West Obsessed: Ocean Acidification

The administration of President Donald Trump has done little to acknowledge the risks of climate change. Trump himself has called climate change a hoax. In this episode of West Obsessed, the writers and editors of High Country News discuss one place in the West where human-caused emissions of greenhouse gases are a real problem: ocean acidification and its impact on fisheries in the Pacific Northwest.

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  • West Elk Clinic-Hotchkiss opens, dedicates cornerstone
  • 4 practitioners on duty at new Hotchkiss clinic, expanded services
  • Graham-Cassidy bill would leave over 450,000 without coverage in state
  • Walker Stapleton becomes 6th Republican to enter governor's race

  • Lawmakers hear report on growing economy in Colorado
  • Western Slope, Eastern Plains lag behind Front Range in economy, jobs
  • Effects of Hurricane Harvey impact gas prices, oil exports in Western states
  • Health care community centers in Colorado threatened by funding cuts

Peering upward on late September evenings, the sky is dominated by the Milky Way, which arches from the southwest to the northeast.  High overhead, we can easily view the Great Rift, an area within the Milky Way but, seemingly, almost completely devoid of stars.  In fact, this absence of stars is due to the gas and dust, common in spiral galaxies such as our own, which obscures the stars beyond.

  • Governor Hickenlooper calls special session for 2nd time in his tenure
  • Lawmakers predict special session will reopen complicated budget debate
  • Delta County Economic Development executive director steps down

  • Governors Association meets in Denver, discusses workforce development
  • Number of uninsured in Colorado at an all time low
  • State to see at least 30 days of 100-plus degrees in temperature per yer
  • Speed limits in Glenwood Canyon set to vary according to conditions
  • Goal of 100 percent health care coverage in Colorado not realistic

photo of Lance
Suze Smith

Host Jill Spears and gardeners Lance Swigart & Lulu Volckhausen discuss fall gardening and take calls from listeners.

Photo by Andy Ritchie

Western dams are a contentious issue. But in this episode of West Obsessed, the writers and editors of High Country News discuss the realities of dam removal, from Washington’s Elwha River, whose dams came down six years ago, to Utah’s Bear River, where a diversion is still being planned. 

  • Amazon giant seeking new headquarters site, Denver in the running
  • New Amazon site could bring 5 billion in infrastructure, 50,000 jobs
  • Delta and Montrose County Sheriffs announce they will not seek re-election
  • Colorado leads the country in recovery from recession

  • High speed transportation on Front Range closer to reality
  • Governor Hickenlooper calls special session, first time in five years
  • Veterans with PTSD struggle on homefront, resort to crime
  • El Paso County veterans treatment effort earns national recognition

  • Mill levy increases, school board seats up for election
  • US Forest Service approves West Elk expansion, awaits BLM decision
  • Update on homicide investigation in Norwood
  • Montrose Hospital names interim CEO


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