Rental scam afoot in Grand Junction

Renters, beware!
There is a scammer on Craigslist who is stealing photos from rental postings on Zillow, then posting the same property for rent on Craigslist for a too-good-to-be-true low price, like a nice 2 bed, 2 bath house for $500/month. The scammer gets the name of the owner off of the Mesa County Assessor Lookup, and then claims via email to be that person. That way, if the prospective renter gets suspicious and checks to see who really owns the house, they see the name of person they’re dealing with matches that of the actual owner.
The scammer says he’s out of town and carries out the whole scam via text and email. He had an @aol.com email address. When you respond to the ad, the scammer sends a fake application that lets him to get even more personal information from you. He gives a song and dance about how the house is very special to his family and they’re looking for someone to take care of it, then tells you to send money for first and last month’s rent, deposit and other fees via Western Union to an out-of-town Western Union office — in this case, the mark sent $2,000 to a Western Union in Las Vegas, and the scammer used a fake Las Vegas email address.) He emails a fake contract for the mark to sign, grabs the money and leaves the mark without their money and with no place to live. The prospective tenant and property owner never meet. This all takes place over email and text.

Hobby Lobby, a corporate criminal

Hobby Lobby, a craft store owned by evangelicals and known for pushing it’s owner’s Christian religious beliefs onto it’s employees, is running a full page “O-come-let-us-adore-him” Christmas ad in today’s Daily Sentinel with a camel and all the trimmings, that urges people to download a free Bible at a website.

So this seems like a perfect time to make people aware that Hobby Lobby was fined millions of dollars by the U.S. government in 2017 for illegally importing thousands of ancient Iraqi clay artifacts into the U.S. that were likely  acquired by ISIS (the “Islamic State of Iraq and Syria”) as the terrorist group criss-crossed the country destroying and looting Iraq’s cultural heritage sites.

Trump accidentally admits Republicans deceptively sold the tax bill to the country

From the Washington Post, December 20, 2017:


To President Donald Trump: “We must never meekly accept the daily sundering of our country — the personal attacks, the threats against principles, freedoms, and institutions; the flagrant disregard for truth or decency, the reckless provocations, most often for the pettiest and most personal reasons, reasons having nothing whatsoever to do with the fortunes of the people that we have all been elected to serve.” — Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ)

Trump just admitted the GOP’s tax cuts were deceptively sold

 December 20

President Trump was so excited about passing his first major piece of legislation Wednesday that he blurted out that the Republican Party had misrepresented the entire bill, handing Democrats some potentially troublesome talking points for the 2018 midterm elections.

Speaking at the White House just before the House prepared to sign off on the tax-cuts bill one last time, Trump reveled extensively in his win before turning things over to Vice President Pence to heap praise upon him continuously for a few minutes. It was a thoroughly unique spectacle, even as victory dances and Trump Cabinet meetings go.

But along the way, Trump basically admitted that the GOP’s talking points on the bill weren’t exactly honest in two major ways.

While talking about the corporate tax rate being cut from 35 percent to 21 percent, Trump said, “That’s probably the biggest factor in our plan.”

People entering Grand Junction greeted by atheist billboard

Digital billboard currently on I-70B in front of Hobby Lobby and Chick-Fil-A

In another sign of how Mesa County’s culture becoming more diverse and welcoming, a bright digital billboard is greeting people entering downtown Grand Junction and reassuring them it’s okay if you don’t believe in God.

The billboard, located on a busy section of I70-B by Rimrock Marketplace in front of Hobby Lobby and Chick-Fil-A, was put up by Western Colorado Atheists and Freethinkers (WCAF) as a big a “thank you” gift to all the people in western Colorado who have had the courage to come out as atheists in the last year. It’s also a celebration of the progress made by western Colorado’s growing secular movement in advancing rational thought and reason in all our endeavors.

Trump’s shocking U.S. District Court nominees


Three of President Donald Trump’s nominees for U.S. District Court judgeships have gone down in flames in the last few days for reasons that make Americans scratch their heads about how they could ever have been nominated to in the first place.

Trump’s nominee for U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia, Matthew Spencer Petersen, appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, December 14, 2017 and was forced to admit he had never tried a single case in any court of law, and had never filed a single motion or conducted even one deposition on his own over the course of his entire legal career. He was also stunningly unable to answer even the most basic questions about legal procedures common to federal courts.

Local business owners want “a Chamber for the rest of us”

Shawn Carr, owner of G.J. Computer Center

Two small business owners in Grand Junction are fed up and ready to start a new organization that will do what they thought the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce was supposed to do: boost small local businesses and improve life in town for those struggling at the lower end of the income scale.

Shawn Carr, a technology specialist who owns GJ Computer Center, and Billy Jacobs, owner of XZRT Gaming on Orchard Mesa, say the Grand Junction Area Chamber falls far short of providing local small businesses what they really need.

To illustrate this, Shawn tells how he recently attended a Chamber event  billed as a way for businesses to promote themselves to other businesses. He brought a pocket full of business cards to the event, but when he got there found every booth but one represented a national or international conglomerate based outside of town. He ended up handing out only one business card, and walked away thinking it’s time someone did better than this.

The G.J. Sentinel hawks cheap handguns while wishing readers “a safe and happy holiday”

With ads like these in the local paper, no wonder Grand Junction has such a high suicide rate

The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel ran a big ad in it’s Thanksgiving Day paper selling handguns for cheap while on it’s Facebook page it simultaneously wishes readers a “safe and happy holiday.”

Many area residents would consider the ad alone grossly inappropriate in a community that recently reached a record high suicide rate, and which has for years struggled with one of the highest suicide rates in the nation.

Trump-linked hate graffiti found at Horizon Drive Safeway

Graffiti left in the restroom at the Horizon Drive Safeway this evening.

An employee at the Horizon Drive Safeway discovered hateful anti-gay graffiti scrawled in the store’s restroom tonight and posted photos of it on social media. The employee discovered the graffiti while changing out of work clothes in the restroom.

One message was “Trump 2020” with a swastika. The other message said “God hates all fags,” also with a swastika.

The vandalism occurred between 5:00 and 7:00 p.m. this evening.
Donald Trump’s presidency is fueling divisiveness, emboldening supremacists and radical right wing hate groups and has led to an increase in hateful rhetoric around the country, including in Grand Junction. Trump’s negative comments and punitive policies towards immigrants, transgendered citizens and other minorities are also contributing to an increase in hateful rhetoric directed at these groups.  Our community is not immune.

Trump endorses accused child molester Roy Moore for Senate

Newspapers in New York today with stories about Trumps endorsement of accused child molester Roy Moore

In a new low for the country, President Donald Trump has endorsed the denials of Roy Moore, the Alabama Republican senate candidate who has been accused of engaging in sexual misconduct with teenagers. Trump’s endorsement indicates he has elevated the strength of Moore’s denials about the encounters over accounts given by the eight women who stepped forward and graphically described the sexual assaults by Moore they experienced when they were younger and Moore was in his 30s.

Moore made a name for himself as a public Ten Commandments moralizer while he served as Chief Justice for the state of Alabama, but he was twice ejected from his position on the Court for violating federal laws. Despite getting kicked off the bench twice for failing to follow the law and being accused of sexually molesting teenagers, Moore has maintained the support of many Christian conservatives in the state. He now also has the support of President Trump.