July 4th, 2015 Mayhem Aftermath

Illegal Fireworks cause damage in Mesa County

11.28 acres of dry brush behind several houses in northwest Grand Junction were burned last night as a result of illegal bottle rockets being set off by a family on Chestnut Ave.

Firefighting and law enforcement resources in Mesa County were stretched thin last night as Independence Day festivities got out of control and the use of illegal fireworks abounded across the County.

A major brush fire that started at around 10:00 p.m. near 26 1/2 and G 1/2 Roads was actually at the west end of Chestnut Ave. The resident whose house was most in danger from the fire reported that a family across the street setting off illegal bottle rockets in the middle of Chestnut Ave. started the fire. One of the bottle rockets drifted on the wind and fell to the ground in the field behind their house, setting the brush on fire. Fortunately no structures were burned and no one, including any firefighters, were hurt. A firefighter on the scene Sunday reported that at 3:00 p.m. last night the flames were still three feet high, and that at one point the fire jumped a paved road, but firefighters were able to stop it. By 1:00 p.m. Sunday, four fire trucks, including a brush tender called down from Rifle, were still on the scene with a hose hooked up to a nearby fire hydrant, and the fire had been substantially put out. The fire burned a total of 11.28 acres.

Fireworks caused another accidental fire perilously close to this apartment complex on 25 1/2 Road, just north of Pomona Elementary School

Scorched tree trunks and landscaping show fireworks caused yet another accidental fire perilously close to this apartment complex on 25 1/2 Road, just north of Pomona Elementary School

Evidence of a second accidental fire being set last night due to fireworks use was apparent nearby at an apartment complex at 622  25 1/2 Road, just north of Pomona Elementary School. Dry landscaping had caught fire, very nearly setting trees next to the apartments on fire.

Lax law enforcement against the sale and use of illegal fireworks, combined with their careless use and the usually hot, dry weather endanger hundreds of people every Independence Day in Mesa County. Report use of illegal fireworks in your neighborhood immediately after first sight by calling 911.

Independence Day Mayhem in Mesa County

HappyIndependenceDayIndependence Day is Mesa County offered fun for some, but caused a tremendous amount of trouble and expense for citizens in the evening due to multiple fireworks-caused fires, intoxicated drivers, people angry at neighbors who continued to blast fireworks off late into the night, loose dogs running scared and a host of other problems.

Someone using illegal fireworks started a major fire at 26 and G 1/2 Roads around 10:00 p.m. on Independence Day. The fire lit up the night sky with an orange glow and could be seen for well over mile away. The fire caused evacuation of several houses and burned a wood pile and barn. Grand Junction Fire Department engines 4, 5 and a BLM brush truck responded to the fire. Despite the glow of the fire being visible and smoke smell filling the air for miles around, people living in the immediate area continued blowing off illegal fireworks, which were visible in the night sky along with the blaze.

Fires were also reported on Buffalo Drive on the Redlands and Bean Ranch Road in Whitewater, where a fire initially reported as 100 ft in diameter quickly grew to 1/2 acre by 11:00 p.m., with flames visible from Highway 50. The Bean Ranch Road fire was reportedly on BLM land with no one attending to it.

It was also a busy night for law enforcement. An elderly woman at 2856 1/2 Elm Ave. called law enforcement at 11:16 p.m., extremely anxious about fireworks being thrown into her yard and threatening to go outside with her gun and kill the people who kept setting them off if law enforcement didn’t come immediately and make them stop.

Law enforcement responded to many calls regarding intoxicated people stumbling around at Lincoln Park and on the streets, as well as drunken drivers throughout the valley weaving and going going off the sides of roadways. At 11:12 p.m., an intoxicated man reportedly passed out on the street approximately 200 yards east of 30 and E Roads. Stray dogs were reported running loose from Loma to Orchard Mesa and Animal Control was called.

Another brush fire was reported on Highway 50 at mile marker 47 at 11:06.p.m.

“We’re getting slammed,” law enforcement reported.

 

 

 

 

 

Petitions Ask Legislators to Revert “McInnis Canyons” Back to “Colorado Canyons National Conservation Area”

Revert McInnis Canyons back to Colorado Canyons National Conservation Area

 Mesa County Commissioner and former House Rep. Scott McInnis got a national conservation area named after himself in violation of a federal House Rule that specifically prohibits Congressmen from naming public works and lands after themselves. The name-change legislation was introduced and passed without input from Coloradans.

Citizens for a Better Grand Junction on July 2 submitted petitions containing hundreds of names to House Representative Scott Tipton and Senator Michael Bennet asking them to introduce legislation to revert “McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area” back to its original name, “Colorado Canyons National Conservation Area.”

The petitions cite many reasons for reverting the name: The 2004 change to “McInnis Canyons” was not sought by anyone in Colorado. Rather, legislation to change the name was introduced by Rep. Greg Walden of Oregon, and the only other sponsor was Rep. Richard Pombo of California. The bill was introduced and passed without input or discussion from Coloradans, and, even more egregiously, without any input from members of the committee who worked long and hard to make the area into a National Conservation Area. The name change also violated House Rule XXI, Clause 6 (pdf, at page 35), which specifically prohibits members of Congress from naming public works or lands after themselves. This rule was put in place to eliminate corruption and back-room deals involving stoking Congress members’ egos by naming public works after themselves.

Former House Rep. Scott McInnis

Former Congressman Scott McInnis won a race for Mesa County Commissioner in November, 2014, even though his campaign broke several rules, including illegally posting campaign signs on power poles without permission and standing on city medians in violation of City Ordinance 9.04.250, “Prohibition against standing on or occupying medians.”

The petition also cites how former Rep. McInnis’ reputation was tarnished in 2010 by charges that he plagiarized essays he was hired to write about water law for a nonprofit foundation. The scandal forced him to quit the race for Colorado governor, apologize to the public and refund the $300,000 the Hasan Foundation had paid him to write the essays. McInnis was further charged with plagiarizing a 1994 column he wrote for the now-defunct Rocky Mountain News. McInnis admitted in both cases that he had relied upon others for materials rather than creating them himself. A congressman thus tainted is undeserving of having anything named after him, the signers say.

Moreover, renaming a national conservation area after a human being breaks with longstanding U.S. tradition. National conservations areas have never been named after people, but only after the geographic features they contain that make them significant.

“For all of these reasons,” the petition states, “we urge our current federal officials to revert McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area back to its original name, ‘Colorado Canyons National Conservation Area.’ Doing so will right a wrong done to our state’s citizens without our knowledge, restore our state’s integrity and assure the conservation area’s name confers honors not just on one individual, but on the entire beautiful state of Colorado.”

New Novel Tells of Right Wing Extremist Takeover of San Rafael Swell in Utah

Utah's San Rafael Swell area

Utah’s San Rafael Swell area

Kevin Jones, formerly the Utah State Archaeologist and a published novelist, is publishing his latest work, “A Quick Trip to Moab,” as a serial on Medium.com

The story is about an anti-wilderness protest by off-road enthusiasts that has gotten out of hand. The protesters, fighting closure of an off-road travel area, manage to take over a significant portion of Utah’s San Rafael Swell and find their efforts further fueled by unsavory characters who flock to the area, drawn by the excitement of facing down the government. Federal agencies back away from the confrontation, leaving a vast, lawless area loosely controlled by the protesters, known as the “Recapture Brigade.” Ordinary travelers passing through the area get entangled in the violence, and must use every tool and resource available to them to survive.

The novel raises questions about how citizens protest governmental land-use decisions and whether there is really much difference between environmentalists “monkey wrenching” and ATV enthusiasts “taking back” the land.

A QUICK TRIP TO MOAB is a fast-moving adventure that invites consideration of the complex issues facing wild areas of the west.

If you find the story and the issues it raises interesting, you can read the first installments of the novel at https://medium.com/@kevinjones_4399. Join in a discussion of the issues on Kevin’s blog at UtahJones.com

Grand Junction’s Growing Hate Community

As the feds mull hate crime charges against Dylann Roof, the shooter in the June 17 massacre at a historic black South Carolina church, the presence of hatred, bigotry and intolerance is growing more evident in and around Grand Junction every day, and it’s not a comforting sight.

Remember this hate-filled, wing-nut truck spotted in Whitewater a few weeks ago?

This vehicle provides a sample of the hate-filled mentality of many citizens of Mesa County, Colorado

The truck belongs to a local guy named “Marc” who operates a business that manufactures fake fiberglass rocks sized and shaped specifically to hide an arsenal of firearms. Marc designed the fake rocks to hold rifles, especially an M4 carbine semi-automatic rifle, and, according to his e-commerce website, “a butt load of ammunition.” Marc’s fake rocks come with a pocket-sized copy of the U.S. Constitution, and they sell for $925 each. Marc also makes a fake hollowed-out tree stumps that he designed to hide small arms, like pistols.

The front page of Marc’s e-commerce website bears a threatening “WARNING” to all potential customers. He writes,

If you…

  • Are a liberal or in anyway support the willful destruction of America by this [Obama] regime or…
  • Refuse to recognize that this “shining city on the hill” was founded on Christian principles or…
  • Regard English as your “second language” and are content to let it remain as such…

DO NOT EVEN CONSIDER PURCHASING MY PRODUCT! [MY PRODUCTS] ARE HANDCRAFTED BY PATRIOTS FOR PATRIOTS!

So right up front as part of his business plan, Marc parades his paranoia and intolerance of people with differing political opinions, religions and nationalities.  Below is a photo taken from Marc’s fake rock website, showing Marc and a friend, armed to the teeth with powerful weapons, posing along side the truck he has splattered with paranoid messages.

"Marc" proudly poses alongside his paranoid, hater truck

“Marc” proudly poses alongside his truck

What’s really troubling is that Marc is not an anomaly in the Grand Junction area. He is one of a growing number of Mesa County business owners who are “out” about the hatred and disgust they harbor towards area residents who are different from them. They revile, condemn and insult ethnic minorities, political progressives, women, people of other nationalities and religions, and people of no religion — in short, anyone who differs from them in their beliefs, physical appearance or cultural background.