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WEDNESDAY
April 23 2008

MONTROSE

VOL 101, NO. 7 50 cents MONTROSE, CO 81401

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Published for the Uncompahgre Valley and Michael McDowell of Montrose

OUTSIDE L
Today: Partly Sunny, Breezy High 72, Low 43

CDOT Olathan for president? slim on funds
I Transportation officials tell county little money for new projects
BY KATHARHYNN HEIDELBERG DAILY PRESS SENIOR WRITER

INSIDE L

Sports:
Montrose soccer beats Central 1-0; Baseball team loses 5-2 to Grand Junction Page B1
BARTON GLASSER / DAILY PRESS

Jonathan Allen, a businessman and educator from Olathe, announced Friday his candidacy for President of the United States. Allen is running as an independent.

Election 08:
Clinton grinds out victory in Pennsylvania over Obama Page A8

Allen announces bid for White House; faces daunting task
BY ROBERT ALLEN DAILY PRESS WRITER

Nation:
Gas prices continue record rise Page A11

INDEX L
LOCAL A2-4 STATE A4-5 OPINION A6 FOR THE RECORD A7 A8-11 NATION COMICS A12 A13 WEATHER A13 OBITUARIES WORLD A14 SPORTS B1 NASCAR B4 CLASSIFIEDS C1 FOOD C8

MONTROSE — A man from Olathe aims to contend with the likes of John McCain, Hillary Clinton and Barack . Obama for the U.S. presidency “I’ll go head to head with any one of the top three candidates right now in international experience and dealing with foreign people in the world, foreign policy — I’ll match ‘em head to head. I’m absolutely convinced I have as much or more experience than they do,” said Jonathan Allen, 45. Allen is an international businessman of 22 years who owns Firstfruits International — a marketing and consulting firm — and founded Rocky Mountain International Academy in Montrose. His campaign as an independent kicked off April 18, which he says isn’t too late. “I’ve really had a sense of timing about this that I would know when I was supposed to know. And the night

‘And the whole theme of our campaign is called ‘Heartquake ‘08: Reawakening the heart of America.’
Jonathan Allen Independent Presidential Candidate
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that we finally decided, ‘Now’s the time,’ an earthquake hits the Midwest last Friday Allen said. “And I just ,” chuckled to myself because a lady wakes up on the news — I click on the news in the channel and the lady says, ‘I was awakened to an earthquake this morning.’ “And the whole theme of our cam-

paign is called ‘Heartquake ‘08: Reawakening the heart of America.’” Allen has no political experience. He said this is a positive attribute, as he can speak directly for the people. His campaign includes a staffed headquarters at 1100 East Main St., Suite C, and a Web site. Allen’s platform includes support for troop withdrawal from Iraq, support for the Second Amendment right to “bear arms,” and opposition to amnesty for illegal immigrants. He said that though he agrees with the Libertarian Party on a number of points, his philosophical differences set him apart. Ballot Access News editor Richard Winger, of San Francisco, said independent presidential candidates must obtain nearly 700,000 petition signatures nationwide to appear on all 50 state ballots. SEE ELECTION, PAGE A2

MONTROSE — A state transportation head delivered a “tough message” to Montrose County Commissioners Monday: the budget is stagnant. Weldon Allen, Region 3 transportation director for the Colorado Department of Transportation, said that revenues for transportation projects hadn’t been growing, while both use of roads and construction costs have. Region 3 includes parts of , Montrose County as does Region 5, whose officials also spoke to commissioners Mon. day “Our budget is basically not well,” Allen said. In fact, CDOT’s estimated distribution for fiscal year 2009 dropped from $1.3 billion to $997 million in the past week, which will result in funding cuts across the board. , Additionally CDOT expects to receive $130 million less in funding from federal reserves than it did last fiscal year. “We won’t have those reserves,” Allen said. He said the motor fuel excise (or highway users’) tax rate has not increased since 1991, yet more vehicles are being driven. Though the fuel efficiency of vehicles has increased, the flatrate motor fuel tax, based on numbers of gallons sold at the pump, has not brought in additional revenues. “We’re at a flat line,” Allen said. According to a report he gave commissioners, the governor’s transportation panel has suggested increasing the motor fuel tax, either by indexing it to inflation or asking voters for a schedule of incremental rate changes. SEE FUNDS, PAGE A2

6 stranded in creek rescued
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OLATHE — Six minors escaped serious injury early Sunday morning, when they were rescued from the swift waters of Dry Creek. Montrose County Sheriff Rick Dunlap said the teens were driving around at about 2 a.m. Sunday on Transfer Road when they came to the creek and decided to drive across it. “That was the wrong thing to do,” Dunlap said. “This time of year, the snow’s melting and Dry Creek is fed off the Uncompahgre Plateau. Anything melting up there is naturally going to run into Dry Creek.” The runoff-swollen creek quickly swamped the teens’ Bronco II, covering all but 6 inches of the vehicle and forcing them out. “I don’t think they realized how deep that area is when you go across it to start with, and how much water was actually coming through it,” Dunlap said. The young people managed to

reach a small “island” near the vehicle and decided to wait. One of them was able to make a cell phone call for help, and the Olathe Fire Department, ambulance, and a sheriff ’s deputy came to help them. Olathe agencies were able to rescue the group just as the sheriff ’s posse was being paged for assistance. Only one teen was hurt, but it was only a scrape on his back from a stick, Dunlap said. He said that though the group should not have attempted to drive across the creek bed, the teens made the right choice when they decided to wait for help. “It wouldn’t have been a smart idea to jump in the water and try to make it to the other side,” he said. “I just recommend, especially this time of year, that people are sure of an area before they enter it. When the water is running like this, it’s probably not a good thing to drive off in it.”

Bringing the heat

WILLIAM WOODY / DAILY PRESS

Montrose High pitcher Jay Maloney fires home during first inning action Tuesday afternoon. The Indians lost to rival Grand Junction. See Sports, Page B1.

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LOCAL
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MONTROSE DAILY PRESS

FUNDS: CDOT shifting to road maintenance role
FROM PAGE 1 The panel also suggested an annual state highway maintenance fee be added to motor vehicle registration costs and making visitors help fund roads by establishing a car rental and hotel/motel fee. It additionally recommended increasing state sales taxes and severance taxes, the latter of which would help mitigate the toll energy exploration is taking on state highways. Commissioner Allan Belt said Montrose County is feeling the strain here, as mineral, gas and uranium exploration grows, especially on the West End. Area roads and highways are experiencing heavy truck traffic from these industries. Kerrie Neet, Region 5 planning and environmental manager, said changes to the severance tax, the current range of which is 2 to 5 percent, would help. Right now, when roads fail due to heavy traffic, CDOT has to dip into emergency funding so they can be immediately repaired. “The big picture is, we don’t have the funds to fix the roads,” she said. Other factors CDOT is contending with are the escalating cost of road construction materials, plus the diversion of general fund

‘The big picture is, we don’t have the funds to fix the roads.’
Kerrie Neet Region 5 planning and environmental manager
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revenues CDOT used to receive under House Bill 1310. Allen said the state has to fund a lot of other needs right now, including healthcare and education, so the Legislature has taken the HB 1310 money for that purpose. Allen acknowledged the need for health and education funding and stressed CDOT did not consider itself in “competition” with other agencies. However, half of Region 3’s funding for road surface treatment came from HB 1310. “The department of transportation is moving quickly to a maintenance program,” Allen said. Though CDOT will maintain what it has, there is little money to pursue new ones, he explained. Allen said the department is facing “a quiet crisis” and CDOT has only been able to perform its current construction and maintenance because it’s absorbed many costs internally in order to stretch its budget. It additionally saved money through a construction bond that allowed it to build roads and complete other projects right away before , construction costs began soaring. CDOT must repay $160 million a year to service the bond debt, but Allen said the department reacted quickly enough and will not have to remove any projects from 2009’s slate. What will happen in 2010, though, is still up in the air, he said. “It always trickles down to local government,” Belt said. “It’s pain felt by all.”

Partners Auction

BARTON GLASSER / DAILY PRESS

Bea Morey, right, and Catherine Lyon take bids from the studios of KUBC, 94 KIX and The Blast during the 19th Annual Partners Auction Tuesday. Partners is a youth mentoring organization that pairs senior role models with youth ages six to 17. The auction, previously aired on KREY TV from the Montrose Pavilion, switched to a radio format this year because of the fire that destroyed the Grand Junction television station in January.

ELECTION: Roughly 300 people file as candidates each election cycle
FROM PAGE 1 “Every year that there’s a lot of discontent in the coun, try there are a lot of people like this crop up,” Winger said. He said about $2,200,000 would be needed to gain ballot access alone. And deadlines approach. In Texas, an independent candidate has until May 12 to submit 74,108 signatures of registered voters who didn’t vote in Democrat or Republican primaries, according to Texas Secretary of State spokesperson Ashley Burton. But not all states have such strict requirements. Winger said Allen has a good shot for the Colorado ballot. Colorado Secretary of State spokesperson Richard Coolidge said an application and $500 gets anyone who meets federal qualifications a spot on the presidential ballot. He said that though none tion form. It also includes a “Declaration of Independence 2008,” a modification of the historic text first written by Thomas Jefferson in 1776. Winger said Allen’s campaign would gain ground much easier if he sought nomination to one of the qualified minor parties, such as the Green, Libertarian or Constitutional parties. He also said Allen’s lack of experience could be problematic. “The trouble is people won’t vote for somebody as president unless they have confidence that he or she knows something about it,” Winger said. But Allen is not deterred. His national tour begins in Washington state next week, where he intends to speak on Seattle’s KIRO-TV Channel 7, at Seattle Pacific University and at other engagements. He said the next stop will be either Idaho or New York. Winger said about 300 people file as presidential candidates with the Federal Elections Commission each election cycle. — Robert Allen is not related to Jonathan Allen. Contact Robert Allen at roberta@montrosepress.com

BARTON GLASSER / DAILY PRESS

Jonathan Allen, a businessman and educator from Olathe, announced Friday his candidacy for President of the United States. Allen is running as an independent. have been submitted this year, 13 people ran for president in 2004 on the state’s ballot. The deadline is June 17. “They can pretty much pick a party — they can affiliate with whoever they want,” Coolidge said. “It doesn’t have to be a recog, nized party they can kind of be the flag carrier.” Allen said he anticipates write-in status on the Texas ballot, given the time crunch. As of Tuesday he had six people functioning as coordinators. When asked how he will spread word to gain essential support before other state deadlines, Allen said: “We are gonna use the Internet like you’ve never seen. We’ve already got a viral program where we’re set up to (cascade) in 14 days to let 50 million Americans know.” His campaign Web site, www.heartquake08.com, includes his platform, videos, poetry and an online dona-

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