Category: Environment

Rep. Boebert promotes herself while I-70 shutdown causes national emergency

Boebert promotes herself at the Rifle County Fair Demolition Derby August 2 while the nearby shutdown of I-70 chokes off the flow of supplies, gas, mail, groceries and other commerce to and from her district.

CD-3 House Representative Lauren Boebert was busy making a video of herself at the Rifle Demolition Derby August 2 while at the same time Colorado Governor Jared Polis was declaring a state of emergency and requesting a federal disaster designation in her district due to the shut down of I-70, the major east-west artery that supplies groceries, gas, tourism, mail and other key commerce to Boebert’s district on Colorado’s western slope. The shutdown of I-70 is also hampering national commerce, hence Gov. Polis’ request for a federal disaster declaration.

Boebert didn’t even mention in her video the major highway disaster unfolding nearby.

Once-pristine Hanging Lake defiled by mudslides and debris

Photo of Hanging Lake taken yesterday by a Denver-based CBS News helicopter that was covering the I-70 mud/debris flows. (Photo credit: CBS)

A CBS News helicopter flying over I-70 through Glenwood Canyon to film the mud and debris slides yesterday posted a devastating photo of Hanging Lake on Twitter that shows the once amazingly pristine, crystal-clear lake now full of muddy water.

The the amazement of many, Hanging Lake survived the massive Grizzly Creek fire unscathed last year, but it has taken a serious hit this summer from the thunderstorms that are now washing massive amounts of debris and mud down the mountainsides.

In Facebook video update, CDOT says Glenwood Canyon has 10 different debris slides between No Name and Dostero

CDOT photo of Glenwood Canyon today

Upwards of ten separate debris slides occurred last night in I-70 in Glenwood Canyon between No Name and Dostero as a result of thunderstorms, the Colorado Department of Transportation reported in a live video update on Facebook at 3:30 p.m. this afternoon.

Bear seen this morning near 27 and G Roads

Photo provided by neighbor in the area of 27 and G Roads (via Nextdoor Network)

Neighbors on the Nextdoor Network report seeing a young bear wandering around the neighborhoods near 27 and G Roads and on Horizon Glen, off Horizon Drive between 7th and 12th Streets, this morning, Monday, August 17, around 11:00 a.m.

If you live in the area, beware! Bring in trash cans if possible.

Ray Scott trounced in Republican Assembly

Ray Scott

Republican State Senator Ray Scott got only 107 out of 349 total delegate votes cast for County Commissioner in yesterday’s Mesa County Republican Assembly. Scott, who is running for the District 1 commissioner seat, is seeking to abandon his state senate seat halfway through his term and seize the job of County Commissioner instead, which would pay him three times as much ($30k vs. $90k/ year).

Scott got crushed at the assembly by Cody Davis, former chair of the Grand Valley Drainage District, who won 231 votes. Even with that miserable result, though, Scott will still be able to appear on the primary ballot in June.

Modern-day Republicans oppose progress

Results of a news quiz printed in today’s Daily Sentinel demonstrates the backwards thinking that is the hallmark of conservative, right-wing Republicans.

A short blurb in the Sunday, Feb. 8, 2020 Daily Sentinel offers a lesson on why Republicans are such harmful elected officials.

The Sentinel has a regular weekly news quiz on Fridays, and gives the results in the following Sunday paper. An item today stood out for what it demonstrates about the ramifications of conservative Republican views not just for the western slope, but for society.

History shows that if Republicans had their way in the last century, most of America wouldn’t have electricity.

Citizens protest Pendley at new BLM office in G.J.

Protest Jan. 2 at BLM’s new offices on Horizon Drive.

About 35 people turned out in 27 degree weather to protest a visit from Acting Director of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) William Perry Pendley, a right wing anti-government zealot who was appointed to head the BLM without Senate approval.

Pendley was scheduled to visit the new Grand Junction BLM office on the morning of its first opening day.

The protest was at the BLM’s new offices at 760 Horizon Drive, which is also the same building that houses the corporate offices of oil and gas purveyor Chevron.

Why I voted “no” on Proposition DD

Proposition DD on the November 5 ballot would legalize gambling on amateur and professional sports and tax the proceeds at a rate of 10% to pay for “water projects,” purportedly projects proposed in the Colorado Water Plan.  I wasn’t sure how to vote on Prop DD until I did some research on it and put some thought into. What I found convinced me to vote “no.”

Here’s what I found out:

Sen. Ray Scott’s tweet opposes progress and planning for future

Ray Scott’s tweet lamenting planning for the future, and indicating he can’t wait for such folly to end

Is Republican State Senator Ray Scott concerned about Colorado’s economy and workforce?

It sure doesn’t look like it, judging from his twitter feed.

On September 4, Scott posted a tweet that said “2022 an’t come fast enough.” It was his response to an announcement that Governor Polis had just created a new government office to deal with pressing new problems facing Colorado’s workforce. Scott’s tweet referred to the year when Governor Polis’s first term in office will be over.

Sen. Scott tweeted his disdain Governor Polis’ newly-created “Office for the Future of Work,” announced September 4.

Sen. Scott either 1) failed to investigate the need for this office, or he 2) doesn’t care what’s going to happen to Colorado workers in the near future if we fail to plan for coming trends.

Job openings with the county pay $87,500/year plus benefits and require no experience

Salaries for each of the three Mesa County Commissioners for the month of June, 2019

Mesa County has two job openings right now that pay $87,300/year gross salary with additional generous perks and benefits, and that require absolutely no experience and no required level of educational attainment. That’s a pretty good wage in Mesa County for someone with no experience and no particular educational attainment, since the wages here are so low compared to the rest of the state. (The average weekly wage in Denver in the last quarter of 2018 was $1,414. In Mesa County it was $895). The opening is for two new county commissioners. The only requirements to be county commissioner — literally — are that you have to be a minimum of 18 years old and have lived in either County Commissioner District 1 or District 3 for at least one year. That’s it. In case you don’t believe me, the photo above gives the salaries for each of our three county commissioners for just one month — the month of June, 2019. The information was printed in the legal notices in the Sunday, August 11, 2019 issue of the Daily Sentinel. You can see the minimal requirements for the job yourself posted on Mesa County’s website. Multiply the above salary by 12 to get your new annual gross salary if you land this job ($87,500/year). Oh, and did I mention it’s also free to apply? You can even have a criminal record and it’s okay. This position can be held for up to 8 years.

Sen. Ray Scott sponsors bill to eliminate price break for low-income energy consumers

Colorado State Senator Ray Scott

Last week State Senator Ray Scott embarrassed Mesa County residents and made a fool of himself by actually saying out loud on the Senate floor that climate change has led to “massive improvements” in our climate.

Now Scott is co-sponsoring a bill, SB 19-250 (pdf), that will deal a blow to low income people served by Black Hills Energy, the gas and electricity provider for residents of Pueblo, Canyon City, Ordway and Westcliffe. Scott’s bill would do away with a two-tiered rate structure Black Hills Energy put in place in 2017 to help low income energy consumers by giving them more protection from a state-approved rate increase that happened that same year.

Come on, G.J.: It’s time to charge a fee on single-use plastic grocery bags

Darrell Blatchley of the museum shows the plastic found in the young whale that beached itself near Davao, Philippines, last Friday

A necropsy done on a beached juvenile whale last Friday in the Philippines revealed it had nothing but 88 pounds of plastic in its digestive tract and likely suffered for up to a year with pain from bowel obstruction before dying. D’Bone Collector Museum, whose mission is retrieving dead animals rarely seen by the public and preserving them, collected the whale off the beach and performed the necropsy. They said it was the most plastic they had ever seen in a whale.

National Geographic reports that nearly every seabird on Earth now has plastic in its system. A 2016 study by the Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences of the U.S. on the effect of plastics in the environment concluded that threat is “geographically widespread, pervasive, and rapidly increasing.”

Americans use about 100 billion single-use plastic grocery bags every year, which requires 12 million barrels of oil to manufacture. Every plastic bag is used for an average of 12 minutes, and can take up to 500 years to degrade in the environment.

All this has some big implications for Grand Junction and Mesa County residents.

Burkey family doesn’t want Burkey Park sold off or turned commercial

“Burkey Park North” is a dry vacant lot with a trash can and split rail fence

Our Family has had many long conversations with Aunt Mildred and Uncle Lew Burkey about the Land that was donated for a park! They donated that land in good faith that it would be used as a park and in no way would ever agree to the City Selling that property to developers! i have never understood the City’s reluctance to plan and build a nice park out of that property! I guess it doesn’t line anybody’s pockets!

                                                                     — Reader comment on this article

Sign the letter: Prioritize people’s health and safety above unfettered drilling by supporting SB 19-181.

Firestone, CO home explosion due to oil and gas lines, April, 2017 (Photo: CBS)

In a reaction to a letter the Mesa County Commissioners sent to the state legislature opposing SB19-181(pdf), Mesa County residents can now easily add their names to a letter that urges state legislators to PASS Senate Bill 19-181, a landmark bill to refocus the mission of the Colorado Oil and Gas Commission away from fostering oil and gas development to instead protecting public health, safety and welfare and the environment when considering new applications for drilling.

The bill was crafted with input from Erin Martinez, who lost her husband and brother in the explosion of a hidden gas flowline under their house in Firestone, Colorado in April of 2017. The bill will require public disclosure of flowline information.

CMU hosts climate change denier this evening

This article is reprinted in with permission from the author, , of the ColoradoTimesRecorder.com.

Colorado Mesa University is hosting climate change denier Steve Goreham this evening, for a speech titled “Energy, Climate Change & Public Policy.”

Mesa County Commissioner Rose Pugliese promotes tonight’s speech at CMU by climate change denier Steve Goreham

Mesa County Commissioner Rose Pugliese promoted the event on her Facebook page.

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.

Ridgway passes single-use plastic bag ban

Autumn Sagal, Indigo Krois, Elani Wallin and Maizy Gordon (Photo: Telluride Daily Planet)

On December 12 the Ridgway Town Council passed an ordinance (pdf) banning single-use plastic bags and urging residents to curtail their use of other single-use plastics like straws, single-use food take-out containers, coffee stirrers, soda bottles, disposable water bottles, eating utensils and food packaging.

The ordinance states single-use plastics have “severe negative impacts on the environment” on both a local and global scale, that they “contribute to greenhouse gas emissions, litter, atmospheric acidification,” and cause problems with water sources and harm wildlife. Ridgway’s Town Council also passed the ordinance to help reduce the amount of waste going into the town’s landfill.