Category: Uncategorized

Better know a commissioner candidate: Dave Edwards running for Mesa County commissioner in District 3


This is a video of a short talk given by Dave Edwards at a Get Out the Vote Rally held recently at the old Mesa County Courthouse. Edwards is running for the District 3 Mesa County Commissioner seat.

District 3 is the eastern and southern parts of the county, including Clifton, Palisade, Whitewater, DeBeque, Mesa, Collbran, Whitewater, Gateway and Glade Park. In his talk, Dave contrasts himself with former 2-term Mesa County Commissioner Janet Rowland, his opponent, who is running to be commissioner for a third term.

Dave served on the Palisade Town Council, is the former Mayor Pro Tem of Palisade, a retired CPA, has a law degree and volunteers with Catholic Outreach in their soup kitchen. His main policy concerns for some time have been about poverty in Mesa County, the struggles of a declining middle, homelessness and people in Mesa County who struggle to obtain the basic necessities. Other areas Dave is interested in improving are food insecurity, child care and public health, You can read more about Dave’s positions on issues here.

This blog has endorsed Dave Edwards as the best candidate for the office.

All Mesa County voters can vote in all commissioner races in the general election.

Recall effort against Governor Polis fails miserably

Rep. Jared Polis is safe in office after recall effort fails to gather anywhere near enough signatures.

It was another victory for progressives in Colorado today as upset Republicans who were trying desperately to recall Governor Jared Polis ended up gathering fewer than half the signatures they needed to put the recall measure on the ballot. The recall faction failed so miserably in fact that they didn’t even bother to turn in the signatures they did get.

Local Republican proponents of the effort were spotted using illegal techniques to gather signatures, like setting up tables in public parks without obtaining the required permits and taping signs advertising their petition effort on government buildings.

In the end, the “Dismiss Polis” people gathered only 300,000 of the 630,000 signatures they needed to qualify for the ballot.

Governor Polis responded to the news by saying “After all that fuss, I was pleasantly surprised that they didn’t turn in a single signature on the recall. I hope the remaining misguided efforts against others see the same results … Recalls should not be used for partisan gamesmanship.”

Edwards formally challenges Soper’s residency and legality of his election to HD-54 seat

Republican Matt Soper had the Carreon family evicted from the 10 Hartig Drive house where he claimed he had lived for 12 months prior to the election, after the actual residents of the house told the Daily Sentinel that Soper never live in the house with them.

Former Palisade Town Trustee Dave Edwards filed a formal petition (pdf) yesterday with Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams and the state legislature officially disputing the legality of Matt Soper holding the Colorado House District 54 seat.

District 54 comprises the western portion of  Delta County and much of Mesa County outside the boundaries of the City of Grand Junction. 

Edward raised enough money to formally serve the petition directly to Soper and fund the bond that the Colorado Revised Statutes require be posted in such disputes.  The bond money is apparently to help prevent frivolous challenges to election results.

In this case, the challenge is far from frivolous and could end Soper’s political career.

Matt Soper’s legitimacy as Colorado House District 54 Representative is challenged

Dave Edwards

Former Palisade town trustee Dave Edwards is seeking to formally challenge the legitimacy of Matt Soper being seated as a Representative for Colorado House District 54.

Palisade is in House District 54.

Soper, a Republican, was elected to the HD-54 seat in November, but the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel ran a series of articles before the election that charged that the residence Soper had listed on his official Candidate Affidavit was not his true residence. If it wasn’t, Soper may not have met the legal residency requirements to run in District 54. 

To qualify for a seat in the Colorado House of Representatives, a candidate must have lived in the district for 12 months prior to the date of the election.

I Need Your Help

Attention Readers,

I need your help.

Our apartment in Boulder, Colorado got completely destroyed in the September, 2013 floods. It had six feet of swirling water in it and after the floods there was nothing left. Now, almost two years later, it is finally being rebuilt and is nearing completion. Because it was so small, space was tight and at a premium. To that end, we had a wonderful little stacking dinnerware set in the kitchen that looked like this:

Stackable dinnerware set with rack

It basically crammed an entire dinnerware set for four into a tiny footprint, sparing a lot of space. I can’t find another one like it anywhere. Have you seen anything like this anywhere? If so, let me know where! Thanks!

Helping Cook the Toffee

The Toffee Makers, downtown G.J.

A couple attending the downtown G.J. Art, Music and Bike festival stop to help an outsized Mr. Enstrom and his assistant prepare some fresh toffee. They may not know that Doug Simons, the current owner of Enstrom Candies, served for 8 years on the Grand Junction Regional Airport Authority Board (twice as chair) during the time the FBI raided the Airport Authority offices looking for evidence of fraud. 

Splash Pad in Jail

The City of Grand Junction has done its best to lock people out of the formerly well-loved Splash Pad, an interactive fountain originally constructed for people to play in downtown on warm spring and summer days.  The splash pad proved too popular, however, leading to problems of overcrowding and bacteria-filled water. So the City shut it down in July of 2014, and now people must pay to use the splash pad at the Lincoln Park Pool.

The City of Grand Junction has done its best to lock people out of the formerly well-loved Splash Pad, an interactive fountain originally constructed for people to play in downtown on warm spring and summer days. The splash pad proved too popular, however, leading to problems of overcrowding and bacteria-filled water. So the City shut it down in July of 2014, and directed people to the splash pad at the Lincoln Park Pool, which is free.

“Liebe” Means Anything but “Love” in Grand Junction

Paul Liebe's un-family-friendly banner outside his business, NiteLife Billiards on North Ave.

Paul Liebe’s family-unfriendly banner outside his business, NiteLife Billiards on North Ave.

Paul Liebe is the owner of NiteLife Billiards at 2882 North Ave. in Grand Junction. “Liebe” means “love” in German, but unfortunately Mr. Liebe does not project a loving front to many area citizens. His business’ slogan is “We Deliver Family Fun,” but Mr. Liebe is far from family-friendly. R-rated is more like it, at a minimum.

Liebe, a gun proponent who bills himself as a “public figure” on his Facebook page, recently made headlines for selling “open carry” T-shirts printed with a realistic-looking handgun in a holster. The shirts come with a dire warning letting people know that actually wearing the shirt can lead to death if the wearer encounters police and they mistakenly think you are wearing a real gun. In short, don’t put these shirts on your kids — they aren’t  family-friendly, or friendly in any way at all.

Liebe’s personal attitudes are far from family-friendly, too, and so is his language. On February 13 he posted on his publicly-accessible Facebook page: “If you don’t like what I post, get the FUCK OFF MY PAGES,” and “…I don’t give a shit if your FEELINGS get hurt.”

Yikes.

Killing the Messenger: U.S. Postal Service in Congress’ Crosshairs

Supporters of the U.S. Post Office in Grand Junction protest further cutbacks at the Patterson Road mail sorting facility on Friday, Nov. 14th.

Supporters of the U.S. Post Office in Grand Junction protest further cutbacks at the Patterson Road mail sorting facility on Friday, Nov. 14th.

Supporters of the U.S. Postal Service rallied outside the Patterson Road Mail Processing Annex in Grand Junction Friday afternoon to protest a new round of cuts that will eliminate Saturday delivery and close 82 more postal stations, including mail sorting facilities, nationwide.

In 2006 Congress mandated that the U.S. Postal Service pre-fund health benefits for its future retirees 75 years in advance, a requirement made of no other business on Earth. The requirement is costing the Postal Service a whopping $5.6 billion per year, making it financially much harder for it to operate. In addition, now the U.S. Postal Board of Governors, which oversees the Post Office, will meet to approve cutbacks aimed at eliminating Saturday mail delivery. These newest rounds of cutbacks will delay the mail, making it take much longer to simply get a letter across town.

Bottoms Up

Two bushes, located at the "Vintage 70s" subdivision along G Road between 12th Street and Horizon Drive, are carved into the shape of a gigantic buttocks and appears to be mooning drivers traveling along G Road.

Bushes located between two garages in the “Vintage 70s” subdivision along G Road between 12th Street and Horizon Drive, appear to be carved into the shape of a gigantic buttocks, mooning drivers traveling along G Road.

Colorado Oil and Gas Operations Emit Far More Pollutants Than Expected

Winter air pollution in Denver, on Colorado's front range

Winter air pollution in Denver, on Colorado’s front range

Scientists affiliated with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have determined that oil and gas operations on Colorado’s front range are pumping almost three times more methane and seven times more benzene into the air than previously believed.

Benzene is a regulated air toxic that causes cancer, and methane is a potent greenhouse gas that is about 20-25 times more effective than carbon dioxide at trapping heat in Earth’s atmosphere.

For the study, researchers collected air samples from an airplane over two days in May, 2012. Prior studies measured air samples at ground-level, or from a 985-foot tall tower. This is the first study to measure airborne contaminants from an airplane.

Researchers found that the 24,000 active oil and gas wells that were operating in Weld County in May, 2012 were emitting a total of 19.3 tons of methane each hour, or about triple the amount the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimated would come from industry-reported emissions. The wells emitted benzene at a rate of 380 pounds each hour, or about eight times more than the 50 pounds an hour the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment had estimated based on industry-reported data.

Holy Water Found to be Contaminated with Fecal Bacteria

Down you go!

Down you go!

study published in the Journal of Water and Health found that holy water in 86% of churches and hospital chapels tested was contaminated with high levels of fecal bacteria including Campylobacter, e-coli and enterococci. Researchers concluded that holy water should be considered a prime source of infection. Holy water is regularly used in baptism ceremonies and to wet the lips of church congregants. The study found a direct relationship between the levels of contamination in the water and how busy the church is. One of the researchers, Dr. Alexander Kirschner, a microbiologist, said “We need to warn people against drinking from these sources.” Kirchner expressed particular concern that these contaminated water sources are found in hospitals, near high concentrations of people with weakened immune systems. For the study, researchers tested the water from 18 holy water fonts in Vienna and 21 holy springs in Austria. The study was done by researchers at the Medical University of Vienna (Austria), Institute of Hygiene and Applied Immunology.

Source:  ABC News, September 14, 2013

 

Pope Francis Recognizes the Value of Atheists

Pope Francis

Pope Francis

In a startling departure from the previous Pope’s line of belief, Pope Francis in his morning homily said that atheists should be viewed as good people if they do good, explaining that goodness is determined by people’s acts, not their faith or lack thereof.  “We all have a duty to do good,” Francis said, “Just do good, and we’ll find a meeting point” with atheists, the Pope urged. Francis further urged the church to “come out of herself” saying intolerance will not benefit the Church. “Instead, this ‘closing off’ that imagines that those outside, everyone, cannot do good is a wall that leads to war, and also to what some people throughout history have conceived of: killing in the name of God. And that, simply, is blasphemy. To say that you can kill in the name of God is blasphemy.” The Pope’s comments come at a time when religiosity is increasingly creeping into lawmaking bodies, for example over the issue of reproductive health law, and the Supreme Court case about the constitutionality of town councils persistently hosting Christian prayers.

In the Land of Abortions and Hypocrisy

A guest post by Attorney Richard Console. 

pro-life

Many pro-lifers feel it is their duty to protect the interests of unborn children. (Photo credit: Flickr.)

Life begins at conception. At least that is what the Catholic Church and other pro-life entities have always maintained. They may tout this belief, but when it comes to their alleged role in the death of a fetus they are quick to drop the classification of an unborn child as a human in favor of a greater cause: their wallets.

This was made clear when in a recent wrongful death lawsuit in Colorado, a Catholic hospital defended the suit on the basis that the fetus in question was, in fact, not a human being. This convenient defense shields them from liability in this matter. This begs the question, just how deep-seated is this belief if the Catholic establishment is willing to alter their stance so readily?

The interesting thing here is that the Catholic Church is one of the loudest voices in the pro-life, pro-choice debate, yet this hospital’s pro-life stance did an about-face when it was to their financial detriment. As a Catholic establishment, aren’t they expected to follow the beliefs of the Catholic Church?

Medical Debt Collectors Target Sick People Entering Emergency Rooms

MN Attorney General Lori Swanson

A recent lawsuit filed by Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson reveals that medical debt collection companies are stationing debt collectors in emergency rooms where they confront patients about their existing medical bills as they enter the ER for treatment.  Medical debt collectors are also visiting patients in their hospital rooms to pressure them over their bills while they are still recovering from surgery.  Illinois-based Accretive Health uses these pushy tactics while advertising that they deliver “end-to-end revenue cycle execution” on behalf of medical providers. Accretive health often disguises its debt collectors as hospital employees who confront patients with confidential health information lifted from their medical files without notice or permission, which Minnesota AG Lori Swanson charges is a potential violation of federal privacy laws. Swanson also found that Accretive sought out pregnant women in delivery as easy collection targets, saying they “were most vulnerable in getting a pre-blanace paid.”

Source: Washington Post, April 25, 2012

Who Really Benefits from Voluntary Corporate Codes of Conduct?

Corporations, and even entire industries, publicly claim that they adopt voluntary codes of conduct out of caring and concern for the health and welfare of people and the environment, but in reality, these codes confer far greater benefits upon the companies than they do upon the public, and can range from deceptive to fraudulent. Corporations use these codes as a crisis management strategy to stave off government regulation, improve their image, boost their credibility with legislators and regulators, and thus preserve their seat at the table in any regulatory discussions. Voluntary codes also give political cover to legislators who favor industry by giving the legislators something they can point to to calm public demands to rein in harmful corporate behavior. You can read my full article on voluntary corporate codes here.  (Published in 2008 in CounterPunch)