Tag: Extremism

Western slopers who fail to grasp danger of Coronavirus are threatening public health

Post on the Grand Junction Community Message Board on Facebook yesterday by Anita Heffalump, who has since changed her name on Facebook to “Anita Hippogriff”

 

Local resident Anita Heffalump alarmed members of the community yesterday by posting an event on the Grand Junction Community Message Board Facebook page that urged people to physically gather to protest public health authorities’ stay-at-home order aimed at protecting people from the pandemic spread of COVID-19, the deadly disease caused by Coronavirus.

Coronavirus currently has no no treatment, no cure, no immunization available to prevent it, and is killing people throughout the globe at an alarming rate. The only tool available to reduce transmission of the new virus and save lives during the pandemic is to distance ourselves from each other by staying home as much as possible.

Ray Scott trounced in Republican Assembly

Ray Scott

Republican State Senator Ray Scott got only 107 out of 349 total delegate votes cast for County Commissioner in yesterday’s Mesa County Republican Assembly. Scott, who is running for the District 1 commissioner seat, is seeking to abandon his state senate seat halfway through his term and seize the job of County Commissioner instead, which would pay him three times as much ($30k vs. $90k/ year).

Scott got crushed at the assembly by Cody Davis, former chair of the Grand Valley Drainage District, who won 231 votes. Even with that miserable result, though, Scott will still be able to appear on the primary ballot in June.

Republican Party sends out fake census forms just as real census begins

Republicans are sending out fake “Census” forms to try and fool voters into thinking they’ve already answered the 2020 census

Republicans are sending out fake “census” forms to voters in an attempt to fool people out of participating in the real government census. The fake form also tries to convince recipients to send money to the Republican Party.

The administrator of a private Facebook group called “The Left Slope” posted photos on Facebook of a fake “census” form he got in the mail, sent by the Republican Party. Republicans designed the mailing specifically to resemble an official Census form, with a sheet containing survey questions. The mailer also has big letters declaring that it is the “2020 Congressional District Census.”

Western slope nonprofit group encourages people to report violations of separation of church and state

The western slope’s nonprofit watchdog organization Western Colorado Atheists and Freethinkers (WCAF) encourages people to report violations of separation of church and state in places like public schools and at local government meetings, so they can address the violations.

Past violations reported to WCAF have included a Mesa County Commissioner praying to Jesus Christ at the start of public hearings, a Delta county middle school student being forced to watch a nativity play after asking to opt out, a Delta County middle school teacher hosting weekly Bible study classes in his own classroom immediately before school and handing out free doughnuts to students who attended, Fellowship Church promoting its youth indoctrination center in a Mesa County middle school by showing a video about it during gym period and handing students admission slips to the facility afterward, a Mesa County elementary school student being told by a lunch aide in the cafeteria in front of her friends that she MUST believe in God “because God created everything,” a Delta County high school student having her grades slashed and college grant applications sabotaged for reporting Christian proselytizing going on within the  school system, Colorado Mesa University students having Gideon Bibles foisted on them as they stepped off the dais at their graduation ceremony, a Delta County Middle School teacher telling her class that “non-Christians are bad people” and “the bombers aren’t Christians,” quoting the Bible in class, and much more.

The Daily Sentinel abdicates its mission, caves to Trumpism

In an editorial January 23 the Daily Sentinel announced it is giving up reporting on Donald Trump’s impeachment. The Sentinel says since they’re not going to change any minds, they’re just going to throw up their hands and give up reporting on it entirely. The paper blames readers, saying “There’s nothing rational about the way people feel about the president.” The shocker here is that the Daily Sentinel is openly abdicating its mission of disseminating information because of Trump supporters.

But it’s also a major false equivalency to say that Trumpers and those who support his impeachment and removal from office are all equally irrational.

They are not equivalent, and the Sentinel knows it.

Rallies to support impeachment planned in G.J. and across the nation

A rally to urge Colorado’s elected officials to impeach and remove President Donald Trump is planned in Grand Junction on Tuesday, December 17 at 5:30 p.m. in the parking lot behind the federal building  at 400 Rood Ave. Senator Cory Gardner’s office is in the federal building on Rood and House Representative Tipton’s office is in the Alpine Bank Building next door.

This national mobilization is scheduled the day before the House of Representatives is expected to vote on adopting two Articles of Impeachment (pdf) against President Trump that the House Judiciary Committee approved on Friday, December 13. The articles describe high crimes and misdemeanors the President has committed while in office:

Rick Wagner’s column illustrates problems with conservative thought

Rick Wagner’s column in the October 16, 2019 issue of the Daily Sentinel

In his column in the 10/16/2019 issue of the Daily Sentinel, local lawyer and perennially annoying right-wing political columnist Rick Wagner asks why Proposition CC on the current ballot is identified using double letters. “Have we run through the alphabet once already?” Wagner guesses, apparently attempting to infer something negative about the state ballot. He doesn’t answer the question, and is content to not to find out the real answer.

This demonstrates a common problem with right wing argumentation: They are an incurious bunch and think information doesn’t matter. Don’t know something? Gloss over it, make a joke, make some incorrect innuendo. No one cares, no big deal.

Wagner thinks his readers should just take his word for whatever he says.

Swastika scrawled on Riverfront Trail in Grand Junction

Swastika graffiti painted on the Riverfront Trail in Grand Junction.

Graffiti of a swastika was found yesterday, October 10, on the section of the Riverfront Trail just west of High Country Court in Grand Junction. The symbol is an emblem of far-right nationalist movements and is used by Nazis and neo-Nazis. It is widely considered a symbol of hate. The image was about 2 ft. by 2 ft. in yellow spray paint and was found on the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, the day of atonement that follows shortly after the Jewish new year of Rosh Hashana. The graffiti was reported to the City, who passed information about it to the Parks Department, which is in charge of maintaining the Riverfront Trail.

For more documentation of the hate culturein Grand Junction, search on the term “hate” in the search box located to the upper right side of this post.

State Senator Ray Scott cites full-on wacko nutbag source in tweet on climate change

Ray Scott’s September 17, 2019 tweet citing NaturalNews.com, a conspiracy-theorist website that rivals InfoWars

One of the most dangerous things about Colorado State Senator Ray Scott is that he can’t tell the difference between credible sources, authoritative sources of information and paid promotional research or websites known for trading in wacky conspiracy-theories.

Case in point: On September 17, 2019 Senator Scott posted a tweet saying “NASA admits that climate change occurs because of changes in Earth’s solar orbit, and NOT because of SUVs and fossil fuels.” To support this claim, Scott cites an article published by a website called “NaturalNews.com.”

So… what’s the problem?

NaturalNews.com is not anywhere close to being legitimate scientific website. In fact, it’s the polar opposite. It is described as “a conspiracy theory and fake news website” that hawks dietary supplements, promotes alternative medicine,” makes “tendentious nutrition and health claims,” promotes “fake news, and espouses various conspiracy theories.” NaturalNews.com is as far from an authoritative, legitimate science-based website as you can get.

Grand Junction mosque’s new sign vandalized

Two Rivers Mosque’s new sign after vandalism

On August 31, the Islamic Center of Grand Junction unveiled a colorful new sign installed in front of its new Two Rivers Mosque at 8th and Gunnison Ave. and held a community barbecue to celebrate. About 50 people attended the barbecue, and it was an afternoon of peace, friendship and great food.

Not three weeks later, the sign was vandalized beyond all recognition.

Sen. Ray Scott’s tweet opposes progress and planning for future

Ray Scott’s tweet lamenting planning for the future, and indicating he can’t wait for such folly to end

Is Republican State Senator Ray Scott concerned about Colorado’s economy and workforce?

It sure doesn’t look like it, judging from his twitter feed.

On September 4, Scott posted a tweet that said “2022 an’t come fast enough.” It was his response to an announcement that Governor Polis had just created a new government office to deal with pressing new problems facing Colorado’s workforce. Scott’s tweet referred to the year when Governor Polis’s first term in office will be over.

Sen. Scott tweeted his disdain Governor Polis’ newly-created “Office for the Future of Work,” announced September 4.

Sen. Scott either 1) failed to investigate the need for this office, or he 2) doesn’t care what’s going to happen to Colorado workers in the near future if we fail to plan for coming trends.

One more thing about commissioner candidate Janet Rowland…

Former County Commissioner Janet Rowland (January 2005 – January 2013) advocated a program that paid women with drug addictions $300 to get sterilized

Former Mesa County Commissioner Janet Rowland, who has already had two terms in the recent past and is now running for a third term, has given Mesa County voters plenty of reasons not to elect her again, but here’s another one, and get ready. This one is kind of creepy.

In 2008, Rowland promoted a program that paid drug-addicted women $300 to get sterilized so they couldn’t reproduce. The program, called Project Prevention, targeted its advertising mainly at women, and 37% of the women who had been sterilized under the program were African-American. In 2009, African-Americans made up just 12.4% of the U.S. population.

“Recall Polis” campaign violating laws to gather signatures – county passes Resolution prohibiting taping signs to their buildings

The Recall Polis people at 4:00 p.m. on 8/29/19 violating the law by setting up shop in a public park without obtaining the necessary permits from the City Parks and Rec Department.

Upset citizens have been contacting the City of Grand Junction Parks and Recreation Department and the Mesa County Elections Bureau left and right to complain about the “Recall Polis” campaign violating laws by putting up tables and signage in places that require permitting or where it is prohibited by law.

In the photo above, the Recall Polis people had set up their operation at Spring Valley Park on Patterson Road, a public park. A reader sent the above photo and complained to the City about it, upon which G.J. Parks and Rec Department responded:

 

Beware electing Janet Rowland as county commissioner again

Former County Commissioner Janet Rowland (January 2005 – January 2013) once compared same-sex marriage to bestiality on a state-wide talk show, drawing condemnation from around the nation.

Janet Rowland is running for Mesa County Commissioner.

Yes, again.

She’s already been a Mesa County Commissioner — from January, 2005 to January, 2013 — but that doesn’t mean her being commissioner again is a good idea. It arguably is not a good idea. From her previous two terms, we have an abundance of experience with her and know what is in store if Janet Rowland gets another chance to be Commissioner. 

So let’s take a look at the past and see what it tells us.

Morally and ethically challenged

Certainly Janet has done some good things through her career, like trying to address child abuse and finding homes for foster kids. While those endeavors are laudable, we also need to take into account all the things she’s done that have set a poor example for kids, and our entire community and that have harmed the County.

Plagiarism

Shortly after losing statewide election for lieutenant governor as Bob Beauprez’s running mate in 2006, and while she was previously Mesa County Commissioner, Janet was a guest columnist for the Grand Junction Free Press, at the time a competing newspaper to the Daily Sentinel. She wrote several articles for the Free Press until one day a sharp reader noticed Janet had lifted most of one of her columns word for word from a government-published pamphlet, and brought this information to the attention of the Free Press’s editor.

 

Feb. 3, 2007 column in the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel about Janet Rowland plagiarizing a guest column she wrote for the G.J. Free Press.

The Daily Sentinel reported on Rowland’s plagiarism on February 3, 2007:

A Mesa County official has plagiarized a government substance abuse booklet in her two most recent columns in the Grand Junction Free Press, that newspaper’s editor confirmed Friday.

The majority of Mesa County Commissioner Janet Rowland’s Feb. 1 column in the Free Press, titled “The importance of a strong parent-child bond,” was lifted verbatim from a 2006 National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism publication titled, “Making a Difference: Talk to Your Teen About Alcohol.”

A reading of Rowland’s unattributed column and the text of the booklet revealed the two are virtually identical. The only differences were found in the column’s first sentence and its lead into several bullet points.

The editor said if Rowland had been a staff writer, she probably would have been fired.

 

Janet’s first reaction to the plagiarism charge was to claim she couldn’t even remember writing the columns. (Denial.) When that failed to tamp down the controversy, she next said the information she used in her columns had been intended for “mass duplication anyhow,” adding that if people wanted to make what she did out as something evil, that was THEIR prerogative. (Sour grapes.) Next, she blamed the plagiarism on others, saying she had included the necessary attributions in her column, but Free Press staff had edited them out. (Lying and blaming.) Free Press management quickly produced the emails that contained the articles exactly as they had received them from Janet for publication, showing that they contained no references or attributions.

Job openings with the county pay $87,500/year plus benefits and require no experience

Salaries for each of the three Mesa County Commissioners for the month of June, 2019

Mesa County has two job openings right now that pay $87,300/year gross salary with additional generous perks and benefits, and that require absolutely no experience and no required level of educational attainment. That’s a pretty good wage in Mesa County for someone with no experience and no particular educational attainment, since the wages here are so low compared to the rest of the state. (The average weekly wage in Denver in the last quarter of 2018 was $1,414. In Mesa County it was $895). The opening is for two new county commissioners. The only requirements to be county commissioner — literally — are that you have to be a minimum of 18 years old and have lived in either County Commissioner District 1 or District 3 for at least one year. That’s it. In case you don’t believe me, the photo above gives the salaries for each of our three county commissioners for just one month — the month of June, 2019. The information was printed in the legal notices in the Sunday, August 11, 2019 issue of the Daily Sentinel. You can see the minimal requirements for the job yourself posted on Mesa County’s website. Multiply the above salary by 12 to get your new annual gross salary if you land this job ($87,500/year). Oh, and did I mention it’s also free to apply? You can even have a criminal record and it’s okay. This position can be held for up to 8 years.

Oklahoma is just the beginning of what life will be like under Republican rule

Oklahoma Republicans just passed a mind-blowingly strict law that makes abortion illegal in virtually every circumstance, effectively terminating the right of women in the state to control their own bodies and reproductive fate.

Oklahoma wasn’t alone in this, either. Other Republican-dominated states are also enacting extremely strict laws that effectively make abortion illegal, with some banning the procedure as soon as a fetal heartbeat is detected.

Republicans base these laws on their belief that a fetus is a fully legal person entitled to all the rights and privileges that all legal American citizens enjoy.

But if actually put into effect, what do these beliefs really portend for life in America?

Sen. Ray Scott sponsors bill to eliminate price break for low-income energy consumers

Colorado State Senator Ray Scott

Last week State Senator Ray Scott embarrassed Mesa County residents and made a fool of himself by actually saying out loud on the Senate floor that climate change has led to “massive improvements” in our climate.

Now Scott is co-sponsoring a bill, SB 19-250 (pdf), that will deal a blow to low income people served by Black Hills Energy, the gas and electricity provider for residents of Pueblo, Canyon City, Ordway and Westcliffe. Scott’s bill would do away with a two-tiered rate structure Black Hills Energy put in place in 2017 to help low income energy consumers by giving them more protection from a state-approved rate increase that happened that same year.

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.