Anne Landman

Abortion access initiative makes it onto Colorado’s 2024 ballot

It’s official.

The initiative to enshrine abortion rights in the Colorado state Constitution will be on the ballot this November.

Since it seeks to amend the state constitution, it will need a vote of at least a 55% in favor to pass.

The Colorado Secretary of State’s Election Office announced today that supporters of Initiative #89, the “Right to Abortion,” had submitted the required number of signatures to qualify the proposed constitutional amendment for Colorado’s statewide General Election ballot on November 5, 2024.

Backers needed to submit 124,238 valid signatures (pdf) and in addition had to gather signatures from each state senate district equal to two percent of the total registered voters from each district. Backers far exceeded that, submitting 225,688 petition signatures overall, and a total of 159,930 valid signatures overall.

Mesa County is in Senate District 7 and proponents needed to gather at least 2,561 valid signatures from our district. They far exceeded that as well, gathering 4,448 valid signatures (pdf) from District 7.  Senate District 7 is comprised of Mesa County and a small part of Delta County.

Map of State Senate District 7 (Source: Ballotpedia)

 

 

Trump-branded weaponry being promoted in advance of 2024 election

This ad for a “Take America Back” 10-inch Trump knife was displayed alongside a Tina Peters video on Rumble.com, a MAGA extremist video hosting site, on April 28, 2024

MAGA supporters are using Trump-themed weaponry to encourage malice and division and threaten pro-Trump political violence in advance of the 2024 election, a dangerous specter that is threatening the foundations of American democracy and civil society.

Meet ‘n’ Greet event this week for JJ Fletcher, the Republican running against Janet Rowland for County Commissioner in the 6/25 primary election

UPDATE, 5/8/24 @ 10:30 a.m. – JJ Fletcher has cancelled this event. 

Claudette Konola will host a Meet ‘n’ Greet this week on Wednesday, May 8 at 7:00 p.m. for JJ Fletcher, the candidate running against Janet Rowland for County Commissioner in the June 25, 2024 primary election.

The event will be at Claudette’s home, so she requests people use the blue “message” button on her Facebook page to RSVP and get the location.

City Councilor says he sees cronyism creeping into G.J. City Council

Scott Beilfuss

At the regular May 1 meeting of Grand Junction City Council, Councilman Abe Herman was voted in as the new mayor of Grand Junction and Randall Reitz as Mayor Pro Tem for the next year by all attending city council members present except one, and that hold out was perhaps the more important story that Grand Junction citizens should know about.

The vote was 5-1, with current Mayor Anna Stout absent from the meeting.

The lone hold out vote was Councilman Scott Beilfuss.

Curious about the vote, I contacted Beilfuss to ask why he didn’t vote for Herman and Reitz along with the rest of Council.

District 1 Commissioner candidate Dr. Tom Acker to speak at Edgewater Brewery May 9 @ 6:00 p.m.

Retired CMU Professor Dr. Tom Acker is running for the District 1 Commissioner seat, against Cody Davis

If you need a breather from Mesa County Republicans who use their elected offices to violate morals and ethics, deny reality and promote conspiracies, commit felonies, engage in religious grandstanding, double-dipviolate state laws, mindlessly spout racist tropes in public hearings, say things that draw national embarrassment onto our community, engage in cronyism, compromise voting equipment, take credit for the contributions of others and spend hundreds of thousands in taxpayers funds on exacting revenge on people they take a personal dislike to — if you want to consider electing people with integrity for a change, then come and hear what Tom Acker, the only Democrat running for Mesa County Commissioner has to say.

Dr. Acker is a retired Colorado Mesa University professor Emeritus who taught Spanish at CMU for two decades. He is running against Cody Davis for the District 1 county commissioner seat.

D-51 employee raises a red flag about the way D-51 conducts lockdown drills compared to other school districts

A highly experienced School District 51 employee who came here from the front range with over 20 years experience in conducting lockdown drills in other school districts is raising red flags about the way D-51 conducts its lockdown drills, and the trauma it is causing students. The employee describes a heartbreaking experience during a lockdown drill with a room full of kindergarteners during the 2023-2024 school year and the lasting  effects it had on students. The employee has brought the problem up with school counselors, the D-51 School Board and Tim Leon, Director of Safety and Security for District 51, and even proposed different ways to conduct these drills that are used in other school districts that don’t traumatize students the way D-51’s drills do, and offered research by the National Association of School Psychologists on how to mitigate the negative psychological effects that lockdown drills have on young kids, but the employee’s urgings have been ignored at every turn.

Sweet Coloradough is coming to Grand Junction

Sweet Coloradough bakery and café announced April 13 on Facebook that they are starting this week to interview people to work in a new store at 1410 North Ave. in Grand Junction, the building currently occupied by Daylight Doughnuts. Their Facebook post says they pay their employees “$20/hour+.” If you want to apply for a job, the application is here.

Sweet Coloradough is a family-owned and operated business that creates “hand crafted” and “decadent” doughnuts. They say they have “One mission…. try to make the best thing a person has ever eaten.” All of their items are made from scratch. Until now, their other stores have been in Eagle, Glenwood Springs and Rifle. They previously had two other stores, in Snowmass and Carbondale, but sold them.

Janet Rowland says she’ll “fight for the truth” while having a history of being untruthful herself in the local media

Janet Rowland’s March 28 Instagram post touting her devotion to “the truth.”

County Commissioner Janet Rowland (R), in a campaign plug she posted March 28 on her VoteJanetRowland Instagram page, says she “will always fight for the truth, even when the media presents the facts in a way that distorts the truth.”

But even as Janet denigrates the local media as untruthful, we must remember an episode in 2007 when Janet deceived the public herself by using local media.

Making it worse is the fact that even after it was exposed, she’s never taken responsibility for it, or apologized for it.

Shortly after losing statewide election for lieutenant governor as Bob Beauprez’s running mate in 2006, while she was previously Mesa County Commissioner, Janet was a columnist for the Grand Junction Free Press, at the time a competing newspaper to the Daily Sentinel. She wrote several columns for the Free Press under her own name until one day a sharp reader spotted the fact that Janet had been lifting the text of her columns word for word from government pamphlets, and brought this to the attention of the Free Press’s editor.

Colorado’s abortion rights ballot measure surpasses its signature goal, putting it one step closer to being on the 2024 November Ballot

Coloradans for Protecting Reproductive Freedom announced that it has surpassed their campaign’s goal of collecting 185,000 signatures to put Ballot Initiative 89 on the November, 2024 ballot, putting Colorado voters are one step closer to seeing a constitutional amendment on the November 2024 ballot that will protect abortion from government interference. The announcement comes just a few days after the Arizona Supreme Court upheld an 1864 law banning abortion, a law that was enacted when Arizona was still a territory and long before American women had the right to vote.

The campaign needs 124,238 valid signatures to qualify for the ballot, including 2% of the total registered electors in each of Colorado’s 35 state senate districts. As of now, the coalition has collected over 225,000 signatures of which 48,175 were collected by over a thousand volunteers, and has qualified in all 35 state senate districts.

The text of proposed Initiative 89 says:

“A change to the Colorado constitution recognizing the right to abortion, and, in connection therewith, prohibiting the state and local governments from denying, impeding, or discriminating against the exercise of that right, allowing abortion to be a covered service under health insurance plans for Colorado state and local government employees and enrollees in state and local governmental insurance programs.”

Jess Grennan, Campaign Director of Coloradans for Protecting Reproductive Freedom, said “The news of Arizona’s near-total abortion ban ultimately

Jess Grennan

exposed just how vulnerable every state is, and will remain, without passing legislation that constitutionally secures the right to abortion. Ballot measures like Proposition 89 are our first line of defense against government overreach and our best tool to protect the freedom to make personal, private healthcare decisions — a right that should never depend on the source of one’s health insurance or who is in office, because a right without access is a right in name only.”

Current law is discriminatory

Because of a 1984 constitutional measure that barely passed, public employees and people on public insurance in Colorado are barred from having their health insurance cover abortion care. By establishing abortion as a constitutional right, Ballot Initiative #89 would remove that discrimination, providing access to teachers, firefighters, and other state employees who cannot currently get coverage for abortion care through their insurance. Private employers in Colorado are required to cover abortion in their insurance plans.

“Recent events have made it even more critical that we in Colorado restore what the Dobbs decision took away from us and secure abortion rights in the Colorado Constitution,” said Cobalt President Karen Middleton, Co-Chair of Coloradans for Protecting Reproductive Freedom. “As a fundamental, shared value, Coloradans trust people and their doctors, not politicians, to make decisions about abortion. That value has been reinforced in 2024 with the overwhelming enthusiasm for our ballot measure, as demonstrated by thousands of volunteers in every corner of the state collecting signatures. And we firmly believe that this energy and enthusiasm will carry us through to winning in November.”

Karen Middleton

“Abortion is legal in Colorado, but still not accessible for all pregnant people who need these services. Abortion may be legal in Colorado, and that’s due to our leadership passing the Reproductive Health Equity Act in 2022 to codify a person’s fundamental right to make reproductive health-care decisions, but statutory protections do not mean we are any safer from government interference than Arizona is,” said Dusti Gurule, President and CEO of the Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights (COLOR) and Campaign Co-Chair. “This is why our community is fighting to enshrine abortion rights in the Colorado state constitution, along with the more than 225,000 Coloradans who have signed on to support this measure. Crossing the signature threshold is a critical step forward in securing a future where abortion rights are protected, respected, and accessible for all Coloradans, regardless of which elected or appointed official is in power.”

Dusti Gurule

 

Colorado Republican legislators who oppose all gun safety legislation make the strongest case for why it is needed


Colorado Republican Rep. Don Wilson of Monument accidentally left a loaded Glock 9mm handgun in a restroom at the state Capitol last week.

In an apology on Twitter/X, Wilson claimed he “takes firearm safety very seriously,” which his behavior contradicts.

Wilson is the latest in a string of Colorado Republicans who have mishandled guns in and around the Capitol.

New billboard coming June 1

Thanks to a collaboration between MadDogPAC.com and Mesa County citizens who understand the danger that Republicans and Trump pose to freedom and American democracy in the November general election, as of June 1 the above billboard will be up on Highway 340 in Grand Junction, visible to people driving west onto the Redlands over the Broadway bridge, and it will be lit up all night. It will be there for two months and could  appear elsewhere around the valley after the initial two months if enough people donate to make it happen.

Former Overstock.com CEO says he paid one of Tina Peters’ attorneys $1 million for her criminal defense

Warning– video contains an expletive

In a video posted on rumble.com on April 3, 2024, Patrick Byrne, the former CEO of Overstock.com, says he paid Tina Peters’ former attorney, Douglas Richards, $1 million to defend her, but was disappointed in Richards’ defense strategy.

Peters fired Richards just as her criminal trial was finally set to start in February, winning her yet another lengthy delay in her trial. It is now scheduled to start on July 31, 2024, after two days of jury selection.

In seismic shift for the local GOP, Tim Foster endorses Janet Rowland’s opponent, J.J. Fletcher, for county commissioner

Endorsement posted on the “JJ Fletcher for Mesa County Commissioner” campaign website

In what amounts to a subtle but seismic shift in local politics, former Colorado Mesa University (CMU) President Tim Foster publicly endorsed Janet Rowland’s opponent, J.J. Fletcher, for Mesa County commissioner, formally ending his years-long support for Rowland.

Mesa County Commissioners ignoring safety concerns & quietly working to tweak land use code to advantage large scale solar development, citizens say

Commercial solar development on east Orchard Mesa (Photo: High Noon Solar)

On January 9, Mesa County Commissioners Janet Rowland, Cody Davis and Bobbie Daniel voted to put a moratorium on large-scale solar development in the County supposedly to take time to address the community’s growing concerns over these developments. Citizens are worried that the current county Land Development Code (LDC) contains no provisions protecting agricultural and irrigated land, wildlife, water sheds and view sheds from these developments, as well as no requirements for fire protection, buffers, setbacks or plans to decommission these installations that will assure solar plants that get destroyed by inclement weather or live out their expected life spans are cleaned up in a way that minimizes  environmental harm and expense to local taxpayers.

Tickets almost gone for Good Judy’s Easter Sunday Drag Brunch

You had better hurry and get your tickets if you want to enjoy Good Judy’s Easter Sunday 2024 “Bunny Business” Drag Brunch.

Good Judy’s is located at 103 N. 1st Street in downtown Grand Junction, on the northwest corner of First and Main. Good Judy’s just issued a “low ticket warning” as tickets for this event are going fast.

Don’t leave money on the table. Get an $800 TABOR refund, even if you don’t have enough taxable income to file a state tax return!

People who lack enough taxable income to file a state tax return may still be able to get an $800 TABOR refund this year, but if you want to get it, you have to tell the state Department of Revenue (DOR) where to find you. You do that by filing a state tax return.

Most poor or retired people don’t file tax returns because they don’t have enough taxable income (like wages or tips), but many people who could really use that $800 may not get it because they didn’t file.

Don’t leave money on the table!

Former CMU Professor Tom Acker to run against Cody Davis for County Commissioner

Retired CMU Spanish Professor Tom Acker

A Democrat has joined the race against Cody Davis for Mesa County Commissioner. Tom Acker is currently the only Democrat running for local office in Mesa County.

Acker was a professor of Spanish language at CMU for two decades. He is now a retired professor emeritus, an honorary title conferred upon him for his distinguished service to the academic community. He is a founding member of the award-winning Hispanic Affairs Project.

Originally from the east coast, in the 1980s Acker worked with refugees from the Mariel Boatlift, after over 125,000 Cubans piled into boats and headed for Florida after the Cuban government announced that anyone who wanted to leave the country was free to do so.

While he lived in Pennsylvania, Acker worked with a federally-funded agency to help farmers interact with agriculture workers.

News anchor Bernie Lange leaves KKCO, moves to KREX

Welcome to KREX, Bernie Lange

Award-winning, long time local news anchor Bernie Lange has left KKCO and will start working at KREX-TV Channel 5 on Monday, March 25 as the station’s main anchor for their 5:00, 6:00 and 10:00 p.m. newscasts. He has more than 20 years experience in broadcast journalism.