Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Sinkhole developing near Oahe Dam. How legal cannabis fills the gap

A Pierre radio station and the Rapid City Journal are reporting that sinkholes are developing in Stanley County:
KCCR radio reports that state Transportation Department crews already have filled a large hole that developed on state Highway 1806. It was estimated at 6 feet across and 10-15 feet deep.
Recall the reminder from TCMack that the Army Corps of Engineers touted the construction of the Oahe Dam on the geological formation known as Pierre Shale. That same shale accounts for the systematic breakup of roadways and railbeds in South Dakota likewise confounding KeystoneXL pipeline engineers. Note this publication archived at the USGS:
... The non-tectonic origin for this deformation is strongly supported by the observation that, since construction was completed in 1962, movement on a fault in the Pierre Shale near the spillway of Oahe Dam (about 10 km north of the city of Pierre) has created a 1.5-m-high scarp. This scarp formed without any notable seismic events.
The topic was covered at the conference of the United States Society on Dams in 2009: Slope Stability Concerns on Pierre Shale, Oahe Dam - Pierre, South Dakota...655, Robert J. Worden and Michael T. Kelly, Corps of Engineers.

Todd Epp mentions that the corps knew water was stacking up behind the dams and that record rainfall in the upper basin surprised them. But, what he doesn't seem to get is that they also know that early releases send ice floes crashing into bridge supports: events that worry resource managers every year. From Friday's Lincoln, Nebraska JournalStar:
Now, suddenly, total water in the six reservoirs is at 72.7 million acre-feet, 600,000 acre-feet above the previous record, reached in 1975. Total capacity is uncomfortably close at 73.1 million acre-feet. Winter ice, summer barge traffic, habitat for endangered species, recreational considerations and dam repairs are among the factors that regularly influence decisions about seasonal flows.
Robert Schneiders took listeners' calls today on Bill Janklow's idea of public radio.

California's Proposition 19 went down in defeat because the law gave the power to control varieties to the state. Recall this NPR report from October of last year:
At a garden cafe in Sonoma County, Dragonfly de la Luz lights up her glass Hello Kitty pipe filled with primo California weed. De la Luz is a marijuana connoisseur for West Coast Cannabis and Skunk magazines, and TV's Cannabis Planet. She has a monthly column called "Getting High with Dragonfly," in which she reviews the latest flavors of ganja. De la Luz says she was excited at first to hear California was trying to legalize pot. "I thought it was a dream come true," she says. "Then I read it and realized it was a nightmare." Proposition 19 allows local governments to license commercial marijuana companies, which worries self-professed stoners like de la Luz. "We're kind of like anti-Wal-Mart and anti-McDonald's," she says. "So for them to try to sneak in and turn cannabis into a corporation, that's disgusting."

The future of the business should be a combination synthesizing the cannabis equivalents of organic microbreweries, vintners, and greenhouses rolled into (heh heh) cottage industries that can withstand fiduciary and insurance requirements. We are a litigious society: ways to generate revenue for states can be hammered out in committee in each state legislature to head off some of the torts likely following enactment and to guide law enforcement using most of the same language that governs alcohol use. Patients that seek cannabis as medicine can be seen by a health care provider and be excused from paying the excise taxes.


caheidelberger said...

Graboids! Val, Earl, and Rhonda on the rocks!

Todd D. Epp said...

Yes, I did come across that the Corps was concerned about ice jams downstream from the dams. But as I asked in one of my postings, when's the last time you've heard about that being a problem in modern times? Back pre-Pick-Sloan Plan, ice jams were a major problem. If you can direct me to some sources on modern ice jam problems, I'll so note it and reconsider.

I think your posts are very interesting. This is a huge story with many angles.

Todd Epp
Middle Border Sun http://southdakotawatch.blogspot.com

larry kurtz said...

Thank you both for coming by.

Todd: Montana DoT has pretty good documentation of ice damage. There are numerous corps pdf documents where freeze/thaw stresses are archived but have yet to find data on the effects of large ice floes on bridge supports on the Missouri itself. Here is one on a tributary of the Platte.