For Mesa County residents trying to find out how the search is going for a new County Public Health Department (MCPHD) director, the County is acting like it’s really none of your business, unless you belong to their secret circle of private citizens and friends to whom they are giving private access and input into the decision.
Janet Rowland, Chair of the Board of County Commissioners, told people when she was running for office that transparency in government is “absolutely critical,” but the search for a new MCPHD director has been anything but transparent.
A former employee of Red Rock Hyundai in Grand Junction who quit as an act of conscience last year previously gave an interview in which he told how Red Rock financing and insurance (F&I) employees had been fleecing people and submitting false information to financial institutions on the sales side. The same person also worked in the service department at Red Rock Hyundai, so I contacted him again to talk about how service is billed at these dealerships. The conversation ranged into a discussion of other service practices as well.
The former employee revealed some disturbing practices he’d witnessed in the service department at Red Rock Hyundai. These, combined with what he had seen happening on the sales side weighed heavily on his conscience and led up to his resignation. Some of what he said he had seen included:
UPDATE as of 8/11/2023, 4:00 p.m. – Ascent Classical Academy updated it’s blog today with a link to a report (pdf) provided by remediation project manager, the Vertex Company. The actual remediation was performed by Hudspeth Environmental Remediation Company based in Centennial, whose website says they specialize in asbestos and lead paint removal. According to the chart provided in the report, many areas remain 5 to 23 times above HUD’s recommended lead clearance cleanup standard of <10 µ/sq.ft. (less than 10 micrograms per square foot). Among these are the men’s bathroom on the first floor, which had 71 µ/sq.ft, the floor of the first floor “men’s restroom in the tactical area,” with 83 µ/sq.ft., the former “Handgun range – floor in NE corner” at 68 µ/sq.ft., “Handgun range – floor in middle by west wall” at 57 µ/sq.ft., the “Handgun range – center of floor in room south of handgun range,” which had 130 µ/sq.ft., the “Handgun range – floor in SE corner” at 98 µ/sq.ft. and “Handgun range – floor in room south of range” with 230 µ/sq.ft.
The “Discussion” part of the report states,
“As it is not feasible to sample all areas of all surfaces, the wipe sampling strategy utilized by VERTEX does not provide for, nor ensure that all surfaces within a subject property undergo wipe sampling; thus, the possibility exists that lead-in-dust concentrations on surface locations not sampled during an assessment may be in excess of HUD and/or CDPHE Regulation 19 cleanup standards.”
Translation:” It’s not feasible to test the whole property, so there may be lead concentrations in places we didn’t check that may be in excess of HUD and CDPHE’s cleanup standards.”
Ascent does not yet have a Certificate of Occupancy for the building.
The Ascent Classical Academy charter school is planning to move into the old Rocky Mountain Gun Club building at 545 31 Road, which formerly served as an indoor shooting range for 7 years. The inside of the building is currently being rebuilt and their website says the first day of school will be Tuesday, September 5, 2023, but to date, Ascent still hasn’t provided the public with documentation from a government health authority that their building poses no threat of lead poisoning to occupants, and they appear to be withholding information on the remediation status of the building. [See above update.]
Rep. Lauren Boebert’s eldest son, Tyler, who impregnated his girlfriend at age 17. His mother praised the situation. The baby is due this month. Tyler caused a rollover car crash in his father’s 2021 Ford Expedition on 9/17/22 that left his passenger with serious injuries. (Photo: Instagram)
Westword, Newsweek, the U.K. Independent, Daily Mailand other news outlets are reporting that Colorado House Rep. Lauren Boebert’s eldest son, Tyler, caused a serious car crash on September 17, 2022 that gave his passenger life-changing injuries, and the injured passenger is saying since then Rep. Boebert has been covering up the incident and minimizing the severity of his injuries.
Tyler Boebert, 18, was driving his father’s black Ford Expedition SUV at 11:30 p.m. on a Saturday night on Garfield County Road 100, going to a party with a friend, Noble D’Amato, 19, when he failed to negotiate a curve and flipped the vehicle 180 degrees. It landed on its roof in Cattle Creek, leaving the driver and passenger upside down. D’Amato was taken to the hospital with concussions and a severely lacerated hand, an injury D’Amato says has kept him from being able to hold a torch for welding, and forced him to change vocations. He is now a personal caregiver. D’Amato says the injury will probably affect him for the rest of his life.
A former Red Rock auto dealership employee contacted AnneLandmanBlog wanting to unload about what he experienced in the years he worked for the dealership. He asked to remain anonymous, so his name is withheld. He said he was “ashamed” about having worked for the dealership and wanted to do whatever he could do to help people who fell victim to these scams.
Following are excerpts of our conversation, edited slightly for clarity:
In an alarming case that has received little to no attention, Deandre H. Rogers (pdf), a Black man aged 32, was found hanging in a carport in Grand Junction, Colorado on September 21, 2020. He had participated on June 1, 2020 with a group of local Black Lives Matter activists who met with G.J. Police Chief Doug Shoemaker in the lobby of the Grand Junction Police Department to protest unjust treatment they had experienced at the hands of local law enforcement. The discussion took place about a month after the murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis Police on May 25, 2020.
Mesa County citizens are trying to recall Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters for inept operation of her office, including forgetting 574 ballots in a collection box from the November, 2019 general election.
Several former Clerk’s office employees report that Ms. Peters asked Sandra Brown, another Clerk’s Office employee, to create a spreadsheet of the names of all the voters whose ballots weren’t counted so Ms. Peters could send them each a written apology.
Internal emails from the County Clerk’s office support claims that the list in fact exists. In the emails, Peters asks other employees not to distract Ms. Brown from the task of creating the list, so she could finish it quickly.
Certified Public Accountant Dennis Simpson, a long-time advocate for transparency in Grand Junction City and Mesa County government, discovered that in 2019 Mesa County purchased two new late model SUVs at a cost of $45,000 each, for the exclusive use of Commissioners Scott McInnis and John Justman. Before that time, Simpson noted, the County had provided a single passenger car for all three commissioners to share. He also noted that the decision to greatly increase this transportation expense for taxpayers was not made in public, and that while Commissioner Rose Pugliese tried to distance herself from the purchase, she failed to protest it publicly.
When Simpson raised these issues to Scott McInnis, McInnis deflected attention from the matter by asking Simpson to instead focus on coming up with financial suggestions for ways the County can cope with the COVID-19 pandemic rather than concerning himself with the purchase of the vehicles, which McInnis dismissed as unimportant.
Simpson obliged and produced the following suggestions, which he submitted to all three county commissioners on March 19, 2020.
President Trump and wife Melania shown with Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who in July, 2013, requested permission from the Vatican to move $57 million in church funds to protect the the church’s assets from victims of priest sexual abuse. The Vatican approved Dolan’s request in five weeks.
It’s an unfathomably bad day for religion, but a better day to be an atheist, if you already are one. If you’re not already, the news coming out about the Catholic church (again) this week may be enough to flip you, if not just grip you.
A Pennsylvania grand jury has dropped a devastating 1,356 page report (pdf) that describes in excruciating detail the child sexual abuse that has occurred within the Pennsylvania Catholic church, perpetrated by over 300 “predator priests” in that state alone. The grand jury names each priest and has identified over a thousand credible child victims who endured abuse at the hands of the Church over a period of 70 years. Some of the victims are in their 80s now.
While some stayed home dying Easter eggs Saturday, almost 300 western slope citizens turned out for the national Tax March to demand Donald Trump make his tax returns public. Marchers gathered at Grand Junction City Hall and listened to speeches before starting off on a figure 8-shaped route through downtown that took them along Main Street, Grand Avenue and by the Post Office, where they mailed post cards to Trump saying they want him to release his taxes.
On January 11, 2017, Trump dismissed the idea that voters were interested in his tax returns, claiming the only people who care about his tax returns are members of the media. But he was proved badly wrong when on April 15, thousands of people in hundreds of cities across across the country took to the streets to demand he make his taxes public. An ABC News/Washington Post poll (pdf) released on January 16,2017 showed 74% of Americans want to see Trump’s returns.
U.S. Intelligence Community reports President-elect Donald Trump got assistance in winning the election from Russian President Vladimir Putin himself
The U.S. Intelligence community (CIA, FBI and NSA) jointly issued a formal report today stating that Russian President Putin ordered a campaign to influence the U.S. presidential election and help elect Donald Trump. The report states that Russians worked to undermine Hillary Clinton’s candidacy and promote Trump. The entire unclassified version of the report is available to the public on Scribd:
Following is an excerpt from the report, with bold emphasis added:
“We assess with high confidence that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election, the consistent goals of which were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency.
We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump. When it appeared to Moscow that Secretary Clinton was likely to win the election, the Russian influence campaign then focused on undermining her expected presidency.
This 30 minute interview on KVNF Radio with Cidney Fisk and her parents about their experience with the Delta County School District was broadcast July 19, 2016. Host Ali Lightfoot interviews Cidney, her parents and Delta County School District officials about the religious speakers the school routinely brings in, other incidents of proselytizing occurring within the district, and the retribution Cidney faced from her teachers and counselors after voicing her opinions about that and what Cidney perceived as the district’s misguided financial priorities: Click this link to listen to the interview.
Philip Morris’ “Project Thunder” was public relations plan to construct and operate a wildly-luxurious, custom-built 20-car Marlboro train as a promotion for Marlboro cigarettes. The train was to consist entirely of double-decker cars and feature amenities such as a hot tub car, massage rooms and gambling. The train would stop at locations throughout the scenic southwestern U.S. and let passengers off to partake in iconically western activities like horseback riding, bicycling, river rafting, and paragliding. Philip Morris planned to give selected smokers the “trip of a lifetime” on a “deluxe train through Marlboro Country.”
The train was going to be used for only one season, from May-September 1996, at an estimated cost to Philip Morris of $44 million.
The train was built at tremendous expense to PM, but PM ultimately pulled the plug on the project very late as the train was close to completion. PM then ordered the train destroyed. The company made the rail car company workers who were manufacturing the train in Fort Collins, Colorado, sign nondisclosure agreements that forced them to stay silent about the project and its ultimate demise.
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.