Tag: Consumer advocacy

How does Moab Feel about a “MOAB” Bomb Being Dropped on Afghanistan?

Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) bomb, the largest non-nuclear conventional bomb in existence

 

Moab residents are not happy that the name “MOAB” is being associated with the massive bomb the Trump administration dropped on Afghanistan yesterday.

The largest non-nuclear bomb in the United States’ weapons arsenal, the GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB), nicknamed the “Mother of All Bombs” (MOAB). It was dropped yesterday, leading the acronym MOAB to be broadcast over national news repeatedly for the last 24 hours.

Asked about how Moab residents feel about the name of their town being associated with destruction, Moab City Councilman Kyle Bailey responded, “Mayor Sakrison and the Moab City Council sent a letter to Bush administration in 2003 protesting the association of the name [of this bomb] with Moab. Some people in Moab do like the association.” The city councilman sent a link to the February, 2003 BBC article about the mayor’s protest.

AnneLandmanBlog Voter Guide, 2017

This guide offers AnneLandmanBlog’s recommendations on how to vote in the April 4, 2017 municipal election in Grand Junction. Recommendations are based on which candidates have the imagination, vision and new ideas to finally pull Grand Junction out of it’s persistent economic slump, and votes that offer the best long term outcomes for average working people and their families. In considering these recommendations, the needs of established businesses are considered, but not given any greater weight than the interests of average working city residents and their families.

Please note that all City residents can vote for candidates for all city council districts. AnneLandmanBlog does not make recommendations in races where candidates run unopposed.

Recommended votes:

City Council District A: Jesse Daniels

City Council District D: C.E. Duke Wortmann

City Council At-Large: C. Lincoln Pierce

Referred Measure 2A – Raising sales tax a quarter cent to fund an events center downtown: NO/AGAINST

Referred Measure 2BSpending funds set aside to pay the debt on the Riverside Parkway on road improvements instead: YES/FOR

 

This election is being conducted by a mail-in ballot. You will get your ballot in the U.S. mail and can either put your completed ballot in the the return envelope, stamp it and drop it in the U.S. Mail well before election day, take your completed ballot to the silver drop box outside Mesa County Central Services at 200 S. Spruce Street, or take it to the City Clerk’s office inside Grand Junction City Hall, 250 N. 5th Street. Ballots must be returned by 7:00 p.m. April 4, 2017 to be counted.

The Citrus Gypsies are Back!

The Citrus Gypsies’ booth at First Street and Patterson Road

The Citrus Gypsies are those wonderful people who for the past three years have been driving down to Arizona, picking up the sweetest, juiciest oranges, grapefruits, lemons and pomelos and other goodies from a long-established orchard in Arizona, driving it up to Grand Junction and selling it at two booths, one at the corner of First and Grand Ave., and the other at Patterson and First Street.

This is the best citrus around, folks, far better than what you get at the local grocery stores. The Citrus Gypsies make multiple trips back and forth to Arizona during the latter part of the winter and they get fruit from the same orchard each time, so with every trip they make, they bring back fruit that has been on the trees longer, and that is even riper and juicier. They make several trips throughout the season until the citrus harvest is done, and then these great folks disappear until next year.

City Market Wastes Huge Amounts of Food While Thousands go Hungry in Mesa County

Screen Shot 2016-06-29 at 12.02.02 PM

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.

Mel Mulder for Mesa County Commissioner, District 1

"It's Okay Little Buddy" - Mel Mulder was a featured subject in this famous local painting by his artist wife, Vera

“It’s Okay Little Buddy” – Mel Mulder and his super-cute little friend are featured in this famous local painting by his wife, artist and art teacher Vera Mulder

Longtime Grand Valley resident and Fruita City  Council member Mel Mulder is running for Mesa County Commissioner in District 1. He is easily of the most qualified candidates for this office that Mesa County has seen in the last 35 years, and certainly the best artistically-rendered candidate. (See picture above.)

ACLU Colorado to Put on “Know Your Rights” Workshop in Grand Junction

Police StopYou’re driving down the highway when all of a sudden you see a police car with it’s light on behind you.

Do you know your rights are when you get pulled over by law enforcement? What do you have to do? What don’t you have to do?

Encounters with police can be stressful, anxiety-producing and confusing for many people.

It’s more important than ever for all citizens to know how to assert their constitutionally-protected rights when dealing with law enforcement. Now you can find out what your rights are during searches and arrests, police stops, and when being questioned by law enforcement.

Free Workshop

Next Tuesday, March 8, from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m., the ACLU of Colorado will present a Know Your Rights Training in Grand Junction. The training will be held at Colorado Mesa University, Houston Hall Room 139, 1100 North Ave., Grand Junction, and will be taught by ACLU speaker Kathleen Hynes, Ph.D. and will provide information and simple steps, based on constitutional protections and criminal case law, for handling interactions with police and other forms of law enforcement.

Mulder and Edwards Announce Candidacies for Mesa County Commissioner in Districts 1 and 3

Dave Edwards of Palisade (yellow shirt) and Mel Mulder of Fruita (plaid shirt) announce their candidacies for Mesa County Commissioner

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.

Local Woman, Dr. April Goggans, Opens First Solo Concierge Medical Practice in Grand Junction

Dr. April Goggans is the first solo-practitioner to open a concierge medical practice in the Grand Valley

Dr. April Goggans, the first solo medical practitioner to open a concierge practice in the Grand Valley

Doctors in Grand Junction who have gotten frustrated with the modern bureaucracies of health care are adopting an entirely new, less complicated and more satisfying business model that cuts out insurance companies completely and lets them spend generous amounts of time with patients.

It’s called “concierge medicine,” and in this business model, patients pay a single yearly fee to a doctor. In exchange, they get fast access directly to the doctor via phone, secure email, text, 24/7 video chat or in person. At office visits, which can be gotten on short notice, concierge doctors give their patients highly personalized care and spend as much time as necessary to answer every last question their patients may have about their condition. And if later on after the appointment you think of something you forgot to ask, just call, text, or email your doctor and get an answer right away.

When is Food Not Food?

Grocery stores charge customers over $13 a pound for water by putting it inside chickens instead of inside bottles. Trick or treat!

Grocery stores charge customers over $13 a pound for water by putting it inside chickens instead of inside bottles. Trick or treat!

Answer: When the package tells you exactly what portion of the contents isn’t food.

Chicken is a prime example.

Virtually all packaged grocery store chicken says the poultry “retains up to” three, five, seven or even fifteen percent water. It’s almost impossible to find grocery store chicken that does not announce this somewhere right on the label.

So how does the water get in there? Do you think some chickens are bred to be 97% chicken and 3% water, while others bred to be 85% chicken and 15% water?

Nope.

Chicken is always 100% chicken until it’s adulterated. The amount of water forced into chicken meat is a function of just two things: 1) the manner in which it’s processed and 2) how greedy the producers and grocery stores are.

Chicken producers intentionally add water during processing to make the chicken look juicier, weigh more and fool consumers into putting a whole lot more moola in their pockets.

The strategy appears to be working great, and our friendly neighborhood grocery stores gladly go along with the scheme and sell you adulterated chicken, every day.

When stores charge $1.49 a pound for chicken that contains “retained water” from processing, you are paying them $1.49/pound not just for chicken, but for the water they pump into it, too. If the store charged you the same price for bottled water, you’d be paying $13.41 per gallon.

If fact, you ARE paying them that amount for water. The only difference is, it’s water in a chicken and not in a bottle.

What's inside YOUR chicken?

What’s inside YOUR chicken?

So City Market, Albertsons, Safeway and, yes, even Sprouts Farmers Market are all playing a particularly nasty trick or treat on their loyal customers (although Sprouts does offer a brand of unadulterated chicken for a much higher price while the other markets don’t offer any options). Oh, sure, the markets distract you by putting lots of other feel-good things on the label, like “100% Natural” (of course water is “natural), “Hatched, Raised and Harvested in the U.S.,” “No added hormones,” and other comforting phraseology that serves to distract people from the fact that they pump chicken full of water.

It is a great marketing tactic, and it seems to be working extremely well, because customers never seem to ask the butchers or market managers why they are getting so much water in their chicken instead of getting just real, unadulterated 100% chicken when they buy chicken. Customers keep forking over huge prices to grocery stores for watered down chicken while putting less and less real food on their table.

And as long as the store tells you right up front there on the label what you’re really buying, they’re home free and can’t be accused of fraud.

If You Want to Die Peacefully at Home, You Need to Know This

First page of Colorado's 2015 MOST form

First page of Colorado’s 2015 MOST form

If you want to avoid extensive hospital treatment or heroic measures being used on you towards the end of your life, it’s much harder than you think. It’s far more difficult than you’d ever realized these days to die a peaceful, natural death in your own home, if that’s the way you want your life to end.

These days many people don’t relish the idea of having their death drawn out in a hospital, hooked up to life support machines. If you are one of those people, you can complete an advanced directive and a will, put all your assets in a trust, and even verbally tell your closest family members that you don’t want any more hospitalizations. But that’s not enough.

Chances are very high that unless you do ONE more thing, you’ll still end up in a hospital getting a host of unwanted procedures or mechanical life support at the end of your life.

If near the end of your life you do not want to go to the hospital under any circumstances, and you want to let a natural process take your life, your family members or caregivers risk charges of medical neglect or abuse if they abide by your wishes. This is the case even if you have put all the above due-diligence documents in place. It’s extremely hard for relatives who love you to watch you get weaker and sicker and not do anything to help you. Caregivers fear lawsuits for neglect not giving every last possible measure of care in what they perceive as a desperate time of need. Some paid caregivers may be a different religion that you, and believe it is impermissible for you to determine the time and place of your own death.

These and many other conflicts can abound at the end of your life.

To protect close relatives and caregivers looking after you from a legal onslaught and assure you get the kind of care you really want at the end of your life, there is one more thing you must do: fill out a M.O.S.T. form.

What is a MOST form?

M.O.S.T. stands for Medical Orders for Scope of Treatment.  Most people have never heard of this form, but it in recent years it has become the key to self-determination at the end of your life.

The MOST form is relatively new. Colorado implemented its MOST form only about five years ago, and recently revised it. Every U.S. state now has its own version of a MOST form. In some states they are called a Physicians Order for Life Sustaining Treatment or a POLST form.

The MOST form is a very specific medico-legal instrument that summarizes and documents your personal preferences for a number of common life-sustaining treatments, including things like CPR, antibiotics, artificial nutrition and hydration, and mechanical ventilation. You can choose the extent to which you want these treatments to be used to save or prolong your life, under what circumstances and for how long. The form is usually printed on bright green paper, for quick location and recognition in medical files.

MOST forms assure you the ability to exert more control over your medical care

Individuals may use the MOST form to refuse treatments selectively, request full treatment under certain circumstances, or specify certain treatments they do not want. Any section of the form that is not completed implies full treatment is desired. Filling out a MOST form assures that not only will you get the specific care you want at the end of your life, but it will protect those who are responsible for making medical decisions on your behalf from legal charges of abuse or neglect if they abide by your wishes. Such charges can be brought by relatives who don’t agree with the kind of death you want for yourself, or by law enforcement.

The MOST form is used in conjunction with other legal instruments, like advanced directives and living wills. You must complete the MOST form while you still have your mental capacity. You and your doctor both sign the completed form. Everyone who could even be tangentially involved in your care towards the end of your life should get a copy of your completed MOST form. Make sure to give a copy to whomever has your medical power of attorney, too. Give copies to all of your children, even ones who live elsewhere and visit rarely, and even the crazy ones. Give them to your close friends, too.

The MOST form must be honored in any setting, including at home.

This relatively new form is the key to being able to have the kind of death you want, especially if your choice involves refusing invasive, life-sustaining treatments.

You can view Colorado’s MOST form here (pdf).

For more information on the MOST form, to see one, download a free copy or get answers to frequently asked questions about the form, go to the Colorado Advanced Directives Consortium, or talk to your doctor or your attorney.

36 Great Things Labor Unions Have Done for Americans

I places where lots of workers belong to labor unions thrive, the number of people in the middle class increases

In areas where a high number of workers belong to labor unions, the number of people in the middle class increases. In places like Mesa County where there are few and weak unions, wages stay low and more people live in poverty.

 

Did you know that labor unions made the following 36 things possible?

  1. Weekends without work
  2. All of your breaks at work, including your lunch breaks
  3. Paid vacation
  4. Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
  5. Sick leave
  6. Social Security
  7. Minimum wage
  8. Civil Rights Act, Title VII, which prohibits employer discrimination
  9. 8-hour work day
  10. Overtime pay
  11. Child labor laws
  12. Occupational Safety & Health Act (OSHA)
  13. The 40-hour work week
  14. Workers’ compensation (workers’ comp)
  15. Unemployment insurance
  16. Pensions
  17. Workplace safety standards and regulations
  18. Employer health care insurance
  19. Collective bargaining rights for employees
  20. Wrongful termination laws
  21. Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA)
  22. Whistleblower protection laws
  23. Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA), which prohibits employers from using a lie detector test on an employee
  24. Veteran’s Employment and Training Services (VETS)
  25. Compensation increases and evaluations (raises)
  26. Sexual harassment laws
  27. Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), which prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public.
  28. Holiday pay
  29. Employer dental, life, and vision insurance
  30. Privacy rights
  31. Pregnancy and parental leave
  32. Military leave
  33. The right to strike
  34. Public education for children
  35. Equal Pay Acts of 1963 & 2011, which require employers pay men and women equally for the same amount of work
  36. Laws ending sweatshops in the United States

Refreshing Sign in Grand Junction

BizThe above sign is posted on the Loncheria Rubi, a food truck selling home-made Mexican fare located next to Sprouts Farmers Market on I-70 Business Loop in Grand Junction. It is a refreshing change from the harsher, nastier signs displayed by some other local businesses, like Alida’s on Main Street and NiteLife Billiards on North Ave. (“I Built This Business Kiss My Ass Obama”), in which business owners state their belief that they built their businesses without any assistance from government-funded infrastructure, like roads, ports or bridges, power and drainage systems, or institutions like public schools or universities.

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

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

Council Candidates Sound Like Broken Records, Ignore Constituents

It's the same-ole, same-old from Council candidates again this year. Who supports all the other folks?

It’s the same-ole, same-old from Council candidates again this year. Who supports all the other folks in town besides business and property owners?

Candidates for the contested seats on the Grand Junction City Council are all starting to sound the same. Kim Kerk supports “property owners rights” and a “business friendly community.” Duncan McArthur is for “private property rights” and the “small business owner.” They sound just the same, don’t they? Dennis Simpson says he’s a “fiscal conservative,” and McArthur is for “fiscal responsibility,” but aren’t these the same thing? Basically, it’s code for even more belt-tightening for our community.

It’s like listening to a broken record. And it’s folly for voters to listen to them.

Business owners and the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce wield outsized influence in Grand Junction, and they’ve shown citizens time and again that believing anything they say or do at election time is completely absurd.

Kim Kerk also supports the same old constituencies. Don't others matter?

Kim Kerk also supports the same old constituencies: private property owners and business owners. Why don’t the rest of us matter?

The chamber portrays itself as the single most important political voice in town because it represents businesses, but only a fraction of area businesses actually belong to the chamber and according to the chamber’s membership list, many of their members are from outside of the area. The “Grand Junction Chamber” has members in Denver, Arvada, Lakewood, Greenwood Village, Centennial, Glenwood Springs, Moab, Utah, Reno, Nevada, Houston, Texas, and even Washington, D.C…. Why should any company based on the front range or another state have any say or lobbying power over Grand Junction’s issues or candidates?

What’s more, valuing businesses more highly than ordinary, hard-working city residents has cost this city dearly and set us far behind smaller western slope towns. For years, maybe even decades, Grand Junction citizens have been craving a public recreation center, like the ones the cities of Fruita, Delta, Montrose and Durango have already built for their citizens. Over and over, our City Council has denied residents this same wonderful amenity based on an unproven premise that building such a facility might possibly be detrimental to less than a handful of private businesses in town, like gyms and athletic clubs. A couple of businesses vs. tens of thousands of citizens who could benefit from such a facility. Why are city residents always the losers in this kind of issue?

Haven’t Grand Junction residents sacrificed their quality of life on the altar of almighty private business long enough?

Businesses and the Chamber: Unreliable Voices at Election time

The chamber promised G.J. voters if they voted to zone this parcel by the river to light industrial, Brady Trucking would bring in a bunch of $70,000/year jobs, and build trails and landscaping by the river. Voters passed the measure, but this is how the site looks today.

The chamber promised G.J. voters in 2013 if they voted to zone this parcel by the river to light industrial, Brady Trucking would bring in a slew of $70,000/year jobs, and build trails and landscaping by the river. Voters passed the measure, but today, two years later, the site remains dilapidated, no jobs were ever created and no trails were ever built.

Moreover, neither the chamber nor private businesses have proven reliable proponents on issues. The chamber has gone to bat for private businesses at election time before, only to be outed as lying.

Remember Referred Measure A in the April, 2013 election? It asked voters to uphold light industrial zoning by the Colorado River so Brady Trucking, a private business, could expand its operations there. The chamber promised voters that if they passed the measure, Brady Trucking would bring a slew of new jobs to town averaging $70,000 a year and build a walking and biking trail on a 50-foot wide easement along the river, as well as fencing and landscaping. Chamber President Diane Schwenke said, “This is an issue where the voters can support good jobs and development of trails.”

Oh, really?

Voters listened to the chamber and duly passed the measure, and now, two years later, the site is still untouched. No trails were ever built, and no additional jobs ever brought to the area.

The vaunted chamber, the “voice of business,” spoke and told voters the best thing to do, and it was a lie.

The arrest of Chamber-backed city council candidate Rick Brainard in April, 2013 shocked Grand Junction citizens and embarrassed the entire City.

The arrest of Chamber-backed city council candidate Rick Brainard in April, 2013, for beating up his girlfriend, shocked Grand Junction citizens and embarrassed the entire City.

Remember the infamous 2013 chamber-backed city council candidate, Rick Brainard, and what a debacle he was to the City? Brainard got arrested four days after being elected and appeared on TV news broadcasts in a yellow jumpsuit. He later pled guilty to assault.

After these kinds of terrible candidate endorsements and lies, should voters really listen to the chamber any more about which candidates and issues to back in local elections?

Of course not.

The better idea is to listen to the chamber so you can do the opposite of what they recommend.

There are plenty of good and important people in Grand Junction besides business and private property owners, yet in every election cycle, council candidates ignore them. What about retirees, students, disabled citizens, people who work for salaries like nonprofit workers, retail workers, landscape workers, day care workers, restaurant workers, teachers, government employees and volunteers, to name a few?

Don’t these people matter to candidates and elected officials, once they get into office? Why are none of these groups considered viable constituencies worth pursuing at election time and serving once in office?

Arguably, these citizens are the real lifeblood of our area. Not only do they provide important local services, but they earn the money that gets spent at local businesses. Without these people as customers, local businesses would die. But who fights for THEIR best interests?

No one, so far.

ManBalloonIt’s way beyond time for council candidates to acknowledge that there are many voters in town with needs besides private property owners, business owners and people who want more belt-tightening by City Council. There are plenty of business-friendly tightwads on Council already. What we need at long last are candidates who care about average, hard-working Grand Junction residents, many of whom live on the edge, have difficulty feeding their kids, making ends meet and affording medical and dental care. We need council candidates who will vow to support these people’s interests and needs if elected to Council.

Now THAT would be one giant breath of fresh air.

The Daily Sentinel’s Energy Expo Coverage Disappoints

The Daily Sentinel ignored the important back stories about this year's Energy Expo, leaving people wondering if they were trying to protect the local oil and gas industry

The Daily Sentinel ignored the important back stories about this year’s Energy Expo, leaving people wondering if the paper was trying to protect the local oil and gas industry

In an era of corporate concentration of media ownership, Grand Junction citizens are fortunate to have a daily paper whose publisher, editors and reporters live in the same community in which they work. The thought is that by living here, Sentinel employees will be more responsive and cover what people in this area really need to know, so citizens can make more informed choices when it comes to local politics and economic development.

Since Jay Seaton replaced George Orbanek as the paper’s publisher several years ago, the Sentinel has acted noticeably less like a poodle for the area’s political elite, an started showing more backbone in its reporting. I’ve been greatly impressed by the Sentinel’s new willingness to do whatever it takes to get the information its readers deserve, from filing Freedom of Information Act requests to bringing lawsuits to access to information important to area residents. On occasion, the Sentinel has even taken real risks to pursue its mission. One example is how the paper exposed the hypocrisy of the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce in claiming to promote local business while taking its own business out of town. (Reporting on the chamber’s antics is not without its risks for the Sentinel. The chamber buys huge amounts of advertising in the Sentinel, pumping tens of thousands of dollars into the paper’s coffers annually. That’s money the paper risks losing if it gets crosswise with the chamber.) The Sentinel also reported in detail on the Grand Junction Regional Airport Board’s fraud and corruption and former State Senator Steve King’s embezzling. The way the Sentinel doggedly pursued those stories for its readers was a big reason why I subscribed to the Sentinel again after 20 years of boycotting the paper. I saw real change for the better in our local paper, and wanted to support it with my dollars.

That’s also why the Sentinel’s coverage of John L. Casey’s appearance the Energy Expo was so incredibly disappointing.

Just when I and probably many others started to think the Sentinel was finally starting to tell the real stories of what goes on around here, the poodle re-emerges.

“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.

Ray Scott Working to Block Constituents’ Access to the Courts for Construction Defects

Water intrusion issues around windows may not become apparent until years after construction is complete.

Water intrusion issues around windows may not become apparent until years after construction is complete.

On January 14, Colorado State Sen. Ray Scott introduced SB15-091 (pdf), a bill titled “Reduce Statute Of Limitations Construction Defects,” that would protect developers from lawsuits when things go drastically wrong with the homes they build. Scott’s bill would cut in half the amount of time homeowners in Colorado would have to file lawsuits over construction defects, from six years to three. If enacted, the bill would shield homebuilders from being accountable for significant problems and expenses that homeowners incur due to construction defects they discover just a few years after moving in a new home. Most states provide consumers a 10-12 year window in which to file suits over damages due to construction defects in a new home. Scott’s bill would make Colorado one of the states with the smallest windows for consumers to gain recourse against shoddy construction.

Many construction defects aren’t apparent until years after construction, after the home has been through several wind, rain and snow storms, and cycles of cold, heat, dryness and humidity. It takes time for these conditions to reveal problems with roofs, foundations or wall construction, like use of inadequate materials or poor workmanship. Mistakes and oversights by builders or subcontractors are not only common, but are often completely unnoticeable within the first few years after construction. They can also result in extremely costly repairs for the homeowners. Under Scott’s bill, homeowners would be left holding the bag for expensive repairs to their homes needed due to shoddy construction.

Beware of Tricks at Local Grocery Stores

Read the fine print: the chicken is artificially injected with a 15% saline solution, for which you are paying by the pound

Read the fine print: the chicken is artificially injected with a 15% saline solution, for which you are paying by the pound

Last summer I picked up two raw chickens on sale at City Market, put one in the freezer and the other on the smoker for dinner. When it was done and I cut into it, the chicken oozed a milky-looking liquid and had a weird, stringy texture that all dinner guests agreed made it just too unappealing to eat. With my main dish inedible, I ran back to City Market with the second chicken and told them something was very wrong with it. They gave me my money back and I bought a ready-made rotisserie chicken to substitute for dinner that night. To say we were disappointed was an understatement.

After that, I couldn’t help but wonder: what was wrong with my chicken that it came out so funky?

The answer is, it wasn’t really chicken. The fine print on the label said the chicken had been “enhanced” with a “15% solution of chicken broth.”

This is what ruined my dinner. I cooked a chicken that had been pumped full of liquid, when I thought I was buying just chicken. It was also on sale, which meant it had probably been sitting around a little longer than desired prior to purchase.

“Enhancing” chicken is a euphemism for injecting it with a mixture of water, phosphate, sodium and sometimes carrageenan, a chemical derived from seaweed that increases the chicken’s ability to hold the injected liquid in its tissues. Injecting it this way plumps up the chicken, making it look more appealing to consumers. You can see a video of a chicken-injecting machine at work here.

Stacy London: What Not to Promote

On July, 8, 2013, Stacy London, star of the TV show What Not To Wear, entered into a partnership with drug maker AbbVie, manufacturer of the anti-psoriasis drug, Humira. Humira is reportedly responsible for 70% of the drug maker’s profits. The promotional campaign is called  “Uncover Your Confidence with Stacy London.”

StacyLondon

Stacy London of the TLC TV show “What Not to Wear,” promotes a psoriasis self-help website in partnership with AbbVie, the manufacturer of Humira, a drug the company promotes to treat psoriasis. Humira has been demonstrated to have potentially deadly side effects. Warnings even say Humira can CAUSE psoriasis — the very condition is is prescribed to treat.

The campaign would be great except for the long list of dire adverse effects and side effects Humira has had on patients who have used it.

Humira works by suppressing your immune system, but a weakened immune system can leave your body’s defenses too weak to protect you from ordinary bacterial infections and a host of other rare deadly diseases. The adverse effects and side effects of Humira have been so bad that the FDA has required a black box warning on the drug telling users they can get “Serious infections and malignancy that may lead to hospitalization or death.” Infections and cancers linked to Humira include tuberculosis, lymphoma, skin cancer, leukemia,  Kaposi’s sarcoma (a tumor caused by a herpes virus). Adverse effects of Humira include liver failure, sarcoidosis, Guillain-Barre syndrome (progressive paralysis), stroke, pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis and more.

London’s campaign misleads

The campaign featuring London leads people to believe that she recovered from psoriasis by using Humira, but she has written a book in which she states that her psoriasis cleared up after she had a tonsillectomy at age 17. She writes, “No only did the operation clear up my skin, but I haven had an outbreak of psoriasis since.”

The information about what actually cleared up London’s psoriasis is not contained on her “UncoverYourConfidence.com” website, sponsored by AbbVie.

Dr. David Healy, who wrote a book exposing the pharmaceutical industry called “Pharmageddon” (and who runs the website RxIsk.org, which crowd-sources data on drug side effects),  wrote an article in August, 2013,  “Stacy London, What Not to Take,” which asked London to help psoriasis sufferers by letting them know AbbVie has taken legal action against the European Medicines Agency to try and block access to data on Humira’s side effects (pdf).