While backpacking this autumn in Grand Gulch, Utah, we came across the beginning of a Mount Rushmore-type of monument. It’s 40-foot by 50-foot and closely resembles our 45th president. Could our Mormon neighbors have foretold the election’s outcome? Could an embassy in Bears Ears be far behind? – Jim Callahan
You stumbled upon a brilliant way to stop President Trump from revoking President Obama’s recent declaration of the Bears Ears National Monument.
There’s no way The Donald would de-list a national monument when his Brobdingnagian noggin stands as a nearby sandstone sentinel.
But Trump won’t build an embassy there because he detests the State Department, so expect something more along the lines of a memorial for the victims of the Bowling Green Massacre.
That’s one scenario.
However, the opposite could occur – because nothing is predictable in the fog of alternative facts.
It could go down thusly:
Now that the administration sees this serendipitous erosion, it could quickly rescind Bears Ears’ designation.
Next the president would hand over all 1.35 million acres of public land to Utah so the Beehive State could sell parcels to private interests and mineral developers.
First in line would be The Trump Organization, which the president, of course, has absolutely no control over now that his two oldest sons run the business.
The conglomerate would pay top dollar, up to $729, to extract the butte-iful formation so it could be relocated to the president’s Mar-A-Lago private club in Florida.
In the interest of fairness, Action Line really ought to get comment from the White House.
But since spokesman Sean Spicer is a bit unhinged on Mondays after Saturday Night Live airs, Action Line’s only recourse is to make inquiries via the Russians, who seem to be in close contact with the president’s inner circle.
The older “inefficient” street lights near my house seem to burn out about once every 10 years and require almost no maintenance. The newer, “more efficient” lights lining Florida Road seem to burn out about every year. I notified the city that there were more than a dozen lights out. The city was very responsive and quickly fixed some of them but not all. Maybe they aren’t really needed; I don’t know. It seems the city is very busy keeping all the efficient lighting stay lit. How efficient is that? – Ken Temple
If “efficient” means no maintenance, then the older lights were that.
However, if by “efficient’ you mean not wasting gobs of energy every night, the newer lights represent a vast improvement despite having a shorter natural lifespan.
Action Line spoke with a city operations person who shed some light on the situation.
The 59 newer lights on Florida Road have built-in dimmers the reduce light output by 20 percent after 10 p.m., then another reduction at midnight, when few cars are on the road.
It also helps neighbors, who once had to endure obnoxious sodium-vapor light pollution every night year-round.
“The dimming function does require more maintenance,” the operations person said. “Any time you turn down a light, it can reduce a bulb’s lifespan. For Florida Road, the ballasts average around five years.”
Earlier last week, Action Line noted 10 burned out lights. By Friday night, only three were dark.
The city promises to replace those as efficiently as possible.
Email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail them to Action Line, The Durango Herald, 1275 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301. You can ask for anonymity (and help) if you start seeing Donald Trump’s face in cloud formations, coffee-creamer swirls or cheese toast.