LPEA offers ‘Kill A Watt’ to community

La Plata Electric Association is attempting to take a big bite out of local electricity usage. The local electric cooperative is now offering usage of “Kill A Watt” electricity usage monitors free of charge.

“Simply plug appliances into the monitor,” said Nancy Andrews, LPEA energy management advisor. “It then assesses the appliance’s efficiency either at a given moment or over a period of time. People are able to tell which of their appliances are zapping energy.”

According to Andrews, the monitor can evaluate both large and small electronic devices, games and appliances. The cost for simply keeping an appliance plugged in can also be calculated.

Libraries in Bayfield, Durango, Ignacio and Pagosa Springs have a limited number of Kill A Watt monitors available for loan, and the devices can checked out like a book or video. The monitors can also be borrowed from LPEA offices in Durango, 45 Stewart St.

Durango riders sweep U.S. Nationals

Durango bikers are on a roll. An unprecedented number of locals took top honors at last weekend’s U.S. Mountain Bike National Championships, held  at SolVista near Granby. In all, Durango riders won 15 titles over the four-day event with Durango Devo accounting for more than half of those. Devo broke its previous record of five national titles, crowning eight national champions.

“Devo proved to be the best junior cycling team in the country this past weekend,” said Devo coach Sarah Tescher. “We is very proud of our athletes, coaches and parents who have helped make this a record season as well as prove that Devo is the best junior cycling team in the nation ... hands down.”

Four local riders doubled down last weekend, going home with two first place medals. Former Olympian Todd Wells won both the pro mens short track title and cross country championship. Kaylee Blevins, with Durango DEVO, won the Cat. 2 15-18 race and the womens 18-and-under Super D. Alicia Rose Pastore, a rider for Rocky Mountain Chocolate and a member of Devo, won the Cat. 1 womens short track as well as the women’s 17-18 cross country race. Christopher Blevins won in junior mens 11-12 cross country and 11-12 short track division.

Fellow Devo rider Howard Grotts finished atop the standings in the Cat. 1 men’s 15-18 short track. Devo alum Tad Elliott took home the mens U23 cross country titles and Devo coach Sarah Tescher won the womens singlespeed division.

Other local riders bringing home national titles include Ned Overend, mens singlespeed; Martha Iverson, master women 60 and over singlespeed; Wyatt Freier (Bayfield) junior men’s 11-12 downhill; and Greg Herbold (Ignacio) men’s Cat. 1 45-49 race.

“Devo was accredited with not only a record number of podiums, but its obvious success in creating happy, smiling junior athletes regardless of results,” said Tescher. In fact, one of the more memorable events from the weekend came from that of Devo rider Keenan Desplanques. A recent cancer survivor, Keenan rode in the heat of the day at almost 10,000 feet and suffered a serious sideache as well as effects from heat exhaustion.  “Keenan continued to race and finished – with a smile on his face no less,” said Tescher.

Udall presses feds for wildfire funding

U.S. Sen. Mark Udall is doing his best to clear the smoke over Colorado and curb the potential for wildfire. Udall is pushing for major funding to clear beetle-killed trees and fight fire at the source. He is also actively watchdogging a number of federal agencies on the fire front.

The Senator recently sent letters to the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service, asking for an update on whether the agencies have the resources to prevent and contain forest fires. In addition, he pressed for the passage of an amendment to provide $50 million in resources to clear beetle-kill.

“While I understand there is limited funding to address fire threats,” Udall wrote in the letters. “I remain concerned that these funds may not be sufficient to address the extent of the problem facing communities adjacent to and within forested areas.”

Udall also requested an assessment of various issues, including where the Obama Administration has already spent funds for wildfire threats and hazard tree removal, if any of the money is being spent to remove vegetation build-up that can feed wildfires, and if there is sufficient funding for wildfire suppression this wildfire season.  

– Will Sands and Missy Votel

 

 

 

In this week's issue...

May 2, 2019
In the flow

Rafting season is already under way on the Animas River, which has been flowing at near record levels and almost double the average rate for this time of year.

April 25, 2019
Laying down the law

Over the past couple decades, Jeff Robbins’ work as an  oil and gas lawyer – with a specific focus on serving local communities – allowed him to build relationships and gain the experience needed to carry out one of Colorado’s most sweeping reforms to oil and gas regulations, Senate Bill 181. 

April 18, 2019
A new kind of cold war

It’s a good thing Heidi Steltzer can’t tolerate the heat or the open ocean. “I thought I wanted to be a marine biologist, and I got seasick,” said Steltzer, a professor in the Biology Department and Environmental Science program at Fort Lewis College.