Tag: safety

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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G.J. Gun Club Protests Continued U.S. Gun Violence

Grand Junction Gun Club Protest

Photo Credit: Lee Gelatt Photography http://www.leegelattphotography.com/

Grand Junction Gun Club members held signs and waved at noon today at 7th Street and Patterson Road to protest the escalating epidemic of gun violence in the U.S. and demand sensible gun regulations, like closing loopholes in the law requiring background checks for gun purchases.

The group turned out in response to Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, which organized similar rallies across the country including in Washington, D.C. today. Stay-at-home mom Shannon Watts founded Moms Demand Action on December 15, 2012, in response to the devastating shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in which 20 elementary school children and 6 school staff members were massacred. Moms Demand Action wants state and federal legislators enact common-sense gun reforms.

Photo Credit: Lee Gelatt

Photo Credit: Lee Gelatt

Gun Violence Protest in Grand Junction

In Grand Junction, protesters stood on the busy corner in front of St. Mary’s Hospital in clear, sunny 80-degree weather holding signs saying “No More Massacres,” “End Gun Violence,” “Background Checks for Guns” and “Whatever it Takes.” The group got plenty of thumbs-ups and honks of approval from drivers passing by, as well as curious looks and even some middle fingers and angry shouts from drivers who didn’t support their efforts.

Photo Credit: Lee Gelatt Photography

Photo Credit: Lee Gelatt Photography

In the U.S., nearly 8 children are shot and killed every day, and Colorado has the dubious distinction of now being home to a growing list of notorious gun massacres: The Chuck-Cheese killings in 1993, the Columbine High School mass killing in 1999 and the Aurora Theater Massacre in 2012. And the legacy continues: at the same time protesters were holding their signs in Grand Junction today, yet another juvenile male was shot in Aurora, Colorado, resulting in three schools being locked down.

Have you had enough of gun violence in our country? Want to see the U.S. start doing something to reduce these now-common tragedies? To join the anti gun violence cause locally and get word of upcoming gun sense activities in Grand Junction, go to the Grand Junction Gun Club’s Facebook page.

 

Community Rights Ballot Initiative Coming Back in 2016

Screen shot 2015-08-19 at 12.12.12 PMColoradans for Community Rights (CCR) is gearing up to once again put a Community Rights initiative on the 2016 state-wide ballot.

A Community Rights amendment doesn’t ban anything. Instead, the measure establishes that communities in Colorado have a definitive right to local self-government. That is, the new law would give people, not corporations, the dominant authority to decide how to best protect health, safety and welfare in their own communities and surrounding natural environments. Basically, the measure would allow communities to decide, free from corporate or state interference, whether to allow corporate projects that could negatively impact their safe and healthy environments.

What does this measure mean to citizens on the western slope?

The Community Rights Amendment would, for example, give Mesa County residents living around Alanco’s stinky Deer Creek frackwater ponds the right to disallow this land use in their area. It would also give Paonia residents the right to keep drilling and fracking activities away from their schools, residential areas and organic farming districts. Corporations and their trade groups could no longer sue communities over decisions to keep dangerous or noxious industrial activities out of their area. The amendment would also prevent corporations from suing communities that vote to enact living wages, or ban GMOs (genetically modified organisms), for example.

On August 17, CCR submitted the official ballot language for the 2016 Colorado Community Rights Amendment to the Colorado Legislative Council. The ballot measure is very short, only about 200 words. After the ballot language is approved, CCR will organize a state-wide campaign to gather the number of signatures necessary to qualify the measure for the November 2016 statewide ballot.

CCR tried to get a Community Rights measure on the 2014 statewide ballot, but legal challenges by corporations opposed to the measure succeeded in delaying the signature-gathering phase of the effort until it was too late. This time, CCR has started work early enough that they will have a better shot at getting the measure on the ballot and passing it.

Efforts to pass Community Rights Initiatives are also ongoing in New Hampshire, New Mexico, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Washington.

July 4th, 2015 Mayhem Aftermath

Illegal Fireworks cause damage in Mesa County

11.28 acres of dry brush behind several houses in northwest Grand Junction were burned last night as a result of illegal bottle rockets being set off by a family on Chestnut Ave.

Firefighting and law enforcement resources in Mesa County were stretched thin last night as Independence Day festivities got out of control and the use of illegal fireworks abounded across the County.

A major brush fire that started at around 10:00 p.m. near 26 1/2 and G 1/2 Roads was actually at the west end of Chestnut Ave. The resident whose house was most in danger from the fire reported that a family across the street setting off illegal bottle rockets in the middle of Chestnut Ave. started the fire. One of the bottle rockets drifted on the wind and fell to the ground in the field behind their house, setting the brush on fire. Fortunately no structures were burned and no one, including any firefighters, were hurt. A firefighter on the scene Sunday reported that at 3:00 a.m. last night the flames were still three feet high, and that at one point the fire jumped a paved road, but firefighters were able to stop it. By 1:00 p.m. Sunday, four fire trucks, including a brush tender called down from Rifle, were still on the scene with a hose hooked up to a nearby fire hydrant, and the fire had been substantially put out. The fire burned a total of 11.28 acres.

Fireworks caused another accidental fire perilously close to this apartment complex on 25 1/2 Road, just north of Pomona Elementary School

Scorched tree trunks and landscaping show fireworks caused yet another accidental fire perilously close to this apartment complex on 25 1/2 Road, just north of Pomona Elementary School

Evidence of a second accidental fire being set last night due to fireworks use was apparent nearby at an apartment complex at 622  25 1/2 Road, just north of Pomona Elementary School. Dry landscaping had caught fire, very nearly setting trees next to the apartments on fire.

Lax law enforcement against the sale and use of illegal fireworks, combined with careless use and usually hot, dry weather endanger hundreds of people every Independence Day in Mesa County. Report use of illegal fireworks in your neighborhood immediately after first sight by calling 911.

Independence Day Mayhem in Mesa County

HappyIndependenceDayIndependence Day is Mesa County offered fun for some, but caused a tremendous amount of trouble and expense for citizens in the evening due to multiple fireworks-caused fires, intoxicated drivers, people angry at neighbors who continued to blast fireworks off late into the night, loose dogs running scared and a host of other problems.

Someone using illegal fireworks started a major fire at 26 and G 1/2 Roads around 10:00 p.m. on Independence Day. The fire lit up the night sky with an orange glow and could be seen for well over mile away. The fire caused evacuation of several houses and burned a wood pile and barn. Grand Junction Fire Department engines 4, 5 and a BLM brush truck responded to the fire. Despite the glow of the fire being visible and smoke smell filling the air for miles around, people living in the immediate area continued blowing off illegal fireworks, which were visible in the night sky along with the blaze.

Fires were also reported on Buffalo Drive on the Redlands and Bean Ranch Road in Whitewater, where a fire initially reported as 100 ft in diameter quickly grew to 1/2 acre by 11:00 p.m., with flames visible from Highway 50. The Bean Ranch Road fire was reportedly on BLM land with no one attending to it.

It was also a busy night for law enforcement. An elderly woman at 2856 1/2 Elm Ave. called law enforcement at 11:16 p.m., extremely anxious about fireworks being thrown into her yard and threatening to go outside with her gun and kill the people who kept setting them off if law enforcement didn’t come immediately and make them stop.

Law enforcement responded to many calls regarding intoxicated people stumbling around at Lincoln Park and on the streets, as well as drunken drivers throughout the valley weaving and going going off the sides of roadways. At 11:12 p.m., an intoxicated man reportedly passed out on the street approximately 200 yards east of 30 and E Roads. Stray dogs were reported running loose from Loma to Orchard Mesa and Animal Control was called.

Another brush fire was reported on Highway 50 at mile marker 47 at 11:06.p.m.

“We’re getting slammed,” law enforcement reported.

 

 

 

 

 

Grand Junction’s Growing Hate Community

This vehicle provides a sample of the hate-filled mentality of many citizens of Mesa County, Colorado

As the feds mull hate crime charges against Dylann Roof, the shooter in the June 17 massacre at a historic black South Carolina church, the presence of hatred, bigotry and intolerance is growing more evident in and around Grand Junction every day, and it’s not a comforting sight.

Remember this hate-filled, wing-nut truck spotted in Whitewater a few weeks ago?

 

The truck belongs to a local guy named “Marc” who operates a business that manufactures fake fiberglass rocks sized and shaped specifically to hide an arsenal of firearms. Marc designed the rocks to hide rifles, in particular an M4 carbine semi-automatic rifle, and according to his e-commerce website, “a butt load of ammunition.” Marc’s fake rocks come with a pocket-sized copy of the U.S. Constitution, and they sell for $925 each. Marc also makes fake, hollowed-out tree stumps designed to hide small arms, like pistols.

The front page of Marc’s e-commerce website bears a threatening “WARNING” to all potential customers. He writes,

If you…

  • Are a liberal or in anyway support the willful destruction of America by this [Obama] regime or…
  • Refuse to recognize that this “shining city on the hill” was founded on Christian principles or…
  • Regard English as your “second language” and are content to let it remain as such…

DO NOT EVEN CONSIDER PURCHASING MY PRODUCT! [MY PRODUCTS] ARE HANDCRAFTED BY PATRIOTS FOR PATRIOTS!

So right up front as part of his business plan, Marc parades his paranoia and intolerance of people with differing political opinions, religions and nationalities.  Below is a photo taken from Marc’s fake rock website, showing Marc and a friend, armed to the teeth with powerful weapons, posing along side the truck he has splattered with paranoid messages.

"Marc" proudly poses alongside his paranoid, hater truck

“Marc” proudly poses alongside his truck

What’s really troubling is that Marc is not an anomaly in the Grand Junction area. He is one of a growing number of Mesa County business owners who are “out” about the hatred and disgust they harbor towards area residents who are different from them. They revile, condemn and insult ethnic minorities, political progressives, women, people of other nationalities and religions, and people of no religion — in short, anyone who differs from them in their beliefs, physical appearance or cultural background.

Subdivision Walking Paths Lead up to Canal Banks, Beckoning Walkers/Bikers

In housing subdivisions across the Grand Valley, concrete pathways have been constructed leading up to the banks of the Grand Valley's irrigation canals, beckoning people to use the banks for non-motorized, recreational use, even though such use is technically deemed illegal

WARNING: DO NOT USE: In housing subdivisions across the Grand Valley, concrete pathways like the one running between the houses in the above photo, lead onto the banks of the Grand Valley’s irrigation canals, beckoning residents to enjoy the areas for non-motorized recreation. Oddly, despite these pathways, in 2015 recreational use of the canal banks remains technically illegal. Formally opening the canal banks to non-motorized public recreation would almost overnight create one of the most extensive, beautiful and useful off-road trail systems in the western United States. It could also be a huge tourism asset and a particular boon to Grand Junction’s urbanizing areas, where safe bikeways and pedestrian amenities like sidewalks and foot bridges over canals are still sorely lacking. 

AnneLandmanBlog Voter Guide 2015

ALVoterGuideThis guide presents voters with a citizen’s perspective on a number of upcoming ballot measures, and provides recommendations on which candidates to vote for in the City of Grand Junction’s Municipal election on April 7, 2015. Recommendations are evaluated based on what residents feel is important to their quality of life, safety and welfare, and the best economic interests of our area.

 

City of Grand Junction Referred Measure 2A: Restoring authority to the City to provide high speed internet and cable television service, either directly or indirectly, with public or private sector partnerships.

Explanation: This ballot measure allows the City to ignore SB 05-152 (pdf), a stupid law passed by the Colorado legislature in 2005 that prohibits municipalities from providing cable TV or telecommunications services, like broadband internet service, in any form to anyone. Fortunately, the law has a loophole that allows municipalities to opt-out of the law as long as they hold an election asking people if they want their city to opt out.

We should opt out.

The City of Grand Junction has its own broadband network in municipal buildings, but under the above-mentioned stupid state law, they can’t offer free wifi to citizens in their buildings even though the network is there. The city’s broadband network even runs into its streetlights, but the because of the stupid state law, the City can’t share the network with citizens. That’s just ridiculous, especially since we already pay for it through our taxes.

Approving this measure would let the City share its network, so people can get free wifi downtown. It will also let cable companies install and repair fiber optic lines during city construction to improve streets.

Since we’re all stuck with Charter Communications for high speed cable broadband internet and Charter has no competitors in this area, we need to opt out of the state law.

Recommended vote on 2A: YES

City of Grand Junction Referred Measure 2B

Explanation: This measure authorizes the city to take on $14.5 million of additional debt to finance more construction on the Westside Beltway project, also known as the Riverside Parkway.

The City wants to continue the Riverside Parkway, starting where it currently ends at 25 Road and the I-70 Business Loop, extending it north up 25 Road to F 1/2 Road, then west to 24 Road, and up 24 Road to I-70. The City wants to finance the project by keeping taxpayer funds that would normally have to be paid back to citizens under the TABOR Act (the Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights).

The measure sounds fine at first read, but we recommend a “No” vote on Measure 2B.

Here’s why:

Gun Safety Advocates Outnumber Gun Nuts at W. Slope Hearing on SB 175

ALL IN FAVOR? - Only two people -- Mesa County Commissioner John Justman and one other person -- showed up to testify in favor of making large-capacity gun magazines legal again in Colorado at today's hearing on SB 175 at CMU

Only two people — Mesa County Commissioner John Justman and one other person — showed up to testify in favor of re-legalizing large-capacity ammunition magazines in Colorado at today’s hearing on SB 175 at CMU

Grand Junction citizens who support keeping Colorado’s ban on large capacity gun magazines far outnumbered those showing up who want to dump the ban at today’s remote hearing on the measure at Colorado Mesa University (CMU).

Colorado Senate Judiciary Committee members in Denver heard remote testimony from western slope residents on SB 175 (pdf) via a video hookup in the West Ballroom at CMU. If enacted, the measure would repeal a law currently in place that prohibits possession of large capacity ammunition magazines. The legislature enacted the current magazine ban after the Aurora Theater massacre on July 20, 2012.

The crowd showing up to testify on today’s bill wasn’t big, but was remarkable for the fact that gun safety advocates far outnumbered those showing up to support legalizing large capacity ammo magazines. Exactly the opposite had been expected.

ALL OPPOSED? - Nine western slope residents (including the photographer) showed up to oppose bringing back large capacity gun magazines in Colorado at today's hearing on SB 175

Nine western slope residents (including the photographer and another not yet seated) showed up to oppose bringing back large capacity gun magazines in Colorado at today’s hearing on SB 175

Mesa County Commissioner John Justman was one of only two people who supported bringing back large capacity ammo magazines, even though twenty four people had registered to testify for the bill. Nine people showed up to testify in favor of keeping the current ban in place.

It’s Open Polluting Season Again in Mesa County

Smoke from open burning sends area residents with asthma and COPD running to doctors, hospitals and emergency rooms with breathing problems.

Smoke from spring open burning fires in Mesa County sends area residents with asthma, COPD and heart ailments running to doctors, hospitals and emergency rooms with breathing problems

In a cultural throwback to a mostly bygone era, anyone in Mesa County can still buy a permit to burn agricultural waste on their property. It’s called “Open Burning Season,” and the ubiquitous plumes of smoke seen — and smelled — throughout the county at this time of year increase the level of particulates in the air and send people with asthma, COPD and heart disease who live near these running to area doctors, hospitals and emergency rooms due to exacerbation of their illnesses.

Open burning is any open, outdoor flame where pollutants from the fire are emitted directly into the surrounding air. This includes the burning of leaves, wood and trash. Open burning doesn’t actually get rid of any waste or garbage. It just sends it into another chemical form that affects the people who breathe the air around the burn. Open burning is a legal way to dispose of one’s waste into the common airshed. It is akin to dumping waste on common public lands. It is very common, but very unhealthy method of disposing of garbage in western Colorado.

In some parts of the country, open burning is prohibited near roads, to preserve visibility for drivers

In some parts of the country, open burning is prohibited near roads, to preserve visibility for drivers

Burning waste outdoors — any kind of waste, whether it is agricultural or garbage — is unhealthy, unsafe and unneighborly. It’s also costly. The Grand Junction Fire Department spent over $11,000 responding to out of control fires during the 2013 open burn season. Some of those fires resulted in property damage, to, and people who suffer with breathing illnesses and have to see their doctors or go to emergency rooms due to smoke from open burning incur significant medical bills for treatment and medication.

Legal Marijuana Linked to Lower Death Rates from Prescription Painkillers

Marijuana-in-a-capsule-4-23-131States that legalize marijuana experience significantly lower death rates from pain medication overdoses, both from prescription painkillers and illicit drugs like heroin, according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Authors studied states where medical marijuana laws were fully in effect between 1999 and 2010 and found these states had a 24.8 percent lower average annual death rate from opioid overdoses compared to states without such laws. Authors included all 50 states in the study. The longer the states had their laws in place legalizing medical marijuana, the lower the death rates they experienced from opioid analgesic overdoses.

The use of prescriptions painkillers has increased sharply in the U.S. in recent years. In 2010, doctors prescribed enough painkillers to medicate every American adult every four hours for one month. Prescription drug overdose death rates have more than tripled in the U.S. since 1990. There are now more deaths from prescription pain meds than from cocaine and heroin combined. Every day in the U.S., 100 people die from drug overdoses. Many of these deaths are linked to prescription pain killers.

Marijuana is considered an alternative non-opioid treatment for chronic pain, which is also a major indicator for medical cannabis. The study’s authors conclude that laws making cannabis available may be affecting overdose mortality rates from opioid painkillers.

The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Center for AIDS research at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Medical Center.

Recipe for Disaster: Colorado Riverfront Trail Users Unprotected from Gunfire

The morning sun glistens on the Colorado River on the Monument View section, where hunters are allowed to shoot at birds in the very same vicinity where paths beckon people to run, walk and bike by to the river.

The morning sun glistens on the Colorado River on the Monument View section, where hunters are allowed to shoot in the same vicinity where people run, walk and bike by the river.

The Colorado Riverfront Trail is a huge asset to Mesa County citizens’ quality of life. It beckons residents and tourist to run, walk and bike amid the beautiful scenery alongside the river.

But frequently gunfire occurs around parts of the paths located outside City limits. Many times the sound of loud gunfire next to the path has reduced my dog to a quivering, drooling mass of fear. He digs in his toenails, shakes uncontrollably, refuses to walk any more and has to be lifted or dragged away from the area. The gunfire turns an otherwise pleasant, enjoyable time on the path into a nightmare for us and our dog, and cuts short the time we usually reserve for our morning walk. We have to drag the dog back to the car, leave the area and find somewhere else to walk where he — and we — don’t feel threatened.

So many of our riverfront walks have been ruined this way, I start to wonder why we ever go back. I have quietly wondered, too, if my dog is justified in being so frightened, and whether I should be a bit more concerned for my own safety.

Based on what I found out, I absolutely should.

On the Monument View section of trail, about 1/2 mile east of the Walker Wildlife parking area, there are two small, ominous signs — one facing in either direction — that say “Active Hunting Area. Please stay on trail and respect hunter’s rights.” But what, exactly, does this mean to people using the trail? The signs don’t say what to do if gunfire comes your way. They give no assurance you will not be hit by errant gunfire while on the trail. It doesn’t say where the hunters are or in what direction they shoot. It doesn’t give the dates of hunting seasons or point to protective barriers or cover.

Sheriff Candidate Mike Harlow: The Ugliest Face of Mesa County

Mesa County Sheriff write-in candidate Mike Harlow

Mesa County Sheriff write-in candidate Mike Harlow

It’s no surprise that Mesa County’s tea party faction endorsed custom holster-maker and write-in candidate Mike Harlow for sheriff.

What is a surprise, though, and a huge embarrassment for Mesa County citizens, is that Harlow got the endorsement of anyone at all.

Harlow’s smugness and extreme hate-filled views reveal one thing: he is a ticking time bomb waiting to go off.

If his writings are any indication, contempt and hostility ooze from Harlow’s every pore.

The Crucial History Lesson Behind CO Ballot Initiative #75: the “Community Rights Amendment”

SummitvilleSuperfund

Colorado citizens learned their lesson from the Summitville Mine Disaster of 1992-93, but the state courts and legislature did not, and have repeatedly invalidated local laws that communities enact to protect their citizens from hazardous business pursuits.

Colorado citizens are now gathering signatures to get Ballot Initiative #75, a groundbreaking constitutional amendment, onto the state wide ballot in November.

Business interests have called Initiative #75, also known as the “Right to Local Self-Government” or the “Community Rights Amendment,” an “anti-fracking” initiative, but the measure confers more protection on Colorado citizens than just an anti-fracking initiative, and there are some very solid recent history lessons that are driving Colorado citizens to push for this initiative.

One of them is the Summitville Mine Disaster of 1992-1993.

The Summitville Mine, operated by the Summitville Consolidated Mining Corporation, Inc. (SCMCI), was an open-pit gold and silver mine located in Colorado’s San Juan Mountains, about 40 miles west of Alamosa.  SCMCI used a cyanide heap leaching technique to extract gold and silver. The process involved excavating ore from the mountain, then crushing it and placing it onto a 1,235 acre open leach pad lined with clay and synthetic material. The company then poured a sodium cyanide solution over the crushed ore to leach out gold and silver. The contaminated water was collected and held in leach ponds on the mine property.

Sodium cyanide is highly toxic, and among the most rapidly-acting of all poisons.

Botox Victim Wins $18 Million from Allergan after Contracting Botulism Poisoning

Ad for Botox Cosmetic. Allergan hid information from doctors and patients about the dangers of injecting botulinum toxin into the body.

Ad for Botox Cosmetic. Allergan hid information from doctors and patients about the dangers of injecting botulinum toxin into the body.

Dr. Sharla Helton, an accomplished obstetrician in Oklahoma City, won $18 million a long-running legal fight against the maker of Botox, after she contracted botulism poisoning as a result of getting injections of Botox Cosmetic 2006.

Botox Cosmetic, which is injected into people’s faces to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, is made from a highly potent neurotoxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. Botulinum toxin is the most acutely lethal toxin known to man, and has been considered for its potential as a biological weapon. Just four hundredths of an ounce of undiluted botulinum toxin is enough to kill one million people by giving them the nerve disease botulism, which causes paralysis. Allergan must dilute their toxin so much that the amounts in its drug Botox cannot be measured in conventional terms. One “unit” of Botox is the amount that will kill one half of a test population of laboratory mice. A typical injection of Botox is 20 times that amount.

Even very slight errors in how and where a doctor injects the drug can potentially cause significant and even lethal health problems.