College Football Arriving Soon!


College Football Arriving Soon!

by Amy Lignor


Ask any college football fan and they will tell you that it seems like an eternity waiting for the season to begin. But, have no fear, the kick-off to the college season is almost here, with Colorado State and Oregon State hitting the field on Saturday, August 26th at 2:30 p.m. ET. On the same day, fans of Oregon State and Colorado State will see an active match-up, and Portland State vs. BYU will also be a huge viewer draw. Add in the 6:00 p.m. game of Hawaii at UMass and the 7:30 p.m. game of South Florida vs. San Jose State – and you are most definitely looking at a full, much-needed, long-awaited day of the colleges you love getting back to gridiron business.

kick-off, college football, Colorado, Oregon, Portland State vs. BYU, Hawaii at UMass, August 26, Deondre Francois, Michigan, Crimson Tide, Wilton Speight, Penn State,

So…already have all the answers? Will there be a repeat? Will teams like Penn State come out still riding high on what was most definitely their late-season momentum that fans loved? Many already have answers to these (or, at least, they have their hopes and dreams where these answers are concerned). But it remains that it is far too early to say “this will happen.” It is not too early, however, to take a look at the teams that many experts say are the top contenders this season.


Let us start with the Crimson Tide. Alabama has many positive things going for them. With a phenomenal young QB, a RB that is truly a “hit” on the field, and an elite defense, Alabama is in more than just “good” shape this time out.


When it comes to Oklahoma, the latest news is that Chris Robison (QB) has been dismissed from the team following a violation of team rules. A four-star member of Oklahoma’s 2017 recruiting class, Robison was arrested in April for public intoxication the night after Oklahoma’s spring game. Will it matter? Not at all, actually. Sooners’ fans were already rejoicing that QB Baker Mayfield chose to return to Norman for this, his senior year. Mayfield just needs a new target to throw to, seeing as Biletnikoff Award winner Dede Westbrook said so long to Norman on graduation day. Running backs Samaje Perine and Joe Mixon are also gone this time around. But even with those departures, Oklahoma was on a proverbial hot streak down the stretch last season, with ten straight wins. Anything can happen.


When it comes to Florida State, all eyes are on that freshman QB star Deondre Francois. Ending with a win over Michigan in the Orange Bowl, the Florida State Seminoles’ QB is surrounded by a talented offensive line. Even though losing all-time leading rusher Dalvin Cook will be hard to overcome, they will. And it also helps that the majority of starters on defense will be back.


Penn State is truly back to “Happy Valley” status after a remarkable 2016 season that almost ended in a Rose Bowl title. A second-straight Big Ten title is most definitely on their radar, especially with the incredible duo of McSorley and Barkley within a now experienced offense.

Yes, the defense will have to step it up, and the offense has to put a halt to those slow starts that cause them trouble.


You can’t write a college football article without mentioning the name Harbaugh in it – fans have proved that to be a fact, so we must mention Michigan. QB Wilton Speight was “good enough” under center for Michigan, before getting hurt, of course, late in the season. But just for fans to wear smiles on their faces once again, which hadn’t happened in a long time until Coach Jim Harbaugh arrived two years ago, is a great thing to see. But Harbaugh will not have an easy time of it. He has some hurdles to jump, seeing as that 10 out of 11 starters on Michigan’s defense are on the departure list, including their weapon, Jabrill Peppers. But it’s not out of the ballpark to say that Michigan could literally do their roster overhaul extremely well and make it to the CFP semifinals. Speight will be back under center, and if they can just best those Buckeyes and get over that rivalry hurdle, Michigan will have a shot at its first conference title in more than a decade.


When it comes to a repeat, Clemson is definitely a bet people are already making. Ferrell returns, even though the loss of Deshaun Watson is a big hit. Clemson’s offense shouldn’t fall too far behind, but it is really the gleam of that uber-experienced defense that makes Clemson a prime contender.


But whatever happens, all that’s frustrating fans right now is how far away August 26th feels.


Source:  Baret News



Recluse Comes to Regret Bringing Good Samaritan Home in Riveting Suspense Thriller


Black Butterfly,  Film Review, Kam Williams, suspense, Antonio Banderas, Colorado, Piper Perabo, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, riveting whodunitBlack Butterfly

Film Review by Kam Williams

Recluse Comes to Regret Bringing Good Samaritan Home in Riveting Suspense Thriller   

Paul (Antonio Banderas) is the literary equivalent of a one-hit wonder. The flash in the pan enjoyed a short-lived success, thanks to the best-seller he published while still in his twenties. Back then, he became the toast of the town when the popular tome was adapted to the big screen, even though the movie bore no resemblance to his book besides having the same title.

But that was decades ago. Now, all the money’s gone. The hangers-on have disappeared, too, and so has his wife (Alexandra Klim). As of late, he’s turned into a recluse, living alone in the mountains of Colorado in a rundown cabin he can no longer afford to keep up.

He fritters away most of his days drinking at a desk in a darkened room, praying for the inspiration to produce another masterpiece. Unfortunately, he’s suffering from such a terrible case of writer’s block that all he ever types are the words “I am stuck” over and over again.

Upon bottoming out with little hope of recovering, Paul admits to himself that it’s time to sell the house. So, he lists the property with Laura (Piper Perabo), an attractive realtor he hires more for her looks than  her expertise. After all, he’s her very first client.

His judgment proves even worse when it comes to making friends. For, he decides to bring back to his place the Good Samaritan (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) who saved him from a trucker with road rage. Only after Paul agrees to let the stranger crash for a few days, does the guy reveal that he “just got out of prison and ain’t never goin’ back.”

Paul (Antonio Banderas) and Laura (Piper Perabo) in BLACK BUTTERFLY. Photo Credit: Lionsgate Premiere.

Might this be the creep responsible for the recent rash of murders in the area? Unfortunately, Paul’s located in an isolated spot in the woods without any internet, TV or cell phone service. Nevertheless, the plot thickens with the unannounced arrival of several visitors, including Laura, a delivery boy (Nicholas Aaron), and a cop (Vincent Riotta) looking for a missing mailman. 

Thus unfolds Black Butterfly, an English language-remake of Papillon Noir (2008), a French film featuring the same basic premise. Directed by Brian Goodman (Sal), this compelling suspense thriller slowly ratchets up the tension only to unravel during the denouement, thanks to a humdinger of a twist.

  A riveting whodunit spoiled somewhat by a rabbit-out-of-the-hat resolution.

Very Good (3 stars)

Rated R for profanity and violence.

Running time: 93 minutes

Distributor: Lionsgate Premiere

Source:  Baret News

Get Ready for Those Icy Competitions


Get Ready for Those Icy Competitions

By Amy Lignor


You think the Super Bowl will be a competition? You thought the World Series was? Well…book your airline tickets now, people, because the coolest, most awesome, most gritty competitions are soon to begin. When the weather outside turns frightful, there are those who break out their anvils, knives, hatchets…you name it (and, no, we are not talking about a horror movie, here). These tools are brought out by some of the most amazing architects, builders, artists and carvers from across the world. Men and women who can look at a block of ice and see everything from Harry Potter and his gang to Darth Vader and his Stormtroopers lying inside, just waiting to be freed from their frozen home.


One of the greatest things about Ice Art competitions is the fact that no two events, no two years, will ever be the same. People think up designs all year long so that they can catch the most significant moments, characters and dreams that capture the time we’re living in. And here are the ones you do NOT want to miss.


Still rated number one is Ice Alaska World Ice Art Championships (AKA: BP World Ice). It has been over twenty years that Fairbanks has played host to the world’s largest group of competitors from all around the world. This “carving event” lasts over 130 hours, and draws almost 50,000 people to see the amazing designs in categories that range from single block to youth competitions.



In China, you may not think to head to an ice competition, but the Harbin Ice Festival held in Harbin, China, proves you wrong. This event is held in one of the coldest places in the world – a very mountainous area that draws people in January (brrr) to see what carvers and artists can come up with out of gigantic blocks of ice that are extracted from the Songhua River. You are talking skyscrapers, ice castles – some of the most wondrous wonderlands ever created. And if the carving is not enough for you, you and the family can also join in with the polar plunge and ice boxing competitions. Sounds more like you will be plunging with the polar bears in those temps.


Oh, Canada! In Banff, Canada, held in the Banff National Park located in the Canadian Rockies, the Ice Magic Festival comes alive. This is set within SnowDays, which is a month-long festival, with the carving competition giving two-person teams exactly thirty-four hours to create the most amazing looks they can possibly create from 300 pound blocks of ice. They even bring forth “speed carving,” which may just be fast enough to warm the competitors up just a tad.

If you want to head to London, England and wish the Queen “Happy Holidays,” you can stop by the London Ice Sculpting Festival while you’re there. Held for three days at Canary Wharf, sculptors come together, as well as amateurs and fans who wish to get in on the ice carving classes, Ice-Chess, and witness the mesmerizing Ice Graffiti Wall.


Can’t forget about Russia. The Perm International Snow and Ice Sculpture Festival plays home to the “Ice, Snow, and Fire” competition, which you will remember forever. In Gorky Amusement Park, this festival involves both ice and snow sculptures.



And one that many have already heard of is in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden, where Sweden’s famous and the world’s largest, Ice Hotel is sculpted each year from blocks extracted from the Torne, River.

The entrance of ICEHOTEL in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden, 2007, with two kicksleds outside.

The entrance of ICEHOTEL in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden, 2007, with two kicksleds outside.

What is the best? Well…that is up to the visitors. But one of the most memorable is held right in the good, old U.S. of A. on a stomping ground that most have heard of before. In fact, this area plays home to some truly beloved Clydesdales. In 2016, in Breckenridge, Colorado, the Budweiser International Snow Sculpture Championships, followed by Snow Sculpture Viewing Week, will be held. Take some time to view this one on the Internet, folks. You will see the most incredible works of art. One became the winner for Team Lithuania last year: a stunning depiction of Noah’s Ark that floated on clouds above a mighty downpour. This mammoth beauty took sixty-five hours to create using only hand tools. Sculptures remain on display at the Riverwalk Center in Breckenridge until Sunday, Feb. 8 (weather permitting). Other creations included Mother Nature summoning the power of the eagle’s wings; and a wave crashing against a boat that stood for the strength of nature and respect for the environment.

There is no end to the beauty these ice sculptors create. Bringing to life true strength and power that touches on this world’s issues. So get the tickets and buy those heavy jackets…you’ll need them!


Source:  Baret News

Western Skiers, Snowboarders Get an Early Start


Western Skiers, Snowboarders Get an Early Start

By Burt Carey

With snow-making machines roaring to life and storms dropping temperatures and precipitation, winter ski and snowboard enthusiasts are set to hit the slopes before Thanksgiving at resorts from California to Colorado.

Ready to handle those tens of thousands of visitors is Vail Resorts, Inc., and its subsidiaries. Vail Resorts has nine world-class mountain resorts and
Skiing, Snowboarding, Colorado, California, El Niño, world-class powder, 2015-16 season, Snow Funtwo urban ski areas, including Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone in Colorado; Park City in Utah; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in the Lake Tahoe area of California and Nevada; Perisher in Australia; Afton Alps in Minnesota and Mt. Brighton in Michigan. The Company owns and/or manages a collection of casually elegant hotels under the RockResorts brand, as well as the Grand Teton Lodge Company in Jackson Hole, Wyo.

Vail’s resorts in California, Nevada and Colorado are preparing for openings as early as Nov. 6 and no later than Nov. 25, following several inches of snow falling from recent storms, and temperatures that make it possible to run snow-making machines.

Late in October the resort reported storms that dropped two to five inches of new snow, with weekly totals ranging from nine to 17 inches at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone. Additional snow and cold temperatures are forecast for the approaching week, which offer conditions suitable for snowmaking.

“Colorado’s four major resorts are ready for an incredible season,” said Pat Campbell, president of Vail Resorts Mountain Division. “Cold temperatures and the onset of our first two winter storms have been timely; with additional snowfall forecast, we anticipate great opening days,” she said. Keystone is scheduled to open Nov. 6, followed by Breckenridge Nov. 13, Vail on Nov. 20 and Beaver Creek opens Nov. 25.

Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone collectively offer winter enthusiasts the best of Colorado’s skiing and riding, accommodations, dining, shopping, entertainment and activities. With more than 13,000 acres of combined skiable terrain across more than 650 trails, the four resorts offer unprecedented access to the slopes.

For current snow and weather conditions, additional information or to plan a vacation, visit,, and

Lake Tahoe’s Heavenly Mountain Resort, Northstar California Resort and Kirkwood Mountain Resort have already received significant snow from early season storms hitting the Sierra, with up to two feet at 8,000 feet.  Regional temperatures are forecasted to be well below average, offering ideal conditions to power up snow blowers at all three locations. Temperatures are expected to remain cold throughout the extended forecast period.

“It’s snowing in Tahoe and the temperatures are dropping so we are putting our legendary snowmaking system to work as we prepare to kick off an extraordinary 2015-16 season,” said Pete Sonntag, Tahoe region vice president and chief operating officer. “Signs of El Niño are popping up across the Sierra and we’re pulling out all the stops to provide our guests with the best early season snow conditions.”

With the West Coast’s most sophisticated, state-of-the-art snowmaking systems, Heavenly and Northstar ensure Tahoe’s most consistent and reliable snow surfaces. Coupled with its own snowmaking crew, Kirkwood’s undisputed reputation for snow depth and accumulation translates to world-class powder and the highly acclaimed big-mountain experience.

Heavenly and Northstar are slated to open for the 2015-16 season Nov. 20, and Kirkwood is scheduled to open Nov. 21. For the best prices of the season on all Tahoe passes and for more information on pass holder benefits, go online to

Skiing, Snowboarding, Colorado, California, El Niño, world-class powder, 2015-16 season, Snow Fun


Source:  Sportsmans Lifestyle

An EPA “Accident” Turns Into Far More


An EPA “Accident” Turns Into Far More

~ by Amy Lignor

What began as an “accident” made by the EPA in Denver, Colorado, has now opened a can of even more worms showing that the EPA, itself, actually had pre-knowledge that an environmental accident could occur in the first place during their project.

EPA, Denver, Colorado, waste spill, toxic metals & chemicals, "accident"For those who may not know, two weeks back a waste spill happened of approximately three million gallons of mine waste, when the EPA attempted to “clean-up” and bust open, so to speak, an old gold mine located in SW Colorado. The river of thick orange goo that flowed downstream into the Animas River and then moved on to the San Juan River in New Mexico and the Colorado River in Utah, was originally spoken about by the Managers at the Environmental Protection Agency as an accident that could be easily fixed and not dangerous to anyone. As days passed…the option that it could perhaps be damaging to farm stock and fields became possible. Now, papers have been released that the EPA was actually aware of the risk that was there before they began their work. The possibility for a mine blowout and the subsequent release of a large flow of waste that would contain toxic metals and chemicals, was a risk that was already known about before anything proceeded to happen.

The documents, themselves, actually came from the EPA. In 2014, they wrote up an order that included “a planned cleanup.” These papers stated that since the old mine had not been accessible to anyone since 1995, when the entrance initially fell into partial collapse, that the longtime condition “likely caused impounding of water behind the collapse.” (This report was offered to the EPA from a private contractor they hired). The report went on to state that: “other collapses within the workings may have occurred creating additional water impounding conditions. Conditions may exist that could result in a blowout of the blockages and cause a release of large volumes of contaminated mine waters and sediment from inside the mine, which contain concentrated heavy metals.” In other words, this was not a surprise, and this “accident” could have been avoided.

The action plan that spoke about the potential for the blowout and what the EPA could have, would have, or perhaps should have avoided, is under investigation. More than one. At this moment there are three looking into how, exactly, the EPA brought about the true “environmental disaster” and how the rivers in Colorado, New Mexico and Utah can be aided and cleaned-up from the huge injection of lead, arsenic and other contaminants. The upside for people to note is that the levels of contamination have fallen, yet the experts out there state that those test results are not a surprise, considering that heavy metals have the ability (and most likely have) sunk to the bottom of the rivers and certainly are among the river-bottom sediments that can one day be stirred back up to the surface.

It is still the EPA’s initial response that is taking the most flak from the states. No matter how this incident is looked at now – whether the EPA had knowledge that this could happen or not – it still took a full 24-hour period before they told any officials that oversee downstream villages, farms, and communities that actually rely on water from those rivers for drinking.

This incident has certainly made it to the Senate, as well, where Republican Lamar Smith-TX (Chair of the House Science Committee), has said that the EPA “has an obligation to be more forthcoming.” He also has called for the EPA to appear before the House Science Committee next month for further explanation.

It will take some time to realize what the EPA knew and what could have been better avoided, but no matter how this is looked at (or by whom) there will be a great deal to answer for in the coming months.


Source:  Baret News

Dirty Water is Escalating


Dirty Water is Escalating

~ Amy Lignor


The argument between the EPA and various governing bodies from the state of Colorado to the states of New Mexico, Arizona, Utah – you name it – has been taking over the headlines. This came about because of an EPA project to open up an old gold mine in Colorado, releasing horrific water filled with leads and poisonous chemicals out into the creeks which now has the Animas River, as

An woman dropping her tea-cup in horror upon discovering the monstrous contents of a magnified drop of Thames water; revealing the impurity of London drinking water. Coloured etching by W. Heath, 1828.

An woman dropping her tea-cup in horror upon discovering the monstrous contents of a magnified drop of Thames water; revealing the impurity of London drinking water. Coloured etching by W. Heath, 1828.

well as many others in trouble, and the Native American community up in arms. This is one “dirty water” accident that will take who knows how long to clean up…even though the ones in “charge” stated at the beginning that it was basically not a problem and would be a “non-issue” in a jiffy.


Well, now, dirty water headlines are reaching even further. Although the debate regarding the water quality in Rio where the Olympics will be held next year, has been stated before, things have escalated. In fact, just this week, the head of swimming’s governing body said dirty water in Rio “is not a big problem.” Athletes even shrugged off the reality of competing in water that could make them extremely ill. Can’t blame the athletes, really. The Olympic dream is huge.


You can blame the International Olympic Committee that, at the beginning, was “shrugging off” the reality that the water in Rio is disgusting, and will make people sick. Now, the IOC said on Sunday that it will order testing for viruses that cause diseases in the sewage-polluted waters where athletes will compete. This is a change in their original statement, considering that before all this hubbub was raised, the Committee and the local Olympic organizers in Rio said they would test the waters, but only for bacteria. (Apparently, Brazil’s mandates regarding testing for water safety only require them to do that.)


From the Associated Press to the beloved Mike & Mike (sports program) running in the U.S. – where they actually challenged IOC Committee members to swim in the horrific water with their families, and send Mike & Mike pictures, because they wanted to see if they would do it – everyone is up in arms about this mess. High counts of viruses that are linked to human refuse were found in the waters of Rio where Olympic athletes will be competing. Thus, the Committee was basically told by the World Health Organization (WHO) that testing of the waters needed to be expanded to include much more than just bacteria testing. Viral testing is now necessary. It was the International Sailing Federation that first announced they would even do their own independent tests for viruses if the IOC did not comply. (They are still moving ahead with their own tests.)


The Associated Press did a five-month test that focused on the waters at each of the venues where athletes will have to have direct contact with substances that may hold very high levels of viruses from the sewage. After they were through with these initial tests, they could not find one – not even one – venue safe for swimming or boating. When you have findings that show any person, athlete or not, that ingests only three teaspoons of this water would have a 99% chance of being infected by a virus, then you know Rio is going to be under massive scrutiny; and should be.


It was already known that in Rio, a majority of sewage goes completely untended and ends up flowing down ditches and streams, carrying everything from the waste of households to dead animals into the Olympic waters.


This is an issue that could literally, if not corrected, cause many to boycott the games in order to keep their athletes healthy. Visitors will cancel trips, money will be lost… In other words, if Rio wants a success, they will have to put in the time and money necessary to make the waters clean.


cc.large Image Credit: Wellcome Library, London


Source:  Baret News Wire

Orange is the New Disgusting Mess


Orange is the New Disgusting Mess

~ Amy Lignor


The EPA makes mistakes? Don’t be silly… Oh, wait, what’s that people are seeing out their windows in Colorado and now New Mexico? It looks almost like the sun is setting over the river, sending a burning shade of orange onto the glassy water in the heat of…wait. That is the water?


Yup. People are looking out their windows and seeing what was once a river turned into a long swath of orange goo. It looks about as disgusting as any landscape (Chernobyl, anyone?) could get. However, there is an even worse part. The goo that is traveling around houses, through neighborhoods, and affecting farms just happens to contain poisons. Lead. Arsenic. You name it, it’s in there. And the EPA – the lovers and protectors of nature – can be blamed for every single drop.

EPA, Colorado, New Mexico, Animas River, San Juan River, Colorado River, Gold King Mine, million-gallon mine waste spill


It all started in Denver, Colorado, when this first sight of disgusting, thick orange muck appeared from a million-gallon mine waste spill, which then headed down the river to quiet New Mexico. People and neighborhoods were told to take precautions BUT that there was no threat to drinking water whatsoever…yet. Downstream, other officials came out and said to completely avoid the Animas River (David Ostrander, Director of the EPA’s emergency response program/Denver.)


The EPA clean-up team was on-site at an old gold mine (Gold King Mine in SW Colorado) working to secure an entrance into the old site when their heavy equipment suddenly brought something else to light. A mine bulwark broke as they were working away and sent a huge torrent of waste downstream that raised the water level three feet in Cement Creek. An estimated 1 million gallons of mine waste was delivered into the creek that runs into the Animas River, which then continues to meet up with the San Juan River in New Mexico and the Colorado River in Utah.


It was initially said that the goo was acidic and could be a skin irritant, but then the EPA began its testing and found a list of harmful contaminants in the goo; from iron and copper to arsenic and more.


New Mexico’s Governor, Susana Martinez, said the EPA waited too long to tell her about the problem. Apparently she was not informed until almost a full 24-hours after the incident occurred. Health officials have warned those avid rafters out there that they need to avoid the water (this was not exactly listened to; Google will show you the rafters paddling around in a very gross orange river.)


Durango, Colorado, stopped pumping water out of the Animas River in order to avoid any of the awful waste ending up in the city reservoir, telling everyone, including pet owners and livestock owners to keep their animals out of the Animas until something can be figured out.


In Farmington, New Mexico (NW corner of the state), officials of the city stopped all water-supply intake pumps to avoid contamination and told citizens to stay far away from the river until the horrible color had passed. And although the EPA first stated there would be no harm to people seeing as that the waste was filled with only zinc and copper, it has turned out that the orange goo brings far more problems and a great deal more to worry about.


Fish have been contained in cages from the Animas River and will be monitored to see what any long-standing issues might be for surrounding wildlife. As far as human beings are concerned, this is a game of wait and see as the thick, disgusting orange river continues to flow.


Source:  Baret News

Trails of Highways; The Townhouse


Trail of Highways™


The Townhouse

Manitou Springs, Colorado


20150422_163444Downtown Manitou Springs has a lot to offer.  Tonight we stopped by The Townhouse for wings and a beer.  This is my third visit, the other visit we sat out on the patio without having any food.

We all sat indoors this visit, a bit chilly outside.  20150422_163639


We all grabbed a table positioned so we could watch the Yankee’s playing the Tigers play on one screen, with the Stanley Cup on the other.  We ordered our wings, one basket of regular and the other Cujo, a mixture of their hot sauce and teriyaki sauce.   The Cujo’s are very good and would order them again.  For a beer we all ordered Ranger IPA’s, a local Colorado beer.  If you like IPA’s this is a good one.


If you find yourself on the Trail of Highways with a stop in Manitou Springs.  The Townhouse is worth the stop.
Happy Trails

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The Last Ride


The Last Ride.  Guffey Colorado is a interesting town sitting at 8600' elevation.  It has a very interesting history museum as well as the whole town being a museum in its self.  At the local garage they build "Rat Rod".  A great sunday drive.

The Last Ride.
Guffey Colorado is a interesting town sitting at 8600′ elevation. It has a very interesting history museum as well as the whole town being a museum in its self. At the local garage they build “Rat Rod”. A great sunday drive.



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