Tag: safety

Republicans at every level of government have blood on their hands for U.S. gun massacres

CO Senator Cory Gardner has taken $3.8 million from the NRA and reliably votes against measures to reduce gun violence in the U.S.

Another day, another gun massacre.

Still Republican legislators don’t even lift a finger to address it. “Thoughts and prayers” is their only response, since it holds off action on the insane proliferation of guns in this country, and blocks discussion of what can be done about mass gun violence in the U.S.

There is only one reason why gun massacres are now a common occurrence: America is awash in guns. It’s way too easy to get guns, even extremely dangerous ones, and it has been for far too long. People can  legally amass entire arsenals. The colossal number of guns washing around in the U.S. compared to other countries makes it extremely easy for anyone with even the most petty grievance to use a gun to settle a perceived score by killing people en masse.

And that’s exactly what is happening.

CBS/Washington Post: U.S. Congress complicit in advancing the U.S. opioid epidemic

Colorado House Rep. Scott Tipton. The bill that hobbled DEA’s pursuit of out-of-control opioid pharmaceutical distribution passed the House on a voice vote, so no record of individual votes was made.

A blockbuster CBS News/60 Minutes and Washington Post investigation reveals that after the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) cracked down on big pharmaceutical distributors who were knowingly pumping millions of addictive opioid drugs into the black market in cities and towns across the country, the U.S. Congress passed a law to block DEA from freezing such highly suspicious drug shipments to keep them from getting to the streets.

Businesses beg city to fix Horizon Drive Deathtrap; City claims “Sorry, no funds”

Matthew Bandelin, struck by a vehicle and killed at age 38 while trying to cross Horizon Drive in January, 2015

The headline article in today’s Daily Sentinel, “No quick fix on Horizon,” tells how for years businesses along Horizon Drive have been begging the City of Grand Junction to make the street safer for pedestrians.

Three pedestrians, all tourists, have been killed by vehicles on Horizon Drive in the last seven years trying to cross the street between the hotels and restaurant establishments. The three victims were all killed within 700 feet of each other. These people lost their lives merely because they visited our town. Many others have been very badly injured crossing Horizon Drive, but lived. The safety problem on Horizon has been well known to the City for a long time, but nothing has been done during all this time to make the street any safer for pedestrians.

Rep. Scott Tipton: A One-Man Wrecking Ball for Coloradans

House Rep. Scott Tipton votes against financial transparency in government, against protecting citizens’ health and against American workers

Think House Representative Scott Tipton is on your side? Think again.

In the last couple of weeks, Rep. Tipton has voted against cleaner air, against creating more American jobs, and in favor of keeping financial information secret that would allow Congress to tell if changes President Trump proposes in the U.S. tax code would benefit his family’s income.

Buy a gun for Father’s Day? Think again.

Shame on Sportsman’s Warehouse for advertising guns on sale for Father’s Day. Mesa County has one of the highest suicide rates in the country, and women comprise 75% of all fatal domestic violence victims by guns in the U.S.

Sportsmans’ Warehouse ran a big ad in today’s Daily Sentinel touting a big sale on guns and ammo for Father’s Day.

This does our area a big disservice.

There is a huge intersection between fatal domestic violence killings and guns, and keeping guns in the home raises the risk of homicide, suicide and accidental shootings tremendously.

In Colorado alone, there have been 105 domestic violence homicides by gun since 2006.

Cell Tower to be Built in North Grand Junction Neighborhood Without Public Hearings

 

The spot where the proposed cell phone tower is to be located, in the field at 26 1/2 and G Roads, across the street from Holy Family School

If you live in the area of 26 1/2 and H Roads, a big change is coming to your neighborhood, and it may not be a change you’re going to like.

Verizon Wireless has submitted plans to the Grand Junction Planning Department to build a cell phone tower in a field right near the corner of 26 1/2 and H Roads, in the city-owned cornfield known as “Saccomano Park.”

Grand Junction Business Owner Trying to Make People Feel Safer in Wake of Election

The T-Shirt Litsheim plans to market to help make people feel safer

The T-Shirt Litsheim plans to market to help make people feel safer. To get your “Protector of Peace, Ally to All” shirt, call or text Litsheim at 970-201-8752.

After David Litsheim, owner of Seeds of Revolution at 241 Grand Ave., started reading growing numbers of first-hand accounts on social media of racist assaults and bullying after the election, he wanted to find a way to address the problem. With help from Bryan Wade, Litsheim designed a highly visible T-shirt that will serve as a symbol telling people “If you are being intimidated or fear for your safety, come to this person because they are safe.”

The campaign mimics a similar campaign that sprang up in the United Kingdom after Donald Trump’s election. Brits have started wearing safety pins on their lapels to symbolize anti-bigotry, anti-violence and safety.

Delta County School District Has Lots to Answer For

DDServicesThe Delta County School District is in serious need of help.

The recent exposure of the extent of Christian proselytizing in the Delta County school system has not just raised eyebrows locally, state-wide, nationally and internationally. It has encouraged Delta area residents to come forward with their own personal stories of proselytizing and discrimination in Delta public schools and their workplaces, and how it has affected their lives.

Community Hospital: a Welcome Secular Option for Mesa County

The entry hallway of the new Community Hospital building on G Road near 24 Road

The entry hallway of the new Community Hospital building on G Road near 24 Road

Community Hospital will open its long-awaited new hospital on G Road near 24 Road on March 17.

It’s a gorgeous building, with beautiful main hallways, state-of-the art equipment, large windows on every floor, wonderful views and tons of light. It has 44 private rooms and a new labor and delivery center with extra beds for family members and jacuzzi tubs, all inside each of the exclusive individual birthing suites. The new emergency room is much bigger and better equipped than the old building’s, and the hospital has lots comfy waiting areas throughout for families and friends of patients.

The hospital employees who took the time last Saturday to give the public tours of the new building were enthusiastic about the move to the new facility and obviously very dedicated to their jobs.

A Very Important Option

In addition to its great new building, Community Hospital also offers Mesa County residents another very important value: it’s a secular (non-religious) hospital that can offer full service medical care to everyone.

St. Mary’s Hospital and Medical Center, a Catholic facility, is the biggest hospital between Denver and Salt Lake City, but because what happens at St. Mary’s is guided by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (pdf) rather than by the most informed decisions of doctors, Catholic hospitals can deny people access to many important and necessary health care services and procedures.

Grand Valley Residents Jump the Gun on Open Polluting Season 2016

A Grand Junction resident at

A Grand Junction resident at 720 26 Road openly burns a pile of yard debris on February 28, several days before the official start of Mesa County’s Spring Open Polluting season, which runs from March 1 to May 31.

Spring Open Polluting season is almost here in Mesa County, but many landowners who are eager to burn leaves and trash can’t wait. They’re jumping the gun and polluting their neighbors’ air earlier than the law allows.

Open Polluting Season in the county officially starts on March 1 and runs until the end of May. During this time, area residents can legally burn yard debris and force their neighbors inhale the smoke without concern for the health or welfare of anyone around them. The County also permits open polluting in September and October. During these months citizens are allowed to pour trash into the Grand Valley’s air and suffocate nearby residents with clouds of stinky smoke during the five most beautiful months of spring and fall, ironically at the same time outdoor temperatures become most conducive to enjoying outdoor activities.

Another “Responsible” Mesa County Gun Owner at Work?

From the Saturday, February 20, 2016 Daily Sentinel. "Oops! Anybody seen my lost handgun?"

From the Saturday, February 20, 2016 Daily Sentinel: Oops! Anybody seen my lost handgun?

Incredibly, Colorado has no law requiring firearm owners to report the loss or theft of a firearm. One study (pdf) found that states without mandatory lost or stolen gun reporting laws export two and a half times more crime guns across state lines than jurisdictions with such laws. Eight-five percent of lost or stolen guns are never recovered, and police say stolen and illegal guns are at the root of violence across the country.

Public Restroom Review: Western Colorado Botanical Gardens/Las Colonias Park

View when you walk in the door of the public restrooms at the Western Colorado Botanical Garden parking lot

View when you walk in the door of the public restrooms at the Western Colorado Botanical Garden parking lot

Hold your nose, open the door and peer into the new public restrooms at the Western Colorado Botanical Gardens parking lot, and you’re in for a big, pleasant surprise.

The facility is brightly lit, remarkably clean, spacious, and warmed just enough in February to take the edge off toilet seat butt shock. All the stall doors are intact, have sturdy latches and, in a huge plus, the toilets are automatic flushers! No more being forced to look at the objectionable results of the last user’s (or should I say “loser’s”?) failure to flush.

Rep. Yeulin Willett: Let Those Ladies Wear Pink!

Rep. Willett -- What world is he living in? It ain't Mesa County any more!

Photo Credit: Facebook

Things aren’t going too well for folks here in Mesa County, but you wouldn’t know it from what Colorado House Representative Yeulin Willett is up to.

Rep. Willett is sponsoring a bill to make it legal for women to wear pink when hunting.

Yes, isn’t that just so wonderful of him to consider what the little ladies would prefer to wear in the woods?

In the mean time, more Mesa County residents than ever are living in poverty, falling into homelessness and freezing in the cold, working at low-paying jobs, more District 51 kids than ever are going hungry and more of our citizens are committing suicide.

Need We Ask Why?

Mesa County has one of the highest suicide rates in the nation, and most suicides are by gunshot wound. Need we wonder why?

Mesa County has one of the highest suicide rates in the nation, and most suicides in our area are from gunshot wounds. The above photos show how the local gun culture contributes to this situation. If the most common method of suicide in Mesa County was arson, would hardware stores put their blow torches on sale?

The Best Home Health Caregiver in Grand Junction is Available to Help

CaregiverDo you have an elderly parent who needs help around the house cooking, cleaning, shopping and taking medications? Are you struggling to keep a disabled friend in his or her own home? Are you an older person yourself in need of help around the house so you can stay out of a nursing home or institution?

If so, you’re in luck, because the best freelance home health provider in Grand Junction is now available to help.

Sharon Schultz is the freelance home health care giver I hired to take care of my elderly mom full time in 2012. She came highly recommended to me by a friend who employed her for three years to take care of her own mom. I was so lucky Sharon was available just at the time when my Mom started needing extra help. Sharon was Mom’s caregiver and companion for three years, until she died last June 10. Sharon is truly the best caregiver you could ever find, and we were endlessly impressed with her.

Sharon is a skilled and patient memory care specialist who worked for many years in institutional settings locally, but who wanted to provide better care to her charges than she was able to do in an institution. The best way she could do that, she found, was to work on a freelance basis, so that is what she does.

What the Grand Junction Economic Partnership Won’t Tell You About the Grand Valley

Open burning in Mesa County creates traffic hazards as well as cardiac and respiratory hazards for many residents

Open burning in Mesa County creates traffic hazards and poses a cardiac and respiratory threat to many residents for months out of the year

The Grand Junction Economic Partnership (GJEP) recently revealed an attractive new website to try to lure more educated people to relocate to Mesa County, but it avoids telling the whole story about what people face when they move here.

Hazardous Waste Capital of Colorado

One important thing people need to know when considering a move to the Grand Valley is that Mesa County is the hazardous waste dump capital of the state. Mesa County is home to the largest radioactive hazardous waste repository in the state, the Cheney Repository, a 94 acre industrial waste site completed in 1994. The Cheney site sits on the flanks of the scenic Grand Mesa, near another hazardous waste site the Mesa County Commissioners approved in 2012, Alanco Energy’s Deer Creek frackwater disposal site. That facility currently consists of 8 acres of open evaporative ponds. Trucks of full of contaminated frackwater drive from rig sites for hundreds of miles around to dump their loads there, and the noxious odors emanating from the Deer Creek facility have been making Mesa County residents for miles around sick with headaches, vomiting, sore throats, bloody noses and respiratory illnesses. Despite years of pleading for help, the county commissioners have done nothing to help the situation. Alanco owns another 160 acres at the same site, and hopes to expand its stinky frackwater and other hazardous waste dump operations. Given the hearty embrace the Mesa County Commissioners have given past hazardous waste dumps, it’s likely to happen, too.

Help Whitewater Residents End Their Hazardous Waste Hell

Whitewater residents' petition seeking help to get rid of the sickening stench of Alanco's frackwater pits.

Whitewater residents’ petition seeking help to get rid of the sickening stench of Alanco’s frackwater pits.

Whitewater residents are begging other Mesa County residents to help them, and boy, do they need our help.

Imagine you’ve bought some peaceful acreage in the outskirts of Mesa County. You finally realize your dream of owning your own land. You build a house, move in and start enjoying the beauty, quiet, views and proximity to wildlife that the area offers.

Then one day, a stench akin to metallic excrement wafts over your house. It’s doesn’t just stay for a minute. It’s not there for just an hour. It’s permanent. The stench is so strong it forces your family indoors on nice summer evenings. You have to close all your doors and windows in midsummer to try to escape it. Then your family starts getting sore throats and headaches. Your kids start having nosebleeds and vomiting. You contact local and state authorities for help, to no avail. Whatever you do — no matter how many letters you write, phone calls you make or public hearings you go to — nothing changes.

You’re stuck with it.

Welcome to the world of Whitewater residents living within smelling distance of Alanco Energy’s Deer Creek frackwater evaporation ponds.

In 2012, the County Commissioners approved construction of Alanco’s hazardous waste disposal facility in the Whitewater area. It now accepts contaminated water from fracked wells 24/7 for hundreds of miles around. The facility evaporates the contaminated water into the air to get rid of it, but it’s also Whitewater residents’ air. People who live downwind are forced to breathe everything Alanco’s evaporation pits are pumping into the air, and it’s making them sick.

No Help

Whitewater residents have been struggling to get a stop put to the harmful stench since 2013. They’ve begged Alanco Energy Services, their elected officials and health and environmental agencies from Denver to Grand Junction for help for years, all to no avail. No person and no agency has helped them. They’ve been helpless to fight the problem and continue to breathe the contaminated air around their homes and get sick.

Now they are warning other Mesa County residents that they could be next if the Commissioners keep approving this type of industrial hazardous waste development in Mesa County. They’re also asking their fellow Mesa County residents for help by signing petitions demanding commissioners either end their hell once and for all, or shut down Alanco’s hazardous stink pits.

The petition says:

Background: The Deer Creek Evaporative Waste Facility located at 5180 Highway 50 in Whitewater, began accepting “produced water” from oil and gas operations in August, 2012, despite objections from nearby residents. In September, 2013, residents living in the surrounding area began submitting complaints regarding offensive odors emanating from the facility. Complaints were addressed to the Mesa County Planning Committee, Health Department, County Commissioners, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and Alanco Energy Services, owners and operators of the facility. Odors described as “metallic” and “sickening”have often forced residents to inhibit outdoor activities and retreat indoors and close windows. Residents have experienced adverse health conditions such as headaches, dizziness, bloody noses and vomiting, which they believe are associated with the odors. Repeated complaints over a two year period have resulted in only short-term solutions with continued promise of future remedies.

Action petitioned: We, the undersigned, believe area residents have the right to full and healthy enjoyment of their property and have endured Alanco’s incompetent practices for too long. We contend that Alanco, in acting irresponsibly, sets and unhealthy precedent for prospective industrial development in Mesa County and across the entire Western Slope. Viable alternatives for treating produced water exist. Therefore, we urge our elected representatives to require Alanco to utilize proven, safe and effective treatment methodologies, or revoke the company’s Permit

You and Your Family Could Be Next

The Deer Creek frackwater disposal site (Photo credit: Mel Safken, Whitewater)

The Deer Creek frackwater disposal site (Photo credit: Mel Safken, Whitewater)

The Deer Creek frackwater disposal facility and Whitewater residents’ plight is a lesson, and a red flag to all of us. All Mesa County residents (other than the commissioners themselves, of course) currently run the risk of having a hazardous waste facility approved close enough to your homes to impact your health, quality of life and property value. If the county commissioners green light more facilities like Alanco’s hazardous stink pits and then refuse to remedy the problems these facilities cause the way they’ve failed to do in Whitewater, the rest of us run the risk of the same kind of treatment. The way the current Mesa County Commissioners revere oil and gas development, it’s a likely scenario.

It’s time for all Mesa County residents to help our Whitewater neighbors regain their health, environment and property values, and help protect ourselves from getting overrun by dangerous industrial development. You can do it by signing and circulating the petition, and showing the commissioners we all care about this disastrous situation.

To download, print and sign Whitewater residents’ petition to the Mesa County Commissioners, click here.

 

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