Category: Economics

Mesa County blunders headline on economic development web page

The headline today on Mesa County’s web page about economic development. Can you say “embarrassing”?

Way to rep the county, Mesa County Commissioners.

Mesa County’s website about economic development seeks to lure businesses to here and to “elevate the community profile,” so it doesn’t help when the county blunders the big headline of the page that seeks to do that. Commissioners might want to correct the glaring misspelling in the page’s headline. The error gives business owners the impression that education is unimportant in Mesa County, but that can’t possibly be true, can it?

Proposition CC on the state-wide ballot aims to end the failed TABOR experiment

Gold colored counties are all the counties in Colorado that have de-Bruced.

Proposition CC on the November 5 ballot, if enacted, will let state and local governments keep all the revenue they generate through taxes and invest it to improve communities. It would effectively “de-Bruce” the whole state and end what amounts to a failed conservative social experiment.

What is “de-Brucing?”

De-Brucing means ending the effects of the TABOR Amendment, a 1992 amendment to the state constitution that effectively created a permanent revenue shortage for the state. TABOR was essentially an experiment in tax limitation that took taxing power away from the legislature and put it exclusively in the hands of voters. Over the decades, it has damaged the state in many ways.

AnneLandmanBlog Voter Guide: Grand Junction City Election 2019

Wondering how to vote in the City of Grand Junction 2019 election?

Following are AnneLandmanBlog’s recommendations for how to vote in the 2019 City of Grand Junction April 2, 2019 Regular Municipal Election.

I reached my conclusions about which city council candidates to vote for by listening to interviews, knowing the candidates personally or knowing something about them and their history in town, and considering factors like how well-funded their campaigns are. Decades of living in Grand Junction helps put this in context.

Community Hospital to stay secular, independent

Community Hospital in Grand Junction is a non-religious hospital where the only concern about medical care is what is best for their patients.

Community Hospital issued a press release today announcing it has ended discussions to merge with Centura Health, a religious hospital management company. Community Hospital’s board of trustees has decided to stay secular and independent for now.

Here is the hospital’s statement:

“After thoughtful consideration and thorough due diligence, Centura Health and Community Hospital have agreed to discontinue merger discussions. Although this was a difficult decision and one the Community Hospital Board of Trustees (BOT) did not take lightly, the board has made the decision to remain independent. The board wants to do what is best for the hospital and the community. The entire BOT and leadership team at Community Hospital were impressed with the Centura Health organization and the great work they are doing across the state and region. Likewise, Centura leadership respects the tremendous growth and physician partnerships that have been developed by the team at Community Hospital. Both parties remain open to discussing future partnership opportunities.”

City Council may be staring down the barrel of another ACLU lawsuit over criminalizing homelessness

On the same night that Grand Junction City Council will consider adopting an inclusiveness proclamation that says the City “desires to ensure that the human rights of all citizens are protected,” council will also vote on whether to amend city code to ban camping on public property, which will effectively criminalize a homeless population who has nowhere else to go.

That’s the view of the ALCU of Colorado, which has taken a great interest in the proposed change to city code, and considers it another attempt by Grand Junction to target homeless people and criminalize them.

Grand Junction wants to increase its sales tax, but it should stop wasting existing funds and tap obvious sources of new revenue first

As a liberal progressive voter, I believe it is our patriotic duty to pay taxes for public amenities that make our quality of life great, like public safety.

This coming April, though, Grand Junction City Council will ask voters to increase the City’s combined sales tax rate from the current 8.02% to a whopping 9.16%, a rate even higher than the City of Boulder.

City Council has very good arguments for needing more money: we need more fire stations, emergency response times are too long, and we have roads and bridges in need maintenance and repair.

Of course City residents want the safety and security of these amenities, but the City hasn’t done anywhere near all it could to make the best use of revenues it already has, and to create new revenue streams to fund City necessities before it goes to City residents with a request that they pay such a big increase in city sales tax.

Lessons from the Shutdown

Donald Trump just put America through the longest federal government shutdown in history, single-handedly keeping over 800,000 federal workers from being paid for over a month, hobbling law enforcement agencies and airport security, blocking immigration proceedings, causing delays in airline flights across the country, forcing hundreds of thousands of people into having to make hard decisions between paying their mortgages, buying their medicine or feeding their kids.

In the end, neither Mr. Trump nor the country gained anything at all from this exercise, but we did learn some important lessons from it.

Rep. Scott Tipton votes to continue government shutdown, keep federal workers unpaid

House Rep. Scott Tipton voted to keep inflicting financial pain on government employees to help President Trump extort American taxpayers for $5.6 billion to pay for a 2,000 mile wall between the U.S. and Mexico. (Chart courtesy of the Daily Sentinel of Grand Junction.)

The western slope’s House representative in Washington, D.C., Scott Tipton, voted AGAINST a bill on Jan. 6 to end President Trump’s shutdown for most federal agencies.

The bill, HR 265, passed the House by a wide margin — 243 to 183 — and would have funded most of the parts of government that are shut down, including food safety inspections, child nutrition programs, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as the food stamp program), rural utilities programs, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Farm Credit programs and other crucial agencies and functions on which Americans depend.

Currently over 800,000 federal employees are furloughed or working without pay due to the shutdown, negatively impacting commerce across the country.

AnneLandmanBlog Voter Guide, 2018 Mid-term elections

This guide lists AnneLandmanBlog’s recommendations on how to vote in the 2018 Mid-term election. The conclusions were reached by researching the issues, attending public events to educate voters about the issues, assessing incumbents’ records and candidates’ backgrounds, affiliations and public statements, considering personal assessments of candidates from trusted sources, reading and evaluating the arguments for and against the ballot measures in state’s “blue book,” reading the evaluations in the blue book of judges and justices, and by researching front groups active in promoting or fighting ballot measures where applicable, including the sources of funding for these groups. Primary importance is given on improving health and safety, protecting the environment, increasing fairness for voters and consumers, providing benefits to public education and making elections more competitive in the state.

Sen. Ray Scott defends taking corporate PAC money

 

Colorado state Senator Ray Scott came out swinging in a blog posted four days ago defending himself against the hard-hitting new “Pay Scott” video posted online by his challenger, Chris Kennedy, that lists all the Corporate PAC money Scott takes.

Kennedy says he will not take any corporate PAC funds, “period.”

Scott justified his taking corporate PAC money by claiming that the PACs that fund him represent the “hard-working families of Mesa County.”

Ha!

Oil and gas front group “Protect Colorado” pumps out frightening hype about Proposition 112

Firestone, CO home explosion from oil and gas lines, April, 2017, which killed two people who were in the house. Proposition 112 seeks to prevent against hazards like this posed by oil and gas operations being too close to homes, schools, playgrounds, hospitals, etc.. (Photo: CBS)

At election time we’re always told the same old thing from wealthy business interests: “Ballot measure X is going to wreck our state! Ballot measure X will crush our businesses and cost hard working Coloradans thousands of jobs! Vote NO on Ballot Measure X!”

Now they’re doing the same thing with Proposition 112.

Senator Ray Scott’s absurd efforts to block progress in the energy industry

Colorado State Senator Ray Scott, die hard promoter of fossil fuels

State Senator Ray Scott (R-Mesa County) isn’t just your average fossil fuel cheerleader. He goes far beyond defending the oil and gas industry by working to hobble and block advancements in clean, renewable energy, including solar energy, electric cars and even by finding creative ways to attack bicycle transportation. Even worse, Scott ignores inevitable injuries and deaths caused in pursuit of fossil fuel development, like the deadly explosion of a home in Firestone, Colorado on May 4, 2017 that killed two people and the July 27, 2018 explosion at a gas collection facility just over the state line in Cisco, Utah that badly burned two workers. 

State Senator Ray Scott of Mesa County caught double-dipping

A Daily Sentinel article from May 24 details how Republican State Senator Ray Scott double-billed his legislative expense account and his campaign account for over $1,000 in Uber rides, and didn’t correct it until the Sentinel exposed it and questioned him about it. The Sentinel obtained information on Scott’s expenditures through a Colorado Open Records Act (CORA) request to the state.

Sen. Ray Scott supports big-government interference in the construction industry

Water intrusion issues around windows may not become apparent until years after construction is complete.

Water intrusion problems around windows may not become apparent until years after construction is complete.

An election is coming up this month, and supporters of incumbent Senator Ray Scott (R, Dist-7 – Mesa County) need to know who they’re voting for.

Scott supports big nanny-state government interference in the construction industry, according to a bill he introduced in 2015 — a bill that advantaged shoddy homebuilders and was terrible for home buyers.

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.”

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.

XCel will raise your gas rates every year for the next three years unless you say something NOW!

This is really short notice, but if money is tight in your household you need to know that the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) is holding a meeting tonight at the Mesa County Public Library to solicit public comments on a proposal by Xcel Energy (pdf) to raise natural gas rates by $139 million over the next three years.

The public comment hearing is today, November 2, at the Mesa County Central Library, 443 N. 6th St., in Grand Junction starting at 4 p.m. and continuing until 7 p.m. You can drop in any time during those hours, or submit comments by snailmail or email. 

AnneLandmanBlog Voter Guide, 2017

Following are AnneLandmanBlog’s recommendations on how to vote on this November’s Mesa County ballot (pdf). I’ve spent quite a bit of time researching the issues, listening to all the candidates, reading their websites, following the money spent on the ballot issues and researching both pro and con arguments on the tax measures. As a result, I have come to the following conclusions. A discussion of my thoughts on each vote follows the recommendations: