Tag: Public safety

Trump-branded weaponry being promoted in advance of 2024 election

This ad for a “Take America Back” 10-inch Trump knife was displayed alongside a Tina Peters video on Rumble.com, a MAGA extremist video hosting site, on April 28, 2024

MAGA supporters are using Trump-themed weaponry to encourage malice and division and threaten pro-Trump political violence in advance of the 2024 election, a dangerous specter that is threatening the foundations of American democracy and civil society.

Mesa County Commissioners ignoring safety concerns & quietly working to tweak land use code to advantage large scale solar development, citizens say

Commercial solar development on east Orchard Mesa (Photo: High Noon Solar)

On January 9, Mesa County Commissioners Janet Rowland, Cody Davis and Bobbie Daniel voted to put a moratorium on large-scale solar development in the County supposedly to take time to address the community’s growing concerns over these developments. Citizens are worried that the current county Land Development Code (LDC) contains no provisions protecting agricultural and irrigated land, wildlife, water sheds and view sheds from these developments, as well as no requirements for fire protection, buffers, setbacks or plans to decommission these installations that will assure solar plants that get destroyed by inclement weather or live out their expected life spans are cleaned up in a way that minimizes  environmental harm and expense to local taxpayers.

But who’s going to sue them?

This editorial from the Thursday, Sept. 21, 2023 issue of the Daily Sentinel is reprinted here with permission from the publisher. The original editorial is on the Sentinel’s website here. The added graphics are AnneLandmanBlog’s own embellishments.

By violating Colorado’s 2008 Public Health Act, Mesa County Commissioner Janet Rowland has captured the Board of Public Health and put herself in a position to push her personal religious views and political whims onto the agency

Mesa County commissioners would like their constituents to believe they are “by the book” policy makers.

But they’re willing to toss the book out the window if it interferes with their fever to micromanage Mesa County Public Health.

The latest twist in the commissioners’ slow, indelicate and legally questionable takeover of the public health board is that commissioners now control the agenda of what is supposed to be an independent body.

Pretty slick. Commissioners did it with the full cooperation of a new health board it installed after the old one resigned en masse when it became clear commissioners intended to revoke their appointments for not acquiescing to the commissioners’ demand to fire MCPH Executive Director Dr. Jeff Kuhr.

Why we need to worry about County Commissioner Janet Rowland’s takeover of Mesa County Public Health Dept.

A Facebook post by Janet Rowland during her 2020 campaign. The Washington Times is owned by the Unification Church and is noted for spreading misinformation about Coronavirus, climate change, the harmful effects of secondhand smoke and other issues. As of May, 2023, there have been 1.13 million deaths from Covid in the U.S., a number far from “ridiculously low”

In the wake of Commissioner Janet Rowland’s recent coup over the Mesa County Public Health Department, if the the past is a predictor of future behavior, under Rowland the Health Department is likely in for a significant reduction in its ability to respond to public health threats, and area residents will likely face more danger from emerging health threats.

How to implement Colorado’s Red Flag law in Mesa County

Are you aware of someone who owns firearms and is presenting a danger to themselves or others?

Colorado’s new Red Flag law was passed in 2019 and went into effect in January of 2020.

A Red Flag law is an “if-you-see-something-say-something” law put in place by the Colorado Legislature to give Coloradans a way to alert law enforcement to people who have guns and are posing a threat to themselves or others.

Red Flag laws, also called Extreme Risk Protection Orders or ERPOs, give judges the ability to seize the firearms of people who are posing a danger to themselves or others, to protect public safety.

The law was created to give people a way to try to head off incidents of lethal domestic violence, suicides and mass shootings like those currently proliferating across the U.S. in schools, shopping malls, theaters, grocery stores, universities, in parking lots, at parades, in offices and other places Americans go in the course of their everyday lives. As of May 8, 2023, there have been more mass shootings than there have been days in America, so the threat of mass killings being committed by people who own or possess firearms is very real and happening more frequently now than ever before in our history.

The law was used 73 times in the first 7 months after it was enacted and as of the end of 2022, it has been used more than 350 times.

March for Our Lives to hold local rally Sat., 6/11 at the Old Mesa County Courthouse, 6th & Rood, 10:00-11:30 a.m.

The national student-led group March For Our Lives will hold a local rally Saturday, June 11, from 10:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m. at the Old Mesa County Courthouse at 6th and Rood to demand legislators enact policy measures to reduce the epidemic of gun massacres now gripping America. The rally will feature local youth and adult speakers and a march through downtown Grand Junction and more.

Daily Sentinel & Mesa County Public Health Department appear to take steps to shield CMU from criticism

The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel and Mesa County Public Health Department appear to be shielding Colorado Mesa University from public criticism over its handling of the Coronavirus pandemic by minimizing and obscuring information about Covid outbreaks and how the school is handling cases.

Buried towards the end of an article in today’s Sentinel about Covid cases in area schools was a reference to a situation in which a CMU student who was sick with Covid-19 and quarantined in Piñon Hall failed to get any food delivered for two days. The paper referred to the situation as “one minor communications issue” and made it sound like the student was to blame, along with a single poster in the dorm.

In Facebook video update, CDOT says Glenwood Canyon has 10 different debris slides between No Name and Dostero

CDOT photo of Glenwood Canyon today

Upwards of ten separate debris slides occurred last night in I-70 in Glenwood Canyon between No Name and Dostero as a result of thunderstorms, the Colorado Department of Transportation reported in a live video update on Facebook at 3:30 p.m. this afternoon.

Have you ever helped reverse a drug overdose? If so, your story is needed.

The University of Colorado Denver’s Anthropology Department is looking for Coloradans who have attempted to reverse a drug overdose and who are willing to tell their stories in a digital storytelling project for the benefit of Colorado.

The goal of the project is to increase knowledge about the role the use of drugs like Naloxone and Narcan play in reducing opioid overdoses in Colorado. These personal stories will be recorded and used to increase awareness of the importance of these drugs in helping to reduce the opioid overdose epidemic in the state. The project will also benefit opioid users who are at risk of suffering an overdose.

March planned to draw attention to police murder of Fruita man, Gage Lorentz

Gage Lorentz was murdered las March 21 by a Carlsbad Caverns National Park Ranger who shot him after pulling him over for going too fast on a dirt road. Lorentz was unarmed and unintoxicated at the time. No charges have been brought in the case.

A peaceful march will be held Saturday, October 17, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. at Stoker Stadium to demand justice for Gage Lorentz, a 26 year old Fruita man who was shot and killed March 21 by a Carlsbad Caverns National Park National Park Ranger after the ranger pulled him over for speeding on a dirt road. 

Lorentz was unarmed and had no drugs or alcohol in his system at the time he was pulled over.

Lorentz was driving home from Pecos, Texas, where he worked on drilling rigs, to see his family in Fruita when he took a short detour to meet a friend in Carlsbad Caverns National Park. While in the Park, Ranger Robert Mitchell pulled Lorentz over for speeding on a dirt road near the Rattlesnake Springs area of the park, a type of traffic stop that typically results in a warning or a ticket.

Body cam video shows Lorentz, clearly nervous, complying with the officer’s orders to get out of his truck and keep his hands visible, but he refused the officer’s demand to turn around and put his back to the officer. Mitchell started a scuffle with Lorentz and ended up shooting and killing Lorentz. No one has been charged in Lorentz’s murder.

Grand Junction’s growing illegal fireworks problem

Kids playing with illegal fireworks on 7/4/2019 started a fire that threatened to burn eight houses on the Redlands.

Independence Day in Mesa County offers fun and entertainment for many, but also causes fear, anxiety, property loss and taxpayer expense from fires and injuries.

This year, kids playing with illegal fireworks started a wildfire that endangered eight houses on the Redlands. The residents were briefly ordered to evacuate.

One good thing Trump has done: Banning bump stocks

Trump banned bump stocks last December by executive action, and the new law is effective NOW.

Watch out, local gun nuts. President Donald Trump is coming for your guns.

Last December, President Trump issued an executive order banning bump stocks (pdf), devices that use the recoil energy generated from each shot of a semi-automatic rifle to increase the firearms’ rate of fire. The new rule amended the definition of “machine gun” to include bump stocks.

The ban went into effect three days ago, on March 26, 2019, exactly 90 days after it was published in the Federal Register.

On March 28, 2019 the U.S. Supreme Court refused an effort by gun nuts to block the ban, so Trump’s new rule is currently in full force, making anyone who owns a bump stock a felon.

Grand Junction wants to increase its sales tax, but it should stop wasting existing funds and tap obvious sources of new revenue first

As a liberal progressive voter, I believe it is our patriotic duty to pay taxes for public amenities that make our quality of life great, like public safety.

This coming April, though, Grand Junction City Council will ask voters to increase the City’s combined sales tax rate from the current 8.02% to a whopping 9.16%, a rate even higher than the City of Boulder.

City Council has very good arguments for needing more money: we need more fire stations, emergency response times are too long, and we have roads and bridges in need maintenance and repair.

Of course City residents want the safety and security of these amenities, but the City hasn’t done anywhere near all it could to make the best use of revenues it already has, and to create new revenue streams to fund City necessities before it goes to City residents with a request that they pay such a big increase in city sales tax.

The Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce takes off it’s fig leaf

Grand Valley Drainage District pipe choked with weeds. (Photo credit: GVDD)

If there is a shred of doubt left that the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce exists only to promote it’s own political ideology, it dispelled that notion today with an ad in the Daily Sentinel endorsing the Grand Valley Drainage District (GVDD) Board candidate notable for being the remarkably far less qualified person for the seat.

The Chamber endorsed the less-qualified candidate for one reason only: she opposes the fee imposed by the GVDD in 2016 to raise funds for crucial improvements needed to the Grand Valley’s stormwater drainage system. Residents pay an extra $3/month. The fees assessed to businesses are higher because their larger “big box” buildings and paved parking lots create far more polluted stormwater runoff than homes, burdening the valley’s drainage system more than residences do. The drainage system, designed in 1915 primarily to collect agricultural seep from fields, is already in bad shape and needs improvement and expansion to cope with the valley’s change from primarily a rural/agricultural area into an urban area. If runoff exceeds the amount of drainage capacity we have, the result will be flooding, property damage and damage to other important infrastructure, like roads.

Flex your muscle by getting out and voting in the May 8 Drainage District election!

Why drainage matters: Sherwood Park flooding after a sudden heavy summer rainstorm

Mark your calendars: there’s a local election coming up that Grand Valley progressives and intelligent voters can actually win if they just get out to vote: It’s an election in which typically only about 200 people turn out vote, so one or two dozen extra voters coming out could really tip the entire election in a good way for our valley. It’s for the District 3 seat seat on the Grand Valley Drainage District (GVDD) board, and it’s coming up May 8. (pdf)

The difference between the two candidates is stark. It should make for a very easy decision by voters.

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.

Grand Junction Chamber Opposes Protections for Public and Environment from Drilling Hazards

Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce President Diane Schwenke and the Chamber’s Board oppose a legal ruling that protects Colorado residents from drilling hazards.

The Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce is squarely opposed to protecting Colorado residents’ safety when it comes to oil and gas operations, and is demonstrating this by siding with oil and gas companies in an ongoing court case filed by Colorado children who feel their health, safety and the environment are threatened by overly permissive drilling and fracking activity.

Spring Open Burn Season Fouls the Air, Casts a Pall over the Grand Valley

 

The Grand Valley’s springtime air is fouled with smoke from open burning

It’s springtime and open burning season is upon us once again, giving Grand Valley residents sore throats, burning eyes, runny noses, headaches and asthma attacks. Beautiful spring days that dawn clear and bright are soon fouled by dense plumes of smoke that drift across the valley forcing people to close their doors and windows and grab their inhalers. KKCO 11 News on March 16 said, “Add in an early allergy season and you have a recipe for a breathing disaster.”

And a disaster it is, for many people, and not just for their health, but for their property, too.