Climate change scholars: Change is natural |

Climate change scholars: Change is natural

To the Editor: Two people have responded to my letter on the global warming hoax. Both authors quoted papers for manmade global warming. However, for every one, there are papers that argue against. For example, Climatologist Roy Spencer of the University of Alabama quotes on his blog that "evidence from my group's government-funded research … suggests global warming is mostly natural and the climate system is quite insensitive to humanity's greenhouse gas emissions." This viewpoint by Dr. Spencer fits in nicely with the statement I made that manmade CO2 is in not the prime driver of climate change. In my letter I mentioned that based on the detailed temperature records for the last 113 years there is a very poor correlation with CO2 and temperature increase. The reference for that article is Joseph D'Aleo, executive director of International Climate and Environmental Assessment Project. The best statistical fit for the last 113 years of temperature data is the 30-year ocean cooling cycle. He predicts 20 more years of cooling. The best summary of the debate for me is Fire, Ice and Paradise, by H. Leighton Steward. In his book he gives a geologic perspective to the problem. Based on the 600 million fossil record there is no correlation of CO2 and temperature. The book also documents that there has never been a constant climate. There have been more than 20 glacier cycles in just the last 2 million years. In the last 400,000 years, we have good ice core data that documents four major glacial cycles. In those cycles there is a correlation of CO2 and temperature. However the details of those cycles show that the increase of CO2 lags behind the temperature increase. If CO2 were the cause of these cycles, it would have to increase before the temperature went up. The cycles of the last 400,000 years are widely accepted as being caused by the elliptical shape of the earth's orbit and not by CO2. Steward's book and the 2008 article by David Archibald documents one of the strongest arguments against the global warming theory. Archibald's research shows the effect of CO2 on the atmosphere decreases as the CO2 increases on a logarithmic scale. In simple terms, that means the first 20-ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere has a greater effect than the next 400 ppm. If this is research alone is correct – it's a hoax. Tim Schowalter Granby

Wildfire near Grand Lake is 100 percent contained

The fire burning north of Grand Lake is 100 percent contained, said Kyle Patterson, public information officer for Rocky Mountain National Park, in an email. Calm winds and higher humidity have assisted authorities fighting a fire about one mile north of Grand Lake near the Tonahutu Trail in Rocky Mountain National Park. The fire is 1.6 acres in size, Patterson said. Fire crews are working to clean up the fire's remaining hot spots. As of Wednesday morning, Aug. 13, 25 firefighters including personnel from Rocky Mountain National Park, Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forest and Grand Lake Fire Protection District had arrived at the scene. The lower Tonahutu Trail from the junction of Green Mountain south to the trailhead and the spur trail from Kawuneeche Visitor Center are closed. Authorities believe lightning caused the fire, Patterson said.

Local firefighters battle Lava Mountain blaze

As the summer fire season continues in the western US a series of relatively large conflagrations are burning in the Rocky Mountain region. Typically, when fires reach a certain size, expand at a certain rate or pose a high enough level of risk to people and communities additional resources will be called in to help battle the blaze. Earlier this summer as the Beaver Creek Fire was just beginning to roll through North Park the Grand Lake Fire Protection District and the Grand Fire Protection District sent personnel to support those suppression efforts. Now firefighters from Grand Lake Fire and Grand Fire in Granby are battling a blaze in west central Wyoming called the Lava Mountain Fire. One Type 3 Engine and four local personnel are currently up in Wyoming completing a 14-day assignment on the Lava Mountain Fire. Grand Lake Fire dispatched their Engine 369 to the blaze with Engine Boss Paul Mintier, Engine Operator Lt. Blake Mertz and Grand Lake Resident Firefighter Matt Reinhardt, who is working on his first official wild land fire according to Grand Lake Fire Chief Mike Long. Also working on the Lava Mountain Fire with Grand Lake firefighters is Grand Fire Protection District firefighter Joe Starika. "Today (Tuesday Aug. 2) is actually their fourteenth day on the fire," said Chief Long yesterday. "They will be traveling home tomorrow and we will have them back in District." The Lava Mountain Fire is burning in western Wyoming between the communities of Moran to the north and Dubois to the south along the side of US Highway 289. The fire is burning in the Shoshone National Forest. As of Tuesday August 2 the Lava Mountain Fire has burned a total of 14,339-acres. The Lava Mountain Fire was started on July 11. Authorities believe the fire was sparked by a lightening strike. The fire has prompted numerous evacuation orders in the impacted area as well as many road closures. Official data from the Federal Governments Incident Information System, InciWeb, states the blaze currently stands at 50 percent contained. Fire authorities estimate full containment of the Lava Mountain Fire will occur on Oct. 1. InciWeb lists a total of 817 personnel battling the Lava Mountain Fire as of Tuesday. Firefighters are managing the Lava Mountain Fire as a full suppression fire, utilizing both ground and aerial suppression resources. Firefighters are also using natural and man-made barriers to check the fire's spread where possible. Over the past several days gusting northwestern winds have pushed the fire, making suppression efforts more difficult. The fire is burning primarily in a forest of mixed conifer trees, with significant amounts of bug killed timber in the area, also complicating suppression efforts.

McElroys win ‘Furnacesaurus’ contest

The granddaughter of a homesteader didn’t know it, but her home’s furnace is nearly as old as the Town of Kremmling itself. In the Grand Lake Plumbing and Heating contest seeking the county’s oldest furnace – or “Furnacesaurus”- Therese McElroy’s 113 year-old relic was the hands-down winner, according to Marketing Manager Lindsey Morrow of Grand Lake Plumbing. The house used as the McElroy’s ranch home since 1945 was originally built in 1882, and the Western Oiled Gas Fire Furnace in the basement was installed just before the turn of the century. Originally a diesel-oiled gas furnace, it eventually was converted to coal. Then in the late 1960s, when McElroy’s parents converted the furnace to natural gas, Xcel Energy awarded the McElroys for being the 1,000th customer of natural gas to the area. Their gas meter was painted gold, and Xcel gave them a gas grill and threw a banquet in their honor. Soon, a gazebo was built on the property to accommodate the new grill, Teresa recalled. The “enormous” family furnace has been a trusty workhorse ever since, sputtering out heat in the two story home just outside of Kremmling with a surprising 81 percent efficiency. “Just by looking at it, I knew it was old,” McElroy said. But there are only two vents in her childhood home, one in the downstairs bathroom and one in the living room. An old cook stove in the kitchen and a wood stove in the living room help supplement heat during winters. “It doesn’t warm the house very well,” McElroy said. For wining the contest, the McElroy home has been awarded a new energy-efficient furnace. A retired school nurse who ran her home as a bed and breakfast for 10 years, Teresa said she looks forward to adding new ducts and vents to heat upstairs bedrooms and the kitchen. But since she can’t afford installation of the new furnace, Xcel rebate programs and money through Recharge Colorado is being tapped to help pay, said Morrow. The “Furnacesaurus” contest took place during the month of March with 19 entries and furnaces ranging in age from 6 to 113 years. Technicians were sent out to entrants’ homes to gather information about the furnaces such as serial numbers, which were verified with manufacturers to confirm proper ages. The contest took place in both Routt and Grand counties. “We figured so many people in this area have inefficient heating systems, and with the cold temperatures, we wanted to be able to give back to the community,” Morrow said. And the next contest planned through Grand Lake Plumbing? “Ugliest heating system,” Morrow said. Although details of the contest are still being worked out, this next contest is planned for October and November – just in time for Father Winter. – Tonya Bina can be reached at 970-887-3334 ext.19603

Chimney fire in Grand Lake Lodge quickly contained

A chimney fire in the historic Grand Lake Lodge Monday night May 16 ended relatively quickly though local fire authorities acknowledged that without the quick thinking of the Lodge's employees and a quick response time from local fire fighters the incident could have been much worse. Grand Lake Fire Protection District (GLFPD) Chief Mike Long provided details on the operation. The fire occurred in the chimney of the large circular open fireplace in the Lodge's main entrance. At the time Lodge employees were burning cardboard in the fireplace. The heat from the burning cardboard ignited built up creosote in the chimney, sparking a fire. "There was enough heat they got the chimney burning," said Long. "It did not spread to any roofing materials." Lodge employees were able to keep the blaze contained with dry chemical extinguishers until fire fighters arrived and put the conflagration out completely using two-and-a-half gallon water extinguishers. Grand Lake Fire received the initial call for assistance at 8:18 p.m. Monday night and was able to clear the scene by roughly 9:30 p.m. Long pointed out the Grand Fire Protection District, based in Granby, was called for mutual aid fire but stood down before arriving on scene because the GLFPD was able to quickly bring the blaze under control.

Bill Schade’s body found near Shadow Mountain shoreline

A multi-hour search effort for Grand Lake resident Bill Schade was tragically halted Sunday morning Jan. 14 after Schade's body was discovered near the shoreline of Shadow Mountain Lake. Members of Grand County's Search and Rescue (GCSAR) Team 1 found Schade deceased at 8:10 a.m. this morning. Authorities believe Schade wandered to the area sometime Saturday evening. County officials notified Schade's family of the discovery early Sunday morning. Authorities are investigating to determine a specific cause of death. Schade was a 65-year-old resident of Grand Lake with Alzheimer's. He went missing Saturday afternoon at around 4:10 p.m. and was last seen wearing tennis shoes, blue jeans and a green and black western jacket. Lieutenant Dan Mayer, Public Information Officer for the Grand County Sheriff's Office (GCSO), described some of the search efforts from Saturday night. Based on historical patterns relating to similar incidents Mayer said authorities believed they would find Schade within one-half-mile of his last known location. "He was found within that distance," Mayer said. "We turned Grand Lake upside down last night. Our focus this morning was to hit the shorelines and the lake. That is where we found him unfortunately." The search efforts for Schade began Saturday evening with his family and progressed to include the Grand Lake Fire Protection District. Shortly thereafter both the GCSAR and GCSO joined the efforts. By 8:30 p.m. Saturday several local citizens had also responded to assist with the search. Mayer said he was touched by the community support that was offered to help find Schade Saturday night. "We had this outpouring from the community that was just amazing," Mayer said. "We had close to 20 Search and Rescue people out last night. Grand Lake Fire did a phenomenal job. Granby PD assisted. The National Park Service came up this morning (Sunday) and they were searching their areas." Among the citizen volunteers that assisted with the search effort Saturday night and Sunday morning was Bryant Liles. "I had met Bill only a few times," Liles stated Sunday afternoon. "I was inclined to help. It seemed like the right thing to do. Many people must've felt this way as I noticed countless others looking throughout the night." Liles stated there were, "numerous people on foot and in cars and trucks all over town. We looked all over the Woodpecker Hill area. I will never forget looking down over the town from the side of the hill and noticing the many flashlights and vehicles wandering around searching for him." According to Liles the search efforts continued in earnest until about 1 a.m. Sunday morning when it was determined that Schade was definitely not wandering around Grand Lake on foot. "The effort put forth by many, many folks was truly inspiring," Liles stated. "That said, I can't help but think that even more help could've made the difference. You just don't realize how big a small place can be until you are trying to look for somebody in the cold and dark. I know I am not the only one who is disappointed and regretful today." Liles encouraged other citizens of Grand County to become involved in the all-volunteer GCSAR force or with our local fire protection districts. "You never know when you or somebody you love will have to rely on these resources." The Sky-Hi News extends our sincerest condolences to Schade's family and friends as well as anyone experiencing grief from his tragic and untimely passing. .

UPDATED: Authorities release ID of body found outside Grand Lake hotel

(Updated at 4:15 p.m. Tuesday to include identification of body) By SAWYER D’ARGONNNE | GRAND LAKE — A body was discovered this morning in the parking lot of the Gateway Inn in Grand Lake. The body was identified later Tuesday afternoon as Donald Stookey, 70, a former resident of Grand County, according to authorities. Lisa Jenkins, owner of the Gateway Inn, said she discovered the body at 9:45 a.m. lying outside of a tan pickup truck in the hotel’s parking lot. Jenkins checked the man’s pulse and attempted chest compressions before calling the police shortly after. According to Jenkins, Stookey was a veteran and was staying at the Gateway Inn while in Grand Lake to attend the Memorial Day parade. The Grand County Sheriff’s Department and Grand Lake Fire and Rescue are currently examining the scene. A cause of death is still unknown, though it is thought the death occurred from natural causes, according to law enforcement at the scene. Authorities are currently reviewing video footage from the Gateway Inn as part of the investigation. Stay with Sky-Hi News for more information as it becomes available.

Report: Alco shutting down all stores

All 198 Alco Stores are shutting down, according to a story in the Wichita (Kan.) Eagle. Presumably, that includes the Fraser store. Company officials have not responded to repeated inquiries from the Sky-Hi News during the past three months. The Wichita Eagle reports: The beleaguered company that used to have its headquarters in Abilene filed for bankruptcy early last month. The U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Dallas on Thursday approved an order from the company's creditors to close all Alco stores. … The company was founded 113 years ago and had evolved into a discount retailer that served smaller communities. But in recent years, it had faced increasing competition from other discount retailers, such as various "dollar" stores. According to a news release from the company, the federal bankruptcy court "approved an order yesterday authorizing Tiger Capital Group LLC, SB Capital Group LLC and Great American Group LLC to conduct Going Out Of Business sales in each of Alcos 198 locations in 23 states, including 23 in Kansas." Read more here:

Sonar boat brought in to aid search for man in Lake Granby

Authorities searching for a possible drowning victim in Lake Granby expected to add a sonar boat from Colorado Parks and Wildlife to the effort on Saturday morning, July 4, according to the Grand County Sheriff's Office. A statement released by the office says an unidentified man jumped from a pontoon boat into the lake on Friday afternoon and did not resurface. Personnel from the Grand County Sheriff's Office, Grand County Emergency Medical Services, Grand Fire Protection District 1, the U.S. Forest Service and Colorado Parks and Wildlife have been engaged in an extensive search of the area. This report will be updated as more information becomes available.

Authorities probe fatal aircraft crash in Colorado

LOVELAND, Colo. (AP) – Authorities are investigating how a single-engine aircraft went down west of Loveland, killing one person and causing a small grass fire. The National Transportation Safety Board will be at the scene of the crash Tuesday to determine what happened. Authorities say the aircraft went down in a rugged, mountainous area near Carter Lake west of Loveland Monday afternoon. Loveland Fire and Rescue Division Chief Merlin Green says authorities didn’t immediately know whether anyone else may have been onboard. The small fire was extinguished shortly after the crash. The Loveland Reporter-Herald says the plane has been traced to a 50-year-old man who made a bumpy stop when the plane’s landing gear became stuck in 2006.