Tag: Corporations

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.

Why I voted “no” on Proposition DD

Proposition DD on the November 5 ballot would legalize gambling on amateur and professional sports and tax the proceeds at a rate of 10% to pay for “water projects,” purportedly projects proposed in the Colorado Water Plan.  I wasn’t sure how to vote on Prop DD until I did some research on it and put some thought into. What I found convinced me to vote “no.”

Here’s what I found out:

Beware local sales pitch for a free filet mignon dinner

Postcard mailed out locally that promotes a free meal in exchange for sitting through a financial services seminar.

Have you received a post card in the mail recently promising a free gourmet dinner, with your choice of filet mignon, poached salmon or grilled Portobello steak, at the Ocotillo Restaurant in exchange for sitting through an “informational seminar and insurance sales presentation”?

My first thought upon reading this post card was that given the high cost of the promotion — a sit-down filet mignon dinner at a really nice restaurant — that the company sponsoring this free dinner must be having a VERY hard time attracting customers on the merits of the company alone. I read the postcard thoroughly and squinted to read the mice type, which said “Securities and investment advisory services offered through Woodbury Financial Services.”

Then I looked into Woodbury Financial Services, and it was no wonder the person putting on this promo buried the company’s name in the mice type.

Grand Junction may soon lose its only secular hospital

A previous blog discussed why Mesa County residents should be glad to have an alternative to a Catholic hospital in the valley and why it is so important to people’s health to have a secular hospital option available for medical care. But our valley’s one non-religious hospital option may disappear, and soon.

In October 2018, Community Hospital and Centura Health Network signed a letter of intent to merge. It provided each party with a 120 day-long window to evaluate the deal and decide whether or not to go ahead and finalize it.

Those 120 days are almost up, and a final decision on the merger must be made by February 10th.

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.

New video highlights SD-7 candidate Chris Kennedy’s promise never to take corporate PAC money

A new video titled “Pay Scott” posted on social media highlights Senate District 7 candidate Chris Kennedy’s promise never to accept corporate PAC money and shows the extent to which incumbent District 7 State Senator Ray Scott is currently relying on corporate donors based outside his district, including big insurance and telecommunications companies, real estate companies and XCel Energy.

 

Republicans urge people to abandon their First Amendment right to petition

Firestone, CO home explosion resulting from abandoned gas lines buried near home, April, 2017 (Photo: CBS)

The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits government from “abridging the right of the people … to petition the Government for a redress of grievances,” but this isn’t stopping the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce and area oil and gas apologist Keira Bresnahan from trying to talk Mesa County residents into voluntarily giving up their right to even sign petitions to get issues on the ballot, where everyone can have a chance to consider them.

Ray Scott relying on huge amounts of campaign financing from outside Mesa County

Ray Scott’s big smile might be because his campaign is being boosted by lots of money from big corporations based outside Mesa County.

A new campaign mailer arriving in people’s mailboxes takes digs at SD-7 candidate Dan Thurlow in an effort to boost Colorado Senator Ray Scott (R-Mesa County) in the primary election this month.

The pro-Scott mailer was funded solely by a group called “Citizens for Cost Effective Government” (CFCEG), whose address is in an unspecified suite in the 56-story Republic Plaza building on 17th Street in downtown Denver. Citizens for Cost Effective Government’s funding comes from just two sources, neither of which are in Mesa County. $25,000 of their total $45,000 in funding comes from Extraction Oil and Gas Company, which — whoops! — just happens to share the same address on 17th Street as “Citizens for Cost Effective Government.”

The other $20,000 of CFCEG’s funding comes from the Colorado Apartment Association based in Denver’s Greenwood Village, not in Mesa County.

Don’t be fooled. Gun massacres are about GUNS, not mental illness.

Yes, President Trump, it IS a ‘guns situation.’

In the wake of the Parkland, Florida, school shooting, Republicans are claiming that the easy availability of guns in the U.S. isn’t even a factor in our national epidemic of mass shootings. Instead they point to mental illness as the only factor that should be considered.

Hogwash.

Rep. Scott Tipton just voted to end many of your tax deductions

Colorado House Rep. Scott Tipton

Republican western slope House Representative Scott Tipton just voted to increase the national debt by more than a trillion dollars and alter the federal tax code in ways that will likely create hardship for many of his constituents. Every Democrat and thirteen Republican House members voted against the bill, but Tipton wasn’t one of them. The vote was a relatively close 226 in favor to 205 against.

Tipton voted to pass HR-1, the Republican “tax reform” bill which ends many of the deductions people have long used to help reduce their taxable income. Here are some of the things the bill will do:

XCel will raise your gas rates every year for the next three years unless you say something NOW!

This is really short notice, but if money is tight in your household you need to know that the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) is holding a meeting tonight at the Mesa County Public Library to solicit public comments on a proposal by Xcel Energy (pdf) to raise natural gas rates by $139 million over the next three years.

The public comment hearing is today, November 2, at the Mesa County Central Library, 443 N. 6th St., in Grand Junction starting at 4 p.m. and continuing until 7 p.m. You can drop in any time during those hours, or submit comments by snailmail or email. 

A Solution to the Palisade Gas Station Sign Dilemma

You’ve seen these signs. They’re big and bright and everyone looks for them on I-70 when they need gas, food or a rest stop.

Palisade residents are gearing up to oppose a 60-foot tall, lit gas station sign that Golden Gate Petroleum, the owners of a proposed 11-pump gas station and convenience store to be built at the Exit 42 offramp in Palisade.

Current town code limits signs to 20 feet in height.  Golden Gate says people on I-70 won’t be able to see a 20 foot sign. The Palisade Town Council has already bent the rules and handed the company a variance to build a 60-foot sign, but they shouldn’t have caved so easily. Their town is really worth the fight.

State Senator Ray Scott’s Flawed, Nasty Source of Info on Climate Change

CO State Senator Rep Ray Scott (R), climate change denier and citer of foul-mouthed climate change denial author

Three days ago, Colorado State Senator Ray Scott (R-Dist. 7) posted a link on his blog to a Forbes article titled “’97% of Climate Scientists Agree’ is 100% Wrong.”

Scott posted the article as a way to tell his constituents who value the environment, “Ha! I told you so! Global warming is fake!”

The author of the article is Alex Epstein, who has a BA in philosophy from Duke University, but no scientific background. Epstein is a staunch, paid philosophical defender of the fossil fuel industry. His biggest claim to fame is a book he authored in 2014 called “The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels,” which seeks to make a philosophical case for fossil fuel use, evidently because a valid scientific case for continued fossil fuel use can’t be made.

Saying “No” to the Events Center Doesn’t Mean You’re Saying “No” to Grand Junction

Table tent-style ad for a real event coming to an existing venue in Grand Junction this May

The events center promoters call their group “Say Yes for Grand Junction,” but a “no” vote on the proposed events center doesn’t mean you are saying “no” to Grand Junction as a whole. Far from it.

Grand Junction residents aren’t shallow or selfish. They put a lot of thought into their votes, and there’s a lot to consider with this measure, particularly given Grand Junction’s dire financial position and long list of other needs.

Promoters say the events center, known as Measure 2A on the citywide ballot, will cost $65 million to build, but their own press release and the wording of the ballot measure both say that, including the financing costs over its proposed 30 year term, the total cost to taxpayers for the event center will actually come to $134 million. Fully half that amount is interest the City will have to pay on the loan needed to finance the project. That’s twice the amount we’ve been told about in promotions for the project, and while it’s the more realistic total estimated cost of the project, it’s not the figure event center promoters have been touting.

Also, voters need to consider other information about this project that isn’t being volunteered by promoters, like the potential long term risks of the project.

Putting Grand Junction’s Costco Rumors to Rest

Costco Warehouse Store – Sam’s Club is the major obstacle to Grand Junction getting a Costco

For years western slope residents have been hoping and wishing that a Costco warehouse store would open in Grand Junction.

Around 2010, rumors started circulating that Costco was considering locating a new store in Grand Junction. People even started proposing possible locations for the new store in the Daily Sentinel’s letters-to-the-editor column.

But Costco never came to Grand Junction, and to this day rumors continue to abound about why the area was passed up.

People blamed the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce for chasing Costco away, saying the Chamber wanted to keep the wage scale low here, and Costco would upend our area’s low-wage apple cart. Costco is known for it’s generous wage and benefits packages, paying a starting salary of around $17/hour, or $45,000/year, and offering employees medical insurance, retirement and more.

Others claim Costco rejected Grand Junction because of our notoriously underfunded District 51 schools. 

None of these are true.

G.J. Chamber Runs TV Ads Opposing Increase in Colorado’s Minimum Wage

Diane Schwenke of the Grand Junction Chamber quotes a statistic by Erc Fruits, a freelance, pay-for-play economic consultant who works out of his home in Portland, Oregon, producing reports that meet the needs of his paymasters

Diane Schwenke of the Grand Junction Chamber cites a statistic produced by “Eric Fruits,” a pay-for-play economic consultant who works out of his home in Portland, Oregon producing economic reports that bolster the positions of his big-business paymasters. Fruits’ claim directly contradicts the U.S. Department of Labor regarding the actual effects of increases in the minimum wage.

Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce President Diane Schwenke has been appearing on TV in ads opposing Amendment 70, which would increase in Colorado’s minimum wage to $12 and hour by 2020. The western slope has among the lowest per capita income in the state (pdf), and among the highest rates of homelessness, poverty, suicide and hunger. The ads reinforce the chamber’s longstanding reputation of opposing the best interests of area workers and their families, and continues its long-standing record of lobbying to keep area wages extraordinarily low compared to the rest of the state. The ads also reinforce the chamber’s image as an elite club that lobbies for wealthy business owners and out-of-state member corporations, while neglecting the needs of the rest of the community.

Fruits?

Why Average People Shouldn’t Listen to the Grand Junction Area Chamber

chamberIt’s election time again, and soon the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce will issue it’s “2016 Voter Guide” in an attempt to try and influence how people in Mesa County vote on ballot measures and local elected offices.

If you’re an average, hard-working working citizen in Mesa County, there is only one thing you need to know about the chamber’s voter guide: ignore it.

Why?

Because the chamber doesn’t represent Mesa County’s working population. It exists solely to promote the financial interests of the few Mesa County businesses who pay its dues, and nothing more. What’s more, most businesses oppose measures aimed at helping workers and their families, so the chamber reflexively opposes any ballot measures that would benefit the thousands of workers and residents who spend money locally and really keep this area humming.