Category: Corporations

A Solution to the Palisade Gas Station Sign Dilemma

You’ve seen these signs. They’re big and bright and everyone looks for them on I-70 when they need gas, food or a rest stop.

Palisade residents are gearing up to oppose a 60-foot tall, lit gas station sign that Golden Gate Petroleum, the owners of a proposed 11-pump gas station and convenience store to be built at the Exit 42 offramp in Palisade.

Current town code limits signs to 20 feet in height.  Golden Gate says people on I-70 won’t be able to see a 20 foot sign. The Palisade Town Council has already bent the rules and handed the company a variance to build a 60-foot sign, but they shouldn’t have caved so easily. Their town is really worth the fight.

Tipton Votes to Block Consumers’ Right to Sue Big Banks

House Rep. Scott Tipton (R) sided with big banks in a vote that ends Americans’ right to sue big banks that defraud or abuse them.

Pay attention! One of your elected officials voted to take away your  right to access the court system.

Your House Representative, Scott Tipton (R-CO), voted today to block Americans from suing big banks that defraud or abuse them. Tipton voted to  repeal the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) rule that keeps banks from forcing customers to give up their right to access the courts whenever they sign a contract to open a bank account. The banks seek to force customers into arbitration as the only way to deal with disputes. Arbitration typically results in fewer decisions in customers’ favor and in lower payouts. Rep. Tipton’s vote sided with the big banks.

Cell Tower to be Built in North Grand Junction Neighborhood Without Public Hearings

 

The spot where the proposed cell phone tower is to be located, in the field at 26 1/2 and G Roads, across the street from Holy Family School

If you live in the area of 26 1/2 and H Roads, a big change is coming to your neighborhood, and it may not be a change you’re going to like.

Verizon Wireless has submitted plans to the Grand Junction Planning Department to build a cell phone tower in a field right near the corner of 26 1/2 and H Roads, in the city-owned cornfield known as “Saccomano Park.”

State Senator Ray Scott’s Flawed, Nasty Source of Info on Climate Change

CO State Senator Rep Ray Scott (R), climate change denier and citer of foul-mouthed climate change denial author

Three days ago, Colorado State Senator Ray Scott (R-Dist. 7) posted a link on his blog to a Forbes article titled “’97% of Climate Scientists Agree’ is 100% Wrong.”

Scott posted the article as a way to tell his constituents who value the environment, “Ha! I told you so! Global warming is fake!”

The author of the article is Alex Epstein, who has a BA in philosophy from Duke University, but no scientific background. Epstein is a staunch, paid philosophical defender of the fossil fuel industry. His biggest claim to fame is a book he authored in 2014 called “The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels,” which seeks to make a philosophical case for fossil fuel use, evidently because a valid scientific case for continued fossil fuel use can’t be made.

Rep. Scott Tipton Faces Upset Liberal Crowd at Montrose Town Hall


The western slope’s U.S. Congressional Representative Scott Tipton (R) faced a packed and overwhelmingly liberal/progressive crowd in the gymnasium at Montrose High School Friday evening, April 7, 2017, at his town hall meeting. Citizens came from Montrose, Crawford, Paonia, Ouray, Grand Junction and other locations. They asked Rep. Tipton about topics including where he stands on health care, why Congress is failing to recognize that the existing for-profit health care system isn’t working, why he hasn’t introduced any legislation to deal with climate change, where he stands on plans to de-fund the EPA, U.S. involvement in foreign wars without Congressional approval, the threatened end to student loan forgiveness promised to people who went to work in the public sector after graduation, the $3 million per weekend it costs taxpayers to protect President Trump on his golf trips to Mar-A-Lago, and more.

Overall, it appeared the audience was decidedly unhappy with Rep. Tipton’s responses, in which he stated that health care in the U.S. was a privilege, not a right, that he sided with big corporations and businesses and the oil and gas industry when it comes to climate change. When asked about the tremendous expense to taxpayers of President Trump’s many weekend golf trips to Mar-A-Lago, Rep. Tipton won howls of anger from the crowd when he said merely that the same protection was afforded to President Obama.  There was plenty of booing and foot stomping in response to Rep. Tipton’s answers throughout the town hall. A lot of people came equipped with (and used) signs that said “Disagree” and “Answer the Question!”

Saying “No” to the Events Center Doesn’t Mean You’re Saying “No” to Grand Junction

Table tent-style ad for a real event coming to an existing venue in Grand Junction this May

The events center promoters call their group “Say Yes for Grand Junction,” but a “no” vote on the proposed events center doesn’t mean you are saying “no” to Grand Junction as a whole. Far from it.

Grand Junction residents aren’t shallow or selfish. They put a lot of thought into their votes, and there’s a lot to consider with this measure, particularly given Grand Junction’s dire financial position and long list of other needs.

Promoters say the events center, known as Measure 2A on the citywide ballot, will cost $65 million to build, but their own press release and the wording of the ballot measure both say that, including the financing costs over its proposed 30 year term, the total cost to taxpayers for the event center will actually come to $134 million. Fully half that amount is interest the City will have to pay on the loan needed to finance the project. That’s twice the amount we’ve been told about in promotions for the project, and while it’s the more realistic total estimated cost of the project, it’s not the figure event center promoters have been touting.

Also, voters need to consider other information about this project that isn’t being volunteered by promoters, like the potential long term risks of the project.

What is the Mesa County Federal Mineral Lease District, and Why Should We Care About it?

A guest post by Janet Johnson

Mesa County’s Federal Mineral Lease District is a huge slush fund that’s supposed to go towards helping areas of the county negatively affected by the oil and gas industry. But instead, most of the money has been getting funneled to Colorado Mesa University and projects that benefit the oil and gas industry itself.

On February 6, Colorado House Representative Yeulin Willett introduced HB-1152 in the Colorado legislature, a bill titled “Federal Mineral Lease District (FMLD) Investment Authority.” The bill certainly does “open an important conversation,” as the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel suggested in its February 2, 2017 op-ed on the subject.

Willett’s bill seeks to give counties “investment authority,” which would allow them to withhold some of the money the Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) gives to Federal Mineral Lease Districts and invest it in a permanent fund. This request for and composition of the bill originated with the Mesa County FMLD. The other counties in Colorado that have Federal Mineral Lease Districts are Garfield and Weld County.

Putting Grand Junction’s Costco Rumors to Rest

Costco Warehouse Store – Sam’s Club is the major obstacle to Grand Junction getting a Costco

For years western slope residents have been hoping and wishing that a Costco warehouse store would open in Grand Junction.

Around 2010, rumors started circulating that Costco was considering locating a new store in Grand Junction. People even started proposing possible locations for the new store in the Daily Sentinel’s letters-to-the-editor column.

But Costco never came to Grand Junction, and to this day rumors continue to abound about why the area was passed up.

People blamed the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce for chasing Costco away, saying the Chamber wanted to keep the wage scale low here, and Costco would upend our area’s low-wage apple cart. Costco is known for it’s generous wage and benefits packages, paying a starting salary of around $17/hour, or $45,000/year, and offering employees medical insurance, retirement and more.

Others claim Costco rejected Grand Junction because of our notoriously underfunded District 51 schools. 

None of these are true.

Ten Reasons Why Trump Will be a Terror Magnet

Trump Tower, Istanbul

Trump Tower, Istanbul

The possibility exists for a President Donald Trump to be a powerful draw for terrorist attacks against the U.S.

There are lots of reasons why this could be the case.

1) Trump has shown the world that he is a coarse, boastful, arrogant, xenophobic bully, and exacting revenge against bullies is an age-old storyline. Throughout his campaign, Trump denigrated people of differing ethnicities, from other countries and of different religions, a situation that reflects negatively on the perception of the U.S. abroad and that practically invites a response from those he targeted with his broad, negative brush.

2) The “Trump” name looms large on a  lot of towering, glittery, stand-out hotels and residential buildings around the globe, including many in places where terrorism has already been a problem, like Mumbai, India (the 2011 Taj Hotel attack), and the Republic of Georgia, where over 60 bomb threats were recorded in 2013. The U.S. Department of State Overseas Security Advisory Council currently rates the risk of political violence in Georgia as “high.”

Who are the Electors of the Electoral College?

trumpcorruptOn December 19, the electoral college will vote on who the next president of the U.S. will be, and they are not all bound by law to vote for Mr. Trump. Now that it’s been concluded that Clinton won the popular vote by more than 2 million, it would be within the Eletoral College’s purview to change who they vote for.

At the same time, Constitutional experts are arguing that unless Donald Trump divests himself of all of his foreign business holdings, he will be in violation of Article 9, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution as soon as he takes his oath to uphold it.

Why We Should be Glad To Have an Alternative to a Catholic Hospital in Mesa County

While the above video is a humorous review of the dangers Americans face when using Catholic hospitals, the main points it makes are dead true. Catholic hospitals can endanger patients’ lives because of the many restrictions placed on their medical care by Catholic dogma.

Pinkwashing Gun Deaths: Sportsman’s Warehouse’s “Shoot for a Cure”

Sportsman's Warehouse tells people they can help cure breast cancer by buying and shooting guns

Sportsman’s Warehouse newspaper ad tells people they can help cure breast cancer by buying and shooting guns

It’s October again, that time of year when pink gets slapped on all kinds of products, from toasters to waffle makers to beer pong tables, and ads urge people to buy stuff to prevent breast cancer.

Now Sportsman’s Warehouse has jumped into the fray, running newspaper ads selling pink guns and urging people to “shoot for a cure.”

Ick.

How inappropriate is this?

Let’s count the ways.

Hundreds of Business Owners Go Public with Support for Amendment 70, the Minimum Wage Increase

illegal_petes

The owner of Illegal Pete’s, a Colorado-based restaurant chain with 8 stores, reports that after raising wages, employee turnover dropped markedly. The owner credits his employees with making his business one of the fastest-growing restaurant chains in the country.

Business owners across the state are lining up to support Amendment 70, which would raise Colorado’s minimum wage to $12.00 and hour by 2020. Many of these owners voluntarily raised their own employees’ wages and are telling the public about the impacts it has had on their businesses.

They report positive economic results that directly contradict the predictions advanced by groups opposing the measure, like the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce.

G.J. Chamber Runs TV Ads Opposing Increase in Colorado’s Minimum Wage

Diane Schwenke of the Grand Junction Chamber quotes a statistic by Erc Fruits, a freelance, pay-for-play economic consultant who works out of his home in Portland, Oregon, producing reports that meet the needs of his paymasters

Diane Schwenke of the Grand Junction Chamber cites a statistic produced by “Eric Fruits,” a pay-for-play economic consultant who works out of his home in Portland, Oregon producing economic reports that bolster the positions of his big-business paymasters. Fruits’ claim directly contradicts the U.S. Department of Labor regarding the actual effects of increases in the minimum wage.

Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce President Diane Schwenke has been appearing on TV in ads opposing Amendment 70, which would increase in Colorado’s minimum wage to $12 and hour by 2020. The western slope has among the lowest per capita income in the state (pdf), and among the highest rates of homelessness, poverty, suicide and hunger. The ads reinforce the chamber’s longstanding reputation of opposing the best interests of area workers and their families, and continues its long-standing record of lobbying to keep area wages extraordinarily low compared to the rest of the state. The ads also reinforce the chamber’s image as an elite club that lobbies for wealthy business owners and out-of-state member corporations, while neglecting the needs of the rest of the community.

Fruits?

Why Average People Shouldn’t Listen to the Grand Junction Area Chamber

chamberIt’s election time again, and soon the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce will issue it’s “2016 Voter Guide” in an attempt to try and influence how people in Mesa County vote on ballot measures and local elected offices.

If you’re an average, hard-working working citizen in Mesa County, there is only one thing you need to know about the chamber’s voter guide: ignore it.

Why?

Because the chamber doesn’t represent Mesa County’s working population. It exists solely to promote the financial interests of the few Mesa County businesses who pay its dues, and nothing more. What’s more, most businesses oppose measures aimed at helping workers and their families, so the chamber reflexively opposes any ballot measures that would benefit the thousands of workers and residents who spend money locally and really keep this area humming.

City Market Wastes Huge Amounts of Food While Thousands go Hungry in Mesa County

Screen Shot 2016-06-29 at 12.02.02 PM

Some of City Market’s hot deli items that get put in the trash at the end of each day (Photo credit: YouTube City Market Deli promotional video)

“I’ll give you six pieces of chicken for the price of four,” sighed an unnamed City Market deli clerk to a customer one evening around 8:30 p.m. “It’s all going in the trash in a few minutes, anyway,” the employee lamented.

All that food in the trash? What?

Yes, all of it. Every bit. Every day. In the trash.

The Marlboro Train: The Biggest Promotion on Earth That Never Happened

Marlboro Train (2007) from Marty Otañez on Vimeo.

Philip Morris’ “Project Thunder” was public relations plan to construct and operate a wildly-luxurious, custom-built 20-car Marlboro train as a promotion for Marlboro cigarettes. The train was to consist entirely of double-decker cars and feature amenities such as a hot tub car, massage rooms and gambling. The train would stop at locations throughout the scenic southwestern U.S. and let passengers off to partake in iconically western activities like horseback riding, bicycling, river rafting, and paragliding. Philip Morris planned to give selected smokers the “trip of a lifetime” on a “deluxe train through Marlboro Country.”

The train was going to be used for only one season, from May-September 1996, at an estimated cost to Philip Morris of $44 million.

The train was built at tremendous expense to PM, but PM ultimately pulled the plug on the project very late as the train was close to completion. PM then ordered the train destroyed. The company made the rail car company workers who were manufacturing the train in Fort Collins, Colorado, sign nondisclosure agreements that forced them to stay silent about the project and its ultimate demise.

Plans for Project Thunder can be viewed at this link at University of California San Francisco’s Legacy Tobacco Documents Library: http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/neg36e00

Hypocritical Establishment of the Day: Cafe Rio on Patterson Road

The sign in Cafe Rio's ladies' room tries to appeal to people's sense of environmental responsibility by suggesting we use the hand blow-dryer to help "save the world one paper towel at a time."

The sign in Cafe Rio’s ladies’ room. How about practicing what you preach, Cafe Rio?

At the Cafe Rio in Grand Junction, the women’s restroom has a sign urging patrons to try their new, super-duper hand blow-drier. The sign tries to appeal to people’s sense of environmental responsibility by saying, “Let’s save our world [by using] one less paper towel at a time.”

But at the same time, Cafe Rio serves every last bit of food in disposable containers. Not one bit of it is recycled. The restaurant generates a truly astounding amount of trash day in and day out, which is greatly disturbing. Given this, their restroom sign is hypocritical to an extreme.