Category: Local concerns

Why are the Mesa County Commissioners sending taxpayer money out of town?

The Commissioners used a roofing company in Keenesburg, Colorado to replace the roof on the Old County Courthouse on Rood Ave., instead of a company located in Mesa County

The Mesa County Commissioners recently had the roof replaced on the Old Courthouse at 544 Rood Ave.

They gave the job to Better Line Roofing, LLC in Keenesburg, Colorado, 279 miles from here, instead of a local roofing company.

People concerned about D-51 Social Studies Forums Nov. 15 & 16

School District 51 is holding forums today and tomorrow (Wednesday, 11/15 and Thursday, 11/16) to discuss the state’s new social studies standards. The forums are today at Redlands Middle School and tomorrow at Orchard Mesa Middle School, from 5:30-8:30 p.m. each day.

So, what’s up with these forums?

People reporting difficulty accessing ballot drop-off box at the Clifton DMV on election day (today)

People are reporting that construction, roped off areas and the construction workers’ vehicles are inhibiting access and causing traffic jams at the ballot drop-off box at the Clifton DMV at 3225 I-70 Business Loop, Unit A2, in Clifton. Concerns are for the ability of disabled or other-enabled people to be able to reach the box, trip and fall hazards for those stepping over the areas under construction to reach the box, traffic congestion and some people are concerned about possible voter suppression.

New Mesa County Clerk Bobbie Gross was notified of the situation, said she just noticed it on her cameras as well and was headed to Clifton immediately to address the situation.

D-51 School Board candidate Barbara Evanson wants to teach creationism alongside science in public schools

“I feel like we need to be teaching both ends of the spectrum when we’re teaching things in school as well….What I mean by that is if we’re teaching the Big Bang Theory then we need to teach creationism as well.” — Barbara Evanson

On October 31, the Colorado Times Recorder highlighted a locally-made video interview with District 51 School Board candidate Barbara Evanson in which Evanson says that if schools teach what is scientifically known about the origins of the universe, then they should also have to teach creationism alongside that information so kids can decide on their own what’s true.

Creationism is the religious belief that God created the universe. It is a wholly religious construct with no scientific proof behind it,

The idea of mandating creationism be taught in public schools alongside scientific information has been declared by U.S. courts to be illegal.

D-51 School Board candidate Barbara Evanson says she wants to ban “a ton” of material from school libraries

In this excerpt from an interview with “Ruth” and “Lisa” (who do not provide their last names) posted on a YouTube account named “MesaCountyCompass” on October 8, 2023, “District 51 School Board candidate Barbara Evanson says she would ban “a ton of material” from school libraries that she feels is inappropriate.

“Stand for the Constitution,” which still supports Tina Peters, is working to get Evanson & Skalla elected to D-51 School Board

A slide shown at a mid-October, 2023 Stand for the Constitution meeting that indicates the group still supports criminally-indicted, election denier Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters. The same group is supporting Evanson and Skalla for D-51 School District Board.

It seems like Mesa County never seems to learn from its past mistakes.

Stand for The Constitution (SFTC), the local extremist group that pushed to get Tina Peters elected County Clerk in 2018, that continued to support Peters even after her loss of 574 of ballots in 2019 and even after her indictments on multiple felony criminal charges related to election tampering, is now working to get Barbara Evanson and CynDee Skalla elected to the District 51 School Board in the November 7, 2023 election.

Stand for the Constitution also backed the three conservative school board members Haitz, Lema and Jones who have brought rancor, questionable ethics, uncertainty, disruption and hatred to the school board.

School Board candidate forum cancelled after threat of violence posted on Facebook


A school board candidate forum that was planned for last evening, Monday, October 16, was cancelled abruptly the day of the event after the venue hosting the event, Good Judy’s Bar & Club downtown, received a violent threat on Facebook.

Valley foxes turning up dead

Emaciated, dead fox found near the Grand Valley Canal at 26 Road, seen August 1. (Photo: Anne Landman)

Three dead foxes have been reported in the Grand Valley within the last 6 weeks, all looking like they just dropped dead in their tracks, without overt injuries or bleeding. Two have been reported to the Colorado Department of Wildlife.

The first one was spotted August 1 on the south side of the Grand Valley Canal just east of 26 Road.

A second dead fox was spotted August 28 in the vacant lots behind Crossroads Blvd., also near the Grand Valley Canal:

Residential trash services vary widely in cost

City of Grand Junction garbage truck

Thinking of shopping for a new residential trash service? There may be good reason.

Republic Services recently bought Monument Waste and Rocky Mountain Sanitation, but the consolidation of the companies reduced competition and did NOT result in lower prices for customers.

The following prices are for one 96 gallon can, picked up once a week in the 81505 zip code, in 2023:

Waste Management ….. $40.74/month

Republic Services ….. $43.56/month for the first year, plus a $50.00 deposit, plus $15 to deliver the can, and after the first year the rate increases to $48.00/month

City of Grand Junction trash service ….. $19.75/month, and they supply the can.

There is a privately owned service called 970 Trash Wizard, but their routes are full and they aren’t currently accepting new customers.

The City of Grand Junction only services residences inside City limits, but they are by far the most efficient, with one operator driving an automated truck that hoists, empties and replaces each can automatically, without any wear and tear on a human being. The City is also implementing a new residential recycling service as well, phasing it in area by area, which will allow customers to recycle plastics #1, #2 and #5, as well as fibers like newspaper, clean cardboard, magazines and egg cartons, all for no extra cost for trash customers.

Ascent Classical Academy used the wrong kind of post-remediation lead testing in the Rocky Mountain Gun Club building, according to CDPHE

How lead is dispersed at shooting ranges (Georgia Dept. of Public Health/Seattle Times)

The Vertex Company LLC of Denver, which Ascent Classical Academy hired to test the old Rocky Mountain Gun Club building for lead contamination after the building was remediated, did the wrong kind of testing, says an specialist with Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE).

Caren Johannes of CDPHE’s Hazardous Materials and Waste Management Division Compliance Unit, who oversees closed shooting ranges, looked over online remediation report (pdf) that Ascent posted its website on August 11, 2023, and concluded that the Vertex Company did the wrong kind of testing for lead in the building, so their results will not be valid.

Ascent Classical Academy’s lead remediation report shows 30 of 66 areas tested in their new school do not meet HUD requirements

How much lead exposure does it take to poison a child? This much. And so far no one has  guaranteed there isn’t this much lead remaining in the old Rocky Mountain Gun Club building, which is being repurposed to serve as Ascent Classical Academy’s new charter school in Grand Junction

Notice: Since this article was written, AnneLandmanBlog has found out from Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE)’s Hazardous Waste department expert in charge of dealing with closed firing ranges that Ascent contractor Vertex Companies of Denver utilized the wrong type of post-remediation testing technique for this facility, rendering the results in the report Ascent posted on August 11 invalid and essentially useless. Read more about it here.

The 8-page, post-lead remediation testing report that Ascent Classical Academy Grand Junction posted on its website August 11, 2023 (pdf) shows that 30 of the 66 sites tested for lead in the old Rocky Mountain Gun Club building at 545 31 Road, which is to serve as the new charter school, still have lead levels 5-23 times above HUD allowable limits.

And Ascent did not test the air inside the facility.

Derek Shuler, CEO of Ascent Classical Academies, in 2018 (Photo: YouTube)

The post-remediation testing was performed by the Vertex Company, which included a disclaimer in the report that essentially says it wasn’t feasible to test all areas of the building, so there may still be areas where lead dust levels exceed HUD limits.

Why we need to worry about County Commissioner Janet Rowland’s takeover of Mesa County Public Health Dept.

A Facebook post by Janet Rowland during her 2020 campaign. The Washington Times is owned by the Unification Church and is noted for spreading misinformation about Coronavirus, climate change, the harmful effects of secondhand smoke and other issues. As of May, 2023, there have been 1.13 million deaths from Covid in the U.S., a number far from “ridiculously low”

In the wake of Commissioner Janet Rowland’s recent coup over the Mesa County Public Health Department, if the the past is a predictor of future behavior, under Rowland the Health Department is likely in for a significant reduction in its ability to respond to public health threats, and area residents will likely face more danger from emerging health threats.

Concern growing about Grand Mesa Nordic Council

Grand Mesa Nordic Council grooms cross country ski trails on the Grand Mesa, to help the public enjoy them. (Photo: GMNC website)

A storm is brewing over the governance of the Grand Mesa Nordic Council (GMNC), as longtime members set off alarm bells about the way the group has been operating recently.

GMNC is a nonprofit group made up of local cross country skiers. It was founded in 1990 to groom and maintain popular ski trails on the Grand Mesa and work with the National Forest Service to develop new trails. Over its 40+ years of existence, it has been remarkably successful.

Originally, GMNC was made up of volunteers and operated on a shoestring budget of donations from skiers and businesses that support the sport. Their pursuit of their mission was driven by members’ love and passion for the sport. But after growing steadily over the years, donations increased to the point where the GMNC now pulls in about quarter million dollars a year, and for the first time, the group was forced to hire paid staff to manage its affairs.

The result has been worrisome to many.