Category: Activism

Rally planned 8/19 to save the Post Office from the Trump administration’s sabotage-NOTE THIS RALLY HAS BEEN CHANGED TO TUESDAY, AUG. 25TH AT NOON

A rally is planned at noon on Wednesday, August 19 TUESDAY, AUGUST 25TH, in the parking lot behind the Alpine Bank building across from the Main Post Office to protest the deliberate slow-down of the U.S. Postal Service by the Trump administration. The rally is to show our community’s support for postal workers who work under unbelievable constraints. Attendees will walk to Senator Cory Gardner’s office to demand, in person, that he join Democrats in the Senate in calling for an immediate reversal of the ongoing attacks on our right to vote by mail.

Masks are required, and even though the rally will be outside, it will likely be difficult to maintain six feet of physical distancing from others, so please take care to maintain the gap. It will also be quite hot outside, so consider wearing a hat and bringing water. If the poor air quality in the valley has been negatively impacting your health, please consider staying home.

Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce linked to racist comments at City Council meeting

 

Michael P. Anton, Chamber member and owner of Emtech, Inc.

Grand Junction citizens who attended the August 5, 2020 City Council meeting to promote racial justice and propose solutions were met with openly racist comments from Michael Anton, a local business owner and representative of the Western Colorado Business Alliance (WCBA), a subgroup the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce.

The Chamber formed WCBA in 2012 to serve as the Chamber’s lobbying and political arm. WCBA is a 501-c-4 “dark money” group, so-called because it does not disclose its donors, but according to 2012 article in the Business Times, WCBA is funded by local business owners. In 2013, an anonymous former Grand Junction mayor told AnneLandmanBlog that WCBA was initially financed with a $50,000 donation from Doug Simons, owner of Enstrom Candies.

The social justice groups Right and Wrong (RAW) Grand Junction and Black Lives Matter (BLM) Grand Junction invited citizens who have felt discrimination locally to join them in an “Oppressed People’s March” to the Grand Junction City Council meeting at City Hall Wednesday evening to propose policies for Council to consider that would benefit minorities, like incentives for minority business owners and funding for the Latino Chamber of Commerce.

But in response to the groups’ presence at the meeting, WCBA member and local business owner Michael Anton made it clear that in his view, racial minorities were unwelcome in Grand Junction, stating in his public comments to Council:

“This RAW. This BLM. They need to go away. They’re not Grand Junction and you need to send them down the road because, believe me, there’s a lot more of me here in this valley than there is of you. I guarantee it and it will not be a pretty day if that comes forth.”

Graph of cumulative Mesa County Covid cases shows where county is headed

Graph showing the number of Covid-19 cases in Mesa County Covid over time, from March 1-July 31, 2020. The Mesa County Health Department does not have a graph like this on its Coronavirus information web page. The steep rise in cases recently is telling. (Chart credit: Tim Kozak)

Whether through oversight or intention, the Mesa County Health Department does not have a graph of cumulative cases of Covid-19 on its website, but such a graph can give a clear picture of how well or how poorly our county is doing in preventing spread of Corona virus, and show us where we are going under the current conditions. This chart provides that missing information.

Why the Republican candidate for 3rd Congressional District, Laurent Boebert, is batsh*t crazy

In May, 2020, Lauren Boebert, the Republican candidate for House Representative in the 3rd Congressional District (our district), was a guest on an online right wing political talk show called “Steel Truth” hosted by Ann Vandersteel.

More about Janet Rowland when she was county commissioner the last time

First part of 2008 Daily Sentinel article showing how then-County Commissioner Janet Rowland used her religion to grandstand, portray herself as a martyr prior to an election and bring threats of lawsuits against the county.

Janet Rowland is running for Mesa County commissioner again, after having been a two-term Commissioner already from 2004-2012. Because of her past in that elected office, we have a historic record showing what she will be like in office if she gets elected again.

For the sake of the county and its taxpayers, it’s probably not something we want to go through again.

Gov. Polis issues order allowing businesses to deny service to people without masks

Home Style Bakery is taking advantage of the Governor’s executive order and banning people from their store who are not wearing masks to protect against the spread of the deadly Corona virus.

On June 4, Gov. Jared Polis issued an executive order allowing Colorado businesses to deny service to anyone not wearing a face mask to protect against transmission of Corona virus. The order is aimed at reducing the unchecked spread of the deadly virus, which has no prevention, no known treatment and no known cure.

The order gives

…”discretion to employers and operators of places of public accommodation, and those authorized on their behalf, to deny admittance or service and require the removal of any individual who fails to wear a medical or non-medical face covering.”

The state has been struggling to re-open its economy while keeping the  virus in check. If the number of cases in the state increases, it could force the state into another “lockdown,” or forced closure of businesses like we experienced for the first month of the pandemic.

Petition wording approved in recall of Mesa County Clerk; campaign moves to signature-gathering phase

Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters (R) is facing a recall election due to gross incompetence and failure to carry out her duties. (Photo: YouTube)

Eagle County Treasurer Teak Simonton has approved the wording of the petition submitted by the RecallClerkTina campaign to recall Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters (R), allowing the recall effort to move to the signature-gathering phase.

The Mesa County Commissioners approved Simonton to serve as the designated election official to oversee the recall effort, since by law Peters can’t oversee her own recall effort.

Tina Peters upset about recall effort (*sob!*)

In new documentary, “Jane Roe” of the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision reveals she was paid to switch sides in the abortion debate


In a new documentary released Friday, May 22, Norma McCorvey, the plaintiff in the landmark 1973 Supreme Court ruling in Roe V. Wade, reveals that she was paid by anti-abortion factions to switch her position from supporting to opposing abortion rights for women.

Incumbent Mesa County Commissioners unilaterally failing to address Coronavirus pandemic

Guest post by Dennis Simpson, CPA, reposted with permission from his “Transparency in Mesa County” Facebook page

Mesa County Commissioner Scott McInnis

The Mesa County Commissioners have been totally silent on the impact the COVID-19 crisis will have on the County’s ability to deliver basic services to residents during the many months before our economy returns to normal. Rather than buckling down and addressing the tough financial questions, they meet weekly to hear updates from County staff and to whine about just how terrible the Governor is. There is nothing wrong with these two activities. Staff needs to know the bosses support them. Complaining about what happens in Denver is a waste of time but it apparently makes them feel important.

The problem is not with what they are doing, it is about what they are not doing. There has been no discussion of the impact on the County’s reserve balances. They should be trying to get ahead of pending financial hit by reviewing numerous projections based on different assumptions of just how bad things are going to get. The development of the various assumptions and the results of each needs to be done by someone with demonstrated skills and the ability to simplify what they do so the Commissioners can understand their options. In my opinion, none of the current staff have these abilities. They need to seek help from outside the organization.

Mesa County commissioners woefully silent during this pandemic

Op-ed by Kathryn Bedell, candidate for Mesa County Commissioner, District 1 – from the 4/21/20 Daily Sentinel (Please support our local paper)

Kathryn Bedell, DVM, veterinarian and Fruita rancher running for county commissioner in District 1 (Fruita/Loma/Mack and west end of the valley)

As a Western Slope appointee to the State of Colorado Agriculture Commission, I continue to address issues related to our local farm economy and food security. As I was isolating at home, reaching out to fellow farms and ranchers to see what they are thinking and what kind of help they might need, it occurred to me I haven’t heard a peep from our Mesa County commissioners.

I searched for recent comments from them and only found one advocating against a national popular vote, which has absolutely nothing to do with the current state of the county. I looked on the county’s Facebook page and saw nothing from our commissioners but noticed that Mesa County Public Health is keeping the county informed. I looked at the county website and the last update was 19 days ago and that was a link to Mesa County Public Health and Human Services.

School’s social media post violates separation of church and state, was removed hours later

Graham Mesa Elementary School’s religious Facebook post that prompted complaint

The principal of a public western slope elementary school posted a message on the school’s Facebook page April 11 that overtly endorsed Christianity in violation of the separation of church and state.

Brian Sprenger, the Principle of Graham Mesa Elementary School in Rifle, posted an Easter greeting on the school’s Facebook page yesterday evening with a photo of four children posing jubilantly in the driveway of a home with huge, chalk images of multiple large Christian crosses and the equally huge message “He is Risen.”

Grand Junction family doc starts Facebook page to answer questions about COVID-19

Dr. Elvi Whiteford

Dr. Elvi Whiteford of Appleton Clinics has started a Facebook page called “Medical Providers Keeping GJ Educated and Supported,” where people can go to get authoritative answers to questions about the COVID-19 virus and efforts to cope with the pandemic.

Dr. Whiteford is a family medicine doctor who was born and raised in Grand Junction. She got her M.D. from Loma Linda University School of Medicine in 2000 and has practiced here since 2008. She set up the Facebook page as an educational forum where people can get the most accurate, timely and factual medical updates on COVID-19. The page does not seek donations or take requests for care, but rather is just a place to get authoritative, science-based answers to questions and share the most up to date information possible.

Here is an example of the kind of questions Dr. Whiteford is getting, and the answers she is giving:

Dennis Simpson recommends ways County Commissioners can handle COVID-19 pandemic

Dennis Simpson, CPA

Certified Public Accountant Dennis Simpson, a long-time advocate for transparency in Grand Junction City and Mesa County government, discovered that in 2019 Mesa County purchased two new late model SUVs at a cost of $45,000 each, for the exclusive use of Commissioners Scott McInnis and John Justman. Before that time, Simpson noted, the County had provided a single passenger car for all three commissioners to share. He also noted that the decision to greatly increase this transportation expense for taxpayers was not made in public, and that while Commissioner Rose Pugliese tried to distance herself from the purchase, she failed to protest it publicly.

When Simpson raised these issues to Scott McInnis, McInnis deflected attention from the matter by asking Simpson to instead focus on coming up with financial suggestions for ways the County can cope with the COVID-19 pandemic rather than concerning himself with the purchase of the vehicles, which McInnis dismissed as unimportant.

Simpson obliged and produced the following suggestions, which he submitted to all three county commissioners on March 19, 2020.

This year’s Democratic primary makes a good case for ranked-choice voting


Did you vote in the primary only to see your top candidate drop out before the votes were even counted?

Maddening, isn’t it?

And how many times have you seen a candidate “win” an election who got less than a third of the total vote count? Who wants a candidate holding office that two thirds of the electorate didn’t even want in office?

These situations make the case for ranked-choice voting, a fairer system of voting that is increasingly being used across the country.

And it’s no wonder.

Petition demands Tina Peters resign as County Clerk

Tina Peters, Mesa County Clerk and Recorder, neglected to collect and count 574 ballots in the 2018 general election. Mesa County residents have started a petition demanding she resign.

An online petition is up at Change.org demanding Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters resign her office in the wake of her shocking lost ballot scandal.

On Tuesday, February 18, 2020, the County Clerk’s office found 574 ballots cast in the 2018 general election still sitting in the stainless steel ballot collection box in front of the Clerk’s Elections Division office at 200 S. Spruce Street in downtown Grand Junction.

At first Peters took full responsibility for having forgotten to collect the ballots, which earned her some good will, but in a day or two she was blaming an unnamed former Clerk’s office employee for the error, enraging the public and flushing any good will she had gleaned by taking full responsibility.

The Daily Sentinel published an editorial February 22 demanding Peters resign.

Peters claimed the missing ballots wouldn’t have changed the outcome of any of the elections, but did not demonstrate this to the public.