After hosting two internal planning meetings and circulating emails (pdf) in which Grand Junction Community Development personnel warned the City faces a “really big surge” and “exponential growth” in the number of homeless people, and that the number of homeless kids in School District 51 is “staggering,” City Manager Greg Caton suddenly pulled the plug on a planned third meeting about homelessness, without any explanation why.
This left advocates for the homeless greatly concerned.
The number of children in extreme poverty in Mesa County has skyrocketed under a Republican-dominated Board of Mesa County Commissioners. (FPL= Federal Poverty Level. A family of four is at the federal poverty level if they make an income of $24,600 in 2017. Under 50% of the FPL would be about $12,600/year. (https://aspe.hhs.gov/poverty-guidelines) Chart available (without red annotations) at Colorado Children’s Campaign.
When was the last time a Mesa County Commissioner or a state-level elected official from Mesa County gave a public statement about the skyrocketing number of families and children suffering from extreme poverty in our county, or proposed possible solutions to the problem?
Colorado’s Amendment 70, if it passes this November, will gradually raise the state’s minimum wage to $12.00 an hour by 2020. Some people wonder, if we pay people a higher minimum wage, where will the money come from?
The money comes from either a businesses’ profits, or its debts. But raising the minimum wage doesn’t necessarily mean customers will pay higher prices for goods and services. To the contrary, a number of real-life examples show that rock-bottom pay and benefits don’t necessarily translate into lower prices. In fact, stingy wages often prove even more costly.
San Francisco has successfully addressed the problem of excessive food waste from restaurants and grocery stores — of the same type that we are still seeing here in Grand Junction, specifically with City Market’s tremendous waste of food daily from its hot delis.
A nonprofit organization called Food Runners collects extra hot food from markets and restaurants left over at closing time, and brings it to local foster homes, food pantries and homeless shelters where it feeds hungry people and is greatly appreciated. It’s simple, and there is no liability for the providers of the food.
A June 27, 2016 article on this site discussed how Mesa County turns away almost half of eligible applicants who go to the local Department of Human Services to apply for food stamps. This unused assistance leaves millions of dollars on the table that not only could help more needy county residents buy food for their families, but that would also boost the local economy by pumping millions more dollars of revenue into local grocery stores.
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.
Dave Edwards of Palisade (yellow shirt) and Mel Mulder of Fruita (plaid shirt) announce their candidacies for Mesa County Commissioner today at the Mesa County Workforce Center, to draw attention to the high unemployment rate and dire need for economic development in Mesa County
Two intelligent, hard-working and civic-minded citizens, Mel Mulder and Dave Edwards, today announced they are entering the 2016 race for County Commissioner to replace incumbents in District 1 and District 3, respectively. Mulder is challenging District 1 incumbent John Justman and Edwards intends to replace incumbent Rose Pugliese.
Mesa County Commissioner Scott McInnis verbally dressed down an ideologically pure Mesa County ultra right wing nut who spoke before them on Monday, Feb. 8, 2016, who urged them not to accept federal funds to fix a dangerous flood area along I-70 where one person has already been killed
In a jaw-dropping political turnabout at Monday’s (2/8/16) Mesa County Commissioner meeting, the county’s farthest ultra-right wing nuts out-right winged the regular right wing nuts, resulting in arch conservative Commissioner Scott Mcinnis strongly defending — yes, defending — all the good the federal government does for Mesa County citizens and our quality of life.
The fireworks started with a discussion of whether Mesa County should accept a $2.1 million grant to build a detention pond in Bosley Wash at the bottom of the Bookcliffs. The wash has been the site of several flash floods in recent years resulting one person getting killed, several private properties being repeatedly covered in mud and silt and massive mudflows pouring over I-70. Bosley Wash endangers a total of 200 properties near the base of the Bookcliffs between Clifton and Palisade.
Yes, isn’t that just so wonderful of him to consider what the little ladies would prefer to wear in the woods?
In the mean time, more Mesa County residents than ever are living in poverty, falling into homelessness and freezing in the cold, working at low-paying jobs, more District 51 kids than ever are going hungry and more of our citizens are committing suicide.
Few kids suffer from a shortage of candy at Halloween, but lots of Mesa County kids suffer from food insecurity year ’round.
Many people think Halloween means handing out candy, candy and more candy. But desperate attempts by local dental offices to reduce the harm candy poses by buying back Halloween sweets by the pound, combined with sharp increases in childhood obesity, diabetes and dangerous nut allergies are all making many people re-think the Halloween candy-fest, and rightly so.
There ARE many items people can hand out on Halloween that are healthier, safer, more useful and even more fun for kids, and that cost about the same as candy.
It Turns Out Kids Love Alternatives
For several years at our house, we did an experiment. We offered trick-or-treaters two different bowls of goodies to choose from. One contained “good” candy, like Hershey bars and Snickers, and the other contained small, party favor-like toys like rubber spiders, Mardi Gras-style necklaces, glow sticks, toy trucks, etc. It turned out the kids took the toys over the candy by about a 3 to 1 ratio. The party items cost about as much as candy, too. You can find them in the party sections of big box stores like Wal Mart, K-Mart and Target, and there are lots of similar fun little items at dollar stores around the valley. Several kids in our family have diabetes, and one has a severe peanut allergy, so knowing the dangers candy can pose to some kids, we decided to stay on the safe side this year and just offer toys instead. The kids seem to love it.