Allen Best

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July 7, 2005
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'Copyright' man sent to jail

HOT SULPHUR SPRINGS - A man has been attempting to use a novel defense - he copyrighted his name, and when government officials sent citations for traffic violations and property taxes, he claimed the government officials infringed upon his copyright.In response, prosecutors accused him of breaking an obscure law that makes it illegal to attempt "by threat of violence of economic reprisal against a person or property with intent to alter or affect a public official's decisions, votes, opinions or actions," reports the Sky-Hi News of Granby.A jury found him guilty, and he was sentenced to two years in jail.Air-quality rules upset envirosCORTEZ - Few places on the planet have as much spectacular scenery in such concentrated fashion as the Four Corners. From Zion National Park to Mesa Verde, Canyonlands, and even the Great Sand Dunes, this region is known around the world, probably even better than the ski resorts.But the air quality that made these parks so memorable has deteriorated in recent decades. Haze has become more frequent, and other elements, including nitrogen and mercury, are being detected in Colorado's San Juan Mountains.New rules issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency do less than what environmentalists had hoped to restore the air quality. The new rules mandate improved emissions standards, but the EPA said that top-of-the-line technology is not warranted in the West, said Vickie Patton, an attorney with Environmental Defense. She told the Durango Telegraph that a last-minute change weakened the stick that will be applied to two coal-fired power plants in the Four Corners region. Together, the two plants discharge 77,000 tons of nitrogen each year, or comparable to what's discharged by 80 million cars.Some $200 million in pollution-control equipment is being installed on a third power plant in the region as the result of a lawsuit pursued by the Grand Canyon Trust and the Sierra Club.By studying rain and snowstorms, scientists have been able to link the power plants with the elevated levels of nitrogen in the San Juan Mountains.Mark Williams, a geographer at the University of Colorado-Boulder, says the Colorado Front Range has some of the highest nitrogen levels in the nation. Car exhaust, cattle feedlots and nitrogen-based fertilizers, not power plants, are believed to the culprits. Vail, Colorado


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The VailDaily Updated Jul 11, 2005 11:17PM Published Jul 7, 2005 12:00AM Copyright 2005 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.