October 7, 20171min334

Members of Congress are quickly galvanizing around the idea of banning “bump stocks” — a firearm accessory that helped the Las Vegas gunman inflict maximum carnage on the music festival crowd he fired into.

October 4, 20171min248

One of the sad realities of surviving the Great Recession is that all of the belt-tightening that took place during the lean years simply created a backlog of deferred maintenance costs that are coming due just when revenue projections for local government entities are beginning to take on a rosier hue.

October 2, 20171min292

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was in Beijing on Saturday to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping to discuss how to contend with North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, as well as trade and investment. Tillerson’s trip provided an opportunity for the media to focus, if only momentarily, on the biggest issue getting the least amount of coverage under the Trump administration. President Donald Trump generates a massive amount of news. Look at the past week: national anthem protests, the Senate’s failure to repeal Obamacare, a Trump-backed Senate candidate’s loss in a GOP primary in Alabama, mounting criticism over the federal government’s response to the hurricane devastation in Puerto Rico ... The president had something to say about all of them, generating news stories about his personality on top of actual breaking news like a Cabinet member resigning over the use of chartered planes or his son-in-law failing to disclose the he used a personal email account to conduct official White House business. Read more at The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel.

September 29, 20171min392

The New York Times reported Thursday that the Interior Department intends to consider amending “all or some” sage-grouse habitat management programs in 10 western states, which could upend a decade of collaboration and compromise to keep the bird off the endangered species list. This wasn’t unexpected. The Sentinel’s Dennis Webb reported last week on John Swartout’s ongoing efforts to help stakeholders arrive at a statewide consensus on whether Colorado’s plan should change. The plan, approved by the Obama administration in 2015, prompted the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to decide not list the bird under the Endangered Species Act. Swartout, Gov. John Hickenlooper’s appointed point person on sage-grouse issues, initiated a series of meetings with local governments, energy industry representatives and environmental interests because state officials anticipated federal action, either by Interior or Congress, to loosen protections on habitat. Read more at The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel.

September 28, 20171min299

Every spring we’re treated to one of the nation’s favorite sporting spectacles — the NCAA Division I men’s college basketball championship. “March Madness” as it’s called is often hyped as a tournament of Davids vs. Goliaths where small schools from mid-major conferences take on traditional powerhouses and perennial contenders like Louisville and Arizona. The playing field has never been level because the nation’s most prominent programs have always had an upper hand in recruiting talent. Revenue from the gate and lucrative television contracts mean big schools can spend millions to hire the best coaches. The TV deals also ensure that players get the exposure they crave in a bid to get drafted.

September 27, 20171min293

Thank goodness we have an engaged electorate fighting the really important battles and openly questioning the legitimacy of local government. If the authority of elected officials is derived by the consent of the governed, then the Grand Junction City Council’s vote to rename North Avenue — without a vote of the people! — is proof that we’re living under an autocratic municipal regime.

September 26, 20171min342

Nonprofits are the Rodney Dangerfields of the economy. They’re celebrated for providing important services or promoting worthwhile causes, but get no respect for their sizable economic contribution to the community.

September 25, 20172min428

There’s nothing like losing an effective leader to make an organization take stock of its future. Kristi Pollard’s tenure as executive director of the Grand Junction Economic Partnership now functions a prism for the board of directors who must replace her. Her accomplishments refract the skills and strengths that will be required for her successor to maintain the tremendous momentum she built over the past two and half years.