages-loom-wyo-seeks-water-bank-bill/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Jul 5, 2018, 12:33 AM (3 replies)

Ruffatto gets 18 months, $14.4M penalty for Two Elk fraud and stealing from DoE stimulus grant

PITTSBURGH — A federal judge Wednesday sentenced Two Elk power plant promoter Michael J. Ruffatto to 18 months in prison and three years probation for stealing $5.7 million from a 2009-2010 Department of Energy stimulus grant for a study of carbon storage potential in Wyoming’s Powder River Basin.

Ruffatto also agreed to pay the government a total of $14.4 million in restitution, penalties and interest, according to a proposed civil settlement signed by Ruffatto and filed by his attorneys Tuesday in federal court. If he fails to meet scheduled payments, the civil settlement states, the government can seize his interest in two California power plants, his multi-million dollar estate in Colorado and other unspecified assets.

In his last appeal for leniency, an emotional Ruffatto told the court that he was “ashamed” of what he had done and then turned and tearfully asked forgiveness from his daughter Katherine and wife Eve who were in the large, nearly empty courtroom in the Pittsburgh Federal Courthouse.

As his wife and daughter wept and held their heads in their hands, Ruffatto, looking grey and haggard, ended by begging mercy from U.S. District Judge Joy Flowers Conti.

Read more: https://www.wyofile.com/ruffatto-gets-18-months-14-4m-penalty-for-two-elk-fraud/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Jul 4, 2018, 11:56 PM (0 replies)

Man sentenced to 5 years for marijuana grown on federal land

DENVER — Prosecutors say a Colorado man has been sentenced to five years in prison for growing thousands of marijuana plants on an island in the Colorado River.

U.S. Attorney Bob Troyer's office says 33-year-old Santos Ramirez-Carrillo pleaded guilty to conspiracy to manufacture and possess with intent to distribute 50 or more marijuana plants.

According to court records, Ramirez-Carrillo and another man began living and working on the island near DeBeque on the Western Slope in May 2017 and worked with other people to grow marijuana in the area, including on federally owned land.

Authorities searched the island in September and arrested Ramirez-Carrillo and another man, Santos Ramirez-Alvarez, at a campsite. Agents found more than 9,100 plants.

Read more: https://gazette.com/ap/man-sentenced-to-years-for-marijuana-grown-on-federal-land/article_d28f5d82-a3c1-5990-8441-33c035ed6688.html
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Jul 4, 2018, 11:40 PM (3 replies)

Spring Creek fire grows to 95,000 acres, becoming third largest in Colorado history

The Spring Creek fire in southern Colorado became the third largest in state recorded history when it soared to 95,739 acres by Wednesday evening, a more than 15,000-acre jump from Tuesday, according to the Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team.

The fire, roughly 1½ to 2 hours south of Colorado Springs and burning in Costilla and Huerfano counties, remained only 5 percent contained — unchanged from Tuesday, officials said in an update. It has burned more than 100 homes built in a development started by multimillionaire publisher Malcolm Forbes in the 1970s.

It began June 27 from what investigators believe was a spark from a fire pit but quickly took off and hasn’t stopped growing. The Air Force Reserve Command’s 302nd Airlift Wing was out Wednesday, dropping fire retardant on the area to draw lines of containment. The C-130 Hercules aircraft has the ability to discharge 3,000 gallons of retardant in less than 10 seconds, covering an area of 1/4-mile long.

“It’s still an active, unpredictable fire,” Ben Doon, Costilla County’s chief administrative officer, said during an update for evacuees that was streamed on Facebook. That meeting, held on the Fourth of July, was preceded by a rendition of the national anthem.

Read more: https://gazette.com/news/spring-creek-fire-grows-to-acres-becoming-third-largest-in/article_7520a090-7fd4-11e8-bc8f-27db2ec1cdda.html
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Jul 4, 2018, 11:32 PM (1 replies)

USVI: Oil refinery to reopen under $1.4B deal with ArcLight

CHARLOTTE AMALIE, US Virgin Islands (AP) — The U.S. Virgin Islands says it has reached a $1.4 billion deal to reopen one of the world's largest refineries in a move expected to boost the U.S. territory's economy.

Gov. Kenneth Mapp said Monday that private equity firm ArcLight Capital Partners LLC will restart a St. Croix refinery that closed in 2012. He said refinery operations will start in late 2019 with an estimated 200,000 barrels of crude oil to be processed daily. Mapp said revenues could top $600 million over the first 10 years and that hundreds of jobs will be created.

Legislators still have to vote on the deal that would see 50 percent of annual revenues go toward the island's public pension system. Mapp said remaining revenues will help build an upscale hotel in St. Thomas.

(brief article)
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Jul 4, 2018, 11:04 PM (0 replies)

Black Oregon lawmaker: Police called as she knocked on doors

CLACKAMAS, Ore. (AP) — A black Oregon lawmaker says one of her constituents called police as she canvassed a Portland-area neighborhood that she represents.

State Rep. Janelle Bynum, who is running for re-election this fall, said she was knocking on doors, talking to residents and taking notes on her cellphone in Clackamas on Tuesday when a Clackamas County sheriff’s deputy showed up.

Bynum said the deputy told her a woman called police because the lawmaker appeared to spend a long time at homes and appeared to be casing the neighborhood while on her phone, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported.

The deputy asked if she was selling something, and she introduced herself as a state legislator and told him she was canvassing, Bynum said. She said she only had campaign fliers, her cellphone and a pen on her.

Read more: https://apnews.com/ec35c28d4d654b39bdfc8ea0f13d1b74
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Jul 4, 2018, 11:01 PM (0 replies)

Feds say ex-firm of Stormy Daniels' lawyer owes unpaid taxes

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Justice Department says Stormy Daniels’ lawyer, Michael Avenatti, made “misrepresentations” in a bankruptcy case involving his former law firm that owes more than $440,000 in unpaid federal taxes.

Avenatti’s former firm, Eagan Avenatti LLP, had agreed in January to pay about $2.4 million in back taxes and penalties as part of a resolution of a bankruptcy case involving the firm.

Court documents show some of the money was paid, but attorneys for the government said in May that the firm still owed a portion of the unpaid tax money.

On Tuesday, the U.S. attorney’s office in Los Angeles filed a motion asking a federal judge to compel the payment of $440,291 in unpaid taxes and more than $11,700 in interest. Lawyers from the U.S. attorney’s office represent the government in bankruptcy court when there’s a debt to a government agency, like back taxes or unpaid student loans.

Read more: https://apnews.com/93390d105103442bb107db7d9a8770da
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Jul 4, 2018, 10:27 PM (5 replies)

Colorado primary results show signs of Democratic push

Is a 134,000-vote advantage enough for a “blue wave”?

That’s how much the Democratic votes outpaced the Republicans in the race for governor in the June 26 primary election, according to unofficial results from the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office. And in the first primary in Colorado history to allow unaffiliated voters to cast ballots, they leaned heavily for the Democratic candidates.

It happened in a race with no shortage of polarization — Republican Walker Stapleton and Democrat Jared Polis ran away with their parties’ governor races, Polis winning by nearly 20 percentage points and Stapleton by about 18. With Stapleton touting his support for President Donald Trump and Polis pushing for a 100 percent green-energy state by 2040, the pair focused their appeal more toward the fringe rather than moderate voters.

Only able to choose one party’s ballot by law, unaffiliated voters turned in more Democratic ballots than Republican ballots by about 25 percentage points — about a 3-to-2 ratio — based on numbers June 27 from the secretary of state.

Democrats also outnumbered Republicans among affiliated voters who participated, showing an advantage of about 6 percentage points.

Read more: http://www.coloradocommunitymedia.com/stories/colorado-primary-results-analysis-stapleton-polis-unaffiliated-ballot,265288
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Jul 4, 2018, 09:48 PM (0 replies)
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