Category: Media

Bonsai Design sued over injuries incurred on Vail’s Game Creek Zipline

A platform at Vail Resort’s Game Creek Canopy Tour zipline attraction.

A lawsuit** (pdf) was filed in District Court last July against Las Colonias Business Park anchor tenant Bonsai Design and Vail Resorts for injuries a guest incurred on Vail Resort’s Game Creek Zipline Tour on July 7, 2017.

Lisa Cowles of Wisconsin filed the lawsuit (pdf) on July 22, 2019, challenging the “unreasonably dangerous and defective design, manufacture, installation, and maintenance of the ‘Game Creek’ zip-line course in Vail, Colorado.” Bonsai manufactured and installed the zipline course in 2015, and Vail Resorts operates it.

The 5 Minute Mueller Report

Special Counsel Robert Mueller stated that after two years of investigation, his team was unable to exonerate President Donald J. Trump of committing crimes.

Don’t have time to read the whole 420-page Mueller Report (pdf)? That’s understandable.

You can download an audio recording of it for FREE and listen to the whole thing while you’re driving, doing housework or exercising. A free recording of it available here, on Audible.

If you don’t have time to read or listen to the whole thing, but still want to know why it’s such a big deal and why everyone is talking about it, here’s a quick summary:

New form of harassment: weaponization of classified ads

Online version of the malicious Nickel ad

Utilizing a novel form of harassment, someone put a malicious classified ad in the January 3 edition of The Nickel Classified Ads saying our house was for sale “by owner” at a lowball price, and that there will be an open house Jan 11-13. Whoever placed the ad used our numeric street address and included a verbal description of our home. They did not include a phone number in the ad.

We found out about it after a realtor came to our house with the hard copy of the ad in The Nickel in hand and showed it to us.

What’s Up With That Pervasive, “Too Much Big Government” Theme?

An example of pictorial anti-government propaganda. Corporations have applied the anti-big-government theme for decades to avoid government regulation.

This column was originally published August 26, 2012. It was revised on 12-30-2016 and again on 11-26-2018 to include some new graphics. It’s explains how Americans came to hate our own government, and is still as true as ever.

We hear it everywhere, all the time, like a mantra.

Candidates, TV pundits and political ads tell us we have “too much big government!” Candidates portray virtually any attempt to regulate or tax any industry as a government intrusion into our lives. Candidates are always for “less government.”

What’s up with this pervasive, anti-government theme? How and why did so many self-professed “patriotic,” flag-waving, red-blooded Americans start hating their own government?

“Government intrusion” is a powerful propaganda theme that has been around for a long time, and it’s an argument big businesses often use to subtly manipulate public opinion. As with so many other corporate-derived propaganda tools, the anti-government theme originated largely with the tobacco industry, which has relied on it for decades to get its way in public policy.

“Impeachment Now” banner to fly over the Grand Valley Wednesday, 10/17

The “Impeachment Now” banner  flying over Denver yesterday

A wet, snowy early October changed the planned date for the western slope flyover of Mad Dog PAC’s “Impeachment Now” banner. It was originally scheduled to fly here on Saturday, 10/13 and then over Denver on 10/14, but due to bad weather, the 100 foot by 30 foot banner flew over Denver on 10/13 and will appear over the western slope this coming Wednesday, October 17. The weather is expected to be clear and dry. The pilot needs two consecutive days of clear weather to fly here and back safely over the Rockies. The plane has a top speed of 105 m.p.h. The banner-flying company, Drag ‘n’ Fly, is based in Ft. Lupton, CO, about 30 miles east of Boulder.

Western slope liberal progressives frustrated with the GOP’s offensive, misogynisticbullying, chaotic, lying, Kremlin-backed,  tax-cheating President Trump easily crowd-funded the cost of the flights over both slopes of the Rockies. Mad Dog PAC supplied the banner and the cost of shipping it here for the flight.

Western slope liberal “snowflakes” hope to make history with the area’s first flying banner

Energy against Trump is growing stronger throughout the country, including on the western slope.

Progressives and liberals in the Grand Valley who were thrilled by the anti-G@P billboards currently up on Broadway/Highway 340 just west of Grand Avenue will get yet another boost of support on Saturday, October 13 when, weather permitting, a huge flying banner that says “IMPEACHMENT NOW” will grace the clear blue skies over western Colorado  It will be the first time in local history that anyone can remember a banner being flown over the area.

It’s time to stop advertising guns.

In keeping with the culture of linking of firearms to masculinity, Daily Sentinel ran a Sportsman’s Warehouse’s ad promoting guns as gifts for Father’s Day, 2018

It’s time for our local paper, the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, and other publications to stop advertising guns. This is the rock-bottom minimum that can be done to end the glorification of guns and senseless proliferation of gun violence in society. It is the metaphorical lifting a pinky finger to take action against a problem, but it is necessary.

Given the rate at which gun massacres are happening in our country, as a matter of health and safety, it’s time to just stop promoting guns in any way, and nowhere is this more true than in Mesa County.

The dangers of June Fellhauer’s 2018 talk by Caroline Leaf, promoted by District 51

WakeUp Ministries’ promotion of Caroline Leaf’s talk

Local self-styled Christian missionary June Fellhauer is back in 2018 and this time, her unregistered nonprofit Wake Up Ministries sponsored a talk at Two Rivers Convention Center on January 12 by  Dr. Caroline Leaf, another Christian missionary.

Caroline Leaf labels herself a “cognitive neuroscientist.” Her teachings are aimed at helping people “see the link between science and God as a tangible way of controlling their thoughts and emotions.”  Dr. Leaf’s talked are based on her own idea that “the mind controls the brain.” She teaches that thoughts are the sole controller of our physical and mental health, that “toxic thinking is the root cause disease” and that thoughts can change our DNA.

The problem is, most of Leaf’s teachings are debunked by science.

People entering Grand Junction greeted by atheist billboard

Digital billboard currently on I-70B in front of Hobby Lobby and Chick-Fil-A

In another sign of how Mesa County’s culture becoming more diverse and welcoming, a bright digital billboard is greeting people entering downtown Grand Junction and reassuring them it’s okay if you don’t believe in God.

The billboard, located on a busy section of I70-B by Rimrock Marketplace in front of Hobby Lobby and Chick-Fil-A, was put up by Western Colorado Atheists and Freethinkers (WCAF) as a big a “thank you” gift to all the people in western Colorado who have had the courage to come out as atheists in the last year. It’s also a celebration of the progress made by western Colorado’s growing secular movement in advancing rational thought and reason in all our endeavors.

Daily Sentinel Completely Omits Coverage of G.J. Tax Day March

The small article to the left of the photo is the only “coverage” the Sentinel gave to a Tax Day march against President Trump keeping his tax returns secret from the American people, and it doesn’t even mention Grand Junction. The photo right is of a child at the Easter egg hunt at the Botanical Gardens. Almost 300 people marched through downtown in Grand Junction.

Sometimes, what newspapers don’t cover is as important than what they do cover.

Today’s Daily Sentinel is a case in point.

Hundreds of people marched in the streets of downtown Grand Junction on Saturday, April 15 yelling and protesting President Trump keeping his tax returns secret from the American people and claiming they don’t care, and the Sunday April 16 issue of the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel carried no coverage of it at all. Zip. The only article in Sunday’s Sentinel about any Tax March at all was on page 3 of the first section, right below the “You Said It” column, and it mentioned Tax Marches held in Denver and Colorado Springs, but contained nothing at all about the big march in Grand Junction.

Daily Sentinel Threatens CO Sen. Ray Scott with Defamation Lawsuit

Publisher of the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel

Jay Seaton, publisher of the Grand Junction, Colorado Daily Sentinel, publicly threatened Colorado State Senator Ray Scott with a defamation lawsuit in his editorial column Sunday, February 12, after Scott, in a tweet, charged the Sentinel with publishing “fake news.”

Long Ballot? Don’t Worry. Use AnneLandmanBlog Voter Guide!

The entire November ballot is in today's Daily Sentinel, and it takes up 6 pages of fine print, like these two.

The entire November ballot is in today’s Daily Sentinel, and it takes up 6 pages of fine print, like these two.

Ballots were mailed today in Mesa County, and it’s a long one. The Daily Sentinel has published the entire November ballot in today’s paper, and it takes up six full pages of the paper, in fine print.

If you are worried about all the time it’s going to take to figure out how to vote on all this stuff, worry no more. We’ve done the research for you! We’ve looked into where the big money and corporate influence are coming from on all the issues, and how wealthy corporations are using ballot initiatives to try to trick you out of your rights, and weaken your influence and your ability to protect yourself and your families from their activities. We’ve looked at the ins and outs of all the issues, what’s fair and what’s not, and figured out how people can cast votes in their own interest.

Just go to AnneLandmanBlog Voter Guide 2016 to see the recommended votes on the local, state and federal candidates and ballot issues. The rationale for the votes is toward the bottom of the post.

Happy voting, and remember, after this you can mute all those annoying election TV ads!

WCAF Hoping to Run 2016 Winter Holiday Billboard

The billboard WCAF hopes to run this December in Grand Junction. To donate to help make this board happen, go to WesternColoradoAtheists.org and click on "Donate."

WCAF members hope to run this billboard in December in Grand Junction. To donate to help make this billboard a reality, go to WesternColoradoAtheists.org and click on “Donate.”

Western Colorado Atheists and Freethinkers, the western slope’s longest-established secular advocacy group, is hoping (NOT praying) to run a winter solstice billboard on Grand Junction’s I-70 Business Loop this holiday season. The group voted unanimously to gather enough funds to make the board happen. They need only $265 to run it for one week, and they hope to run the board from December 18-24, 2016. One donor has already pledged $100 to make it happen, so the group is quickly moving towards making its goal a reality.

WCAF was established in 2007, and will be ten years old next February. The group now has hundreds of Facebook followers.

People wanting to donate towards the billboard can go to WCAF’s “Donate” page and donate through PayPal. There is no minimum donation, all donations are tax deductible and 100% of donations go to WCAF. You can use a credit or debit card, and you don’t need a PayPal account to donate.

Pope Toaster Marketed to Celebrate Pope Francis’ Upcoming U.S. Visit

Pope Toaster

The Pope Francis Toaster sells for $48.95

A Pennsylvania company called Fireworks is celebrating Pope Francis’ upcoming U.S. visit by marketing a specially-designed toaster that burns the image of Pope Francis onto your sliced bread. The Toaster comes with and an additional insert that toasts the words “Spread the Love” in English onto your toast. The toaster has seven shade settings and a removable crumb tray and sells for $48.95 online at ToastThePope.com.

Pope Francis is scheduled to arrive in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, September 22 from Cuba and will be in the U.S. until Sunday, September 27.

Enigmatic Redlands Hill Continues to Speak to the Neighborhood

The mystery remains about who has been sending huge, cryptic messages using this hill on the Redlands for years now, and why

The mystery remains about who has been writing huge, cryptic messages using this hill on the Redlands for years now, and what drives him or her to do it

Back in December, 2014, I talked about the Mysterious Talking Hill Off South Camp Road. For years now, someone has regularly been climbing up this hill and scratching brief, huge messages into the green bentonite. The letters are probably at least 10-12 feet high. The writer changes the messages every other week or so. This task is far more challenging than using Twitter, which limits messages to 140 characters. The messages scratched into this hill are almost never more than four letters, tops. Repeatedly climbing up the crumbling scree to “erase” the old message and scratch in a new one can’t be easy, but some unknown person has been driven to do it frequently for at least six years now.

Sometimes the messages make sense. For example, around Mother’s Day it may say “MOM.” Near the end of December it may say “XMAS.” In May of 2014, when Google Street View caught a photo of the enigmatic hill, it said “USA.”

Mysterious talking hill of South Camp Road

Google Street View captured the hill in May of 2014, when it said “USA.”

Yesterday the hill said “TREK.”

Why?

We don’t know.

Maybe it had to do with the recent article in the Daily Sentinel about Jamie Bianchini, the man who went on an 8 year bicycle ride through 80 countries — an extended TREK. Or maybe the writer simply bought a new Trek bicycle and was glad as hell about it.

Here’s how to see the Talking Redlands Hill:

Take Broadway out towards the Redlands. Turn left at Monument Road, where the “W” gas station is. (Stop at the fabulous Trailhead Coffee House for Coffee if you have time). Continue on Monument Road toward the Colorado National Monument. When you get to South Camp Road, turn right and go a couple hundred feet to the dirt pullout directly opposite East Fallen Rock Road. There’s a big green electrical box there. Park and look for the dirt road heading generally northwest from the pullout, then look up at the Morrison formation hills just above it. Look a little to the right at a lower green bentonite hill lying between the two rock-covered peaks, as seen in the photo at the top of this article. See what it says and report back! And if you know who’s doing the writing, please do tell!

 

A Look Back: Philip Morris and the 1969 Movie “Cold Turkey”

Promotional movie poster from the 1971 movie, "Cold Turkey," starring Dick Van Dyke

Promotional movie poster from the 1971 movie, “Cold Turkey,” starring Dick Van Dyke

In August, 1969 all of the citizens the town of Greenfield, Iowa (pop. 2,100) attempted to quit smoking as a publicity stunt in connection with the on-site filming of the movie Cold Turkey, starring Dick Van Dyke.

 In an internal project they code-named “Bird 1,” Philip Morris (PM), the manufacturer of Marlboro cigarettes, surveyed the citizens of Greenfield 8 months after their quit attempt.  PM used local Girl Scouts to hand-deliver the questionnaires to citizens to increase the acceptance of the packets. The Girl Scouts were instructed to knock on doors and hand a questionnaire packet to “every person who was 14 years old on Cold Turkey Day.”  PM paid five dollars to everyone who completed and returned a survey.

This tobacco industry document is the report containing Philip Morris’ analysis of the success of citizens’ efforts to go “Cold Turkey.”  PM’s descriptions are entertaining, highly chauvinistic and of course paint a very dismal picture of quitting smoking:

“Even after eight months quitters were apt to report having neurotic symptoms, such as feeling depressed, being restless and tense, being ill-tempered, having a loss of energy, being apt to doze off, etc. They were further troubled by constipation…As can be seen from Table 3, the…differences among male smokers were sizable, but the female data are the most startling. The anti-smoking campaign failed to persuade the women to quit. We can only conjecture at the reasons for the failure: –perhaps it is because women are better at running their husbands’ lives then their own… –perhaps it is because busy housewives are less exposed to anti-smoking arguments, or less responsive to logical argument, or less apt to participate in community affairs…It is also possible that [smokers who] wish to stay off smoking have learned from experience that alcohol weakens their resolve. A sad picture is painted of the quitter who used to enjoy himself at a party, now restricted to coffee, fruit juice and coke, turning his back on the swingers in the kitchen in order to hover around the candy and peanut tray among the staid old gossips in the parlor. After one or two such experiences he probably quits partying altogether…The net effect of the extra food at mealtime and the snacks of candy, nuts, ice cream and coke had its predictable consequence: the quitters report more trouble with constipation and much more trouble with weight gain. This is not the happy picture painted by the Cancer Society’s anti-smoking commercial which shows an exuberant couple leaping into the air kicking their heels with joy because they’ve kicked the habit. A more appropriate commercial would show a restless, nervous, constipated husband bickering viciously with his bitchy wife, who is nagging him about his slothful behavior and growing waistline.”

 See a PDF of the confidential internal PM document here.

Atheist Billboard Graces I-70 Business Loop at Easter

WCAF's billboard graces I-70 Business Loop right in front of Hobby Lobby, which sued the federal government to deny its female employees' coverage for contraception due to the company owners' personal religious beliefs.

WCAF’s billboard graces I-70 Business Loop right in front of Hobby Lobby, which sued the federal government to deny its female employees’ coverage for contraception due to the company owners’ personal religious beliefs. (Photo Credit: JT)

A new digital billboard is up on I-70 Business Loop in Grand Junction, Colorado, supports people who don’t believe in God by reassuring them that they’re not alone. The board was put up by Western Colorado Atheists and Freethinkers (WCAF), the area’s first secular group. WCAF was founded in February, 2007, to give western Colorado atheists voice in a part of Colorado where religiosity has historically dominated the culture and people were afraid to admit they didn’t believe in God.

WCAF billboard

WCAF’s billboard on I-70 Business Loop, just west of Chick-Fil-A. It reads, “Don’t Believe? You’re not alone,” and lists WCAF’s website at WesternColoradoAtheists.org.

“If you had told me 25 years ago a day would come in Grand Junction when a big, glowing atheist billboard would be up on the main highway into town on Easter weekend, I never would have believed it,” said Anne Landman, Board Member at Large of WCAF. “But times have really changed here. We’ve had a huge amount of support for this board. It’s all right now to be an open atheist in western Colorado, and that’s what WCAF is saying with this board. It’s fine not to believe in God. Lots of people don’t, and if you don’t, you’re joining a fast-growing number of people in the U.S. who don’t.”

WCAF meets regularly twice a month and invites people to visit its website at WesternColoradoAtheists.org for information on meeting times and locations.